More than forgiveness, peace with God means to be joined to Him, connected with His divine nature and intertwined with His life through the Holy Spirit. Peace with God is being accepted by Him and connected to Him. All are invited to experience this deeper walk in God’s presence in 2016 and, as a result, enjoy His grace in greater abundance.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
What do you think of when you read Paul’s message that you have ‘peace with God’ as a Christian? If we trust Him, Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses our sin to make us acceptable to God and so the basic understanding we have of peace is that God is no longer angry with us – our past, present and future sin is judged, cleansed and forgiven. Isaiah 54:9 declares, “as in the days of Noah…so I have sworn never to be angry with you again“. Christ’s grace shines like the brilliant rainbow in the sky after Noah’s flood proclaiming, “judgement is complete, the flood covers and washes away all sin in your life, never again will I be angry with you.”
While this is the beautiful basis of what ‘peace with God’ means, it’s just the doorway to a deeper lifelong experience of connection with God. Christ not only cleanses our sinfulness, He unites us with Himself and baptizes us into the life of God so that we can experience divine life forever, starting now and blending into eternity. We are not just ‘ok with God’, we are joined with Him as ‘one flesh’ in the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for peace in Rom 5:1 eirene carries a meaning of being connected, deriving from eiro meaning ‘to join’ and implying two items in harmony. By faith we are joined in peace and harmony to God’s life. Like two streams merging and flowing together, our little life joins God’s mighty river.
As with all truth, this mustn’t just be a nice thought for us to bounce around in our minds but rather be an invitation to a living experience of God. Here’s some advice to enjoy the reality of peace with God in 2016: begin each day by realizing God’s thoughts are full of love and kindness towards you (not anger and disappointment) and then step into the divine connection of His Presence. Ask His Holy Spirit to lead you ‘besides the still waters of His Presence’ and wait on Him to respond. You don’t have to conjure anything up – the Lord eagerly waits to give His Spirit to those who ask. Think of your job as stepping into God’s flowing river as an act of faith; His job is to carry you away into the flow of peace and rich glory.
Also raise your heart to the Lord often in the day and ask Him to surround you with the peace of His Presence. Enjoy the ‘peace not as the world gives‘, and this peace will ‘guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus‘ irrespective of what is going on around you. I’m writing this post from one of the most tranquil environments in the world in the Canadian Rockies (see pictures) but His peace is available also in Johannesburg traffic or the intensity of business in downtown Manhattan because His peace is the environment of Heaven, and His Presence brings Heaven to earth when we join our hearts to Him.
Eastern religions train their followers to be at peace with creation, in harmony with life. Christ is the only way to be at peace with the Creator and in harmony with the Giver of Life. I don’t want to connect my soul with a tree, I want to be joined with Christ, the Tree of Life!
Respond to the invitation to enjoy Christ’s living energy and His peace in 2016!