The Place of Peace
Having read the previous chapter, you may have concluded that it looks like mankind, weak as we are, must always endure fear and anxiety, for this is our lot as long as we are clothed in this sinful, fallen flesh. It is true that there is great fear that is bound up in these fallen bodies which we inhabit, but there is a place of peace that the saint can attain to. I have received tremendous comfort in recent days as the Spirit has been testifying through many Scriptures that it is not the will of Christ that His disciples should carry fear and anxiety in their hearts.’
The fact of the matter is that we have been commanded to not be anxious and fearful. Whenever Yahshua’s disciples manifested fear He chided them and gave them a reprimand. He would look at them and say, “You men of little faith! Why did you doubt?” We know that when Yahshua said, “Do not commit adultery,” that any who were to violate His command would be displeasing to Him. It is equally a transgression of the will of Christ to be filled with anxiety and fear, for He commanded them “Do not fear.” Nor did He tell His disciples these things one time, but many.
As you read through the following Scripture passages, consider the attitude of Christ toward anxiety and fear in the heart of man. Did He ever express pleasure over someone who was walking in fear? Did He ever commend their anxiety as being sensible? Did He give the idea that it was right, and even responsible, to worry about the things without which man could not live? Did He ever say, “Well done. You have proven yourself a good steward by having much care and anxiety in the performance of your duties”? Did He express an attitude that it was sinful to worry about the small things, but it was okay to be fearful about more perilous matters?
I think you will see that Yahshua treated ALL fear and anxiety the same. He never condoned it. He never sympathized with it. He never expressed satisfaction in it. Instead, He consistently said, “Do not harbor it! Get rid of it! Replace it with faith!”
“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not be filled with anxiety. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
Immediately Yahshua stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?“
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Yahshua Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
The apostles expressed the same attitude toward anxiety.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yahshua.
I Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
We must come to a mindset where we treat fear and anxiety as an enemy that has taken up residence in our frame. Whenever we find it arising we must do battle with it and cast it off. It seems that many of us have developed an attitude toward fear where we do not view it as an evil thing. We think it is just a part of our make-up, for it is resident in us and it serves a purpose of helping to keep us safe. This is not true, however.
Suppose we treated lust the same way, for lust is present in us, and there are some humanistic psychologists who have said that lust is a good thing for it leads to procreation and this has the positive effect of insuring the survival of the human species. We know immediately that this is nonsense, and it is both immoral and unrighteous. We can read the words of Christ where He said:
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
There is little argument in the church today that lust is an evil thing and it should be resisted at all costs. What was Yahshua’s advice to those who were struggling with lust?
“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Some have taken these words literally, but what Yahshua is saying is that we must identify the source of lust in our members and get rid of it. We must not make peace with it. We must not tolerate its presence. We must seek its removal even though it comes at great personal cost. We must be ready to adopt radical means to see that it does not overpower us and lead us into sin.
This is the same attitude we should have toward fear. As rampant as lust and sexual immorality is in the present day, and even in the church, I suspect that far more wrong has been done because fear been left to run unchecked in the members of the body of Christ. People have abandoned their faith. They have denied Christ. They have caved into the pressure of peers who were urging them to sin. Untold millions of times the saints have failed to obey God’s will for them when fear assailed them. They have seen pain and ridicule or some form of persecution before them and they have turned back from the course of faith. To do so is to miss the will of God and those who allow fear to reign unchecked in their members will suffer great loss.
But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.“
Does it not speak volumes that the Scriptures place the cowardly even before murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters and liars, as those who will have a part in the Lake of Fire? The cowardly are the first on the list. God’s soul finds no pleasure in those who allow their fears to turn them back from a path of obedience. This is why we must treat fear as an enemy.
As I have been writing this book the Father has allowed me to experience a great onslaught by the enemy. Many fears have buffeted me and have tried to take up residence in my soul. He has led me to a very vulnerable place where if He does not come through for me, both I and my family could very well suffer. The enemy has been allowed to come attack with his lies and deceit to cause me to abandon the course of obedience laid before me. We have been given instruction as to what our response should be in such circumstances.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
II Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
We are told to resist the devil and he will flee from us. We are to resist him and stand firm. After we have warred for a while he will give way. We must stand our ground and not be moved. The battle will not last forever. When thoughts arise that are not from God, we are to take them captive as we would a prisoner. We are not to allow fear to roam freely in our minds. We must cut it off and replace it with thoughts of faith. This is when we must return to those things we know God has spoken to us by His Spirit. We must entertain these thoughts. We must spread a banqueting table in our minds and lay out upon the table all of the things that God has spoken to us, and we must feed upon them.
I have done this time and again when the enemy would come against me and try to stir up fear in my members. I would command the fear to be gone and I would wrest my mind free of the enemy’s control and turn it to the things that are in keeping with a victorious and overcoming life. Sometimes this struggle is most severe, for the enemy seems relentless, but as we stand firm and resist him he will ALWAYS give way and we will know the victory.
We have lo0ked at the passage in Philippians where it states,
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yahshua.
