Peace by Heather Marsten

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Peace

Bible Study Notes for 2/7/07

Pastor Don often tells us to do a Bible study on some area of our lives that is giving us a challenge. I have been losing my peace too often lately. This study is a culling of notes from many sources, Pastor Don, Pastor Ted, Beth Moore, Jon Courson, and my own studies. Hoping it is helpful. I am open to other suggestions, because I don’t teach this until tomorrow, so let me know what you think!

Heather

Peace

Galatians 5:22-23 (fruit of the Spirit).

Isaiah 9:6-7 Prince of Peace: THE UNCONTESTED PRINCIPLE OF TRUE PEACE IS THE RULE OF CHRIST. Kingdom rule, the Authority of Christ. True peace comes when I bow down to the authority of Christ.

PEACE IS NOT DEPENDENT ON CIRCUMSTANCES.

Our world could be in chaos and turmoil and we can still have peace in the midst of the turmoil. Turmoil is not the problem, but not having God in the right position in our lives is what causes the problem. Haven’t you had times where nothing is really wrong in your life and you still feel disquiet and a lack of peace? When we do not feel peace in our lives it is because we are not living under the authority of Christ. So often Peace and Joy are linked together and satan tries to rob us of both of these. Isaiah 66:12-13-Peace like a river, not a pond. It isn’t a boring peace, but peace in the midst of all that is going on around in our lives.

PEACE IS ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH AUTHORITY.

An increase in peace is accompanied by an increase in Christ’s authority.

Isaiah 9:7 – Don’t we all want a little peace with no end?

WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHEN WE BOW DOWN TO CHRIST that He is always FOR us, not AGAINST us. His commandments are for our own good, not to take away all of our fun.

WE ALSO HAVE TO REALIZE THAT IT IS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT CREATING PEACEFUL CIRCUMSTANCES IN OUR LIVES.

It is all about the applied authority of Christ. God shows us so much about this in His Word. Look at the history of the Hebrews, when they were at peace, they were under God’s authority, when they disobeyed God, they lost their peace.

COLOSSIANS 3:15 “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”

When I know Him and submit to His authority, to that extent there will be peace in my heart.

I Thes. 5:23 “And now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you both completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 14:27 We have His peace if we abide in Him.

THE AREAS IN OUR LIVES THAT WE ARE NOT IN PEACE ABOUT is where we are not functioning under God’s authority in that area. Usually it is an issue of control, and we want to be the ones in control.

Isaiah 9:6 – on His shoulders (plural)

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY SITUATION, isn’t it great that He has two shoulders. He can handle it and reconcile the division. HE DOES NOT COME TO TAKE SIDES, HE COMES TO TAKE OVER.

Prayer of St. Francis – Lord make me an instrument of your peace.

I WANT TO BE A GENUINE INSTRUMENT OF GOD’S PEACE.

In order to do that, I have to possess His peace. I can’t be an instrument of something I don’t possess. Where do we need to be His instruments of peace, in our homes, families, workplace, our church, friendships, marriages, and children?

Haven’t we all said at one time or another, if it wasn’t for ______ my walk with Christ would be perfect. I suspect Christ put that person in our lives to show us where we are still not bowing down to His authority and showing His peace. It is in these trying situations that we grow.

CONTRAST TO PEACE:

Galatians 5:19-20 Some of these in the list are about idols in our lives but the others are relationship issues. Yet each of these works of the flesh lead to division, and that is satan’s grand plan for our lives, to cause division.

WITHOUT PEACE WE HAVE DISCORD (Think of being an out of tune instrument of God’s peace).

THINGS TO REALIZE ABOUT ATTAINING GOD’S PEACE

(1) HOW ACTIVELY THE SINFUL NATURE RESISTS PEACE. So often we want to place the blame on satan, but it is not satan. There is no mention of satan in Galatians, it is all our choices to do these actions. We do know that satan will take advantage of the things that cause division. He will tempt us, wanting to make a fire and cause an explosion. But we are the ones to make a choice. For that will discredit Christ, and cause us to have division and discord. Romans 7:15-25. We are new creations in Christ, but it is so easy to slip back into our old sinful nature and habits. Am I going to follow the natural man or the Spiritual man. As Pastor Don says, which dog are you going to feed? IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SEED OF DISCORD, AND SATAN WILL USE THAT TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER.

Galatians 5:15 Bite & devour- When we are doing this it is usually over who has control and power in a situation. When we find our selves in such situations it is usually because God is showing us where we are not submitted to Him.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacekeepers. But haven’t you noticed when God works on our lives that sometimes those around us aren’t being worked on in the same area. They resist the changes in us and we begin to realize that a particular relationship isn’t working. It is then that we need a loving and strong confrontation, and having to let the person realize that we are no longer playing by the same rules as before. Not always easy for me!!

(2) THERE IS A VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEACEMAKER AND A PEACEKEEPER.

A peacekeeper seeks to keep the peace at any cost, to not make waves, not rock the boat. Sometimes the cost of being a peacekeeper is very great. You may not speak the truth in love, you may let a situation keep going on, but what is sad is that this BRAND OF KEEPING THE PEACE IS A FALSE PEACE. Jeremiah 8:11 We are trying to keep a peace that isn’t there, to keep up a false image. Be sweet at church and in the public, but warring goes on behind the doors of our house.

