Shalom is more than Peace

peaceinsand
This month the Lord has really highlighted to me the amazing power found in praying His Peace into and over every situation. In fact, so much so that I want to put out a challenge for us to specifically pray for God’s Peace, Shalom, over our communities, states and nations….and, all of us, for the next 30 days and beyond as the Lord leads.  I believe we will see Holy Spirit move in outrageously amazing ways in response!

This challenge will be most effective if we have an understanding that Peace in the word of God is both a noun and a verb. It is both a state of being and an action word!  Simply stated Shalom is more than peace.

God’s Peace is the word Shalom in Hebrew, interpreted in Greek as the word Eirene. However, we must note that the Hebrew folks and our Lord Jesus would have actually spoken or written the word Shalom wherever you see Eirene used.

Shalom means to have favor, to be safe,happy, healthy, prosperous, restored: perfectly well and whole and at rest. It’s profoundly interesting to not that
the Hebrew symbols for Shalom actually say “the authority that destroys chaos.” It is an action word! It is something we can choose to be and choose to pursue and do in the power of God.

Eirene means prosperity: to be one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one  again (put back together).

What most of us really want is to experience the state of being represented by the noun Peace – which really is a goal of resting in the Lord – but, we’re not going to get to that goal until we understand the mighty ACTION of the verb Shalom/Eirene which is part of the transformational work of Holy Spirit that will lead us to the place of rest, wholeness, and prosperity in Him.

Holy Spirit brought this home to me at a recent prayer retreat I attended. He gave 3 scriptures as I was reading the Passion Translation

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.  I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will swiftly pound Satan to a pulp under your feet! And the wonderful favor of our Lord Jesus will surround you.

What David wrote in Psalm 23 – actually the whole of it – is our goal. No matter what is going on we can abide in that amazing place of resting in our God, at peace, knowing HE has it all taken care of, whatever “it” may be.   Ultimately verse 6 is the result: So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! 

The Romans 14 verse reveals a three-part active, action oriented, transformation of every soul and thereby the Kingdom of God is built as whole families, congregations, neighborhoods, cities, nations are restored. Believers are transformed through salvation which brings righteousness, the process of healing our soul (wounds of the heart and mind) which brings peace. Righteousness plus Peace produces great joy in our Lord!

Then there is the ACTION part of peace that destroys chaos: Romans 16 which reveals the astounding power of cooperating with the God of Peace. The Shalom released by God into our lives is so powerful that it pounds satan to a pulp under our feet making room for Jesus to surround us with His wonderful favor. That is our goal of intercession in this challenge of praying peace. As we co-conspire with Holy Spirit this month asking for the restoring transforming power of peace, satan is gonna get a pounding! The result? The Kingdom of God: righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!!

The Body of Christ needs this kind of prayer as they minister and as they launch into the new things our God is doing. WE who pray and intercede need this kind of prayer. Our world needs this kind of prayer. What most folks think peace is falls far short of God’s definition.

Shalom is a magnificent gift from a magnificent God. The more we understand His peace the more we will see lives changed for Him. For additional information about the mighty and amazing action of the Peace of God, and why it is so vital to pray for and to cooperate with His Shalom, check out this excellent (and short) Bible Project video   https://thebibleproject.com/videos/shalom-peace/.  And explore their site. It’s chock full of good stuff for personal study and to share with others.

If you decide to begin the “Praying Peace” challenge, let me know!

SHALOM!
Cheryl

Photo found on Google Images labeled “for reuse”

Rejoicing in Christ Jesus

god-heart

Today the Lord poured out a powerful reminder to  refocus! There is a tendency for us to get caught up in the negative things going on in our lives and the world and forget that we  have a constant place of JOY and REFRESHING available to us.  His word to me was REJOICE! Laugh! BE GLAD! Holy Spirit directed me to Romans 8:31-39.  He wants to strengthen us and help us to walk through everything that comes our way!

After reading those verses in Romans here is what I recorded. I pray that it blesses you!
http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21223574

He also gave this precious spontaneous song during a worship service awhile back. It goes so well with His word to me today that I believe it will be an additional blessing to you: http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21224312

With love to you,
Rev. Cheryl

Hope

Hope

I was reading news stories today about Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, two well-know, admired and financially well-to-do people, that became so very distraught they ended their lives by their own hand. My first thought was for their family and loved ones that God would comfort them. Then, I was overcome with the simple truth that money and success, though touted as the goal that will make a person happy and content, actually has nothing to do with happiness and contentment.  Pondering that with the Lord in prayer, I came away with renewed realization that what actually brings joy, a sense of well-being and peace or contentment to a person’s life is HOPE. Without hope we are lost in place of darkness slaved to depression and despair even in the midst the most opulent of life’s circumstances.

