Archive | June 2014

Updates

Not a lot of blogging for the Messenger of late. I’ve been out and about doing artsy and creative things these days, as well as putting out domestic brush fires. So I’m just posting this to keep in the loop and let folks know that I haven’t fallen off the edge of the Earth. (It is flat, you know. . . joking.)

More blogs on the way, Lord permitting.

Contemplating Peace 2

In further considering what it would take to create a world of peace, we turn our focus to an idea which has not been fully embraced. ( Contemplating Peace 1 found here: https://withintheholyspirit.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/contemplating-peace-1/ )  We read in Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Every characteristic we consider desirable has its origin in one Source – our infinite Heavenly Father and Creator of all that is. Peace is something desired by most (other than those who gain money or power by promoting conflict).

There have been many peace movements, especially since the 1960’s. We’ve seen everything from hippies, sure to wear some flowers in their hair while grazing in the grass, to the polar opposites with a lot of brass on their uniforms, making war in the name of making peace. If I recall correctly, they were referred to as “peacekeepers”. From “doves” to “hawks”, all have their ideas about how to get some kind of peace. The foremost authority in Eastern religions says that when there is peace among all religions, there will be peace in the world. The question is, how will that come about when those religions are covertly or openly hostile to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace?

That covers social movements, politics and military, and world religions. Yet where is the solution to lasting peace?

Now we still find ourselves (this time globally) in the same situation Jeremiah addressed so long ago, “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:13, 14)

In other words, this kind of human, temporary peace is really a charade to promote the illusion of peace, while the reality is largely cunning, covetousness, conflict, coercion, complicity, competition, control, and confusion – no peace at all! Thus was the “daughter of My people” healed only slightly. There can be no true peace while all these “c’s” are raging.

This is the way of man separated from his Creator-Father. We put bandaids (our solutions not provided through God’s Word, the Mind of Christ, and the Still Small Voice!) on festering cancers and call it a cure… peace, peace when there really is no peace.

When we are still on our prodigal’s journey, we have walked away from the Source of lasting and true peace (and all other life answers), distancing ourselves from Him, as we sing I Did It My Way.

Consequently we are on the verge of thermonuclear war, in yet another chapter in the endless saga of conflicts besetting our little blue-green jewel of a planet, lush with lifeforms who must, at some level, hope that this world’s assigned keepers – we humans – will somehow manage to make enough peace to sustain the life of all here.

Paradoxically we cannot have this lasting, life sustaining peace when our minds are fixed on peace, when we adulate peace, and nearly worship peace. Peace itself can become just another god standing in the way of God’s perfect peace!

Instead our minds must be “stayed” on our Lord, the Source of perfect peace – being found within Him as one, through redemption by the Prince of Peace! It begins when self is reckoned dead in the crucifixion of Jesus, and the Prince of Peace rules in and through us.

To begin with, “now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Ephesians 2:13,14) But it doesn’t stop here with merely affirming it is so…

The only way to perfect peace, lasting peace, and the peace that passes all understanding is through daily and consistently surrendering ourselves and our lives to our Elder Brother’s gift of Himself to us, to our redemption and all that it means. This is where we are restored to our Heavenly Father and the life for which we were created from the beginning – a life characterized by perfect peace.

In Him alone must be where our minds are “stayed”, as we live by His Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Him alone is perfect peace.

Thus we are admonished to “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

In closing for now, dear reader, I bid you perfect peace: “shalom shalom” (שלם שלם)…

 

 

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 14

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, See also 16:25)

How often do we hear it said in the “New Age” we supposedly have entered, “Just follow your heart… follow your bliss… follow your passion… satisfy yourself… do your thing… make yourself happy.” That sounds good at first. After all God is in your heart (oh, really?) so you can trust it. We are all one (is that so?). Be who you are. Find your self; it’s why you’re here.

When did we forget to switch on the discernment-ometer? Even writing these words tends to upset my stomach! It’s embarrassing to admit to having fallen for it at one time. Be forewarned, brothers and sisters, this planet is a spiritual minefield. Or is it mind field?

Fact is… “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Drawn back to Christ (long story, but praise God!), when I hear people spewing out these unsound bites, I now usually counter with, “Jack the Ripper followed his bliss as he stalked his next victim; Bonnie and Clyde followed their hearts every time they held up a bank. You mean to tell me their hearts were reliable guides to positive lifestyles and godly living?” Usually this gets at least a raised eyebrow, or a puzzled look… Did she really say that? It does not compute!

The more indoctrinated will respond with blank stares and that Dalai Lama smile, “Certainly we’re all here to just experience various roles; there’s no good or evil; this isn’t real anyway.”

