“Your peace would have been like a river”, Isaish 48:18 NKJV
God wants us to enjoy His peace. The Bible is full of instructions on how to obtain that peace. Being obedient to God’s Word is the key. When we are willing to be under His all encompassing authority, His peace will be like a river in us.
Let’s take a further look at this wonderful imagery and see what more we can learn from comparing God’s peace to a river.
A river is a moving stream of water. It doesn’t stand still, it flows. It has a starting source and it continues down a pre-determined path until it reaches its final destination. Let’s apply this thinking to our spiritual lives. Once we’re saved (given our life to Christ), we aren’t done. There’s still work to do. We have to keep moving forward in our relationship with Christ. Jesus Christ is the source. He is the author and finisher or our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We are also on a pre-determined path, a course set and held by the hand of God with a final destination being heaven. Until we reach heaven, we are being transformed into Christ’s image and His character is being developed in us.
Sometimes rivers get blocked up and there are few reasons for that. Some are for good reasons and some are bad. Let’s consider them and as we do, think about how it applies to us spiritually.
Dead stuff like fallen leaves, broken branches, and other loose items find its way into the river. For a time those items don’t hinder the river. However, when the river narrows, as all rivers do at some point, all that stuff floating in the river starts to pile up. This doesn’t usually cause the river to cease flowing, but it can reduce the flow of the river.
What stuff is making its way into our spiritual river? It could be unconfessed sin, unwillingness to submit to God, or always wanting to know the “why” before you obey. It also could be lack of belief, lack of trust or a build up of pride, or self-centeredness in our life.
Other times the river is blocked from a beaver settling in and making a dam. The beaver is doing only what comes natural to him, as God designed. The beaver painstakingly takes broken branches, twigs, and other natural lumber and strategically places them in the flow of the river. The dam acts as a river flow regulator. Without the dam, downstream the river could overflow and cause more damage. However, God takes care of it by sending the beavers to build their home in the river.
At times in our lives, there may be situations or circumstances that seem to be a hindrance to us. In the end, we discover it was all part of God’s glorious plan to help us grow in our faith, our love and in our character. It’s not something we’d choose for our self, but we have to experience them nonetheless.
In the Old Testament, cities were walled in, meaning there was a wall going all around the city for protection against invaders. Usually these cities were made next to a river, so the river would run under the wall and through the city providing a source of fresh water to the people living there. When an enemy came against the city, there were times when they would cut off the water supply to the city, as a way to get the city to surrender. How they blocked off the water, isn’t the important part. I simply wanted you to recognize an enemy can block the flow.
How is the enemy blocking your flow today? Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord. He’ll do all sorts of things to block God’s peace in our life. Recognize the enemy exists and prepare yourself to stand against him by putting on the armor of God. Read Ephesians 6:10-20 for details.
Let’s review our comparison of God’s peace as a river:
1) Stuff comes into the river and can reduce the flow. The “stuff” is sin, disobedience, or wanting our way instead of God’s way.
2) Beavers make dams which regulate the flow of the river. There are things God brings into our life to help us grow spiritually.
3) Enemies can block the river’s flow. Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord. We must prepare for battle by putting on the armor of God.
How’s your river of God’s peace flowing today? Is the flow reduced by debris? Is God working on growing your through trials? Is the enemy after you?
Remember what the Psalmist penned in Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Jesus encouraged us with, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Next time peace seems lacking in your life, think about this analogy. Perhaps there’s something you can do about it. For the rest, take it to God in prayer, trust Him to be with you through it and know the waters will not overwhelm you (Isaiah 43:2-3).
Lord God, thank You for making Your peace like a river available to us through Jesus Christ. Help us be obedient to Your Word by the leading of Your Holy Spirit in us. Enable us to stand against our enemy by putting on the armor of God. May we grow in our relationship with You more each day. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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