Posted: 11/20/2009 at 4:50am
Experiencing Kingdom Peace
By Ron McGatlin
God deeply desires that all of His people experience real peace in this life. Our loving Heavenly Father has provided all that is needed for His children to live in peace on earth. At the birth of Jesus the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" It is not necessary to point out that many, if not most, of God’s people have not fully participated in the appropriation of God’s provision of perfect peace in this life. Many Christians and other religionists of the world believe that this provision is not possible in this time, and therefore must be for another future season of history.
Certainly, without a clear revelation of the gospel of the kingdom, the conditions of the world situations and previous interpretations of biblical teachings give little or no credence to the possibility of living in perfect peace now. Peace may seem an impossible dream in a world infected with terror, strife, war, poverty, starvation, human trafficking, and many other forms of injustice.
Even those who are more prosperous and perhaps not directly affected by the above list of things can be faced with many frustrations that can cause inner turmoil. They may face deadlines that must be met, mounting bills to be paid, stressful competition at work, debilitating illnesses or traumatic accidents, eroding family conditions, and other stress-causing events. Families can be stressed and torn apart as children develop into stress-filled pleasure seekers with insatiable appetites for foolish passionate experiences and mind numbing drugs and alcohol or other solaces of soul to compensate for their lack of inner peace and joy. Concern can lead to worry and fear as financial instability threatens the status quo and previous accomplishments are threatened or lost. Stress and striving can become a way of life.
Peace is a part of the kingdom of God lifestyle.
Rom 14:17: for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In recent decades God is causing the revelation of the mysteries of the gospel of the kingdom to begin to be widely restored to His people. The understandings of practical in-this-life kingdom peace and joy have become accessible to this generation. The Holy Spirit is revealing more depth of the kingdom teachings of Jesus and His first century apostles.
Our past religious interpretations of scripture have left a gap between the practical experience of the kingdom and the lives of God’s people. Kingdom promises and teachings of Christ Jesus have been spiritualized into a distant unreachable nebulous state just beyond the reach of people of today. That is probably why Jesus began His preaching and teaching of the gospel of the kingdom with the clear profound statement that the KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND.
Inner and Outer Kingdom Peace
I received a report once from a young man who had walked to my house for personal ministry. Later he told me that the presence of God was upon him as he was walking the several miles back home when a summer rain shower began pouring down upon him. The Lord spoke to him and asked, “How far do you think the rain extends?” The young man replied, “Lord, as far as I can tell, it is raining over the whole earth.” The Lord told him, “My presence is like this rain.” Selah.
When the peace of God is upon and within us, it is as if it filled the whole earth. As far as we can see the peace of God is everywhere. This is overcoming the world with peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:6-7). This is the peace of Christ Jesus who abides with us in the Holy Spirit and in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). This is not peace as the world gives it. This is the peace of God rooted in the love of God and intimate union with Him. There is no fear in love and no inner troubling in the peace of God. We have the option of walking in His presence and, thereby, His peace. We need not experience a troubled heart or fear.
John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
Jesus made it clear that we would have tribulation in the world. However, He also made it clear that IN HIM we can have peace because He has overcome the world.
John 16:33: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
A fresh reading of all of Psalm 91 will strengthen your faith in this.
Psa 91:7-8: A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
The kingdom of God and the peace of God are within us if Christ Jesus is fully living in us by the Holy Spirit. The peace and joy of God are tied to His righteousness. It is a reasonable fact that if we are not experiencing the full peace and joy of the Lord, we are also not experiencing the reality of the practical experience of His righteousness within our lives. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. There cannot be joy without peace, and there cannot be peace without righteousness. There is no righteousness where there is disobedience or rebellion toward God in any form or degree. Experiential peace in life requires experiential righteousness in life.
Dissolving Disobedience and Experiencing Peace
Trying harder to be obedient probably will only lead to fatigue and frustration. There is nothing in our human strength to overcome our rebellion and disobedience other than the capacity to choose to submerge ourselves in the presence of God by the Spirit. It is the work of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit that can eradicate our rebellion and disobedience and fill our lives with righteousness, peace, and joy.
In practical terms it involves living in the words of God by the Spirit of God. Investing our time, effort, and mentality in seeking to intimately relate to Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit is laying down our lives and allowing Him to fully live in us.
Many believers have confused understanding regarding the ways of God and His kingdom. In our understanding, there has been too much division created between Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. A careful and prayerful study of John chapters 14 through 17 can help us grasp that Christ returned to indwell His people in the Holy Spirit to empower righteousness that brings peace and joy.
Real righteous living now in this life is possible, if Christ dwells in us and we abide in Him. He has prepared the way for this union to exist for all who will lay down their lives and seek Him and His kingdom with their whole hearts.
In the following scripture verses, Jesus speaks clearly of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit dwelling together in His people. He clearly stated to the disciples standing before Him that He would not leave them orphans but would return to them. He kept that promise and returned in the Spirit with the Father to be one with them. This promise is not only to them but also to those who will believe in Him.
John 14:10: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
John 14:16-20: "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”
John 14:28: "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.”
John 16:16: "A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father."
John 17:20-23: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Knowing what we are lacking or missing is the first step in seeking to get into position to receive the full measure God has provided for His people on earth. We can become one with Christ Jesus and the Father in the Holy Spirit now. The false teaching that we must wait for the bodily return of Jesus to overcome this world is not the truth. Victory is in Jesus and is available now. We can now walk in the kingdom of God lifestyle.
Keep on pursuing love. It never fails
and His kingdom never ends.,
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 11/20/2009 at 8:51am