It becomes clear about the current times: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…” (1 Timothy 4:1,2)

Eventually when you wake up and realize that these “spiritual” people live lives characterized by lack of spiritual understanding and moral crop failure, then the New Age dogmas are finally recognized for what they are – as coming from the “lips of a strange woman.“ They “drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Proverbs 5:3-5)

No, thank you.

We’ve fallen down the rabbit hole (or is it the event horizon of a spiritual, moral, and ethical black hole?!) with the current anything goes culture. There is no Holy Ghost guidance with Luciferian dogma and programming infiltrating and dominating in churches with individuals “…Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:25-28)

And to top it off, the political climate demands that we “sanctify” all this with “inclusivity”, with even litigation against pastors and priests who refuse to bless the mess with “marriage”? It’s just the tip of the depravity iceberg.

Not on my watch. Whatever happened to repentance? I thought Jesus came teaching repentance and the kingdom, and that this was also to be taught in the Church, as the Bride and Body of Christ.

The Pulpit Commentary defines this “way that seemeth right” as the “blinding effects of passion and self-will; for these make a man think his own way best and most desirable”. Or it can also mean “a warning against following a perverted or uninstructed conscience.” The commentary goes on to consider something we don’t often hear these days, but we ought to – that our “conscience needs to be informed by God’s Word and ruled by God’s will to make it a safe guide”.

So much for, “Just follow your heart and you’ll know what’s right for you.”

How do we get from there to a reliable conscience or “heart”?

King David “followed his heart” once. Remember? Bathsheba. Adultery. Unexpected pregnancy (oops!). Inconvenient truth. Uriah the Hittite. Set-up. Murder. Nathan the prophet.. (See 2 Samuel 11 & 12) The chickens came home to roost.

Politics hasn’t changed much, has it? However, there was a change of heart in this case. How?

Repentant, David cried out, “…according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest… Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit…  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51, various portions)

Let us consider carefully and prayerfully every part of that in the quiet of our prayer closets!

When we come under the Holy Spirit of conviction, finally the spiritually numb, anesthetized conscience wakes up. We realize we can’t trust our hearts, doing what comes naturally – or unnaturally. We then go from standing up for the me, myself, and I doctrines of demons, to falling often and continually on our knees in contrition and repentance, entreating God for His mercy, forgiveness, cleansing from sin, inner truth and integrity, knowledge of His Wisdom, the creation of a clean heart and a right spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit!

This is humility, repentance, and the beginning of putting on the Mind of Christ for believer-sinners. There must be a clean heart and a right spirit trained in the Lord’s written word and the Holy Spirit, through the multitude of His tender mercies.

It also begins with the realization that the old black magic, unreliable, unregenerate heart and mind are crucified with Christ. The rest of the “training” is to see it become a reality in day to day living. (See Galatians 2:20) “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)

This is the beginning of the Way that actually is right, not that which only “seemeth right” to the heart and will un-surrendered to and uninformed by the will of God.

 

Dens, Upper Rooms, And Windows Of Opportunity

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Daniel 6:10) (“Chamber”: ‛allîyth (al-leeth’) עלּית also means a second story room, or an upper room.)

This entire chapter is a favorite Bible story of many often called “Daniel In The Lions’ Den”. It is the story of a righteous man who found favor with God, and was blessed and elevated to the highest office under the king. However, this did not set well with the other “presidents and princes” – the other royal appointees, so they plotted to have him killed, in so many words. (You can read the whole story in Daniel 6.)

I’m not going to retell the entire story here, as that is not the point of this writing. The focus here is in how Daniel chose to handle his dilemma. Certainly we could stop right here with the condensed version – the simple thought that, when forces seem set against you and you can see the freight train heading down the tracks, it’s time to get into some serious prayer. Certainly that is so!

However, my attention was drawn to several other aspects of prayer in this verse – 1) Daniel having his window open, 2) in his upper room, 3) facing Jerusalem. Why focus on these details and not simply the idea of praying for answers?

Let’s look at the “upper room” first. (This is one verse where KJV comes across a little vague, unless chamber meant upper room in the days of the KJV’s translation as common usage.) How greatly the upper room directs our attention, by way of reminder, to that final supper with Jesus and His disciples in a particular upper room before His arrest. It was there that He not only instituted the Eucharist, but also prayed His “High Priestly Prayer” concerning His will for the Church (See John 17.)

A significant moment of transition for humanity was taking place with these bestowals of Sacrament and a “last will and testament” prayer by our Lord Jesus! He would be “descending” into the events of His Passion, then “ascending” up through Resurrection and Ascension, working our Redemption.

