Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Before Jesus died, He willed us His peace. But we forfeit His gift through strife.
The Bible tells us that everything the Father has is ours through Jesus (see John 16:15). What does the Father have? He certainly does not have strife. On the contrary, everything He has ministers life to us. His kingdom is one of righteousness, peace and joy. So supernatural peace and joy belong to the believer.
Before He died, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you" (John 14:27, The Amplified Bible). In essence, He was saying, "I am willing you My peace."
God's desire for us is that we live in peace with Him, with ourselves and with our fellowman. He wants us to have peace in the midst of our current circumstances--peace in the morning, at night and all times in between. Peace is our inheritance! And it is a wonderful possession.
But strife is the thief of peace. Even a minor degree of strife will steal some of the peace that is allotted for us. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, and he accomplishes his goal, at least in large measure, through strife.
One type of strife he brings is confusion, a form of strife in your mind. A person who is confused argues with himself. His thoughts fly back and forth in conflict with one another. A doubleminded man is not at peace.
Yet the Bible clearly teaches us that peace of mind is our heritage. The devil attempts to steal it by attacking us with worry, anxiety and confusion. The Word shows us the way to maintain it:
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You" (Is. 26:3).
It is important to realize that peace is your inherited right. Otherwise, the devil may convince you that worry is your obligation when you have problems. Many mothers think they are not good mothers if they don't worry about their children. These Christian women love the Lord, but they haven't received a revelation on the dangers of strife.
Their minds are not peaceful; they are filled with worry, anxiety and turmoil. Upset emotions result. Worry leads to emotional upset. In John 14:27, Jesus advises, "Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed."
Strife is not just a problem between people; it's often a problem within a person. What is going on inside you? Is the atmosphere inside peaceful or strifeful?
"But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord" (Is. 54:17).
Peace is our heritage. It is ours through the "blood line." The blood of Jesus brings it to me. It is mine! I am determined that the devil is not going to steal my inheritance through strife. Learn to recognize strife. Refuse to allow it in your life.
Allow God to reveal the root of your problem. Satan does not want you to know the real problem. He wants you to run around in circles, so to speak, always looking for something and never discovering anything. We do not war with flesh and blood. Many times our problems are not what we think but have their roots in subtle, hidden strife.
In this way Satan deceives people. They spend their lives attempting to deal with the wrong issues. Start confronting the spirit of strife, and you will see many things begin to fall into place.
Keep strife out of your life; out of your thoughts, words and attitudes; out of your relationships. Be at peace with God, with yourself and with your fellowman. Peace belongs to you. Jesus has already given it to you. Begin to live in peace. Make a decision today: "I am finished with upset and turmoil; peace is mine, and I am going to enjoy it now."
Special Offer: Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine and receive two FREE gifts!