Summary: (PowerPoint slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Positioning ourselves where God can powerfully revive our hearts.
Revive Us - Part 7
Stress related illnesses and disorders are growing exponentially throughout the world. New drugs are invented every year to reduce hyper-tension and address blood pressure problems. Millions of people are searching in vain for that elusive peace of mind to calm their inner unrest.
One of the greatest desires, in a recent national pole, in the lives of Americans, is for inner peace. Everybody, it seems, is looking for peace . . .
Guys are looking for peace, girls are looking for peace, the old are looking for peace, the young are looking for peace. Why, it seems that even babies are looking for peace.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘peace?’ Let’s do a quiz here - I am going to flash some scenes up on the screen behind me - and I want you to raise your hand if the picture makes you think of peace.
Nah - cake had nothing to do with it - I just wanted to see who else had a sweet tooth.
Peace means different things to different people. Despite the fact that we even have a military arm known as the UN Peace Keeping Force, peace, I would suggest to you, simply cannot be accomplished or maintained through military engagement. World War I was the war to end all wars - a mere 25 years later World War II began. As it ended an arms race and military standoff between the world’s superpowers started - known as the Cold War. The war in Afghanistan did not bring peace. The punitive death of Saddam Hussein did not bring peace. The war in Iraq or Iran will not bring peace.
I did some chaplaincy work in the military, and am reminded of a notice on a chaplains desk I read about - it said, "My job is to bring peace and love to an organization that exists to blow things up and kill people."
Have you ever longed for peace? How would you like to have peace in this world of strife? What would you give to have a happy, peaceful home, a home without strife, envy, jealousy, and fighting? Blessed is that man whose home is a castle of peace!
What about personal, inward peace? Can you imagine that? John Lennon did. He wrote a song entitled ‘Imagine’; do you remember the first verse?
"Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for, no religion too.
Imagine all the people living life in peace."
One of the primary needs expressed in a recent national poll was for peace. We all long for peace don’t we - peace in ourselves, peace in our homes, peace at our work, peace in Afghanistan, peace in Iraq, peace in our world!
This morning I want to share from the Word of God how you can have that peace.
The problem is not sociological, it is theological. And your cannot solve a theological problem with a sociological fix. I would suggest to you this morning that almost all of life’s problems and their solutions are theological.
Open your Bible with me, if you will, to the book of Judges, Judges and chapter 6. While you are turning there may I point out that in the Bible, the word ‘peace’ has many meanings – in fact, there are several words which are translated ‘peace,’ but the main one and the one we are going to focus on today is the word that comes from the Hebrew word ‘shalom.’ ‘Shalom’ is one of the most commonly used word in the Hebrew language even today. People still use it as a greeting and a farewell. They will ask ‘mah shlomka’ - literally ‘what is your peace?’
The situation in Judges 6 is curious. Israel is at war with the Midianites - has been for seven long years - and the Midianites have the upper hand. The Israelites are hiding in caves and strongholds in the mountain - and the Midianites were starving them out. Gideon is hiding in a wine press grinding wheat.
Now watch this - God does three thing - these are critical for you and me as well :-
Know who you are!
He give Gideon a glimpse of himself through the eyes of God.
Know why you’re here!
He commissions Gideon to deliver Israel by defeating their seven year enemy.
Know what you have!
He confirms His power available to Gideon.
Let’s pick it up from there - Judges 6:19-24
Read - Pray
One Saturday morning, a man woke up early to read the morning paper. Glad to have some time to himself, he brewed a fresh pot of coffee and began to read. Three sentences into the first article, he saw his five-year-old daughter descending the stairs. "Honey, go back to bed"