“Heaven on earth, we need it now. I’m sick of all of this hanging around. Sick of sorrow, sick of pain, sick of hearing again and again, that there’s gonna be peace on earth.” These words from a U2 song came to me as I awoke one morning, early September. So I knew Holy Spirit was just about to give me the start of an enormous slinky of kairos moments, as music is a way Holy Spirit speaks to me.
Feeling a great deal of unease in my soul, with current news and social media, enrolling my child into school, trying to finish building the granny flat in time, seeing my husband get overtired and overworked with his plate full and feeling unable to support or carry any weight because of carrying the family duties – these were just some of the top stories on my news reel of life – I knew that my peace was being robbed.
Lately, I’ve been saying, ‘Oh Jesus, please come back! This world’s gone mad!’ If you haven’t said it, you may have felt the same in some way. However, as I started to dwell on this, and receive from Holy Spirit, I realised that what Bono and many others have wished for – the hope of ‘world peace’ – is simply unattainable. Every single living person would need internal peace. not just an external action of ‘an absence of conflict,’ because conflict happens on both a micro and macro scale. Peace needs to be a position, a decision, an in-filling, and, of course, we know that true peace only comes from our loving God and not from this world. Therefore, I need to know how to live with and in peace in a world in chaos. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 So. among the day-to-day factors and social commentary robbing me of my gift of peace, I need to take measures to help me live in peace. Things like spending less time on social media, not dwelling on the words or actions of others, dwelling on His word, allowing Holy Spirit to interrupt my day and when I face challenges, to pray, forgive and renew my mind – over and over again. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 I can’t tell you how many times, lately, I have sung the hymns, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ and, ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’. Worship helps me to break the brain-to-spirit barrier. Thankfully, our huddle have been reading Mike Breen’s book, Leading Kingdom Movements. Mike captures our response and role as Christians so perfectly. In Chapter 1 he writes, “What if churches, in the midst of this disorientation and upheaval, saw their primary responsibility as being the rescue team?” It made me think, “How can I rescue others when I cannot even wade out of the rubble?” I can’t present the world the gospel of peace, if I don’t have peace and evidently live free of the fear and anxiety that entangles the world. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 There is one ultimate factor in this – we have the Holy Spirit. And when we allow His nature to transform ours, then we naturally produce and live the way of the Spirit. No need for striving or deceiving ourselves that we have peace when we’re about to boil over when the heat comes – we will just be. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:22-25 Even this simple moment on holidays, writing this down, helps me swing around the kairos circle to believe that peace shall reign over my life. This is my plan, here is my accountability and, dear Lord, help me act and live each day ready to receive and give your peace in a world in chaos. “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13