Just a couple verses later Paul tells the Philippian believers:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
We have been given the capability by the Spirit to direct the course of our thoughts. We can turn our mind to focus upon the things that are wholesome and which lead to life. Consider that when you go to work you are able to put off the cares of home and concentrate on the task at hand. When you go to school you are able to focus on the subject you are studying. One hour we might be looking at mathematics, and we turn our minds to the study of this field. In the next hour we may be studying English composition, and we turn our minds to this direction. In the same way, we can turn our minds away from the worries, doubts and fears that the enemy presents to us, or which our flesh would lead us to dwell upon, and we can dwell upon the faithfulness of God, His unfailing love, his many kindnesses to us, and His magnificent promises.
We must have an attitude concerning our thoughts where we declare to Satan, “This is my mind, not yours. I will determine what thoughts are served up, and you are not invited to the dinner.” We must then invite the Holy Spirit to come and join us and to make known to us the thoughts of God.
What I have been describing may sound a lot like warfare, and it is. Paul used the language of warfare when speaking about this struggle in Ephesians chapter 6. Our souls are the battleground and we must go in and take possession of them. Many enemies have slipped in and taken up residence in the land of our souls, and just like the Israelites who went into possess the promised land, we too must go in and drive out the enemy. The land will not be handed to us on a silver platter. We must have courage and the assurance that everywhere that we set our feet has been given to us.
How much of your own soul do you want to possess. You will have to first dispossess the enemy. The Spirit has given me an insight into this matter that could bring understanding to many. All of the things written about in the Old Testament were written for the benefit of the saints today. What transpired in a physical setting concerning the patriarchs and the nation of Israel bears spiritual application for us today.
God promised to the children of Abraham a land of their own. By faith Abraham went and sojourned in the land, but he did not take possession of it. It would be more than 400 more years before Joshua (a type of Yahshua – same name) would lead the descendants of Abraham to take possession of the land. Before Joshua led the people into battle he sent spies in to look over the land. They noted the boundaries of the land, describing the mountains and valleys and streams and the abundant fruitfulness of it. It was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey.
Joshua then had the spies give the report of the land to the people, and they divided the land up into portions. They then cast lots to see which tribe of Israel would get each portion of land. God commanded them to go in and drive out ALL the inhabitants of the land and to fully possess it. This is a picture of man taking possession of his soul. We are to allow no enemies to remain in our land. We must drive out pride, lust, fear, and a host of other enemies. We are to let none remain.
There was only one tribe that was not given an inheritance in the land, and this was Levi. Levi’s inheritance was God Himself. They were called to be priests unto Him, and they were given the ministry of the altar and the tabernacle. They had cities to live in that were located all throughout Israel, in the land given to every tribe. It was for them to dwell in every part of the land, though God alone would be their portion. All of this is highly symbolic, and David saw the truth of what it represented. In Psalms 16:5, 6 we read:
Yahweh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
In beautiful poetic form, David refers back to the time when Joshua sent spies into the land, and then had the tribes cast lots to see who received each portion. David states that when the time came for the lot to be thrown to determine his portion that Yahweh supported his lot. The lines that marked the boundaries of his inheritance were in the most pleasant of places. David received a beautiful heritage, for what David received was Yahweh Himself. David received the priestly inheritance. Yahweh was for him, his inheritance and his cup of blessing.
As I was meditating upon this Scripture one day, the Spirit led me to a revelation that our inheritance, which is Yahweh, has also been spied out, and there are various aspects of Yahweh of which we can go in and take possession. The Spirit showed me that the names of Yahweh given in Scripture represent this inheritance. When Abraham took Isaac up to the mount to sacrifice him, Yahweh provided a ram in Isaac’s place. Abraham called that place Yahweh Yireh, which means ‘Yahweh Provides’. As saints we can know Yahweh as our provider, but just like the Israelites when they went in to possess their inheritance, we must do battle first. We must by faith possess our possessions.
It really wasn’t Israel who fought the enemy. Yahweh fought for them. He promised them that no enemy would be able to stand before them. It was a very one sided battle as long as Israel walked by faith. Only when they failed in faith did they fail to drive out all the inhabitants and fully take possession of the land.
We too take possession of our inheritance by faith. Yahweh is our portion and He says we can have as much of Him as we want. Do we want to know Him as provider? Then we must enter in by faith. We must drive out the enemy. What enemy is inhabiting the land of provision. For me, it has been fear. There have been giants of fear who have taken up residence in this land that was promised to me. I must drive them out. I must battle fear and overcome. Only then will I dwell peacefully in the land of Yahweh Yireh.
In Exodus 15:26 we find Yahweh described as Yahweh Rapha, ‘Yahweh who heals you.’ If we want to go in and possess this portion of our inheritance, we must also battle by faith to enter in and drive out the inhabitants. I have described how Yahweh spoke to me and said He would heal my son of a hereditary bone disease. To receive the promise I had to exercise faith. The battle was the Lord’s, but I had to follow where He led and do what He said. This is also what the Israelites had to do.
