This is post #20 of a series entitled Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ – Facilitators of God’s Peace in a World Looking for Peace. We hope you’ll enjoy these 31 podcasts and blogs that focus on our great need in today’s society for peacemakers; men, women, and children who are willing to step away from all the contempt, division, and hatred, and step in toward the blessed call of being Christ-centered peacemakers for the greater glory of God. Here you’ll find very practical and biblically-sound advice on building bridges instead of walls, offering hope instead of despair. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click on the link below to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Truth #7: Peacemakers Discern Where God Is Working and Join Him There.
Today’s Lectio Divina: (God) wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered Himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth. 1st Timothy 2: 4-7 (MsgB)
My pastoral mentor, John Wimber, used to make one thing very clear as he was tutoring young guys and gals like me who felt the call to ministry. I can still hear his words ringing loudly in my soul…
Marty, if you are looking for your own ministry, you can forget it. Know that you’ll never have a ministry! Never!
Ouch. That stung. John, seeing the hurt and disappointment in my face, then quickly added…
Jesus isn’t interested in developing your ministry. He’s not committed to helping you find your ministry. Jesus already has a ministry. It’s God’s work. God’s ministry. Jesus is inviting you to join Him in that ministry, not build your own. Get it?
You see, if you and I are committed to becoming peacemakers for the cause of Christ, and I’m guessing that you are, if you’ve been following along this blog/podcast series thus far; then, we must realize that we will never have a ministry in peacemaking…never! Nor, should we ever want one!
In truth, Jesus isn’t interested in that at all. Quite honestly, He’s seen my attempts at doing my own ministry over the years, and it’s mediocre at best, and damaging, if not destructive, at its worst!
But what Jesus is committed to, and is inviting us into, is God’s work of peacemaking.
Did you catch that?
So, this week, allow me to unpack the ministry of peacemaking as viewed through the lense of the Holy Trinity. Today, we’ll talk God, the Father. Next time; Jesus the Son, and finally, the Holy Spirit.
So here we go.
God, the Father.
Back in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we find the origins of pretty much everything we need to know about the order of the universe.
Genesis 1: 1 – In the beginning…God.
You see, even many scientists, astronomers and evolutionists who question the existence of the God we find in Genesis, readily admit that it’s hard to arrive at where life has advanced today without some form of order, or master design at the beginnings of it all. Fred Hoyle, the English astronomer who coined the phrase, The Big Bang, claimed that the probability of natural processes producing living organisms (i.e. life forming outside of a master plan) is as probable as a hurricane roaring through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747!
Now, this is where things gets interesting, and it’s very helpful to know some Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, when looking deeper into the who (the designer) of the universe.
In Hebrew, there are two different words that are translated into our English words create (to shape) or make (to do). Bara is to create, asah is to make. These two words are used throughout the Old Testament when discussing the creativity of God, and the creative ability of mankind. But, here’s the unique thing about the word bara. While the writers of these ancient texts see both God and man as ones who can asah (make something out of something else), only God can bara (make something out of nothing).
You see, when it comes to God, only He can bara (create) something. You and I can only asah (make).
So now, back to the ministry of peacemaking.
In truth, you and I, out of our own God-given creativity and good intentions, can asah (make) a ministry of peacemaking. And, in a world where peace is pretty rare, an increase of peacemaking made by man wouldn’t be a bad thing.
But, here’s the rub.
As women, men and children who say we believe in God, the Father, creator/maker of Heaven and Earth, and of whom we pray, Thy will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven…
Might I suggest that we tone down our good intentions for asah-ing our own peacemaking ministry and learn instead, to prefer and defer to God’s peacemaking work (bara), first and foremost?
In doing so, several things will happen.
First, we will be realigning ourselves with the biblical worldview where God, the Father is known as our Source of Peace, or as described in Hebrew, Yahweh Shalom (Judges 6: 24).
Secondly, since God is already working His plan of peace everywhere on the planet, isn’t it great to know that we don’t need to start anything, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can asah, through our own creativity, coming alongside a God-work that started long before we arrived on the scene, and quite honestly, will continue, long after we depart.
Thirdly, we will remove the pressure off our shoulders and place the final responsibility for success in peacemaking in the hands of a much higher power…the Almighty God of the Universe, of whom we’ve already discovered by looking at the Scriptures, bara’d shalom and eilene (peace) long before we ever got wind of it. (See Truth #4)
Which brings us now to the second person of the Holy Trinity…Jesus of Nazareth. Join us next time for that part of this amazing bara/asah story!
My Prayer: Father God, I humbly submit to You, the Creator/Maker of peace, and know that it’s never Your intention for me to go off on my own to do good things for You. Rather, I choose to align myself fully to the work of peace You are already doing all around me. Jesus, lead the way, and Holy Spirit, give me eyes and ears to see and hear. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Questions to Ponder: So, where have I been guilty of trying to build my own ministry, putting good plans together and then asking God to come join with my plan? What might it look like to walk away from that mindset and begin aligning myself with the plan of peace that God is already working all around me? Do I have eyes to see it? Do I have ears to hear it? Do I have the will and desire to adjust my life to it?
So, how are you experiencing God’s presence as you are becoming a peacemaker for the cause of Christ?