Thought for the Evening
ENFORCING THE PEACE
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." These words of Jesus suggest to some a spinelessness, a surrender, an unwillingness to stand strong for right. Just the opposite is true.
First, when Jesus used the word "peace", he meant real peace, not merely the absence of battle. Politicians and military officers routinely use the word "peace" to refer to a time when people are not killing each other. "Peace treaties" on earth are merely agreements to temporarily stop the killing. When world leaders in our day speak of "peace in the Middle East", they are referring to absolutely nothing but a pause in the brutality and slaughter. They celebrate a "peace treaty" in that part of the world as if something glorious has taken place, and newspapers around the world carry headlines touting the wisdom and grit of the leaders who managed to obtain it. The Nobel Peace prize was even bestowed upon certain political leaders a few years ago for negotiating a cease-fire plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians. If the "peace" lasted half a year, I am unaware of it. The truth is, there never was any peace made or felt by anyone concerned; there was only an agreement not to kill for a season, and promises made that were never kept.
There is not an ounce of true peace anywhere in the hearts of ungodly men. Isaiah said, "There is NO peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
To be a peacemaker, you yourself must first have peace with God, and peace with God is obtained only by faith in Christ Jesus, His Son. Then, in order to be a peacemaker, you must be courageous with your testimony. There has never been a cowardly peacemaker. In addition to that, you must love the truth that God shows you so much that you refuse to be confused by opposition to it. In the little realm over which you, under Christ, now reign on earth, over your home, your finances, your time, your body, etc., you must enforce the peace of God that you have and spiritually slay every ungodly spirit that tries to share the throne with you and Jesus.
Paul told the saints to "let the peace of God reign in your hearts." When God's peace rules your heart, you then have power to rule over what God has given you in this life. In the positions of authority that God has given you in this life, in order to be a peacemaker, you sometimes have to be tough. Sometimes, you will have to make decisions that others will not like. But always, you should ignore the whimpering poutiness or angry outbursts of unruly spirits that dislike their lack of influence in your little kingdom.
To be a peacemaker may at times require you to take the lower seat and allow another to have greater honor, to give the best to another and to take the lesser for yourself, to do without so that others may have enough, but it never requires you to do or to be anything that displeases your heavenly Father. Peacemakers are neither cowards or fools. They prefer others before themselves because that is what Jesus did; but they are steadfastly holy and "separate from sinners" because that is what Jesus was.
No man ever forced Jesus to compromise concerning doing the will of God. No situation was so difficult that he surrendered his peace and gave in to evil impulses or suggestions. He enforced the peace of God in everything that pertained to him: his thoughts, his words, and his deeds. He was a peacemaker because in those things that were his, he enforced the peace of God and would not allow strange spirits to control him. When we follow his example, we have real peace, not just the temporary absence of conflict. And when we have real peace, we can bring it into the lives of those around us, making real peace for them and being blessed by our heavenly Father for doing so.