Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot-yes a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and understanding…the earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked….In that day, the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat…Isaiah 11:1-10
Can you imagine? What an amazing picture Isaiah paints for us. A world that we would all love to see come into being. A world without fear. A world of perfect peace.
Can you imagine a world where the king is unquestioned and there is no war?
Isaiah tells us this is God’s realm and intention. This is the hope we have of the coming of Jesus in 3 ways: his birth, his presence and his coming again.
But how do we obtain that peace?
What I see happening today is not just a spiritual battle, but a psychological battle. We worry, experience anxiety and feel fearful.
It’s as if our thoughts get hijacked and in a sense they are.
Evil working through many people and events of our time wants your mind because if that happens it steals your peace.
2 Corinthians 10, Paul talks about imaginations…arguments where the mind is trying to tell you God is not faithful. We need to throw out these imaginations of our minds.
Hebrews 12:3 “ Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The things of this world have caused collective fear, anxiety, sadness and despair at a level that is beyond anything we’ve ever witnessed. And when we live in fear, we feel defeated, our minds grow weary.
But the bible also teaches: “Greater is He in you than he in the world.” (I John 4:4)
Who is in you? If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within us and will give us the guidance, wisdom, strength and courage we need to keep going.
But we don’t just get that without interacting with God each day in prayer.
Isaiah knew about this. For he said,
“You will keep him in perfect peace whose MIND is kept on him…” Isaiah 26:3
That is when your mind is kept on the Lord God.
Soon, Christians all over the world will celebrate Jesus’ birth…the New Born King! Jesus is not just a person to believe in but a king to follow and trust.
He is a king that ushers in a better world.
Here’s the thing: we can’t reduce Jesus to a teacher or put in a container to be opened at Christmas.
We can’t just have a devotional time or Advent candles lit in a certain month of the year and expect to receive all that God wants for us.
Jesus who is the Christ is 24/7 365 days a year and wants us to connect to him.
Put your mind on HIM.
So we can’t just check off a box that says “I believe…” or we miss the peace that Isaiah prophesies.
The coming of the Messiah makes it all different in the world. His wisdom, power, understanding, and knowledge changes everything.
He is a baby in the manger, a boy in the temple, a teacher and miracle worker, and our Savior. He is our hope for a better world.
At the end of his life, the one they flocked to, became the one they flogged.
His whole life was a pivotal point in humanity. And he isn’t finished.
When he is, the hope of Jesus is based on his wisdom that will lead to true justice and bring peace among the nations. And even more…nature itself will be changed. The lion and the lamb will lie together.
This is God’s intention for us. Our hope for peace is that God will be peace everywhere.
This week as we light the candle of peace, we are reminded that even though there is no peace in the world yet, because you are a child of God in Christ Jesus, we have the peace OF God in us…
And we can give our burdens to God and find peace WITH God as we face the challenges each day.
We can pray against the evil one who wants to control our minds with anxiety, fear or despair.
Don’t give in to that.
Read the passage from Isaiah again. Sit with it. Let it settle in your spirit as you REST and REFLECT in Him.
Perfect peace is when our minds are focused on God’s Word and prayer all day every day. You can find yourself journaling, drawing, working in a garden, painting or listening to uplifting music.
You can come to a quiet place (sometimes for me it’s in my car) and ask God to take your burdens. And God will. God is faithful
Light the Advent candle of peace in your home with family or by yourself.
CHALLENGE: This week, seek where your are being called to find peace with God and be a peacemaker. At home? At work? In your church community? Pray for God to lead you this week.
Prayer: Lord, you have said, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be comforted. May our minds be fixed on only you that we may find peace and experience comfort for each day no matter what we are going through. We thank you that you carry our burdens with us. Show us how to be peacemakers as Jesus taught. Amen.