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Perfect Peace - A Devotion

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Isaiah 26:3-4 (Amplified)
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

It’s the craziest thing…I woke up this morning to music playing. Sleep has been somewhat elusive so as I tried to open my heavy eyes and adjust my hearing to determine where it was coming from it was distant. A peaceful serenade that I soon concluded was not coming from anywhere in the house but deep within my soul. Zephaniah 3:17 (New International Version) says “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” The melody was almost like a lullaby and not any song that I had ever heard before. No words just music. Then it was gone and the verse from Zephaniah flashed across my mind. I love this verse. I recited it daily when our oldest son was in the Middle East. The first to leave the nest who decided to do so as an American soldier, hopping on a bus, boarding a plane carrying him halfway around the world, dropped in the sand with many people who did not want him there and would prefer to send him home in a flag-draped coffin. My heartstrings were tightly wrapped around the world for an entire year as I longed for, prayed for and waited for his safe return as promised by the Lord. I prayed this particular verse over our son as he slept far from home each night. So here we are again Lord…watching and waiting for another child’s safe return. But this time it is different, it has been a long journey of more than two years. This is what they call endurance I guess so now in the darkness of the morning, I awaken to find that the God of Peace is singing over His Child again, whispering to my waning spirit, comforting my beating heart. You will guard those whose inclination and character are stayed on You. You will keep them in perfect (complete) peace those who have committed their life to You! You will keep the in constant (continual) peace those who have put all their confidence and expectation in You! The Lord has invited us to trust Him today for perfect peace. Those who are committed to lean and rely on God as their confident hope forever will live in perfect peace. The moment I encountered the Lord’s Song over me this morning, I was filled with perfect peace. Oh how I long to remain there…

Isaiah 26:12 (AMP)
Lord, You will ordain peace (God’s favor and blessings, both temporal and spiritual) for us, for You have also wrought in us and for us all our works.

God has ordained you to live in perfect peace. Not as the world would have it, but the kind of peace that comes only from right standing with God. Yeah, I knew there must be a catch. God’s Favor and Blessings both temporal (natural) and spiritual (supernatural) are both the inheritance of His Children. He is not going to let the enemy have it or anyone who is hostile to Him. Many will respond to this statement defensively saying in their heart and mind, “Hey, I love God!” Those who love God will turn from evil and do good (righteousness) and search for peace. (Psalm 34:14) Peace comes from settling our differences with God and reconciling our life through the Blood of Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:19-20) The Blood of Jesus Christ is for the remission of sin. Remission is a pardon or forgiveness when it comes to sin in our life. Remission is the medical term used for the abatement or subsiding symptoms of a disease. We are on a quest for remission in our family right now with regards to our second son who has been battling cancer for more than two years. Sin is a cancer to our bones. But a peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. (Proverbs 14:30) In the Amplified version, it describes a peaceful heart as one that is calm, undisturbed mind and heart leading to life. A heart and mind settled on finding peace is in constant and passionate pursuit of the Lord for fulfillment of such a quest. The Lord gives strength to those in this pursuit and will bless them with peace. (Psalm29:11) God’s Plan for our life is for His Word to accomplish exactly what it set out to do which is to create a joyous reunion, productive reconciliation and marvelous redemption concerning those He has chosen to call His Children. This is the peace that passes all understanding leading to satisfaction in our natural and spiritual life.

Romans 8:5-7 (NLT)
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

Grace doesn’t change the way God feels about sin. Sin will always be considered hostility toward God. He does not tolerate sin past, present or future. Grace is the opportunity to return to right standing with the Lord despite our inability to live a sinless life. It is not an invitation to stop trying but rather the privilege of those who choose to call on Jesus, believe in Him and live by faith obtaining all the blessings of living in close proximity to God the Father. Peace with God is our privilege by faith. (Romans 5:1-3) In Numbers 25, there is an account of a man named Phinehas. Phinehas was granted a covenant of peace that extended to Israel because he was zealous for the Lord. He was jealous for God’s Love. The Israelite men were being seduced by the women of Moab and worshipping other gods while defiling themselves with these (ahem) ladies. The Lord commanded Moses to have the “ringleaders” executed in broad daylight and put an end to this blatant abomination against God. There is one in every crowd that doesn’t quite get it and so right in front of Moses and the priests some guy takes a Moabite into his tent and well, you get the picture. Phinehas grabbed a spear went in the tent and ran them through. End of story…God blessed Phinehas because he was jealous for His Love. He would not allow anything to stop the reconciliation process that was taking place. The plaque the people had endured as a consequence of their sin ended because of Phinehas’ love for the Lord and God granted this man a covenant of peace that not only impacted the people present that day but future generations. (Numbers 25:1-13) Sin will always be counterproductive to peace in our life as it promotes further separation from right standing with God. It is the evidence of a heart still unsure of God’s Unfailing Love. Peace comes when a heart is no longer divided between loving this world and loving God! We must turn our hostility to God into jealousy for His Love!

