The posture of peace outperforms any other ammunition we possess for combating the enemy. Peace perhaps is the most powerful weapon God gives us. When Paul describes God’s power to crush Satan, He doesn’t call Him “the Lord of mighty armies.”
“…I want you to be wise
about what is good,
and innocent about what is evil.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan
under your feet.”
It is “the God of peace” who crushes Satan.
God sometimes uses dreams to capture my attention. Such was the case the other night. I was being driven down a fairly steep embankment. We weren’t following any kind of marked trail. It was obvious few people travelled here.
Suddenly, before me was a peninsula jutting out into a lake. On the east side sheltered in a peaceful cove, a little cottage nestled among trees. On the west, a similar cottage stood stoically. Fierce waves, dangerously peaked a full ten feet above the shoreline. An invisible shield was restraining the waves from obliterating everything in their path.
Both cottages were offered to me — the peaceful and the dangerous. A woman stood tall and strong on the peninsula, facing the angry tide. With a camera equipped with a telephoto lens, she captured images — first of a flowering vine bridging two outbuildings, then of clouds framed in golden beams above the storm. She produced multiple images of beauty found within the ominous storm.
I stood on this little piece of land dividing the fierce from the calm, the frightful from peaceful shores — opposites of each other, yet part of the same property.
Then God gave me understanding of the posture of peace. While unpredictable onslaughts threaten my security, stability or livelihood, simultaneously, peace co-exists, undisturbed by violent circumstance.
Examples of Peace
Three perfect examples come to my mind: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These men determined from youth to settle into the perfect haven of peace with God without compromise. They experienced both peace with God and the peace of God!
“You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
How do I know? You cannot prove a person’s character by what they say, but you can accurately evaluate them by what they do!
Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps the most powerful king that every lived, ordered everyone to bow down and worship a magnificent statue he made of himself. These godly men refused! Talk about facing a storm!
“Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego…
if you do not worship it,
you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.
Then what god will be able to rescue you
from my hand?”
Nebuchadnezzar knew only little “g” gods! These three knew big “G” God! The posture of peace filled them with strength as they faced the king’s unreasonable fury.
Peace of God
The King threatened with the clenched first of an unpraised hand; these servants of God trusted a hand much stronger!
“… we do not need to defend ourselves
before you in this matter.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,
the God we serve is able to deliver us from it,
and he will deliver us
from Your Majesty’s hand.
But even if he does not,
we want you to know, Your Majesty,
that we will not serve your gods
or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Political correctness collapsed before truth! The king’s rage intensified as he ordered the furnace heated “seven times hotter.” (3:19) The king’s strongest men cast these brave ones into the blaze.
The other day while standing over a small bonfire, I managed to singe my hair, scorch one eyebrow, and come away cloaked in the aroma of smoke. Not these fellows!
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar
leaped to his feet in amazement...
‘Weren’t there three men that
we tied up and threw into the fire?…
‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire,
unbound and unharmed, and the fourth
looks like a son of the gods.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s posture of peace before the storm, equipped them to walk serenely in the storm. When we choose to walk with God in times of testing, He will walk with us in that testing.
“When a man’s ways please the LORD,
he makes even his enemies
to be at peace with him.”
Posture of Peace
The posture of peace unravels the enemy’s power over any situation. No wonder our adversary attacks our peace!
“The peace of God is an impregnable fortress.
Never ever, lose your peace, and you will always know victory.”
Paul prays for believers,
“May God himself, the God of peace,
sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body
be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful,
and he will do it.”
I Thessalonians 5:23-24
The victory of and through “the God of peace” goes beyond external appearance to the depth of heart and soul — purifying and preserving completely.
Prepared in Advance
In my dream, the menacing waves were invisibly held back from crashing down upon the shore.
“And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This word “guard” comes from a compound word meaning “to be a watcher in advance, to mount guard as a sentinel, post spies at the gate, of figuratively to hem in, protect, or garrison.” Peace prepares us beforehand — protecting from present and future harm.
No matter how difficult the circumstances God provides His peace in advance!
“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”
Honestly, the storms of real-life create waves more threatening than any dream. Challenges, at times, seem insurmountable. Ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo! These three men were prepared in advance by God. God was with them in the fire, protecting, preserving and sanctifying them. The same God is with us too.
Sometimes, like a boatful of worried disciples, we cry out for help and the storms are hushed.
“And he (Jesus) awoke and rebuked the wind
and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”
And the wind ceased
and there was a great calm.”
But not always. I associate with David’s honest psalm: “my thoughts trouble me…because of the threats…my heart is in anguish…terrors of death...fear and trembling.” (Ps 55:2-6) David wished he possessed wings to fly away from his personal storm. When his closest friends stood against him, David turned to his only option, calling for God’s help.
“He will redeem my soul in peace
from the battle which is against me,
For they are many who strive with me.”
I have no idea what you are facing today — what waves threaten your “little cottage” home. May I encourage you to maintain the posture of peace? Peace is the most powerful weapon you possess.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:18