German Version

Enchantment... Or... Peace?

by Markus Piercy-Reins

What is a good definition of peace? How best to describe the intent and meaning when we use the word peace?

Well, I think everybody will agree that peace is:

The absence of conflict (inner as well as outer)… surely we can add some more definitions here but let us concentrate on the summarization:

Peace is the absence of conflict!

Whatever it might be - if there is something we don’t like we’re in conflict… and peace is gone.

To have peace here on earth we must have a “paradise” - favorable conditions for peace.

Since we aren’t in paradise anymore we’re on a search to find and secure our peace.
This endeavor is quite a strain… because the realities we’re in - the setting of nature, surrounding society and even our own inner man - are just “programmed” for one thing: trouble.

If we have found a little peace… finally got it!… there is no guarantee this will stay.

But let’s look a little deeper. What has to happen so we are at peace?

After reading the following sentences... just close your eyes and visualize the following scenery:

A soft warm breeze was caressing the skin as the sunset illuminated the sky in colors difficult to describe. Even the clouds hanging in between didn’t disturb the scenery but just reinforced the beauty of the moment.
There was no sound indicating any trouble… no loud shouting… no running or chaos… even the animals sensed the holiness of this peaceful moment… every move was soft and seemed thoughtful… soft murmuring of the waves as they softly rolled ashore...

Ok, I think this is enough the dreaming :-)… everyone knows: This is peace! This is peace as every human being understands it to be!
These are favorable conditions allowing us to have a short-termed dream of peace. The fact of being in a hostile and peaceless world isn’t changed at all… just the outer and inner circumstances allow us to have a feeling of peace… but never having the fact of true, constant peace.

Our definition of peace is the absence of conflict… we’re only able to have peace if the surrounding and inner realities allow us peace!

Yes, you read right! Peace isn’t something we can have by our choosing… peace is dependent on the realities in and around us!

As everything on this earth peace isn’t constant… it is rare and very volatile stuff.

Man needs peace and has developed some techniques to obtain and save this precious peace:
He made covenants for outward peace with others. He developed religious ideas… let me call it "soul tranquilizers"… to get some soul peace. And if even these don’t work out there is the last exit: alcohol and drugs!

Have I disenchanted you?

I know this isn’t a positive outlook at all! It clearly says: Peace is an illusion!
What we’re looking for isn’t able to be fulfilled here on earth… and there is absolutely no way to find and have constant peace here by all we have in us!

Man as an earthbound creation isn’t able to have inner and outer peace… the only thing we can find is something I like to name: enchantment!
What natural man calls peace isn’t peace at all… it is just the illusion of peace! Hard and grim reality!

And those very feeble peace conceptions natural man has are the cause of a specific peace-problem laming and paralyzing the faith of the vast majority of believers today.

When coming to Christ we hear about the “prince of peace”… we hear about Jesus giving us peace even peace this world can’t take from us.

Instantly we’re doing the same as we have done with love and joy: We’re placing our preconceived expectations… the peace dreams every man has… and just expect Jesus to be the final and once for all solution of our deepest desires here.

Jesus knew this… He knew about all the wrong His disciples were expecting from Him… and He knew they would be deeply disappointed. So He gave them an instruction… they actually didn’t understand right then.

He said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (don't let your soul rule!). – John 14:27

Just speaking about peace alone would have left His disciples looking for peace (enchantment) like every man does.
So Jesus made a difference between the peace coming with Him… and the illusion this world calls peace.
He therefore named it: My peace!

A peace that is first different in character… and different in the way we receive it!

This is very, very important! And looking on all that is preached from the pulpits today I have to say:
They’re preaching the illusion this world is hunting for! They’re preaching enchantment… but not the peace Jesus is speaking about!
As we have found out the peace of this world always needs a “favorable surrounding”… man isn’t able to find peace if something is disturbing him.
So what are these masters of seduction doing to the body of Christ? Right, they just offer the food every man likes to have!
Nice, decent and skillfully arranged music! Beautiful church-buildings… and of course the preaching would never touch your delicate areas! This would destroy peace… the people would run from this!
Jesus is the prince of peace… so please, let all the inconveniences stay out of this “holy place”!
I’m a servant of Jesus… I have to make the people feel comfortable… they should have a “safe haven”, a “little paradise” when attending my church!

Yes, this is the general attitude of pastors today (few exceptions, of course!) They’re serving the expectations of their audience… but they aren’t serving Christ!!!

The peace Jesus calls “my peace” is different… and we’re going to have a closer look at this peace now.

Jesus made a difference between “peace of this world” (enchantment) and “my peace” (true peace).
Where are the differences?

As we have found out peace of this world always needs favorable conditions… not so the peace Jesus offers!
His peace is independent of our surrounding reality and even from our soul-life!

Yes, you read right! You can have perfect “peace of Jesus” while your soul is a quivering, shaking wretch!

Jesus’ peace isn’t a condition of your soul… it is a condition of your spirit!

Let’s look on this more in detail:

I have told you these things, so that in me (threetimes underscore!!!) you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

The source of real peace is not peace itself… the source of peace - true peace - is a person… Jesus!

We do not find peace by looking for it… we will have peace when being IN JESUS!

Regarding this world Jesus said we will have troubles and fears… He said the world won’t change on our behalf so we would have peace based on man’s conditions.
But we aren’t dependent on our soul's conditions anymore… we have found a better source to have true peace: It‘s just: Being in Jesus!
To be in Jesus is having peace no matter what this world is going to hurl at us!

Peace is attached to the prince of peace! We can’t find peace separate from Him!

