Peace was the way our world was made to operate. One human race caring for and looking out for one another. Personal differences fueled by self-centered individuals lead to jealousy and murder…quite quickly I might add. Still we long for peace even if it is only an inner peace surrounded by a tumultuous world. How do live in peace?
- We need to pursue peace. Psalm 34:14 tells us to turn away from evil and do good – then search for peace and work to maintain it. We’re to run after peace which often means giving up some of our comfort and self-centered plans. We need to desire peace because it always comes at some cost. Then once we find it the psalmist tells us that we need to work to maintain it. Apparently our natural inclination is to stray away from the generosity of spirit that is required for peace.
- Remember that peace is promised to those that love the law of the Lord (Psalm 119:165). And what is that law? Well, according to Jesus you can sum it up by loving God, loving others (neighbors & enemies) and loving yourself. Be content to be with God. It is the unrest of the “desire for more, more, more” and lack of satisfaction that drives many of our conflicts.
- Listen carefully to what God says and then act. In other words, practice peaceful living. Psalm 85:8 tells us to listen carefully to what God says, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. We need that voice from God to counteract our own ways which the psalmist describes as foolish. In other words we need to know the difference between the voice of God and our own voice.
- Remember this: peace is our blessing. In Psalm 29, a psalm of praise we read about the voice of God. In fact after an introductory statement to worship God the rest of the Psalm talks about the voice of God – until the last sentence. There we read that the Lord gives strength to his people but he BLESSES them with PEACE. Mot of us like to feel blessed and we often say it to describe good things that happen in our lives. This is the ultimate blessing. God’s blessing over us is peace. That’s why this isn’t a teaching about the path TO peace, but rather a path OF peace. We are already in the midst of the peace of God we just need to live in the truth of that reality.