No doubt in the darkest moments of the trials of life, even the most generally hopeful of us have entertained the thought that death would bring relief from the suffering, stress, pain and challenges.  Why do some succumb to the darkness of those thoughts and end up miserable and bitter at best or kill themselves at worst while others are touched by a spark of saving hope and they endure Continue reading

Beginning of Signs

watertowine

This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. John 2:11

In a previous post the Lord spoke to my heart that He was ending some things right now, closing many doors, in preparation for a grand season of NEW.  (Read New Beginnings) This morning as I was asking the Lord what I needed to know in this season of endings and new beginnings, I felt directed to reread the first chapters of the Book of John.  As I read these favorite verses, suddenly they became as if I had never read them. The words became fresh and new, it fact alive.

In John Chapter 2 the story of Jesus turning water into wine simply overwhelmed me. It was like I was listening in on the conversation with Jesus and his Mother. I was visioning with the Lord.  In this type of vision I could see that the encounter was a tender exchange. Mary came to her son because she wanted to bless the bride and groom and the bride’s father, who was the host.  There was an intense sense that she completely trusted her son.  Also, that as His Mother, she knew him so well, and had observed Him and His capabilities for all His life, that she believed there was no one better suited than Jesus to bless the wedding and take care of the need.

His response was funny in the vision experience I was having. It was like He put his hands on his hips, cocked His head and with a grin said, “Gee Whiz Mom, I know you trust me to handle this, but I haven’t heard from my Father in Heaven on it.”  We know from scripture that He didn’t do anything unless He saw or heard it from His Father.  So, unless He did hear or see, it wasn’t going to happen. Mary knew that, because she knew Him so well. As I  continued to vision with the Lord, she smiles back at her son a knowing smile and then tells the servants to do whatever He says. After that she walks away. She appeared totally convinced He would do GOOD in this situation and would flow with blessing and provision. Continue reading

Beginning = Love One Another

potter hands

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2 John 1:5-6

In my walk with our Lord I have found over and over again that every ending means God has developed in me a greater capacity to keep His commandment to love one another as He has loved us.  (John 15:12) This increased capacity to love as He loves creates a new beginning and He opens new doors for me to walk through in order that I may demonstrate His love in fresh new ways.  The hard part of this process is always the ending of a season, especially if that season has been the center of my life. The closing of a door can be confusing if it is something I had come to rely upon or had thought I would be part of forever. It can be painful as closing doors always means I have to let go of something whether its my opinions, habits, status and position, financial, or even people. Often the new door is not clear and I have needed to let the old door close in obedience following the leading of Holy Spirit without knowing exactly where I am going or why.

In this process of beginning, for I am determined to look at each ending situation no matter how painful as an exciting new chapter in my life, Continue reading

New Beginnings

 

The Beginning

The Lord God in His infinite wisdom is ending some things right now. This is a world wide event affecting entire nations and also regions, cities, and individuals like you and me. Endings can be a bit disconcerting, confusing and sometimes down right scary.  This is especially so when it is all going on at one time.  It’s hard to remain at peace or understand our role when we are seemingly in constant crisis or crisis is constantly happening around us.

How vital it is right now that we, the body of Christ, get a handle on what is going on from heaven’s perspective! The last two postings I made were reminders that God is in charge, He loves us, He has chosen us and that He has had a grand wonderful plan from the very beginning.  Secondly, its important to constantly remember that we are still in a time of GRACE and new beginnings are available daily.  We not in a time of judgement and wrath, but we are in a time of intense battle and world-wide spiritual struggle for nations (for the souls of the world). It’s ugly out there, not because God is pouring out judgement and wrath, but because the demonic forces are trying to kill as many people as possible to prevent them from ever knowing Christ Jesus as Savior. It’s even uglier because so many people flowing in the evil of their own hearts and are coming into agreement with the demonic plan to wipe out all that God created in the beginning and said was good, especially humankind.

He is speaking to me prophetically … Continue reading

“The Beginnings”

“The Beginnings” – Part 2 of The Beginning

Beginning

How exciting to be part of the wondrous things our God is doing in the world! We are headed rapidly to the grandest new beginning of all time when He recreates the earth and returns it fully to a reflection of His glory.  In the mean time, I am learning from my times with Holy Spirit, praying and studying His Word, that we, the body of Christ, need a refresher course regarding “the beginnings” we have already received. In fact, too many of us are focused right now on the end of our beginnings instead of the amazing times in which we live. Fear is overtaking many in the church as they look at the apparent growing darkness in the world and wonder if they will survive the bad things going on and/or those situations described in Revelations. Some are into debating how much suffering and wrath God will pour out and how long they will go through the punishment before Jesus’ return. And, others are totally focused on the rapture of the church and hiding out praying He will get them out of here as Paul says: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Yes, things are getting a little crazy in the world, but ….  Continue reading