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Sunday June 13th
Know God Know Peace 3

What a joy to be with all of you today.  I’m Pastor Paris of The Journey Church.

We’ve launched a new “Know God…Know Peace” series that will drive our hearts and eyes toward our Almighty God.  I’m not saying we are going to make signs and parade the streets of Hastings; however my hope is that you will meet the God of the Bible and ultimately know peace for your life no matter your circumstances.

 

John 14:27 (NIV)  Peace I (Jesus) 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.

 

For many of us, we’ve felt the recent threat to our way of life by those who want to force their perspectives on society.  They burn buildings, loot personal and corporate property, and clench their fists to get what they think is justice.  They are angry people of all skin tones and all backgrounds of life.  They have worked tirelessly to undermine our confidence in those who daily lay down their lives for our protection.  In fact many American’s have bought into the lie that we cannot trust anyone for our protection so we must take matters into our own hands.  All the while innocent children are being caught in the crossfire of our anger, our rebellion and our confusion.

 

On the other side of this coin, we have created a strong military in America, believing that by investing billions, we might feel protected because of our strength.  We even labor to have a strong economy, so we can feel protected by our 401K balance.  We have a cracker jack medical community, so we can live on the edge with our health, while we trust in the skilled protection of doctors and nurses.  Protection and safety are our new desire for life.

 

What I want to do today, is not make you distrust the entities we see in our world, but to ask you to consider shifting from merely trusting earthly human protection to trusting divine, heavenly protection.  Listen to how God describes us in the church.

 

1 Peter 2:9–10 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

 

Over the last year we have had our idea of safety completely turned on its head.  If the world had its way, we would place our children inside plastic bubbles before leaving our homes.  We would fear every source around us as a possible threat to our health and safety.  We would cross the street to avoid contact with our potentially infested human neighbor.  Did you experience that?  I did.

 

We even believed or rejected the political rhetoric and the confused medical advice who panicked the masses all because our lives were being threatened by an unseen enemy.  So I bring you to this next text which was the first to come to my mind when the Corona Virus was announced as a pandemic.  I don’t know how to abbreviate this chapter in the Bible and get the whole story, so we will read every word from God to you.  This is a day of simply God’s word in its raw state being the preacher.  In Psalm 91, God refers to Himself as:

 

Elohim: “God,” the Maker of the universe and the Supreme Creator of all life.

El Shaddai: “All Powerful”, Omnipotent, Almighty God who can do everything He has promised.

Yahweh or Jehovah: “I am who I am”

Elyon: God most high, strongest of the strong, above all other powers and authority.

 

So now let me read this chapter aloud and see what your mind and your heart can hear.

 

Psalm 91:1–16 (NIV)

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

 

Wow! Are you at all aware of what that text just said?  God is our guardian against all enemies seen and unseen.  God declares that He Himself protects us when we run to Him.  God delivers us right in the middle of the battle, the attack and the plague, whether by healing or by heaven’s victory.  We Christ followers cannot loose.

 

Then if that’s not enough, if you keep searching your Bibles, there is another text that reminds us that the battle is God’s and not ours.  Victory is not contingent on your power or your strength.  This text refers to a conversation David had with Goliath before David was about to confront this trash talking enemy of God’s people who threatened their very lives.  So this is what David said to his enemy.

 

1 Samuel 17:47 (NIV) All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

 

Go back and read your bibles.  David didn’t just defeat Goliath, but Israel rose up and destroyed the rest of the enemy warriors.  God is stronger, more powerful than our enemies.  He protects His kids just not always as they think it should look.  We are not quite done yet.  I’ve got five more verses that are available to help you understand that we are God’s kids and He is our protection.  Look up, GO VERTICAL and see His salvation and His protection.

 

Psalm 27:1–5 (NIV)

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

 

That rock is Jesus.  We have every reason in the midst of this distrusting, fear filled, rebellious world to live with extraordinary confidence.  Not in human ability, not in government, not in science or even super safety protocols, but only in God’s protection.  However, unless you open your Bibles and consume these truths you will be subject to the fear that this world offers you on most news channels, most social media platforms and from most well intentioned people. 

 

You don’t need more confidence in human intervention, you need more confidence in the truth that God is your protection.  You can’t legislate enough policies or dismantle enough poor organizations.  You can’t demand peace, you must live peace.  Listen and learn from Him, come to know who He is, and you will know God and know peace.

 

John 14:27 (NIV)  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.

 

Let’s pray that God will be revealed to you as your protector today.

  

Next week we will hear of fatherhood as a calling from God.