Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum – this is an old Latin liturgical saying meaning, “May the Peace of the Lord be always with you.”
The concept of inner peace is so sought after by the world. I read an article recently about The Beatles, and their drive toward finding “religious” inner peace. They were mostly raised in Catholic homes, but not taught to be, as we call it, relational. The amazing thing was to watch the pursuit of peace from these four men, who were probably the most famous musicians of their day, if not the most famous human beings of that time. To watch the amount of money, and time invested in this journey, and yet …
Still no peace.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t know that we have a prescription of a Bobby McFerrin doctrine of Don’t Worry, Be Happy, though that is a catchy little song. However, Scripture points us in a peaceful direction, which begins with an unrippled attitude and goes from there.
We Christians have the promise of peace through the promise of Christ. Ephesians 2:14 says, “He Himself is our peace.” As believers, instead of striving for peace, we should appropriate the peace that is already available for our enjoyment. After a little research on the subject, I have found there is somewhat of a five-verse program in “appropriating peace;” these passages are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Know that peace is a natural outgrowth of being saved. Romans 5:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace (other manuscripts read faith, let us have peace, which can also be translated faith, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God) through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ask yourself if you are focused on things of spiritual importance, “for the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:6.
Are you walking with the Spirit moment-by-moment? “I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control,” Gal. 5:16-22.
Make your anxieties an offering to the Lord; “don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” Phil. 4:6-7.
And simply remember … “God is not a God of disorder but of peace,” 1 Cor. 14:33.
With these verses in mind, allow me to say that I pray that “the Peace of the Lord is always with you.”
At the time of this column, John Francis was the worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.