Galatians 5:22-23 TPT says, “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
This week we will be talking about “peace that subdues”. I thought I’d check the Strong’s definition of the word used for peace in our verse. It is the word eirēnē which means a state of national tranquility, peace between individuals, security, safety, prosperity, the way that leads to peace (salvation), the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death.
I think the one we need to focus on is the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatsoever sort that is. I like that definition. It says fearing nothing from God. To me that is just a reminder that we do not need to fear the devil. The devil is a created being, he was created by God and is no equal to God.
Why is it that when our lives are not right with God we tend to be afraid of God and we move away from God? I think the answer is in 1 John 4:18 which says, “Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached love’s perfection.”
Somewhere in our minds we believe that when we make a mistake we deserve to be punished so we tend to carry that in our soul and we move away from God because we are afraid. But this peace that we are supposed to have as a fruit of the Holy Spirit is supposed to assure our soul of its salvation. What does that mean? It means that we have to have it settled in our hearts that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins once and for all. God is not sitting in heaven waiting for us to make a mistake so He can punish us. In fact there is Jesus’ blood sprinkled on the mercy seat so that when we mess up, God can look at that and let His mercy flow towards us for we have been forgiven of all our sins. Past, present and future.
When we live with the awareness that the salvation we received from Jesus cannot be easily undone or lost, we can rest in it. When we make a mistake, we don’t run away from God but we run to God. That is the safest place we can be. He is our peace and He is our safe place. The fruit of the Spirit cannot be received in our soul when we are separated from God because it flows from God. So when we are fearful, the Bible says fear has to do with punishment and God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7. So we need to settle it in our hearts that through Jesus we have the forgiveness of sins and that we are unconditionally loved by God.
Peace is so important that not only do we have the fruit of the Spirit, we also have the gift of peace. John 14:27 says, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but MY perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” That’s Jesus speaking, notice how He told us not to fear or be troubled in our hearts but to be courageous.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” I see a running theme. We have peace which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Then I see peace which is Jesus’ peace which He gives to us. Then there is God’s peace which guards our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus. Nowhere does it say that we in and of ourselves are capable of producing peace. Peace is given to us. This to me shows how much we need God. We can’t have true peace outside of God. Sleep through the storm type peace only comes from Jesus. Not panic buying peace in the middle of a pandemic trusting God will provide comes from God.
If we want to grow in our peace, we need to tuck in even closer with God. The further away we move from Him, the less peace we will have. The more we begin to trust and lean on Him, praying about all things, then we will grow in our peace. We can grow and mature in the peace that we have been given. If we use what we have, God will always add more, Matthew 25:20-23.
Have a blessed week.
Love and blessings