“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Luke 12:51
Its Christmas time! We all have certain elements of the Christmas story that speak to us, but after a particularly difficult season, I am drawn to the fact that when announcing the birth of our Lord Jesus into this world, the angel that appeared to the shepherds said these significant words, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.”
Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and ornaments all adorn the words Peace on Earth, but did you notice later as Jesus Himself was talking that He never says that He came to bring peace on Earth, but rather division?
Peace has many definitions but all include the thought of freedom from disturbance. The peace of God, however, is the substance of heavenly rest. Its more than a lack of agitation. It is genuine tranquility perfected. So when the angel announces the birth of the Christ child, is it possible that he is saying the very one that embodies true peace has come down to mankind and blessed are they the believe and receive. The angel says that peace is for those with whom God is pleased. Scripture also points out that without faith, it is impossible to please God.
If you look around at every culture, the entirety of the earth is seeking peace. Most religions teach that peace comes from within and if you can discipline yourself enough you will attain what you are looking for. Humanism tries to teach us that if we will just love each other enough, we will attain to a perfect state of world peace where kindness reigns through the efforts of men.
But in our opening scripture, Jesus puts that thought to death. Division is not God’s heart, but neither is false peace. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through His atoning blood. True peace is only found as we abide in Christ. It is in the Kingdom of God that righteousness, peace, and joy are found. Peace on earth can only be displayed through the Lord’s church. It cannot be found on the earth in any other form because there is nothing about it that is earthly. The division is between those that will abide in Him and those that refuse His invitation. Its not automatic peace.
I spoke with a friend today who is a strong intercessor. She said that she is getting a tremendous amount of prayer requests from Christians who are saying that they need peace. I have felt it myself whenever the Lord is calling me into something deeper. There is unrest until true abiding in His presence comes.
I believe with all my heart that the Lord is wanting to pour out His Spirit upon His people in these last days and bring a revival that will sweep many into the Kingdom. Is it possible that he is shifting us as His people in order to call us into a deeper walk of holiness and surrender so that He can manifest His presence in miraculous ways. Is the unrest simply a sign that we need to seek Him like never before. He doesn’t withhold His peace from us. He is peace. So, if we are not experiencing His peace, then we have to begin to ask Him to search our hearts and make them wholly His. If we don’t, I fear that this division that Jesus speaks of will not only be between the lost and the saved, but also between those that will follow Him all the way and those that want to claim His name and yet cling to their own lives.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:19-25