The Lord of Peace

by Rocky Fleming

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” (Psalm 27:1-3 ESV)

 

 

The young warrior king was in his early development when he wrote the scripture I’ve referenced, and a necessary foundation had to be established to make him a great king, and a beloved leader.  He had to face adversity.  In fact, he had to face great adversity that only God could protect him from.  It was God’s developmental plan to grow him from a self-assured, overconfident young man to a humble great man, by using great threats to his life and a recovery from some terrible choices that he had made.  Follow David’s ascendance from the time he was a young shepherd boy to the death of Goliath, to the erratic ruthless behavior of Saul who sought to kill him.  Then there was an attempted overthrow by his own son, and let’s not forget the greatest mistake David ever made, which was to have a loyal “mighty man” in his army killed to cover up David’s hidden liaison with the man’s wife.  David was a man of many sorrows and he lived to regret many things.  But he got some things right.  He shows us what true, gut-wrenching repentance looks like, and he shows us what depending on God looks like.  He shows us how God can transform us, and he showed us by his own life what it looks like.  Mistakes?  Yes.  Back on target when he does wander?  Yes.  What can we learn from his life, and the words he penned thousands of years ago?  Here’s what I think.

 

I think the foundation of God’s child must be founded on his or her relationship with Jesus Christ.  I think this foundation must be a consistent source of assurance, a source of wisdom for living our life, and a transformation process that grows us into a person that becomes more “Christ-like” as we grow older.  I believe that the discipleship process of the Holy Spirit in our life is to help us identify idols, or false gods that we unknowingly embrace.  These idols of self-sufficiency, and self-gratification stand in the way of the Christ-like greatness that God wants for us, and His tests will mostly center around an escape from our dependence on them.  He uses trials that in fact test Him as it tests us.  God implores His people to lean on Him instead of the might of man or beast, or the newest philosophical argument that man is his own god and can solve problems that we know only God can solve.  God wants us to see and experience His might and attention to detail that no one can imagine.  As God’s child we must grasp this and go all in with it, or we will fear every turn in the road that challenges our comfort and predictable life.  Get this.  We cannot predict life and its future.  We cannot secure a utopian experience on this earth and in this life.  We will be tested, and the only answer for finding peace in an unknow future is what David wrote in Psalm 27:1 …

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

 

Now this is where self-examination comes in.  Do I understand what “Lord” means?  It means over all things in our life.  He is Protector, Guide, Teacher, Savior, Intercessor and Friend.  Jesus is Lord over all of our life, if we are His.  But do we see it the same way?  Do we say that He is our Lord, but live with such turmoil and doubt that we cannot answer yes to all that He is and could be in our life?  If we cannot answer without a doubt that He is all the things I’ve listed, then we can then understand why we cannot find the peace that He promises.

 

Hannah Whitall Smith is one of my favorite Christina writers.  She penned these words over a hundred years ago:

 

“No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment awaits us.”
— 
Hannah Whitall Smith

 

Hannah is simply putting into context what David was saying about peace being found by way of dependence on God.  The message is clear.  It cannot be seen any other way.

 

As we continue into an uncertain future that this world has presented us, let us put our hope in grace alone, in faith alone, in Christ alone, in scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone.  He is God.  He is Lord.  He is Sovereign over all things in His child’s life.  Why should we fear?