It was a simple question: On a scale from 1 to 10, how peaceful are you today? Responses trickled in slowly through social media platforms with some choosing to share with me privately. Those at peace posted a 9 or 10, while a few other courageous souls openly admitted to the chaos swirling in their spirits. I’m guessing hundreds of others read the question and then merely documented their responses mentally.
Whether you’re a believer in Jesus or not, it’s hard these days to witness the meanness in the world and remain calm. Maybe, like me, you’re tempted at times to give others a piece of your mind rather than sharing the peace of Jesus.
Of all the passages that could have spoken to me about peace, Revelation 6 shouted loudest near the end of 2021. (Revelation is not usually the book we turn to when we think of peace, but this one struck a chord of discord.)
“When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, ‘Come!’ Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.” (Revelation 6:3-4, NLT)
Yes, I did bog down for a bit in whether Revelation is prophetic or historical, who the rider was, and why a red horse, but then the Spirit whispered in my heart, “Look at it again.” So, I did. And there was my takeaway! Satan doesn’t need to bring war and slaughter to be effective. All he has to do is take away our peace!
Perhaps, chaos swirls around us like Kansas winds because Satan has blown peace away from so many of us who should be the peacemakers. It’s the church’s mission to present a clear picture of the Prince of Peace to the world, and then allow the Holy Spirit do His job. “And when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, HE will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (John 16:8, NLT, emphasis mine)
Why are we (me) so drawn to taking the easy route? It’s easy to criticize and complain about things we don’t approve of or don’t take the time to understand. We quickly mount our high horses and charge right into the fray with our high-and-mighty swords flashing. Without realizing it, we trample peace into the dust. Since we all want to live in a kinder place, some of us try to piously blaze a shortcut to finding a more peaceful world.
Let’s do the hard thing, and flip the map around. If we place our finger on “Peaceful World” and trace the path backward, we run headlong into “Peace with Others.” From there the trail leads us back to an uncomfortable place, “Peace with Ourselves.” Eventually, we land on the spot where all of our expeditions must begin: “Peace with God.”
The hardest roads lead us on the grandest adventures. If we travel them patiently, we grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding – about God, ourselves, and others. That’s when we find true peace. We will still be surrounded by the fray, but we can triumphantly step down from our high horses and look our adversary in the eye because we know that the One who lives in us is greater than the one who lives in the world. We can boldly declare, “Not today, Satan!” If we have to get testy, let’s get testy with our real enemy!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be traveling Peace Road. I hope you’ll invite those who don’t know the Peace Giver, or those who are struggling with all the chaos, to come along. God’s packed lots for our journey, but it’s most beneficial when we unpack it together.
So, my friend, on a scale of 1 to 10, how peaceful are you today?
Here’s a little something for your journey this week:
“Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us. Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!” (Romans 5:1-2, TPT)