Kingdom of Peace
In my living room hangs a painting called “the Prince of Peace.” It is a reminder of God’s constant presence with me. More importantly it reminds me that His eye is always on me; He is concerned about me and all that is taking place in my life. While this is a very self-centered view of my relationship with God, it is also a valid one. He comes to transform me into His image, into one who rests in the fullness of God’s conquering peace.
There are many things that come into my life that seek to steal my peace; challenges to health, finances, and personal well-being. Each attack is a distraction to His voice in my heart. Like the disciples in the storm (Matthew 8:23-27), each wave of anxiety is like a wave that swamps my boat and puts me in fear of not making it out alive.
Full of fear and anxiety, the disciples wake Jesus up and ask Him, “don’t you care?!” In answering, Jesus rebukes the storm, and rebukes them. “Why do you not have faith?” Our first reaction is, ‘Why does Jesus hurt my feelings when I am already afraid?!’ Perhaps our question should be, if Jesus only rebukes the demonic, where am I mistaking demonic activity as something normal?
Anxiety and fear are not part of God’s kingdom. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, not the prince of confusion and fear. He conquers these things, kicks them out, and establishes the fruitfulness of peace. Any area of my life that is not peaceful has a demonic squatter that needs to be rebuked and kicked out.
Win the Battle Using Your Promises
There are two promises given to us reminding us that peace is our normal. Peace is our right as children of God not only to live in peace and rest, but to also have the authority to establish peace. Each one comes with instructions on how to establish that peace and a reminder of how that peace manifests.
First, in Romans 16:19-20, Paul reminds the believers in Rome that the God of Peace will crush Satan under their feet. This promise is attached to the reminder that they are to live a righteous and holy life. Sin opens to door to fear and trouble. When we are innocent of such activity, then it is our inherited right to pound fear and anxiety into the dust under our feet. We are made free to dance with joy before the Lord who is great, and has given this joy of pulverizing Satan to us!
Second, in the letter to the Philippian believers (Philippians 4:6-7) Paul reminds them that they are to speak with God about all things, and they are to rest knowing their requests have been heard by God. As they rest in this truth, the peace of God that surpasses human comprehension guards their hearts and minds from fear.
These two promises are our weapons. They are both true. These promises place a demand on my faith to act according to the counsel of God and rebuke the devourer of anxiety off my life. “How?” you ask. Well, let me offer you a couple of other promises that I’ve found helpful in fighting for the Peace of God to be established in my heart and mind.
He is Faithful
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:9-11 of the superior love and care our Heavenly Father has for us. Fear comes and lies to me that “God does not care,” just like it did to the disciples in the boat. Paul said to the Philippians that when I pray and make requests they should be filled with thanks. So, as I pray about the situation that is currently keeping me awake at night with anxious thoughts, I recall all the times that God has been a good and faithful Father to me. I thank him for all the times I can remember when He met my needs, answered my prayers, and delivered me from troubles similar to the one that I am in. A life of gratitude is a powerful weapon for trampling the enemy into the dust. Giving thanks about how God has moved miraculously in the past opens up my eyes and heart to see how God is moving miraculously in my present.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you; they confidently trust in you.”(TPT)
I cannot feed my thoughts on anxious scenarios of everything that can possibly go wrong and expect to come out happy. I can, however, feed my heart with every memory of how God came through for me in past seasons. The testimony of His goodness is the life-giving strength I need when my circumstances threaten to sink my boat.
Paul reminds us that we are to take captive every thought and attitude that seeks to lie about who God is (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are warriors, children of the living God, powerful and able to take down our enemy. My trust cannot be in my own ability to solve a problem, or in a prophetic word from the most anointed person I can find. My trust belongs only in God as a good Father. He is more than able to care for me in every circumstance. My imagination should be upon God alone: my thoughts consumed with His goodness. This opens my eyes to see how He is at work in my life and circumstances, and enables my heart to celebrate with joy that His presence is in my life.
Remember that once Jesus rebuked the storm and fear left, the disciples still had to sail the boat to the other side of the lake. We still have a responsibility to follow through with where God is leading us. But it is so much easier to sail our ship when peace fills our atmosphere.
I pray that you would live in perfect peace. Follow the counsel of God; live righteously without compromise, giving thanks for the truth of God’s goodness for you as a loving Father, and waging war upon every anxious thought. In this way the Holy Spirit will establish the peace of God in your heart and mind.