After His ascension, a number of disciples “… returned … unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:12-14)

So, prior to this initial bestowal of Baptism of the Holy Spirit, after Jesus’ ascension, we find the faithful once more gathered in an upper room, continuing in one accord in prayer and supplication – an upper room where a number of them abode.

Let’s take a somewhat symbolic direction with this. Let’s consider the idea that Daniel’s windows were open!

Open windows seem to speak of a complete openness of mind, heart, and will – a total surrender – to how God works something out where we may see ourselves as helpless, trapped, threatened, or challenged. At least that’s how we’re perceiving it… until we can surrender our ordinary thoughts and worries about it to the Presence and Will of God – that “upper room” where His Infinite Spirit reigns over our finite mental constructs about the situation (whatever that may be circumstantially).

So having our windows open in our upper room speaks to this writer as meaning a willingness to be elevated into God’s perspectives on things as we pray – no ego agendas! Only full surrender and trust that He will take us through something we may be perceiving as an impossible predicament where the deck may seem stacked against us.

All the royal advisors and appointees schemed to do away with Daniel. He was really in a bind. But he went higher, and he was open to what the Lord would do about it. He simply surrendered and trusted.

One more thing: Daniel’s view was “toward Jerusalem”, which means peace, completeness, wholeness, and unbrokenness. In this position, “facing Jerusalem”, Daniel held that vision of God’s peaceful, unbroken, whole, complete Good! He was elevated in the higher perspective of God’s Mind over the matter (symbolized by being in the upper room), was completely open to how God would work things out (the open windows), and holding the vision of God’s perfect will completed in his situation (symbolized by facing toward Jerusalem) turning things toward a life of abundant Good.

Every one of us can be inspired by Daniel’s prayer m.o. when encountering not only speed bumps on the Way, but also when challenges present themselves as pot holes or even craters that turn into lions’ dens! Daniel encourages us, especially in these challenging times, to abide continually (as did Peter, James, John and several others mentioned in Acts 1) in our upper room with our windows open facing Jerusalem.

 

 

Going Along To Get Along

This is clearly not my usual subject matter, yet I feel compelled to say what I have to say. I posted this on Facebook yesterday. I’m shootin’ straight from the hip here, pilgrim.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this. This entry is not in support of any particular party or candidate. It is instead a mini look at how politics works in order to manipulate people into buying into its control agendas, common to both the “right” and the “left”.

Politics is the business of someone else convincing you what’s good for you, without the need for you to do your own thinking. Woe be unto us for not doing our own thinking, and asking, is this for real? Is this really how it is? Is this person telling the truth? Does his action and policy match what he says? Is he or she what he appears to be, or will s/he “shape shift” into something entirely different after election? Is this person someone of good character and moral integrity, or does s/he only want us to think this is so, but at the end of the day, it’s a false front?

Yesterday I reposted a 19 second video clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJukZTtJxFo of the current president addressing the EU in Brussels last March. I sincerely thank the person who called me out on the fact that the clip was taken out of context and deliberately edited. So I pulled it off my Timeline. She helped me to see what I should have seen in the first place – that its unmasked, overly insulting attitude toward the common man and free people everywhere was completely contrary to Obama’s usual approach in his finely tuned and well designed speeches (whoever writes them).

Ordinarily the m.o. of President Obama’s speeches is not to insult or demean. Instead they major on flattery and telling people what they want to hear, full of accepted popular rhetoric – which at face value few can disagree with, leading listeners to feel as if he’s their best buddy, to let down their guard, and not go any further than what is presented at face value. Easily mesmerized, many walk away from his speeches feelin’ groovey, as they used to say. My, what a charming man! And he even thinks like I do.

Does he really?

What this actually reveals to us is how easily we trust and look no further than what’s being presented to us. We trust all the “Bigs”. Big Politics, Pig Med-Pharma, Big Industry, Big Religion… you name it. Without realizing it’s the Bigs who fund the political campaigns! And we trust our friends who trust the Bigs, so we’re likely to go along with what they have to say, so we can get along. There may have been a time when that was a good idea, but it’s not working anymore. Deceit and cunning are the ways of the day – the “zeitgeist” of the tumultuous times in which we live.

(Full speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVZWLqkBtf0 if you can stand anymore of this sort of thing. Link posted so you can see the difference.)

However, procedurally the track record indicates that this administration’s course has been steadily in the direction of dismantlement of the US Constitution and the freedoms it represents. Obama stands out as the poster child of the socialist left. The walk doesn’t match the talk, and the walk is what you really want to look at – the track record.

