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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 3

Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 3

Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 3

Now, I wanna look at our working definition of peace. And as I do, I wanna ask you to turn to John chapter 7, John chapter 7, so that I can show you where we are drawing this metaphor. A couple of times in the Old Testament God speaks about wanting to bring the Israelites peace like a river, and then what he's talking about when he establishes his rule over all things on this earth, and you will have peace like a river. I love the river metaphor. We see it all the way in the very beginning of scripture, in Creation and in Eden, and we see it, again, in the very end of Revelation. Let me say this to you. If you have never studied the mirror images of Genesis in Creation and Revelation in new Creation, it will blow your ever loving mind. You have never studied anything in your life as brilliant as the scriptures. Never. Once you get bitten by that bug, there ain't no way to get over it, no way to get over it.

My first real exposure to that was through the Tabernacle series and, like, I knew, I thought nothing for the rest of my...I'll never get over it. It ruined me for any other life, but that I will seek him in those pages and watch that come alive and watch the brilliance and the beauty of it. Listen, when it comes to scripture, it is not just what God said, it is how he said it, the beautiful art of the way he said it. So, our working definition of peace is going to come from John 7:37 through 39, John 7:37 to 39. If you got a red letter edition, you were seeing that we're about to quote Christ. It says, "On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.'" 39: he's about to interpret it for us.

There's nothing I love better than for the Word of God to interpret what the Word has just said just right next to it, just right next to it. And he's gonna tell us, "He said this about the," what? Say it again. "He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified". So he said, "Those who believe, those who come to me and believe in me, as scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from within them," streams of living...does that sound boring to you? Because that's shalom, that's peace like a river, peace like a river.

So, let's look at our working definition of peace. "Peace is an undercurrent of confidence in Christ strong enough to calm the rising waves. " Like, when we say, "Okay, we need to have faith, we need to trust, we need to have confidence in Christ," in emergencies, generalities are not all that helpful. It's just, it's too much for us to get our head around. It's one reason why I just tell groups over and over again, I try to say to them, "Listen. Listen for what God is speaking to you about your here and now and where you put your foot next," because if we leave a conference like this and all we've got in our mind is, "Well, I need to go out and be a better Christian," how exactly do we get our minds wrapped around that? Let alone our physical bodies? What do we do with that? Because it can be so general that we don't know how to put feet to it, that sometimes we need generalities to be brought into something concrete so we can get our mind around it.

Now, remember with me, we're thinking in terms of peace like a river, the Holy Spirit being the living water. So, what is an undercurrent, exactly? Well, let's be Captain Obvious for a minute. The undercurrent is going to be underneath the surface current. So, we're gonna think in terms of a river, we could do the same thing with an ocean, but we're after peace like a what? Okay. So we're thinking in terms of, there is the surface current and then there is the undercurrent. And what we'll find is that normally the undercurrent is typically flowing the opposite direction from the surface current. And so, this is exactly the picture that we want to get because depending, listen carefully, on the strength of the undercurrent, the undercurrent can change the direction of the surface current. Is anybody tracking with me? Depends on how strong that undertow is.

And so, here we are up here and sometimes it's like this and of course it is. Some of our circumstances right now are just, like, outrageous. We talked about last night, just, globally, nationally, socially, what complete chaos we have been in, what fear we've been in, all that has surrounded us. So, okay, so the surface waves, I mean, they're getting the wind, right, so they're just, like, going like this. But if there's that strong undercurrent, if all that's going this way, but there's that strong undercurrent going this way, if that undercurrent is strong enough, if it is reaffirmed enough, what happens is the upper waves, the surface waves, begin to respond to it. And though there may be some waves, they're going the same direction. I wonder if anybody's tracking with me.

