Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace
by Dr. Ken Matto
(Isa 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Have you ever experienced the perfect peace of God? This verse speaks of God giving us perfect peace but only if our mind is stayed upon Him. The word “stayed” carries with it the meaning of “being steadfast.” Whenever we seem to be distracted by the world, our mind then becomes divided, and that division of mind tends to bring our anxiety level up.

We can learn a great lesson from King David. When he was on the run from Saul, he had so much trust in God that he was able to lay his head down in peace and have a good night’s rest.
(Psa 4:8 KJV) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. David had enough confidence that God would protect him, he not only laid his head down in peace, but his confidence level was so high in God that he was able to sleep because he knew that it was only God who made him dwell in safety. David knew he had enemies all around him and they were pursuing him to take his life. Yet, he knew that God was much bigger than his enemies.

We live in a world today where the enemies of the true gospel have multiplied by the millions. There are thousands of different religions which are very antithetical to Christianity and some carry their belief systems into the realm of desiring the death of Christians and the abolition of Christianity. In the realm of this knowledge, how do we sleep at night? Do we sleep because we are totally exhausted from worry and anxiety and our body just conks out on us from all that worry? OR Do we sleep because we are trusting in the Lord for our protection knowing that no enemy can advance on us without the Lord’s knowledge.
(Isa 54:17 KJV) No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

(Acts 12:6 KJV) And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. Peter was arrested by Herod and was awaiting execution but instead of him being frightened, what was he doing? We read in this verse that he was fast asleep. In fact, in the next verse, we are told that the angel had to tap him because he was sleeping so soundly. How many of us, knowing that we are going to be executed the next day would trust God enough to lay down and have a good night’s rest? Peter had tremendous faith in the Lord Jesus. I am sure he was also looking forward to being with his Lord and friend, Jesus again. His time was not yet as the Lord had promised that he would suffer martyrdom when he was old and maybe he was counting on that promise of Jesus. (John 21:17-18 KJV) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. {18} Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

(Mark 6:31 KJV) And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Sometimes in our Christian walk we will come across people who claimed they have burned out for God. This is unbiblical as God does not expect us to bear such heavy burdens on our own that we literally make ourselves sick. In the Mark verse, we read that the Lord Jesus took His disciples apart for a time of rest. It tells us they were so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat. If you don’t recharge your cell phone, will it work? If you don’t charge your car battery, will it work? Then why do we think that it is so necessary for us to go constantly without charging our spiritual batteries? People that burn out for God are, in essence, burning out for themselves. The problem with these people are that they are working inside the realm of where they are empowered to work through their spiritual gifts and outside the realm where they are not empowered to work, which means they must exert themselves in their own power.

Some of the most refreshing times I have ever had was when I went away to a Bible conference or just sat in my backyard on a Sunday Afternoon reading my Bible in a lounge chair. People that feel guilty about resting have a serious spiritual problem. The essence of Christianity is that no single generation is going to complete the task of evangelism. The generation that will be here on the last day, will complete the evangelism but only because of the generations that have come before which has prepared the way for the last generation. The Bible teaches that the gospel must be preached to the entire world and then the end will come.
(Mat 24:14 KJV) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Notice the verse does not say that the Gospel must be accepted by the whole world nor does it say that the world must be Christianized before the end comes. It just says “preached!” Guess what, we are at that moment right now as the Gospel is in every single country on this globe with the help of the Internet and Shortwave. I have a small shortwave radio and have found several Christian shortwave radio stations, not counting the biggies like HCJB, TWR, or Far East Broadcasting. These ministries are making themselves available for any Christian, ministry or individual, to bring a gospel message to the world via Shortwave.

Now that really narrows our involvement because many who are caught up in a works/grace gospel feel they must always push for a “decision.” There is no such thing as a decision because God has already named those who were to be saved before the foundation of the world. The reason this cuts our involvement, is that our only responsibility is to get the Gospel out to the world in proclamation, and that is it! Salvation is in the hands of God not us, and that brings our anxiety level down and causes us to be able to work within the confines of weak flesh. Too many Christians build their own anxiety level because they feel guilty if they witness to someone and they don’t become saved immediately. Give out the tract, make yourself available for further query, if possible, and that is it! Why do we feel we have to go above and beyond what God asks of us? If we are faithful in getting out the Gospel, then God is faithful in saving whom He will.

One of the reasons that we as Christians cannot seem to rest, is that we simply do not understand what the “rest” of God is.
(Heb 4:10 KJV) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. When we enter into the “rest” of God, we cease from our own works but we now do the works of God, which He already had planned for us. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Resting in God, means we are safe in the arms of Jesus, never having to concern ourselves with loss of salvation, which gives great comfort. Then building upon that rest, is the fact that we do the work of God in the area which He qualifies us. When we stay within those bounds, we will experience strength in our walk instead of burnout, which reeks of self-centeredness.

The next rest we experience is the fact that all our sins are paid for and we are all clean before the Lord. Resting in Calvary brings great comfort knowing that we stand clean before the Lord, since He removed all of our sins, as far as the East is from the West. This is why upon our physical demise, we go right into the presence of Christ. This brings great comfort to us. So when we add all these great promises of God together, why would we really want to add anxiety to all the great rest that God has promised us? As David and Peter learned under extreme conditions, God can be trusted in the most severe circumstances. Don’t you think that the peace of God can rule in your life too? It sure can, just give the anxiety over to the Lord and let Him fill you with the peace and rest which He has been giving to His redeemed since the time of creation. Amen? Amen!  (9/17/04)