Unfortunately a good many of us got fooled into voting for him (the 1st go round anyway) after four years of being “Bush whacked” by the previous administration. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Hey, I’m willing to admit at that point my thinking and researching were not even out of the garage, let alone cruising down the road! So please, don’t shoot the Messenger. And my sleuthing may not yet be perfect, but at least I’m out there sniffing the trail.

So let’s cut to the chase.

The right is just as guilty as the left of this poster child charade. I actually did go ahead and listen to the full Obama speech, proving to me the point that the 19 second clip was taken out of context. Point taken.

However, I also decided to listen to a speech given by the very popular Dr. Benjamin Carson, parallel poster child to Obama, from the Republican right. I was surprised to learn that their upbringings had been so similar up to a point – black, single mom, struggle, and so forth. Oh how we love our icons!

I know, now my conservative friends are also going to hate me for pointing out these similarities. But after all we’ve been through in the last one-and-a-half administrations (which is merely a continuation of the the Bush whacking agenda from the 8 years previous to that…), isn’t it worth asking some hard questions about political poster children?

If the nation had been willing to take a deeper look at what-you-see-may-not-be-what-you-get in 2007, we might not be in the pickle we’re in – losing our Constitution, human rights, and being taken over by a New World Order UN Agenda 21 (openly promoted if you’re honest enough to admit it by GHW Bush – whose daddy helped fund the Nazis in WW2, long before “Dubbya” got into office)! Go ahead. Google it yourself!

Yet here people are posting happy birthdays to these people as if they’re personal friends! That goes for both sides. Get over it!

We’d had it with “911”, Iraq, and so forth by the middle of the 1st decade of the 21st Century. So the poster child from the left, Obama, who comes essentially out of nowhere into public view, is presented and promoted by the Bigs as the answer to our hopes and dreams for a better more equitable America. After the election some of us woke up. Others still seem to be under the weavings of the socialist left’s spell.

The right also has its poster children – black men of renown, dignity, highly educated, in places of position in society. Another point taken – we leaning right folks are not racists. Race is not what this is about! It’s about integrity, who’s really got it, and who doesn’t. Back to basics, folks.

Yet having been burned by this ploy, do we dare ask the question, are we once more being willingly led into a trap because we’re still participating in the emotionally hyped audacity of hope, rather than thinking deeply and vetting well any and all potential candidates rising up on the political horizon?

I’m not saying Dr. Carson cannot be trusted or that he’s not the real deal. But are we going to question and find out for sure? Or Rand Paul? Or Sarah Palin? Etc, ad infinitum!

All I’m saying is watch out for anything backed by a “PAC” touted as lord and savior of the Republic. We need to stop hitching our wagons to the latest rising shooting star, because if we do, the wagon may take us boldly where we do not want to go. The only thing that changes is the driver of the wagon. The map and the destination remain the same. And we may find out, much to our chagrin, in the final analysis, that the wagon wasn’t even ours in the first place, and we’re only along for the ride. That’s what “they” want, but We The Wee People are not supposed to figure it out, because when we do, it’s the end of the spell.

I’m trying to initiate discussion here. Intelligent discussion. I’m trying to get your dander up enough to make you ask provocative questions, to think deep and hard, to ruthlessly vet every candidate, what they stand for, and whose special interests they represent, who their connections are… And always, always follow the money.

We must stop going along just to get along.

 

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 13

The Radical Surrender Of Everything, Or The Simple Life

This is a continuation of the Proverbially Speaking project, which has been put on the back burner for awhile. OK, true, it didn’t turn out to be one Proverb per day for 31 days… Better late than never. So we commence once more with a focus from Proverbs 13.

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7)

The “impression” coming across here is that spiritual riches come by way of self emptying, as is repeated, in so many words, in Proverbs 34:10 – “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

God isn’t interested in what “good” we can do, or what strengths of ours we think He can use; He’s interested in our full surrender, so the Holy Spirit can make Jesus Lord of our minds, hearts, and lives – as He transforms and restores the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father Creator in us, and guides us Home.

Lord, let us ever be mindful of this!

There was the story of the rich young ruler (Luke 18) who came to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminds him of keeping the commandments, which he claims to have done his entire life. Yet there was that one thing more which the Lord asked of him: “Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Jesus asked for full surrender. We know the sad end of that story.

Doesn’t sound like “easy believe-ism” or prosperity peddling, does it?

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) The Way of Jesus is a radical way of life. It’s all or nothing. It’s very clear where the priorities must be. It’s radically simple and simply radical.

“But, Lord, I have bills to pay and kids to put through college!” We whine and try to wiggle our way out. We want them to have it all, don’t we, just like we do?