So, I want you to see a diagram. You've got your surface current. That surface current, those waves, are going over to the one side and then you'll see the undercurrent. Now, what we're called to is trusting in Christ. What does it look like? Exactly what are we getting confidence in? If confidence is going to be our undercurrent, what does it even look like? And so, we're gonna look at five different things that really make up, generally speaking, they would be categories for what it looks like to trust in God, to trust in Christ. So, here's what we're gonna do. I'm now gonna start suggesting to you, just suggesting to you, five different categories, five layers of what we'll call an undercurrent of peace, what makes it up. We're gonna talk about five layers and we're gonna start from the bottom up, and I'll explain why in just a moment, from the bottom up.

So, now I'm gonna bring it back up and you're gonna go to the bottom undercurrent and you are gonna call that current, "He's Good," He's good. One of the most important things that plays into our trust is the degree to which we believe that God is good. If the devil can get you to think that he is not good, all bets are off, all bets are off. Because it's gonna start right there. It's at the base, closest to the spring that is feeding the river, closest to that spring, that the furthest down, the strongest part of it, is that he is good. Everybody say, "He's good". Say it again. He's good. All right, the next one up, "He Loves," he loves. The next one up, "He Rules". This one's huge. All of these are, all of these are. Most things could be categorized under these five layers of undercurrent. "He Acts," that's the next one. Last one is, "He Stays," and that's the one at the top.

Okay, these five, if you stare at them and if you think of them categorically, if you saw them in some semblance of columns, most things that Christ gives us and promises us can find their way somehow under one of those categories. There are plenty of other things, but I'm just saying, generally speaking, we could put almost everything under one of these five categories and here's what I want you to understand. Just as panic is always right under the surface of chaos, joy is right under the surface of peace. I wanna say it again. Joy is right under the surface of peace. So, it's just right there. It's just right under your skin, that if you start walking in peace, it's going to increase your joy. How do I know that? Well, because you'll be more lighthearted because your spirit is lighter because you believe God.

And so, the joy is just, like, right there, just right there under the surface. One really, really cool thing in scripture is that over and over again, joy and peace are seen as really good friends. One seems to draw up the other. You don't need to take these down, but I just want to read you a few. Isaiah 55:12, I wrote this down as... I sort of paraphrase it to the best of my memory, so I may not have gotten every word right, but you'll recognize it. "You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace and the mountains and the hills will break out in singing and the trees of the field will clap their hands". Does that sound boring to you? Join peace, "You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace". Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy". Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace". Right under the surface. Such a strong connection.

For those of us who just really do like some excitement in life, that we like a little drama, I'd like to suggest to you, now, I don't want you to take this down, not even in pencil. I don't want you to quote me on it, nothing. I probably want you to act like I never said it, but I'm just gonna suggest to you that there can be good drama, there really can. I mean, there are things worth jumping up and down over. I mean, really, really, there really are. So, here's what I want to say to you. Okay, say we've got this undercurrent of peace, and with an undercurrent of peace, joy is just, mean, I mean, it's just wanting out, it's just wanting out, it's just want out.

Now, all these waves of trouble that want us, and we'll start to feel them. Like, the only way you know to really draw into that undercurrent is like, whoa, you can feel yourself, you can be on the phone talking to some, well, no, it's more than that. You can see somebody, your Weed Eater has texted you and already you feel stressed, you hadn't even read it yet. You hadn't even read it yet. You hadn't even read it yet. Is your volcano...oh, oh. No, no, you're already up there. But if that undercurrent is strong enough, and remember, that undercurrent is going this way, waves are going this way because they're trying to take you the opposite of peace.

So, the waves are going that way. But when we have joy, pretty outrageous joy, then what happens is, those waves, sometimes they just may flatten and there's just a sense of peace. Other times, they turn this way. It's like waves of joy and it's time to get your surfboard. Amen, amen. There's a wonderful word, you know, in Greek, the word, the primary word, that is used for joy is chara, C-H-A-R-A and it comes from chorus, which is grace, grace and joy are always associated together, but there is another word, agalliao, agalliao, in the New Testament Greek, and it talks about when joy gets physical. It's sort of like when joy takes on some, well, when you can't keep your arms down over it, when you can't keep your feet from moving.

