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What is PEACE?

Recently, I realized that being a Christian is impossible. I'm a Christian because I believed in God. But that's not that convincing. I'm a Christian because I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for my sins on the cross and on the third day, He was resurrected. Today, He lives in me as the life-giving Spirit, as my life. (Too lazy to quote supporting Bible verses here... :P Will do so when I found all relevant ones.)

Now, this is the hard part. He's my life. Life? What is life? God is life. To me, this is a tremendous thing. You see, He's God, He's my life. So, everytime I was tempted to do something that displeases Him (examples are too many to be quoted), I'll sense a whole lot of awful struggle within me. My soul says, "Yes, just do it!" Then, some other part within me, i.e. my human spirit goes something like, "No." Sometimes, it's just uneasiness, sometimes it's some kind of dreadful feeling. Why? Because the Lord is living in me, in my spirit. So, how I could do things that displease Him?

So, I always ask a question. How do you know whether the Lord allows this or permits that? The answer that I always get from more experienced believers is this: Pray and not only pray but pray until you sense peace in your being.

T_T

What's that? How I know that sense of peace is from the Lord or from myself? Doesn't this sound like a very psychological approach? Then, they will go like, "Don't analyze or you will paralyze. Just pray. You will know it when the peace is there and the Lord gives the green light."

=_='

Well... Tell you all something. I found these verses, which I believed helped me a bit, at least the principle behind what I have try to put into words earlier on.

Colossians 3:15, "And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful." (RcV)

The footnote on peace that I found in the Recovery Version (RcV) says that the peace of Christ is Christ Himself. By this peace, Christ has made the two peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles, one new man,... We should let this peace arbitrates in our hearts for the Body life.

Let me continue with another set of verses.

Ephesians 2:15, 17, "Abolishing in His flesh the laws of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,... And coming, He announced peace as the gospel to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near." (RcV)

My point is this: Colossians and Ephesians were two books with their focus on the church as the Body of Christ, meaning the corporate aspect of being believers in Christ. Those verses were written by the Apostle Paul due to the background of those churches. There were all kinds of people constituting the church in those two cities. It must have been a hard time getting along with each other due to differences in culture, background, nationalities, philosophies, etc. So, Christ is the element by which they could be at peace with one another.

But, how could this be applied to our personal Christian living and practice?

Christians are not individuals who could survive the Christian course on its own. The life in us loves and yearns to flock together. That's why we Christians will meet together to enjoy Christ, to enjoy the life within us that connects us together. But, remember, we are still living in our flesh, we still have our preferences, habits, culture, upbringing background, etc. It's almost impossible to be at peace with everyone. We are not being in the church while trying to accommodate one another outwardly. That's why there's the need to have Christ as our peace.

Then, this comes back to our relationship with the Lord. When we do not let the peace of Christ arbitrates in our hearts (Col. 3:15), we are not at peace with Him. When we are not at peace with Him, our relationship with others is through as far as the building up of the church is concerned.

Which means, the peace in a particular matter that we are praying for is actually determined by how the Body, constituted by all the believers feel about it. Meaning that, the Lord will always lead us to the Body when there's any decision is bound to be made. But, what is the scope of the Body? I believe (hopefully not wrong) that the Lord will always lead us to bring the matter that we are praying for to those whom we are meeting with as the church. It couldn't be possible that we go half a globe away to know how the Body feels.

So, I believe, on our side, we are responsible to pray and ask for the Lord's favor when we are going to make any decision, be it great or small. I believe for bigger issues that might involves more than you and your Lord, it is always healthy to bring them before the church so that Christ as the Arbitrator will have the final say.

Then, there will truly be the peace of Christ arbitrating in our hearts, and not human endeavoring that will wear us out sooner or later.

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