The gospel seems unattractive until there is no other way. It’s the way God inevitably wins. He does not win our hearts to peace until He has been to war with us; until we recognise that we have constantly put idols above Him, and finally having decided that it’s futility.
The God of peace won the war for our hearts two millennia ago, but we never understand until this God of peace overcomes our heart through the overwhelming circumstances in our lives. We must finally reconcile how prone we are to rejecting God.
The God of peace wins the war for our hearts when we continue to agree that we continually worship idols. When we continually agree such a thing, acknowledging it’s wrong, we determine to live for Christ. We don’t live for Christ simply because it’s a good idea.
We live for Christ because we cannot live without Him. If we can live without Him, we do not live for Christ. If we can live without Him, it’s because we cannot live without other things: idols. And even when we cannot live without Him, we continue to struggle with a range of idols.
The human condition is devastating in contrast to a holy God; devastating for us, for others, for God.
The God of peace won the war by directing the war into Himself, taking it in His own hands, and declaring a Sovereign peace over it by His own destruction.
He declares that we are to do one and the same thing; to follow Christ is to follow His example.
The God of peace wins the war in us when we prize His peace that much that we hold a living armistice.
What does this look like in our world, today? Consider these words of the apostle Peter:
8 And finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic and full of brotherly affection, good-hearted and humble of mind. 9 Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult, but on the contrary, bless — for this is what you are called to do, so that you may inherit blessing. 10 For those who choose to love life and see good days must stop the tongue from evil and the lips from speaking deceit, 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the just and his ears are open to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is set against those who do evil. (1 Peter 3:8-12 [NRSV])
These are words to ponder…
Prizing God’s peace is what gives us the will and the power to live the apostle Peter’s words.