We should note that Yahweh did not lead the Israelites to do the same thing at every battle. To take Jericho they had to march around the city for seven days, and on the seventh day they had to march around it seven times. They did all this while remaining silent. After marching around the seventh time they were to blow trumpets and shout, and the massive walls of Jericho came tumbling down. What an awesome scene that must have been. Like a thousand bombs going off at once, the wall was destroyed and the people were given into the hands of the Israelites.
At the battle for the next city, Ai, God gave different instructions. It was fought more along the lines of a conventional battle. God told the Israelites which tribe was to lead in battle, and where they were to position themselves. In the same way God leads us by His Spirit to go in and possess the land before us today. He told me exactly what I must do to receive the promise of healing for my son. When I did it the promise was mine. I followed in faith and obedience and He wrought a great deliverance. When He said He would be health for my entire family He also instructed me in what to do. When I did it the inheritance was mine. We planted our feet in the land of Yahweh Rapha, stood against the enemy, and the enemy had to flee.
After this the Spirit told us that He wanted us to take possession of Yahweh Yireh, Yahweh our provider. A tremendous battle of faith ensued, and it is still continuing to this day. We are in the land. We are experiencing the provision of Yahweh on our behalf, yet not all of the inhabitants have gone peacefully. They keep making raids into the land to try to drive us back out, but as we stand in faith God will not allow us to be moved.
A couple months ago the Spirit spoke to me to go in and possess a third part of our inheritance. This part is called Yahweh Shalom, ‘Yahweh our Peace.’ We find this name of God recorded in the book of Judges in the story of Gideon.
Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh and named itYahweh is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Yahweh Shalom is the Hebrew rendering for the name that Gideon called this place. The Spirit has been speaking to me and telling me that whereas I have gone in and taken possession of Yahweh Rapha and Yahweh Yireh for my family, I have done so with much trouble in my soul. I have not known the peace that is the inheritance of all of the saints. He desires that I might have this peace.
In the New Testament we find many of these names repeated, and we see that God is our portion and we can enter into Him and know the bounty that He has for us.
II Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.
I have not known peace in every circumstance, but this is what the apostle spoke as his desire for the church. It is also Yahweh’s desire for us. How will I take possession of this portion of my inheritance? I must follow where He leads and let Him fight for me. My part is to exercise faith in Him, and His part is to give me the victory. What a wonderful partnership. If God be for me, who can be against me?
As I have followed the Spirit’s leading in the past months He has led me into some fierce battles, fiercer than I have known before. But the prize set before me is also great. What a marvelous thing to dwell in peace. The enemy does not want to give up this ground. He has built many strong towers here. I can tear down some of the towers and have a measure of peace, but if I want to fully enter into my inheritance as the Father desires me to, then I must not fall short of tearing down all of the strongholds the enemy has built and which he occupies. If I leave any he will remain in the land and shoot arrows at me which will cause me trouble.
I have given two different analogies that may seem to conflict at this point. I have said that our soul represents the land that is filled with evil inhabitants that must be driven out, and I have said that this corresponds to the land of Israel. Yet I have also said that Yahweh is our portion and He also corresponds to the promised land that is set before us. These seem contradictory, but they are actually not.
As we look at another Old Testament type we will be able to draw these two things together. The type is that of the Temple that was defiled during the reign of wicked kings. Under Kings such as Manasseh the Temple was defiled. He built altars to false gods, and set up an Asherah pole in the Temple. He filled it with all manner of idolatry and wickedness.
Our bodies are like that Temple, and this is clearly declared by the apostles. We are called to cleanse our temples of all defilement so that the Holy Spirit can reside in holiness. The glory of the Lord will come forth more and more in these temples of clay as we remove all defilement and as we subdue and drive out all that stands in opposition to God. That which was a wasteland and a desolation becomes a land flowing with milk and honey. That which was a habitation of demons becomes a house of prayer where we commune with the Father.
As we go in to possess the land, we do not have to choose our battles. The Spirit will choose them for us. He will tell us where to go and what to do. He will tell us where to position ourselves and where to stand our ground. As we follow we will enter into the overcoming life and begin to possess our possessions. This is the portion of Zion.
“But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.”
This theme is carried forward into the last book of the Bible, for we see the overcomers on Mount Zion, and we see an important thing spoken of them.
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads… These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
The 144,000 represent the overcomers in Christ. It says particularly of them that they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. This is our calling if we are to be overcomers, firstfruits unto God. Where He leads we must follow. Though He leads through the valley of the shadow of death, we must follow. He will be with us. He will never forsake us. We will be kept secure in Him at all times. He will take us into our inheritance, and part of this inheritance is peace.
Father, we have let unclean inhabitants dwell in our land for far too long. We desire to take possession of our souls and to have the temple of our bodies thoroughly cleansed. Your disappointment must be great that Your chosen people have failed to dispossess the enemies in the land. We have fallen short of doing all that You have commanded. I ask that You would release to us great grace that we might follow wherever You lead, that we would stand and fight and see the enemy flee. May we come fully into our inheritance. Lead us into battle, and settle us in a land of righteousness, peace and joy, for Your word declares that this is our portion. You are our portion, and surely our inheritance is beautiful.