Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
When I was little, I always used to think of a Peacemaker as one of two people: first, as a soldier, bringing justice and peace to a country during war, or second, as someone who stops a quarrel. Thus when I read, "Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God," I got this vision in my head of an American soldier standing to attention at the throne of God.
But reading through the book of James, the Holy Spirit has brought to my mind a new picture of a true Peacemaker.
No one who has given their life to God and accepted his Authority and Redemption can doubt that they need Him to give them His Wisdom. So much of the time we try so hard to have it by our own strength, and it takes many, many hard knocks to make us realize that we cannot sum up Wisdom on our own. We must pray, as James says, and ask God to give us that Wisdom which is so priceless, so beautiful, and so rare, that only He has the power to bestow.
"If there is any one of you who lacks wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given him." (James 1:5)
It is very hard for our small minds to fully believe and trust that God will give Wisdom to us, or that we are even capable of receiving that Wisdom, and yet we must. For James goes on to say these chilling words, "But he must ask with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea when the wind drives. That sort of person, in two minds, wavering between going different ways, must not expect that the Lord will give him anything." (1:6-8) The wonderful thing is that the beginning of this Wisdom is truly believing, without a hint of doubt, that God will give it to us.
There are many things that the Bible says about the Wisdom that comes from above, but I think that one of the most beautiful passages is James 3:16-17: "Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good, nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it."
The Wisdom from Above makes Peace. We, being children of God who are to be filled with His Wisdom, are to be Peacemakers.
When I began to think of a Peacemaker in this way, my first thoughts went back to the Peace that I drew as a little child from my Mama and Daddy. Was not there a deep peace that surpassed your understanding when you climbed into their lap and either cried and were comforted over a trouble, or simply rested in the warmth of their loving embrace? The picture of a Peacemaker is just like this. Someone in whom the peace of God is overflowing, flooding and blessing the lives of those around them.
By the Wisdom that flows to us from our Heavenly Father, we spread Peace everywhere we go, and to everyone we meet. And this Peace leads others to God. Our siblings, parents, children, spouses, and friends all see the Peace that flows from us to everything around us, and that that Peace comes to us from the Lord. They have witnessed first-hand the truth that "Yahweh gives strength to his people, Yahweh blesses his people with peace."
As Peacemakers, we have the chance to plant the seeds that will lead to others' salvation through our deep inner joy and Wisdom. We are indeed sons of God, for we are vessels in which God can dwell in a mighty way. "Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness." (James 3:18)
"The mind fixed on the Spirit is life and peace."