Without having Jesus the only alternative we have is this quickly dissipating, very volatile enchantment this world calls peace.

You want to hear truth... want to know about reality?

The word of God clearly says in the very moment we're entering the kingdom of God we're put on Satan’s blacklist... and this world becomes a highly hostile place for us.
So why look for peace the "world's way" when the world is enmity towards us?

These are the facts every true believer has to face if following Christ:
Troubles and pain, fear, battle and fight, persecution and accusation, injustice, imprisonment etc...
If just dependent on this world's source for soul-peace... we would utterly fail... we would be blown to pieces if just being comforted the world’s way!
The bible warns us about "a roaring lion" preying after us... exhorts us to be spiritual minded, alert and dressed in spiritual armor... does this sound like being in some "paradise" with Jesus?

No, this gives us just one message: Don't expect peace for yourself the world's way if you're following
Christ! You're placed in a warzone... and this won't change as long you're here on earth!

Even more we can sum it up to the following:
Whenever peace is offered to us by easy worldly conditions (these attractive promises, every man is looking for) we should be highly suspicious!
Surely there is some trap behind!
We have to face the reality in this world we're going to have fear. Our Master said so... and His word won't change no matter what is promised and preached from the pulpits today.

It has to be so because there is enmity between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God... and man is the battlefield!

Notwithstanding this grim reality there is a peace for each sheep of the great shepherd. It's not peace as the world gives... it is His peace!

You can have His peace in suffering and pain. All you need: Just being in Jesus!

Here we have the proof of true discipleship! No, it’s not about our quickly and easily attached stickers… it’s about reality… it’s the FACT manifesting when passing through the furnace!

No man would have peace in a furnace… but the ones being in Jesus would have supernatural peace even if all their earthly dreams may turn to rubble… even being in persecution and martyrdom.

To get this clear: Of course their souls won’t sing praises in such circumstances! Our soul is easily influenced by the outward.
But “being in Jesus” isn’t a state of feeling… it is a reality, a fact in the spiritual realm!

Our soul isn’t capable to perceive spiritual things… but Jesus is Spirit! So “to be in Jesus” is only possible when being in the spirit, too!
Our natural man (flesh and soul) is unfit for spiritual realities (read 1.Cor. 2)… there is absolutely no way for natural man!
As God is Spirit true worshippers have to (this isn’t a choice… it’s a condition!) worship in Spirit and truth (read John 4:23+24).

When Jesus was saying this His disciples were hearing His words at that time having absolutely no clue what He meant. This was well above their heads!

But when they got filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost this quickly changed! Now they had abilities they didn’t have before… they received a living spirit again (now you know what the term “to be born-again” actually means!).
This enabled them to be in Jesus… and the obvious results became instantly shown:
They were rejoicing … counting it a special grace… to suffer and die for Christ!
They sang praises in prisons after being beaten up, hungry and thirsty!

No, they weren’t insane - they just had been: In Jesus!

What has a believer to do to get this peace?

Wrong question! The focus is again on the gift… instead on the person!!!

Being in Jesus means peace and joy… so the right question would be:
What do I have to do to be in Jesus?
There are two simple answers… for many it might be way too simple:
1. If you aren't sure you'd ever been - ask Him and it will be given to you!
To be in Jesus is like being sheltered from storm by a safe house... but remember this "house" is a spiritual house... no sensations you have in your soul... just facts in your spirit!
2. If He came into your life just have one priority: Seek His presence! Seek His face!
You can lose everything here on earth... but never lose Him!
Even all the work He will command you to do won't be more important than being in Him.
Remember the Mary/Martha story: Just one thing we have need of: Sitting at His feet! – Luke 10:38-42)

There was a pastor contacting me over my web article 'Facing the Master' last year. He expressed how he liked this article and in our mail exchange mentioned that he hasn't had a one day break for more than five years - just all days working for Jesus!
When I read this - he seemed kind of proud about this "attitude of service" - it rang wrong in my ear and I wrote Him to make an urgent self-assessment where he got involved in extra work beside his assignment from God - work perhaps looking very good in his eyes but never intented by his Master!
I told him he at least had missed more than 260 Sabbaths (standing for god-ordained times of rest) - time God knows we all need... especially if being in His service!
If even Jesus needed to withdraw from His disciples and the crowds just to have solitude and intimate fellowship with His father you can bet on this:
We won't perform better than Him if running in constant activity mode for more than five years!

Perhaps you’re irritated now: I asked: “What can I do?”

Nothing, my dear… but asking and waiting on His action!

Jesus himself said:
He went on to say: This is why I told you that no-one can come to me unless (this is a condition!) the
Father has enabled him
. – John 6:65 (read John 10:29 / John 17:24, too!)

John the Baptist said:
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. – John 3:27

Paul writes:
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. – Rom. 9:16

But don’t be too puzzled here… Jesus said, too: Ask and it will be given to you! So just ask! (Matth. 7:7 / Luke 11:9)

I just have to correct every misconception here! The kingdom of God can’t be entered by our action… everything you and I have we received as a gift from God!
If He will act in your life the first sign will be: hunger for Him! You won't be able to deny this hunger.
It will grow and grow - till the only thing driving you will be: I want you, Lord! Till the hunger for Him will outgrow everything else... till you will sell everything just to get this pearl (Jesus' parable – Matth. 13:44-46)!
And be sure: He won't make you hungry and then leave you starving!

Just remember His peace isn’t like the peace of this world… so don’t look for it in the wrong direction!
Focus your whole affection on Jesus alone. The closer you get… as more His light shines…the more you will be drawn into Him.

His peace will be in you… as more you’ll be in Jesus!

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