Chapter OnePEACEKEEPER #1
Trust the Lord of Peace
God wants us to enjoy life and see good days. In fact, God's Word
tells us to search for peace, and seek it eagerly (see 1 Peter
3:11). We are not to merely desire peaceful relations with God, with
our fellow men, and with ourselves, but we are to pursue and go
after peaceful relationships!
The first way to find peace is in learning to trust God through a
relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. We
cannot have peace with God, others, or ourselves without His
lordship in our lives. The Bible says that Jesus is our wisdom from
God (see 1 Corinthians 1:30). His Word teaches us how to live
properly. He doesn't just give us wisdom-He is our wisdom. Through
trusting the Prince of Peace and having a personal relationship with
Him, we actually have indwelling wisdom from the Lord's presence in
If we would get still long enough to let that wisdom rise and
minister to our minds, we wouldn't do so many foolish things. Too
many times, we react through our emotions and we don't pay any
attention to the wisdom in our hearts. We tend to make decisions
according to our thoughts rather than living by discernment and
according to what the Holy Spirit is placing in our hearts.
Consequently, we get ourselves in trouble.
I believe that Jesus is everything we need in any situation. He is
sufficient to meet the need for every circumstance that we will ever
face. So, we certainly must learn how to go to Jesus for much more
than just salvation or a ticket into heaven. We need to take Him as
our everything in life, including as our Prince of Peace.
JESUS GOVERNS OUR LIVES
Isaiah 9:6-7 says, "For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be
called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of
Eternity], Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of
peace there shall be no end" (italics mine).
The government that is upon the shoulders of Jesus is not a
political government; the verse is referring to the governing of our
lives. We are not supposed to be running our own lives. In fact, we
are not capable or qualified to run our own lives. Not one of us is
intelligent enough to know what is best. That is why we should be
thankful for God's interference.
I like the promise that there will be no end to the increase of His
government and peace. The more His government increases in my life
(the more He governs my life, my thoughts, my conversations, my
decisions, and my actions), the more peace I am going to have.
Peace doesn't come from success and money and promotions and feeling
good about everything in life. We find peace in the kingdom of God,
which is righteousness, peace, and joy within us. Being right with
God, knowing we are right with God, and doing the right thing out of
knowing who we are in Christ is a process, but it leads us to peace,
and peace leads us to joy.
And if we don't have righteousness, peace, and joy, then we are not
enjoying the kingdom of God as we should. Sometimes we may need to
take a vacation from all the other things we look for and instead
seek the kingdom. Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek (aim at and strive after)
first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and
being right), and then all these things taken together will be given
you besides" (italics mine).
We work and struggle and strive at "all these things," such as food
and clothing and position in society. But what we should be doing is
searching out God's kingdom; we should seek Jesus and His government
in our lives. Colossians 1:10 says, "That you may walk (live and
conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing
to Him and desiring to please Him in all things."
BE A DISCIPLE OF JESUS
Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34 NIV). If we want to have
peace, we have to stop following other voices; we must be God
pleasers, not man pleasers, and we must choose to follow Jesus on a
For many years, I was in a church that gave me a great foundation
about salvation, but I never learned much past that. I had many
problems in my life, but I wasn't getting any victory over any of
them. I certainly didn't know how to pursue or go after peace. Satan
distracted me by getting me involved with many activities that did
not produce good fruit in my life.
I was not taught to study God's Word myself, and because I didn't
know the Word of God, I wasn't aware of the many deceptions that can
grossly mislead people. For example, before I was in ministry I
worked at an office where a coworker studied astrology. At the time,
the things she talked about seemed to make sense (because I had no
knowledge of God's Word on this subject). She believed the position
of the planets and stars directed her life. She said there were even
optimum times to get a haircut to have the best results.
Today, advice is easy to obtain from psychics, tarot card readers,
sorcerers, and people skilled in divination who would like to run
people's lives. They may give information that seems to make sense,
but it will not produce lasting peace in a person's life. As I look
back at those early years of being a believer, I am sad to say that
nobody in my church told me not to follow these voices of deception.
No one warned me that the Bible clearly says those who practice
these types of things will not enter the kingdom of heaven (see
Revelation 21:8). We are to follow God, not psychics, astrology,
mediums, tarot card readers, or any such thing. God's Word actually
says that these things are an abomination to Him. To enjoy peace, we
must be led by the Lord of Peace.
To be a disciple of Jesus means to study His teaching, imitate His
life, and correctly analyze the Word of Truth (see 2 Timothy 2:15).
We will have God's power to live our lives well if we devote our
attention to God's Word and allow Jesus to transform us by following
the peace that He alone can give.
Peace is our inheritance from Jesus, but we have to choose to follow
Him daily. Colossians 3:15 teaches us that peace is to be the
"umpire" in our lives, settling every issue that needs a decision.
To gain and maintain peace in our hearts, we may have to learn to
say no to a few things.
For example, if we don't feel peace about something, we should never
go ahead and do it. And if we don't have peace while we are doing
something, then we shouldn't expect to have peace after we have done
it. Many people marry others they didn't have peace about marrying,
and then they wonder why they don't have peace in their marriages.
Many people buy expensive items they didn't have peace about buying,
then continue to lose their peace every month when they have to make
payments on them.
I want to repeat the text I used previously because it is vital to
living life well. Colossians 3:15 says to let the peace from Christ
"rule (act as umpire continually)" in our hearts. The presence of
peace helps us decide and settle with finality all questions that
arise in our minds. If you let the Word have its home in your heart
and mind, it will give you insight and intelligence and wisdom (see
v. 16). You won't have to wonder, Should I or shouldn't I? I don't
know if it's right. I don't know what to do. If you are a disciple
of Christ, He has called you to follow peace.