DID YOU KNOW THAT BESIDES PEACE, THE WORD SHALOM ALSO MEANS HEALTH? To be a peacekeeper is an unhealthy way of dealing with a tough situation, and the peacekeeper need to bring this relationship and need to Christ. For peacekeepers seek to keep the monster down that is in contrast to a peacemaker who causes change in accord with God’s will.  Peacekeepers seek to keep peace at all costs, even to the expense of the peacekeeper. Think of some everyday instances of this – you have a boss who is doing something unethical and you are forced to lie for Him – do you lie and keep the job (keep the peace) or bring the facts out in public of find a more compatible job?

If the situation you are trying to peacekeep falls under those categories in Galatians 5, it is not true peace.

NOW PEACEMAKERS

Being a peacemaker in the midst of chaos is work. Beth Moore taught on the video that the Greek word for peacemaker is EIRENOPOLOS –Eiren means peace opolos means maker, to make, do, expression, action, complete or continue.

Sometimes peace comes with a sword (we know that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God). God may have to cut us off from a relationship or an action that is stealing our peace. It may not be comfortable at the time, but later on reflection we will see the value of this.

We will have a peace of mind and a peace of heart, for God will bless us with this to help us overcome what He has cut off from us. It is a peace that passes all understanding.

So often when God is separating us from something in our lives we know it is the right thing to do. So often we know it is something we need separated from, but we do not want to obey him. It isn’t a knowledge problem but an obedience problem.

Peacemakers seek to do God’s will in a situation, even if the initial result is discomfort. But they want to obey God, and bring about God’s peace to the situation. This may be radically different from what the natural man would do in the situation. But we can trust that God has a better plan.

Beth then pointed out that the Greek word that is the opposite of Peacekeeper is PHILONEIKOS – PHILO – means friend and NEIKOS – means lover of contention. The opposite of a Peacekeeper is a lover of contention.

Draw a line in your mind and on one side is PEACEKEEPER, AND ON THE OTHER SIDE LOVER OF CONTENTION (PEACEMAKER WOULD BE IN THE MIDDLE). In your mind, ask God to show you where you are. I am more of a peacekeeper for I tend to shy away from confrontation.

What motivates a peacekeeper? There is usually fear and distrust. When we feel safe, we feel freer to fight and become a lover of contention. But when we are in fear, we try to hide behind a false peace. This is no way to live. So peacekeepers end up living from trial to trial in the midst of chaos and disorder. They are like Saul who Pastor Ted talked about, seeking the approval of man, not the approval of God. Psalm 62:8 Trust means confidence, to be bold, secure, feel safe. Refuge is a shelter, hope, trust, to be kept safe and protected from falsehood.

We need to take to Christ our fears and distrust. He knows what we are feeling. No matter the situation, like David, in the Psalms, we can bring it to God. A peacekeeper has to decide if they believe that God is bigger than their problem? Do we want to be swayed by fear and distrust? Do we want to let others guide our actions when they are in direct contrast to God’s will?

To be honest, there are times when I am a peacemaker and other times when I am a peacekeeper. God is slowly showing me a better way in some situations. Sometimes it takes stepping out in faith to make a harder choice that is outside of my comfort zone. But He is there with us every step of the way.

On the other end of the continuum is the Lover of Contention. What they love is to make another person miserable, to exert their control over a situation.  They want power, power to get you mad, powerful to control their environment. This is unbalanced power, power used for selfish purposes, not God’s purposes. To withhold, not give. To complain and envy others.

God has given us power to affect our environment, but His power is in accord to His will. Acts 1:82 Cor. 4:7 The Power as God wanted it was to further His plans on the earth, not our selfish agendas. For us to be filled with the Spirit, not filled with ourselves.

What causes a person to be a lover of contention? LACK OF DISCIPLINE. Undisciplined children grow up to be lovers of contention. The discipline has to be loving, godly discipline, not abuse. But in a way today our society is showing signs of this lack of discipline today, in the lawlessness that abounds. People have become lovers of themselves, not God. Idols and lack of obedience to God, are leading so many to places God did not intend.

Hebrews 12:11 When God sends correction in our lives it is his AGAPE love, remember Agape love is love in our own best interest, not necessarily what we want in our lives.

Ephesians 2: 14-16 Jesus is our peace, He can build walls and shatter walls, tear down and give authority. There is no way to have true peace without Christ.

Ephesians 2:18 Access means we are acceptable to God, and the assurance that He is favorable to us.

Philippians 4:6-7 Keep means to control and guard, protect by military guard, and help prevent invasion.

Romans 15:13 

Isaiah 26:3 Stayed, to lean to rest, support, uphold, refresh renew.

We need to pray to let Him take over, for then we will have peace.

Heather

 
Woohooo! I lost 4.8 pounds in the first week, so am inspired. Still can use your prayers though. I want to keep my focus. I prayed on the way home and asked for God’s help to remind me that this is an obedience to Him.I am in the throes of writing a Bible study. Pastor Don asked me to teach Wednesday’s Bible study, so I decided to work on a topic that I struggle with at times, peace. I am pulling from a few Bible studies and my own notes, and I will share. My best resource on this is Beth Moore’s study on the fruit of the Spirit. Can use your prayers for this. I am typing it up and have to finish by today so I can practice.Heather
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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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