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The Peace of God
The apostle Paul gives us a warning: “Beware of the concision” (Phil 3:2). The concision are those who try to correct themselves; and they stand lower in the sight of God than even the self-indulgent. The apostle writes much more severely to the Galatians, who tried to mend the flesh, that to the Corinthians, who indulged in it. The great attempt of the present day is to christianize man; but God’s way in Scripture is to make man a Christian. A Christian is a man of entirely new stock, and a new lineage; he is newly created in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the beginning of all – his very life.
You may know the Lord Jesus as your relief, but it is quite another thing to know Him as your resource, your life. It is one thing to know Him as the One who has relieved you from every pressure; it is quite another thing to know Him as the one attraction of your heart. And it is not only that you have an object, but you have a mark. It is not only that you know what the Lord Jesus has done and what He is, but you simply must be in association and fellowship with Him where He is.
I find when I sit down with people quietly to have a talk that they begin at once to speak of the trials of the way! And after that, if I say, “suppose we change the subject and talk of the things of God”; then I find that they can talk of nothing but the mercies of God to themselves, but it is all His temporal mercies they talk of. And they get no higher than this. How few there are who can say, “The Father has shown me wonderful things lately about the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first great parable about praying is that in Luke Eleven. The man would not go away without his friend giving him the loaves, because he wanted them, and had no other way of getting them. Do not go to God if you have any back door; do not have any plan of your own. That is the principle of real prayer.
How can you know that you have gained your Father’s ear? You can know at once; I will tell you how. The most wonderful favor that ever was conferred upon man by God will be yours. You will have the peace of God. Have we any troubles at the present time? We have. And why do we go about troubled by them? Because we do not go to God with them (1 Pet 5:7). When I go to my Father with my troubles and get His ear, He gives me His own peace about them. I am in the state that He is in. What a wonderful thing! Here is a man who was troubled this morning: he had gone to God about them. And has he got his prayer answered? Perhaps not. But he has come out in the state of God!
Circumstances are not to bear you down (John 14:1, 27). We all fret and worry until we go to our Father and say to Him, “Settle it as You like”; and then we go out with the peace of God that passes all understanding. You must have the Lord Jesus as the one object of your heart to supplant everything else. Then as to the things around that try and afflict you, if you tell all to the Father you get rid of them.
The point is, have you gone to Him? What a solemn blessed sense it imparts. A man can go about the world saying, “I know I have access to my Father.” And thus the most wonderful favor that ever God conferred on a man on earth is yours. It is the most wonderful favor, because God might have given you all the world and not have given you peace. And “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
- J B Stoney
Free, To Serve – MJS