By Becky Spell Vann Contributing Columnist
January 31, 2014
Are you living in peace and obedience to God? It’s easy to spot those who have peace and contentment in their lives. Lyrics to an old song share how some things in life go hand in hand. “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage…you can’t have one without the other.” I can see Frank Sinatra singing that song while tapping his cane and tipping his hat to the applause of audiences who honored love and marriage going together. Those were the days when Ozzie and Harriet went to sleep in twin beds and sex was not portrayed disrespectfully on prime time television. “For such a time as this,” love and marriage have become endangered. Prime time television portrays marriages and love in ways not found in God’s Word. The world making things wrong seem right is prevalent throughout our land. Flipping the channel, let us pray for everyone to obey His truth — from Hollywood to homes throughout our land — with a commitment to His Word and ways.
Obedience to God and His peace go hand in hand – you really can’t have one without the other. Paul told the Philippians that if they obeyed the truths God had shown them through the apostle, they would have peace because God would be with them.
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you,” reads Philippians 4:9.
What does God expect of us? How can we know what to do when the world portrays right being wrong and wrong is made to seem right? Conforming to things of the world not pleasing to the Father brings conflict and chaos to our lives. Being double minded, being tossed back and forth like waves of the ocean displeases God. Sitting on the politically correct fence, ready to go to either side in order to avoid taking a stand for Christian convictions is despicable to our Creator. Being lukewarm, apathetic, and unwilling to rise up in obedience to God makes Him want to spew us from His mouth. When we are unwilling to trust and obey, peace is forfeited. The old hymn says it best, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy (and have peace) in Jesus but to trust and obey.”
Having a close connection to Christ is imperative. His Spirit will gently lead us through valleys of corruption and situations laced with sin that seem to scoop up anyone not grounded in the Word of God and love of Jesus. Conflict and pressure to conform to a world where sin surrounds and Satan steals, kills, and destroys grows wild and rampant like kudzu. Peace and comfort that only Christ can give comes when we trust and obey the Father who created and cares for each of us as He does for the sparrow. It is possible to live at peace with God and have a career, friendships, business, family, hobbies, and a lifestyle that honors Him. He is well pleased when His children are connected to the Vine enjoying peace and prosperity.
The third chapter of James teaches about peace coming through heavenly wisdom while confusion comes from demonic wisdom. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and be against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy,” says James 3 13-17.
World leaders would be wise to embrace these words and lead by the example of Jesus. Wars, conflicts, and sinful living plague our planet. What the world needs now is the love, sweet love, and the peace of knowing Jesus personally. Jesus yearns for a close relationship with His children, just as we do with ours. While many refuse to recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior, one day soon He will return; every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
The 18th verse of James 3 sums up this story with a challenge for each of us. “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with you and me rising ip and taking a stand for Thee!