Anybody know what I'm talking about? It's kind of, like, leaping joy. It's when you gotta get excited. I mean, like, I have people tell me all the time, you know, I'm just not demonstrative, and I get that, I do believe that there are a lot of people that just aren't demonstrative. But I'm gonna ask you, how aren't you at the Chief's game? Let's start taking these apart now. He's what? He's good, he loves, he rules, he acts, he stays. Okay, let's start thinking about these. He's good. This drives everything else. If we don't think he's good, then his love and his rule and his acts and his nearby presence is only scary to us or at least it does not bring us any stability. We have to know that he is good.

I wanna remind you, I love the fact that God himself tells Moses, Moses is like, "What am I supposed to tell them that you're like? Who am I supposed to tell them you are? How do I identify you to them"? And God's own self disclosure when he describes himself, wouldn't it be so important to hear God? What does he call himself? He is truth. He can only speak truth. How does he describe himself? And in Exodus 34:5 and 6 it says, "The Lord came down in a cloud, stood with him there, and proclaimed his name, 'the Lord,' The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord. The Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations..." He is gracious and he is abounding in faithful love and truth.

In Exodus 33, you can jot down any of these to look at them later, when Moses just cries out with, "Oh Lord, show me your glory," and God does not answer yes to that request because to show him all of his glory would be to kill him. "You cannot look upon my face and live," but he put him in the cleft of the rock and he put his hand over him there and it says, "And his goodness passed by," and then it says, "and it's after his glory had passed," well, wait, was it goodness or glory? The goodness and glory of God are inseparable, inseparable. Some of us in this room are scared to say to the Lord, "I just, get glory from my life, get glory from it. That the one thing I want most in life, Lord, is for you to get glory from my life".

When we say that we think to ourselves, well, it's gonna kill me, then. It's gonna all be bad, it's all gonna be a beating, because the only way that God gets glory is through me getting a beating. And our theology is messed up, that does happen, that does happen. But also your joy brings glory to God. Because see, we think that his glory has got to always be bad. He says, "You can't separate my glory from my goodness". If you give your life today to the full glory of the Lord your God in Jesus Christ, your God is gonna be so good to you. I'm not saying life is not gonna hurt. Life is hurting anyway, isn't it? But I am saying your God will be so good to you. And when you get done there may be things you do not understand, there may be times you have no clue on this earth what God is even doing, but at the end of the day you're gonna go, "My God was so good to me, but God was so good to me".

Your God is incapable of doing evil. "God is light and in him is no darkness". Do you know what that means? I tell you, is there anything more unsettling than finding out somebody that you thought was light in the Lord has a dark side? It's so disturbing, it's so disturbing. And we'll transfer that over to God at times, it doesn't fit. God is light and in him is no darkness. God has no dark side. Jesus has no dark side. Jesus will never ask anything perverse from you, not ever. Every act of obedience he calls you to will be of dignity as an image bearer. I'm not saying always fun, but I'm saying that he will not call you to something perverse. He will not, he will not. He is incapable of doing you wrong.

Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the one who trusts in Him"! So, what I'd say to you today is, taste, get to know Jesus. I can always have confidence. You get to know Jesus, because as you get to know Jesus you will have confidence in his goodness and you'll know that whatever he does, whatever way he acts, is always in holiness and righteousness. It is always light and it is always right, always, always. So, he's good. What's the next one up? He loves, he loves. Okay, go with me to 1 John chapter 4. John's letters. So echo the truths that Jesus taught his disciples in John's hearing that he talks about in John, his Gospel, because he talks all about abiding in Christ and abiding in the teachings of Christ.

