The path of peace is not a place and it can’t come from the world because we cannot afford to lose it easily. The source matters.
Whatever you say is the source of your stress, regulates and determines where you seek your peace.
For example, if your source of stress is finances then probably you will try to found the peace through another job. Although, most of us already know that it doesn’t work because that is not the right place to found peace.
There are a lot of other examples where we think we know how to find peace for our struggles but the truth is that it’s mostly wrong.
One great example of the gap that separates expected peace with real peace is the one we find in the scripture where the Israelites were expecting something very different from what God promised.
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”Luke 1:67-79 NIV
Christ is born to challenge us as it relates to our expectation of peace.
In verse 74 you can read ”to rescue us from the hand of our enemies” which explains the perspective of the Israelites about peace. They thought that the Messiah would kill all the enemies of Israel.
Actually, they were thinking that the Messiah would deliver them from their circumstances, from their oppression, from their poverty, from their despair, and from the darkness.
In verse 79 you can notice that the reality was completely different. Jesus was coming to shine in our lives and to guide our feet, not as a worldly king but as a spiritual king, to overcome this world.
The broken link in the communication is that we expect with our eyes but God acts through the unseen. While we see the outside, God sees the inside.
Jesus is called as the prince of peace and not the prince of convenience, or the prince of comfort, or the prince of my preferences.
We tend to misinterpret the promises of God. We think that peace is comfortable but it is not.
It’s impossible to experience peace while you wait for perfection and that’s usually the true problem behind most problems.
There’s no perfect situation in life. There are usually a lot of pros and cons.
For example, I love my family but when I expend too much time with them I get crazy because we are very different. Yet I can have peace with or without them. I don’t have to expect perfection to enjoy peace in my life, neither as joy.
The enemy of peace is not other people, it’s not other places, it’s not how fast life is or the way the world is. The enemy of our peace is our insistence on perfection.
Consider this. God didn’t come to earth as perfection but as a human being. He was not autonomous, He depended on his mother as a child and He depended on his Father.
That’s why his example as a human is so important for us because it shows us that there is a way.
Jesus brought peace but not in the way that most of us will expect or preferred. He did it in the way we needed. That is, by surrendering our expectation for perfection.
The reality of peace
Jesus was not supposed to deliver us from our lives or situations, his goal was to meet us in the middle of them.
The peace was not a goal but a path. That’s why Zechariah said “the path of peace”.
We have to admit that it’s a strange way to think about peace. I mean, the idea of Jesus coming in weakness and die in weakness with the purpose of making us stronger.
In any case, now we can have peace because peace is on earth but not from earth.
For a moment let’s suppose that peace came from people, that means that people could take it away. Or imagine that peace came from situations, that means that as soon as the situation changed we lose the peace.
Call me crazy if you wish but I prefer a peace that doesn’t come from the earth so the earth cannot take it away.
I prefer a source that doesn’t change and that last forever.
That’s Jesus, our savior.
Don’t wait for it
Verse 79 says “to guide our feet into the path of peace”. Can you notice the difference between “the path of peace” and “the path to peace”?
The difference is that most people try to get to that foreign place of peace without noticing that peace is just right here.
That is why we always expect something great for the next year, next month or next week, but our calendar is not going to fix any chaos in our lives.
You are just ignoring what is under your control.
“The path of peace” means that in every step I take, there’s Jesus along with me. Every move I make, He’s with me. Every season of my life He’s present.
Walk in peace and stop waiting for peace.
The peace of God is not the absence of problems, the peace of God is not getting people to act right or say that they are sorry, the peace of God is not a certain place.
The one thing required for you to receive the peace of God is to lose your pride and accept it in the place of your weaknesses.
Let me repeat it so it’s clear: The peace of God is not the absence of problems, it’s the presence of Christ to enable you to walk in it.
Prayer of peace
Father, I know you are always with me but I also know that I get distracted and sometimes I lose my focus. The decisions I make can take me away from you and I don’t want to be in that place anymore. I want to walk by your side. Give me the wisdom to never accept whatever can make me forget about you or to lose my path of peace. Forevermore, I’ll be in your peace. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
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