There is a river in Africa called the Okavango. Unlike most rivers its waters never reach the ocean. The water simply is consumed by the Kalahari Desert. But before the desert drinks up all the water. There is a delta, The Okavango Delta, that creates a vast oasis that gives life to millions of animals in the midst of the desert.
Since the fall of mankind, death and destruction is the natural bent of our world. If left uninhabited a building erodes quickly and soon collapses. If a yard is left unattended, weeds and a think underbrush consume it. A person’s spirit is the same. If left to itself, it falls prey to our sinful nature and falls deeper into depravity.
As the desert consumes life, the oasis gives life. Community is the oasis in our fallen world. Human interaction draws us out of isolation and enlightens our souls. This is the economy of God. We were created for relationships.
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
When we think of peacemakers, we often think of mediating peace in a conflict. This is certainly an aspect of what Jesus meant, but it is much more than that. The word for “peacemaker” in the Greek is a compound word. The words join together for a literal meaning of “FOUNDERS OF PEACE.”
Think of that for a moment – Founders of Peace. The phrase makes me think of people who have a vision for creating something, in this case peace. And not just peace as the world knows, but God’s peace.
In Luke 10, Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples. He basically said, “PRAY – the Father will send more workers for the harvest is ready! GO – you go as part of the harvest workers. EXTEND PEACE – give people peace, meet their needs, share with them the Good News of the Kingdom of God.” (You can read more about this in my previous posts: The Peace Challenge, Peace with God, and A Fine Line.)
Paul tells us that God has given us the responsibility of being Ambassadors of God’s peace through a ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:11-21). It begins by seeing people through a different lens. The lens of God’s love. We are not the ones who bring peace, God does that. We are simply the ambassadors who bear witness of God’s peace.
In other words, God has sent us to the world to tell others about how we enjoy peace with God. How through Jesus our relationship with God has and is transforming from being distant from Him to being adopted as His children.
We also share our experience with the peace of God. When we are stressed and life is overwhelming, we can lean into God and know a peace that surpasses understanding. It is a gift from God. As we mediate on His love for us, His sovereignty and the temporary nature of this world, we receive a peace in the midst of the chaos.
We become an oasis in the desert of life to those around us. We are founders of peace as we share the peace God has given us. As the Kingdom of God continues to break into this world and bring His peace: peace with Him and His gift of peace. His kingdom continues to push the chaos out.
So, like the Okavango Delta spreads life giving water in the midst of the desert, He sends us out to establish an oasis in our homes, neighborhoods, communities and to the very ends of the earth!
First, have you experienced the transforming nature of having peace with God? You cannot know the peace of God until you have peace with God. If you need to talk to someone about your relationship with God, please see your local pastor or feel free to contact me.
Second, Have you enjoyed the peace of God? The peace of God is a gift. The Holy Spirit produces it in you. It is unexplainable. However, it protects you as it guards your heart and mind with the truth of God’s love, His sovereignty and the temporary circumstances of this world. If you need to speak to someone about knowing the peace of God, again speak to your local pastor or feel free to contact me.
Unlike the Okavango River whose water is consumed by the desert, the source of our peace is living water from an eternal source that never runs dry!