Numbers 6:22-27 (NLT)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: ‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’ Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”
You and I are royal priests under the New Covenant with Jesus Christ as the High Priest forever. The blessing that the Lord gave to Moses for Aaron and his sons, we know have the profound privilege given by the Power and Authority of Jesus Christ to share with the world. The world wants this blessing. It is desperate to have it. People are living lost and dying in the chaos at the hand of the author of confusion as the enemy wages war against the human soul. There is no peace outside of Jesus Christ. But there is no assistance offered because the Body of Christ finds peace elusive as well. Until we become effective priests who give regular peace offerings to the Lord – we will remain ineffective at blessing others around us. We cannot give what we do not have.
For many years, we have had excellent healthcare benefits offered through my husband’s employer. Each year in October, we must renew our benefits reviewing the offerings and choosing our coverage. Each year, it has been very simple. We have not changed our choices or coverage making only a few minor adjustments. It has never been a source of worry or concern. That is until last year when just before the packages were revealed a warning was released to expect sharp increases in our premiums. For many years, like many people, we took for granted our healthcare benefits because we seldom used them. When our son began his battle against cancer, they became a necessity. Surrounded by many who had basic coverage or none at all and witnessing firsthand just how blessed we were as our son was denied no treatment or medication – health insurance was now non-negotiable especially with care costs of over half a million dollars so far. When I opened the website to continue our coverage, I was shocked to discover that maintaining the exact same level of coverage as the last ten years would increase our premium over $400 a month. We would have to cut our benefits and absorb the $100 increase in monthly costs to insure adequate care continued for our son. This is the result of the government’s healthcare decision. I felt wronged by my government as a whole. I cried. I was overcome by worry and stress at the ramifications on our son’s care. Could we afford the high cost of treatment for his care? We had no choice in the matter. It is October all over again. Open enrollment has come promising another increase in premiums. I became worried all over again as we battle cancer a fourth time. I have struggled not to be stressed barely making it these last few days. Then I prayed…
Judges 6:36-40 (NLT)
Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
The Lord God had decided that Gideon was His Man. But Gideon was having trouble wrapping his human head around the idea that he was God’s Man. When faced with a challenge that requires total faith and trust in the Lord, we often panic so Gideon asked the Lord for a sign. The Lord gave him one not once but twice to fortify the faith of His Servant. Maybe you have asked the Lord to confirm faith in your life looking for peace and never finding it. Well, to look at just a portion of Gideon’s story will not reveal the whole truth. The Lord had been working on His Servant for quite some time. He was preparing Gideon to claim his blessing under God’s Protection as the Lord showed His Graciousness to His Servant. Gideon had the Lord’s Favor and would find peace. But before peace came there would be a war…
Judges 6:20-30 (NLT)
The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign LORD, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” “It is all right,” the LORD replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the LORD is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.
That night the LORD said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. Then build an altar to theLORD your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed. The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash. “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.”
Gideon’s journey for peace began like it does with many of us. He had a personal encounter with the Lord. No matter how real it is in that moment, many wake up the next morning wondering if their experience was real (because we cannot see the Lord) and hoping for enough faith to follow through. Well, Gideon left the encounter and acted obediently. All hell broke loose when the people woke up to find the Altar of Baal destroyed and the Asherah pole cut down. They wanted to kill Gideon. Welcome to the battle! This world does not love God. They do not want peace. Tired of living under the stress and pressure of this world, Children of God strike out for peace but draw back at the opposition. (Psalm 120:6-7) You must fight for peace in this world because it is contradictory to the environment. The world is headed for destruction literally and it cannot save itself. The ruler of this world is going with it intent on taking as many of God’ Children with him as can be enticed to go. It has no peace because there is no future here. Conflict and confusion precipitated by its author cause compromise leading to disaster. (Ezra 9:11-13) We must find Peace. I know a place…
Job 25:2 (NLT) “God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens.”
God enforces peace in His Kingdom. He is a God of Peace. (I Corinthians 14:33) The Lord rules and reigns. He gives us strength and peace. It is found in His Kingdom and is not of this world. You will never find peace living in this world and being of it. It begins by the transformation process of salvation continuing to redemption and claimed fully in the rapture. You irritate this world by choosing to walk by faith and not by sight. Your perspective is salt in the wounds of devastation and despair so it will lash out to destroy the foundation on which you are standing. (Matthew 9:49-50) If there is no opposition in your life, it is time to evaluate your commitment to Christ. Those who are Children of God will be peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9) This is totally contradictory to the ways of this world. As we attempt to bring Heaven to earth, all of hell will come against you. The enemy wants to destroy your peace. Its foundation must be firm and secure. Don’t worry! “The God of Peace will soon crush satan! (Romans 16:20)
Psalm 85:10 (NLT)
Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Righteousness and peace are covenant companions. You cannot have either without experiencing the unfailing love and truth of salvation through the Blood of Jesus Christ. Once entering a covenant relationship with the Lord, it is our privilege to have the Peace of God as remain in the righteousness of God. You will never have peace living as part of this world. It is as this world becomes foreign to us that peace is established as a byproduct of righteousness rooted and grounded in faith by trusting God more and more. For example, I have no control over the government. I cannot change the healthcare legislation that has dramatically increased my healthcare coverage. BUT I can trust my God to be my provider so when premiums go up bless God my increase must meet my need according to His Riches in Glory. After all, He promised to supply all that I need. (Philippians 4:19) Or better yet, He will heal my son completely and keep those who are in my care so that healthcare is not quite a priority any longer. God will do it if I remain in covenant relationship with the Lord. How do I do that? Learn to love and trust Him more so I release my expectancy and dependency on the world. Sin is what separates me from God. Unfailing love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ made atonement for my sin so I can live in righteousness with God once again. (Proverbs 16:6-7) I now have access to peace and I must work to maintain it. The Lord worked with Gideon to teach him to love and trust Him more so when the battle for peace came, His Servant won. He is doing the same for you. Faith comes in the form of seeds. We plant seeds of faith to harvest righteousness which in turn gives more and more peace. (Zechariah 8:11-13) God has given us what we need to produce peace and prosperity so that we can effectively rebuild His Temple. That temple is you and every single soul you come in contact with so His Peace can wrap His Arms around the world capturing every lost and dying brother and sister waiting for His Love. The moment peace begins to grow in your life the more you will desire it. (Daniel 10:19) It has the power to improve your health…literally. (Proverbs 14:30)
Psalm 85:8-9 (NLT)
I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory.
