I started thinking about what I shared with you yesterday, and realized that allowing our Lord’s peace to rule in our lives, is even more important than I originally thought. The Spirit of our Lord has a great talent of teaching us. He takes it one step, then adds another, then another. And oddly, we never do reach a point where we understand it all, a point where there is no more room for our understanding. Amazing, isn’t it?
Anyway, I was led to re-read Philippians, and focused on the fourth chapter:
So, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, my dear friends, keep standing firm in union with the Lord . . .
Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near! (Philippians 4:1-5)
Then, I hit verses six and seven:
Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Oh wow! Did you catch that? When I reread these passages, I was struck by something I had never seen before. Paul was telling us to stop worrying, go to God with prayer and supplication, and thank Him for the answer. Yes, I had seen that before, I am not that new to the Scriptures, but this time it hit me! He never says anything about getting answers! Paul says nothing about receiving a word of direction, deliverance, miracles, or healing. Instead, he says we receive a gift of the peace, the shalom of God!
Shalom is a very interesting Hebrew word that I could take up pages to explain; but just know that its very nature is describing a sense of well-being, peace, good, godliness and grace that comes from God — it is a divine, and therefore spiritual, source that produces shalom — and it is a gift that is given to us to enjoy, but more importantly, to calm us and settle our hearts and mind to whatever situation we are facing.
All of us should hopefully understand and know beyond any doubt, our Father answers every one of our requests and supplications, but often, it is with the gift of His peace:
“Let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (v. 6-7).
What I am trying to say is that His first answer to every prayer and heart-cry is His shalom! His peace! Every believer who offers their prayers, have one thing in common: No matter how bad they may feel going into their secret closet of prayer, they should come out filled with His shalom! Our Father has limited Himself to His own government. This is known as the providence of God. He frequently does things to prepare our hearts and orchestrates events, but until His providence works out the details and the complete answer to our prayer, He will say to our spirit, “I will answer your prayer, but not with what you think you need, but what I know you need — peace of mind and heart!”
Oh, that is so hard for many of us. We wrestle with the Lord in prayer. We petition Him with crying and tears; we pound heaven’s gates; we claim every promise; and make every confession of faith. But as the days, weeks and months go by, we begin to wonder: “Why won’t You answer, Lord? What is blocking my prayer? What have I done to grieve or displease You?”
Oh dear child, the fact is, He has already told us, “Here is My peace that passes all understanding! Take it and let it rule in your heart while I work out all things for your good! Allow my peace to continually act as an umpire in your hearts, deciding and settling with finality every question that arises in your mind. Live in that peaceful state that you were called to live. Don’t worry about anything!”
Oh, brothers and sisters, hold on to His peace and let it rule and reign in your heart!
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