John 16:33 (AMP)
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Why is that people seldom find the Peace of God outside of hardship and struggle? Gideon met “Yahweh-Shalom” at the threshing floor when the angel called him “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you! (Judges 6:11-24) Gideon’s response tells the tale of his plight – “If God is with us, why has this happened to us? Where are the miracles?” Gideon, I know exactly where you were coming from…but the angel went on to tell Gideon that he would defeat the enemy. The Lord promised to accompany Gideon and he would defeat the Midianites as if he was fighting just one man. The truth is there is only one enemy. Jesus Christ defeated him on the Cross and snatched the keys of death right out of his hand as the Lord emerged from the tomb victorious! Now all we must do is listen to God’s Word and do what He says to experience victory in our life. But note that Gideon did not call the Lord – Jehovah Nissi or the Lord is my banner (which declares victory). But rather Yahweh Shalom which means the Lord is peace. Courage is defined by peace as well as confidence. Gideon had no confidence in his ability to defeat the Midianites but after encounter the Lord (Yahweh Shalom) – his faith and confidence became fully invested in the Lord. Such is the struggle of people to surrender our life to God’s Way! The moment that we decide to submit our life to the Lord including His Way and His Word – victory is our reward. In all things, we become overcomers. It is the God of Peace who crushes satan every time. (Romans 16:20) The meek are set to inherit the earth. Meekness is defined as being humbly patient and overly submissive – two things that I am challenged with every day when it comes to giving my life to the Lord. As I work to develop these character traits, I begin to feel the Peace of God permeate my life and feel confident of being victorious according to His Word. Gideon lived in peace and prosperity for the rest of his life. (Judges 8:28)

Psalm 34:14 (AMP)
Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!

Peace is found in the Righteousness of God. The more we strive to separate from evil and do good it fortifies our commitment to right standing with the Lord. By doing so it is confirmation that we seek, inquire for and crave peace enough to pursue it. God’s Word is an excellent road map to righteousness that will cultivate peace in our life. (Psalm 119:165) Those who love God’s Word will have great peace and not stumble as they move closer and deeper into His Presence. People who listen to God’s Voice will have peace. They are untroubled by fear of harm. (Proverbs 1:32-33) Jehoshaphat lived in peace. His Kingdom was at rest on every side. (2 Chronicles 20:30) Why? Glad you asked. Jehoshaphat was not called to fight an army as Gideon was but rather to lead His Kingdom into God’s Presence with praise to defeat his enemies. (2Chronicles 20:15-30) Jehoshaphat was told to stand firm, believe and succeed. You and I are called to the very same thing. To live our life standing firm on the Word of God, believing in God and success in everything we do. We are commanded to prosper and promised it will be so. This requires great faith in the midst of opposition. The enemy is opposing your success every single day as hard as you are fighting for it. So stop. Praise in the midst of pain and pressure is the supernatural response that will defeat the enemy every time. He is confused by it just ask Job. He cannot stand it. He flees from it leaving space for God to bless you even more than before. In the king’s case, when his kingdom praised God the enemy was so confused it turned on itself and killed all of its allies. The people just stood by and watched praising God. Then it says, Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace and God gave Him rest on every side. Internal and external peace is found by those who learn to praise God in every situation, stand firm, believe and soon they will succeed! “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Matthew 5:9 (AMP)
Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the Sons of God!

I am blessed! No matter what I can have enviable happiness, spiritual prosperity, total satisfaction regardless of the outward conditions in my life. It is part of the covenant of peace called righteousness that God has given me as an inheritance. It is my divine privilege of faith and trust and Jesus Christ to live at peace with my God! Those who are makers and maintainers of peace will be called the sons and daughters of God! I intend to be that person! I will passionately pursue God’s Peace no matter how big the storm or deep the valley! We will overcome! We will succeed simply because He is My God and I am jealous for all of His Love!

John 14:27 (AMP)
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Hebrews 13:20-21 (AMP)
Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).

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