Could it be as simple as listening to God? Yes! Gideon heard the Lord but it took several encounters for him to believe the Word of the Lord concerning his life. God is speaking peace to you. Those who live by faith are in constant communication with God through His Word, worship, praise and of course, prayer. Salvation is near to those who live in righteousness and they have peace because they listen to the Lord and do what He says. Obedience allows us to discover God’s Peace firsthand. We must love peace. (Psalm 37:37) Turning from evil to do good and search for peace. (Psalm 34:14) We must humble ourselves to live God’s Way. (Psalm 37:11) God’s Word will always produce joy and peace in the life of a believer, but it only works if we do what it says. (Isaiah 55:11-12) “For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:32-33)
Psalm 119:164-166 (NLT)
I will praise you seven times a day because all your regulations are just. Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. I long for your rescue, LORD, so I have obeyed your commands.
Can you find seven things to praise God about each day? Will you commit to intentionally thanking the Lord just seven times each and every day? Schedule it like brushing your teach or eating a meal. Make it a habit. Those who worship will be granted peace. (Isaiah 26:12-13) Will you be that one? Complaining and grumbling attests to one’s dependency on the world. Those who trust the Lord are satisfied. Those who trust the Lord completely do not fear bad news. (Psalm 112:7) They will wait on the God of their salvation confidently and quietly. Praising His Name simply for who He is knowing that His Word will accomplish what He promised it would do. Complaining glorifies the enemy’s accomplishment in destroying our faith in fear and frustration. Praising puts the enemy on high alert – you better watch out because Father God is coming! He is going to enforce peace in my life as a Child of God and resident of Heaven. He is about to be crushed so satan you better start running now. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and ruler of my life so get your filthy hands off. Praise says, “I trust the Lord and will wait on my faith anchored to confident hope until He comes to my rescue!”
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT)
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Please take note: the world in which we live is temporary and rapidly coming to an end. The Government of God is His Kingdom. Everything you have been promised comes from Heaven to accompany you on this earth pulled down by faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ. Peace is nowhere to be found on this planet. It is not going to happen. Jesus did not bring peace to the world. He put it inside of you. (Matthew 10:34) Stop looking for the silver lining in the clouds and use the Keys to the Kingdom that are your inheritance to unlock the treasure of peace that God has for you! It is produced by righteousness that is established in faith as we trust the Lord following His Word and Way to eternity. Forever is the stronghold of peace from which we draw not everyday life. It is not necessarily going to get any better. Peace will give you rest. Peace comes from knowing that everything that the Lord promised is true and we are no longer subject to the outcomes of this world including death and devastation. Jesus Christ overcame this world. (John 16:33) This gives you the power as His Priest to do the same and offer this blessing to everyone you meet. He gave you His Spirit to help facilitate peace in your life. (John 14:26-27) You are never alone. But the Spirit is referred to as a sword, because you must battle the enemy to maintain that which the Lord has given you including peace of mind. He is a liar and a thief always looking for a way to make you surrender what God has given you. Let the Spirit take control. If you need peace of mind, tell the Spirit to show you the way! He will! (Romans 8:6) It is one of His Primary duties to help turn your heart and mind back to the Lord when it wanders. (Ephesians 4:3) “For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
So why not try praising God seven times a day? Every good gift in your life is from God so breathing counts. Find something anything to give God praise for. My first praise today will be that all of family is alive and healthy as of today even our son who God decimated all five tumors in the first four rounds of treatment making him cancer-free. Second praise for today is that we still have health insurance and premiums increased only a little over ten percent which is nothing since God is our provider. Praise number three – thank you that I have peace not as the world would give it but from Heaven where it is strictly enforced. What about you? What has the Lord done for you today? Praise Him for it. Praise will open the door to His Kingdom allowing peace to flow into your life as you remind your soul how Great God really is! He will be your Peace as you strive to live by faith in the Righteousness of God! This sacrifice will yield peace and joy in abundance. (Psalm 4:7-8) When the Lord fights for you, it brings rest to all facets of your life even the uncertain ones. (2 Chronicles 20:29-30) You need only know that God is for you! (I Chronicles12:17) “And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.” (Romans 15:33)
Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)
Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.