And so, we see these same words, remember in John chapter 15 when he talks about abiding, "You abide in me and my words abide in you". And you'll hear this again all through John's letters, but listen to 1 John 4:16 through 19, 16 through 19 that say this, "And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us..." Now, I'm just wondering today, if one thing that could take place, remember we were talking about a moment ago where you step your foot next, for somebody it's gonna be, "Okay, I'm going to choose to believe that I am loved by God. I'm gonna cease to believe my own feelings, which is that I think that his love rises and falls based on my behavior, and I'm gonna take him at his Word". And it says, "And we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us..."

God is love. Reason why this is so important is because, when you diminish the love of God, you are taking from his very essence, which you cannot do. Love is not just something God does, love is something God is. So, in order for him to love less, he has to be less. God cannot be less than he is. He's all powerful. He's all knowing. So, in his full essence God is love. And it says, "The one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. Therefore, there is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love". I mean, this is a Word to us. He says, I just love these words.

One time I was asked in a Q&A, "Hey, Beth, what is the knot in your rope"? And I thought it was the best question that there could possibly be. And I knew instinctively what she meant. If I was slipping down the rope, what would I grab on to that I would say, "Oh, this. I think of this constantly"? And it would be John 15:9, "As the Father has loved me," Jesus said, "so have I loved you now remain in my love". And listen carefully to what he's saying. As God the Father loves Jesus the Son, Jesus loves us. And he said, "Whatever living you do, you never depart from that truth, that you know that no matter what happens to you, I am loved by God. In fact, I'm so loved by Jesus that as the Father has loved him, so he loves me. I'm completely loved. I'm unconditionally, I'm unfathomably loved. I'm immeasurably loved and I cannot get him to love me less or more".

Somebody in this room needs to know he has not changed his mind about you. He knew what he was getting when he got you. I don't know if that's any relief to anybody else, it doesn't mean we go on in our sin. I'm just saying, when he calls you, he already knew your complete future. Now, turn back to him with confidence because he still loves you and is still called you. One reason why I just wanted to leave it with, he loves, so we've got, he's good and then we got he loves is because, I'll tell you something else that's important to us. You and I can know in our hearts that he loves us, we can have walked with him enough that we have accepted that my God loves me, but we also need to know he loves them. Have you ever thought, Lord, they never get a break? I need to know that you love them.

If you're a parent, you need to know God loves your children, that when you're thinking like, you know, you're trying to talk God into loving them. Listen, the only reason you love them is because you were created in his image. The only reason we are merciful people, we will honestly think we are more merciful than God because we never would have let that happen. The only reason we have any mercy in us whatsoever is because we've been created in the image of God. The only reason we have any capability of loving is because we have been created in the image of God. He loves. He loves us, he loves them. And when I am tempted to really despise somebody, because there are people that are just meaner than snakes, aren't they? Just meaner than snakes. And I think to myself constantly, that's a person Jesus loves.

When somebody is really, really mean to me, I don't do it very often, every now and then, I'm always tempted to and maybe every now and then over the last 15 years I've done it once or twice, but what I wanna say is, be careful. You're messing with somebody Jesus loves. You know what I'm saying? He loves me. You may not like me, you may not approve of me, but let me tell you something. Jesus loves me. So, when you're mean to me, he's taken that personally and I've got to know that about you, that no matter what has happened, ooh, I better be careful with you because Jesus loves you. He loves. Okay, what's the next one up?

Okay, you're in 1 John, I want you to go with me to Colossians chapter 3 because I'll give you something that's easy to remember, but I want you to remember that this is a concept, this is a principle in scripture and not just a pop up. What is my point? Okay, my point is that over and over and over again in scripture, you'll see that peace is associated with good government or good governing power or godly or God's government. So, keep that in mind for a minute. You're going to Colossians 3 and we're gonna go to verse 15. If you mark in your Bible, you are going to want to mark this one. It says, "And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts". Let the peace of Christ rule. Let the peace of Christ rule.
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