Dave, my husband, and I were trying to make a decision on a large
purchase we needed to make. We called some of our board members from
the ministry and presented the need to them, asking, "What do you
They all gave their opinions, but as I listened to them I knew
suddenly that I didn't have peace about going forward with the plan.
We have learned by experience to wait if we don't have peace for
something. Everyone agreed to wait on God to give us all peace
before we proceeded.
I was out shopping recently and went into a children's clothing
store. It was one I had not been in for perhaps a year or more. I
saw some items that I thought would be perfect for two of my
granddaughters. They were little pink shirts with rhinestone hearts
on them. It was Valentine's Day and I wanted to give them something,
so I called my daughter to check on their clothing sizes before
making my purchase.
She said, "I cannot believe this! I was in that shop last night,
looking at those exact shirts, but I didn't have peace about
spending any money. I really wanted to buy them for the girls but
felt I needed to honor God by not doing something I did not have
peace about." Then she said, "Mom, I believe God is blessing me
because I obeyed Him." She was very excited.
Letting her girls receive the shirts as a gift was much more fun
than purchasing them. Had she disobeyed what she felt in her heart
and done what she did not have peace about, she probably would have
been uncomfortable in her spirit, perhaps even miserable. We both
got to be part of a miracle because she chose to follow peace!
Following the Lord of peace may mean that you have to make some
adjustments in your life. You may not be able to do everything your
friends do. You may not be able to buy everything you want. You may
not be able to have something just because a friend, or a sister or
a brother, has one. You may have to wait. But I believe that peace
is the most important, the most valuable thing we can have. If we
follow peace, we will end up living holy lives and thoroughly
Many people cannot hear from God because they have too much turmoil
in their lives. Their insides are like a freeway during rush-hour
traffic. They literally don't know how to be peaceful; it is as if
they are addicted to turmoil. They keep things agitated and stirred
up, seemingly on purpose. In fact, they get comfortable living in a
state of chaos. It has become their normal state, even though in
God's economy it is not normal at all.
It sounds strange, but when I started learning to be peaceful, I wasbored at first! I was so accustomed to having something major going
on in my life all the time that I wondered, What am I supposed to do
with myself? Romans 3:17 says, "And they have no experience of the
way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they
do not even recognize]."
That describes how my life used to be. I had no experience at all in
enjoying a peaceful life; I did not even know how to begin. I had
grown up in an atmosphere of strife, and it was all I ever knew. I
had to learn an entirely new way of living.
But now I'm addicted to peace. As soon as my peace disappears, I ask
myself how I lost it and start looking for ways to get it back. I am
believing that as you read this book you will become so hungry for
peace with God, peace with yourself, and peace with others that you
will be willing to make whatever adjustments you need to make in
order to have it. I am also believing that you will begin to follow
peace at all times, because peace will lead you into the perfect
will of God.
Jesus said that if we follow Him, He will give us peace (free of
charge). In fact, He said He will bequeath His own peace to us (see
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS BRINGS PEACE
I want to see people love God's Word and put it first place in their
lives. I believe there is an anointing on the Word; it has inherent
power that makes positive changes in us. The Word of God is truth,
and John 8:32 says, "And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will
set you free." Truth sets us free from turmoil and leads us into a
life of peace when we follow it.
The gospel of salvation through Jesus makes peace available to us in
all areas of our lives. First Corinthians 1:21 says that when people
failed to find God through earthly wisdom or by means of their own
philosophy, God saved people through the preaching of salvation
"procured by Christ." Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
says the Greek word translated as "save" in that verse is sozo,
which means God "delivers, protects, heals, preserves, saves and
makes whole" those who believe, trust in, and rely on Him.
We will experience peace in our personal lives when we stop trying
to do so many things ourselves and just rely on God to deliver,
protect, heal, and save us, as He wants to do.
And God will also lead us to peace in our relationships. Ephesians
2:14 is an awesome Scripture that says, "For He is [Himself] our
peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and
Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the
hostile dividing wall between us." Where there is no unity, no
harmony, God Himself will break down and abolish the walls that
divide people. He has broken down walls between so-called classes of
people. He makes equal those who have higher education and those
without any education at all. Somebody with a lot of money is no
better to Him than somebody without money. The preacher is no better
than the person who cleans the toilets.
The Lord loves each of us unconditionally. The hand of God uniquely
created and personally designed each of us. That doesn't mean that
we don't need some sandpaper to smooth our rough edges or polishing
to make us shine. We all need to change and grow, but we can still
be at peace about who we are without comparing ourselves with
somebody else. We can stop thinking we are flawed because we are not
like anyone else we know. We must have peace with ourselves before
we can have peace with others.
I believe God wants you to have peace about where you are in your
spiritual growth and to realize that you won't always stay the way
you are. Anyone seeking God regularly is always changing, but we can
enjoy where we are on the way to where we are going.
In the next chapter, I will share more about how we can surrender
our will to God's leading. He doesn't want us to wait to have peace
until we have all the things that we may want and desire or think
are necessary to our lives. He doesn't want us to be jealous or
envious of those who have the things we want and don't have, or
those who can do what we can't do. He wants to prove to us that He
is our peace.
God has an individualized, customized plan for your life. As you
trust Him, He will bring it to pass in His timing, not yours.
Waiting on God's plan and timing is wise because His ways are always
best. He is the Lord of peace, and as you surrender your heart and
life to Him, you will experience the peace that passes