Jesus replies,  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus seems to add, “What you need for the Earth Mission has been take care of. All these things are what the ‘Gentiles’ seek, But here’s the way you are to approach life. Are you with Me or not?” He faces us with a rather either-or prospect. Simplicity or bust!

The Apostle Paul laments, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18,19)

The sons and daughters of God do not have the luxury of becoming entangled in the snares, cares, and riches of the world which has allurements designed to dismantle the entire reason why we’re here.

Sometimes I wonder if we’ve been convinced of the reality of what being a Christian actually means. It’s spooky; it’s supernatural; it may be more woo woo than we care to see. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

This isn’t psycho babble. We’re not playing games here. There can be no excess baggage if we’re to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14) and bring Home as many of our brothers and sisters as we can in the process, while we “work out (y)our own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

It seems like the perfect reason to jettison as much self-absorption cargo and as many non-essentials as possible, given the seriousness of our reason for being here.

Well, after all that seriousness about simplicity, maybe it’s a good idea to end on a lighter note. This old song probably wasn’t written with “spiritual” intent, yet seems to be dead on with our subject here. As new creations in Christ Jesus – whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light – we have a lot to rejoice about!

So here’s Mr. Bing Crosby and his 1946 rendition of Give Me The Simple Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTzudIVvUaM

 

 

 

Contemplating Peace 1

Scripture for consideration:

“Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isaiah 32:14-18)

The other day I was invited to in an “interfaith” gathering for the purpose of “meditating” for world peace. It always sounds good to get together over peace, right? But is this the answer?

So I began to ask, seek, and knock – how can lasting peace be achieved? What is God’s way for a Christian approach to peace? The foregoing passage was a part of the answer.

Isaiah at first points out, as all reliable prophecy does, what life is like when we become disconnected from God, the Source of all Good. Life will be less than what God intends, to say the least, “until the spirit be poured out upon us from on high”.

Peace is one of the things that slips away if we are not fully connected to the Prince of Peace by being filled with the Holy Spirit. That means we are surrendered fully to God and to His will. Then we’re no longer “hostiles” toward God and His kingdom. Peace is the result of righteousness – its “work”.

Yes, the Holy Spirit began to be poured out on all flesh at the first Pentecost. However, it works like this. The Holy Spirit can be likened to a magnificent waterfall, pouring out from the eternal reservoir of the Presence of God. The Holy Spirit is not automatically imputed! We must bring our empty cup – empty of the agendas of self – hold it out into this waterfall, and get what we lack… whenever and wherever needed, perpetually. We can never stop praying for the Holy Spirit.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled, promises Jesus. He is speaking of the righteousness of God, not our ego-self righteousness.

And what does Isaiah tell us that this righteousness brings? Peace, quietness, and assurance! You can’t “meditate” peace into existence, as by force of will, but peace results by surrendering self to the Righteousness of God. Then peace is a “by product” of righteousness. It is received by a cessation of hostilities between the human and God! And it will be the peace of God which passes all understanding, peace not as the world gives.

Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, according to Jesus Christ, and “all these things” shall be added into you. In light of Isaiah’s words, that would include peace, not just physical things.

There’s a simple twist in much of our thinking that needs to be straightened out like tangled yarn. That is the idea that we ought to seek only God, and not things or conditions and circumstances – including peace. Anything can become an idol in the human mind, and that includes peace! Consequently many fall prey to godless ideologies that falsely promise peace. And at what cost?

So we ought not to fellowship with darkness in order to seek after peace! Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ is how those who are called by His name ought to seek peace – asking, seeking, and knocking in order to receive the Holy Spirit.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13)

Let’s come to peace God’s way, brothers and sisters in Jesus! It is only through the human container, empty of self, that the Holy Spirit can be poured. One soul at a time. Then we become the “instruments of His peace”, the peace that passes all understanding, peace as the world cannot and never will give!

One of the most beautiful prayers I know for asking for the Holy Spirit is in the form of a very ancient hymn, first penned by Bianco da Siena (c.1350-1434). I’ve recorded it here https://soundcloud.com/blaise1/come-down-o-love-divine so if you’d like to sing or hum along, here are the lyrics:

Come down, O Love divine, seek thou this soul of mine, and visit it with thine own ardor glowing; O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear, and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn to dust and ashes in its heat consuming; and let thy glorious light shine ever on my sight, and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long, shall far outpass the power of human telling; for none can guess its grace, till Love create a place wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

We can also then pray the prayer of Saint Francis, to specifically be made an instrument of God’s peace. It is a prayer of complete self emptying!

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”

All glory be to the Prince of Peace – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – through Whom alone is any lasting peace possible – within our hearts or within our world!