Being a Source of Peace
Did you know that as a Christian, you carry with you a supernatural peace that can influence the spiritual atmosphere wherever you go?
In Matthew 10, Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples to go into the surrounding cities: “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8, NIV).
But have you ever taken note of verse 13? There Jesus is talking about finding a place to stay while in the nearby villages. Then He says, “If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.”
This raises three questions for me.
- First, what determines whether a house is deserving?
- Second, how do I let my peace “rest” on a house?
- And third, why would Jesus want me to withdraw that peace from an undeserving house?
The first answer is easy. A deserving house is one in which you and your message are welcome. This is explained better in the very next verse: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” If they receive your message–and ultimately Jesus–then let your peace rest there. Otherwise, don’t.
The second answer requires a little bit of study. The Greek word for “rest” in this passage is “erchomai,” which means to come from one place to another, to come into being, to arise, to come forth, to be revealed, to find influence, to be established, and to become known. It is the same Greek word used in Matthew 3:16 to say that the Holy Spirit–in the form of a dove–descended from heaven and “alighted” on Jesus. Just as the Holy Spirit came in bodily form and alighted on Jesus, you carry with you a spiritual peace that can come from you and alight in a place that is worthy.
Sound a little weird? I’ll explain more in a moment.
And this brings us to the third answer. There is good reason to withdraw your peace from an undeserving house. If a person does not want to receive the message of Jesus–if they want to continue to live in sin–then they are better off without peace. With peace, they would be comfortable in their sin and remain unchanged. Without peace, they might be uncomfortable in sin and perhaps cry out to Jesus for salvation. As you can see, the people living in sin are better off without peace.
Wherever you go, seek to change the spiritual atmosphere for a time. Once the people have tasted the peace from God that you carry with you, they will be in a position to decide whether or not they want to receive the Source of that peace, which is Jesus Christ. If they want Him, then bless them and continue on your way. If they don’t want Him, then withdraw your peace and don’t leave it there.
How do we release or retrieve this peace?
It’s all a matter of authority. Jesus invaded a storm with His peace. “Peace! Be still!” The wind and the waves stopped immediately. He had the authority to rebuke the storm, and the result was peace across an entire lake. We also see it throughout the New Testament as the writers say things such as “Peace be with you.” It’s not just a meaningless colloquialism or cultural saying (like when we say “bless you” after a sneeze). Rather, these writers were exercising their spiritual authority to actually administer peace to the readers (see 1 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4, Philemon 1:3, 1 Peter 5:14, 2 Peter 1:2, 3 John 1:14, Jude 1:2, etc.).
Lets make this really practical. The people who live without Jesus are vulnerable to the enemy and live with constant inner turmoil. Many are desensitized to the chaos–not even realizing how lost they are without Jesus. Others are keenly aware that life is a mess. If you, then, being full of the Holy Spirit, come into that person’s life, the peace within you should be influential enough to silence the storm in that one’s heart, mind, and spirit. Those who are desensitized will be awakened to another way of life, and those who are aware will be intrigued by the shift in the atmosphere. This is why people are often drawn to Christians and say things like, “I always feel so good when I talk to you.”
This peace is important because it enables the other person to focus on the message you speak. The ongoing destruction of the enemy is silenced for a time, and the person is free to hear the truth expressed in love. If he or she receives that message, then you have an opportunity to grant that person a blessing of peace. If he or she rejects the message, though, then you should let them know: “I’m sorry to hear that. Hey, if the chaos of everyday life gets to be too much for you, let me know. I’d be happy to talk to you about Jesus again. He wants you to surrender everything to Him, and then you can live in peace like I do.”
You have a peace that needs to be shared.
Be a good steward of that peace. Ask the Holy Spirit if you should let you peace rest with a people, or if you should withdraw whatever peace you have to offer and go your way. He will guide you in the most beneficial and effective direction.
As James 3:18 says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” The result of your peace is a taste of God’s kingdom in the world around you. Lives will be changed, and miracles will happen.
By the way, if you feel like you don’t have peace, and you’re wondering how to get it in the first place, simply ask God for the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 tells us that peace is a natural result of having the Holy Spirit in your life. Furthermore, Paul said in Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
In other words, act on the Scriptures. The more we steward peace through active ministry, the more peace we receive.
2 Thessalonians 3:16–Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.(NIV)
Carole M M Williams
April 11, 2011 @ 5:06 pm
Wow, powerful ‘stuff’ Art.
Thank you for taking the time to write, this wonderful post….no, I will call it teaching!
You have certainly clarified for me, an important passages of scripture, which I have never truly understood, despite hearing it, quoted many times.
I too have asked the same questions, of this passage, but I have never received an answer that I could practically relate to and share with others, until today!
I thank God for the Holy Spirit, who prompted me to read your blog today, knowing that I have been reflecting of late on the peace of God, that has not always manifested in my life at those times when it should have.
I thank God for your life.
February 4, 2013 @ 6:25 am
Peace of Christ!
You have no idea how this just helped me understand the supernatural action of “withdrawing peace” from an “undeserving” household. Many months ago, the Spirit led me to bring Christ’s message of conversion and His promises of blessing to a particular family that needed to be spiritually reawakened. A healing miracle took place through the process, but most of the members of the household still refused to receive Christ’s supernatural presence and denied the need to keep close to the Covenant in the Word. Eventually, the head of the household likewise denied the need to convert – they were quite comfortable living a perfunctory religiosity while their children were allowed and not dissuaded from engaging in debauchery. I cried many tears for this family – and soon the children began cursing me for reminding them of the Commandment of God. There were strongholds of the Enemy in terms of alcoholism, avarice, spiritism and other vices. Then the Spirit told me to shake the dust off my feet and withdraw my peace – but I didn’t understand what this truly meant. I felt like I was abandoning them by “withdrawing my peace.” But now I understand that I can obey the Spirit, withdraw my peace, and still lift them up to God. And that’s what I did after reading this explanation of yours. And then suddenly, I had an affective experience I’d never felt before. I usually feel waves of energy spread from my head or heart to the rest of my body when I feel the Peace of Christ descending upon me – it’s like being steeped in an oil or balm of the Holy Spirit. But just now, I felt a surge of “electricity” being drawn from my lower limbs, up my arms and torso, up my head, until it all just got sucked upwards and away. Then whatever emotional burden I felt from dealing with this particular household was taken away from me.
Thank you for helping me to obey the inspiration coming from the Holy Spirit. I am now no longer concerned about their fate, but I do abandon them to God with an absolute confidence in His Wisdom and Mercy. I feel as though God Himself rebuked all their curses on me. And now I realize that withdrawing one’s peace in obedience to the Word means allowing God to conscienticize His lost sheep. It is really a blessing in disguise – because the pain of a bothered conscience is the gift that the spirit of man needs in order to seek healing and wholeness in the Divine Doctor, Jesus. And not feeling this pain is akin to having cancer and not knowing about it till it’s too late to reverse the sickness.
I thank God for the grace of understanding and joy that He has blessed me with – through your sharing. God bless you!