I’m currently reading through Micah, and as I read through chapter 5 these words called out to me as clear as day:
“He (Jesus) will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the Lord his God.
And he will be their peace.”
The Old Testament is full of messianic prophecies, and I believe knowing them is a great discipline to have (much like knowing the promises of God to His people). It keeps us mindful of Christ at all times, constantly remembering his sacrificial work on the cross to forgive us of sins.
But oh how easy it is for us to be distracted by worldly circumstances. We are concerned, now more than ever, about our appearance, health, wealth, relationships, careers, hobbies – everything in the world. The world has become so comfortable to us that Paul’s words in Philippians 1:21 seem quite disturbing, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. Heaven is no longer our home – wherever we find the most satisfaction in ourselves is. We might even say that we’d prefer to stay here a little longer, enjoy ourselves more, before making our way to our Saviour; trusting our own sense of what true joy is, over God.
We choose the pleasures of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) – over the pleasures from God, which are at His right hand forever (Psalm 16:11)?
“Blessed are the pure in heart,” Jesus said, “for they will see God”. But do we want to see God? Can we honestly say that we’d prefer heaven – a place without sin, without pain, without death, where we will be free to wholly worship and glorify and enjoy God our Creator and Redeemer and Father, for all eternity? Or would we rather ponder our next date, our next holiday, our next promotion?
To make Christ my peace, I must first make Him the source of my contentment. If He is not, then I will not know the peace that transcends human understanding, which comes from God (Phil. 4:7). I will be making a more intentional and prayerful effort to do this – to have Christ and His magnificence in mind, more often than my current endeavours and circumstances – and I encourage you to as well! For whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is excellent and trustworthy – we ought to think of. And nothing, no one, is more worthy of our thoughts and worship as Jesus.
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God,
cleanse our consciences from useless rituals,
so that we may serve the living God!”