And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful…Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end… (Isaiah 9:6, 7)
This is a passage we are all familiar with. Most popularly recited at Christmas time, we often think of it in the context of “Sweet Baby Jesus” being born instead of conquering Prince coming bring His Kingdom to our world. We think of the wonderful salvation and the promise of peace, yet do not connect it to the increase of God’s Kingdom expansion on earth.
Jesus said: Since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven has been advancing with force. And forceful people are taking hold of it. (NIRV)
The Kingdom of God is taken forcefully and advanced in power, yet the promise of this great Kingdom is peace. Yet this seems like an oxymoron to many.
Many believe this is a false, forced peace like the Roman’s Pax Romana. Yet that is not the peace that Christ brings.
This is also not the peace some of you may remember from your childhood that is more accurately called “the calm before the storm.” On the surface, all seemed calm, yet you could cut the tension with a knife and knew that soon, something (or someone) was going to blow.
The peace the Christ offers is not that of false promises, subject to expiration, or any other such finite limitation. It is lasting and true.
Some ignorant of or immature in the faith are angry when they learn the stipulations of this holy peace. Why do I have to obey your rules and serve your God?? Why can’t I do what I want?? I live in a DEMOCRACY!! And therein lies the source of our issues.
In this free, American society we’ve got it into our heads that if it’s not a democracy, it ain’t right. If we didn’t vote it in, we don’t respect or adhere to it. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have freedom of choice—to an extent. God created us with ability to choose. Yet think back on how many times has our beloved freedom of choice has landed us in messes of our own making?
When we willfully choose to submit to the Kingdom of God and its governance, our lives become exponentially better, freer, and worth the relinquishing of certain, unbeneficial independences.
Some of you are still skeptical. And had this been a discussion about “relinquishing of certain, unbeneficial independences” in relation to a natural government, it would be a recipe for disaster. Abuse and tyranny would inevitably follow.
Yet I speak of a heavenly Kingdom that cannot be shaken. I speak of a God Who is not a man that He should lie. He is not an abusive dictator, Big Brother, or a tyrant. He is God and He is just. He has rules and those rules have consequences attached to them like any healthy parent and monarch. He wants the absolute best for all of us that that best comes in the peace of His Kingdom.
The government of King Jesus brings true and lasting peace to all who submit to it. (The Kingdom of Power pg. 22)
We often try to find peace through various outlets such as music, activities, and the people. Yet this is all for naught if we refuse to submit our lives wholeheartedly to the only One who can grant us true peace.
One measure of the success of a government is the peace enjoyed by its citizens. And true peace on earth comes from the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it is in vain that nations seek peace outside His Kingdom. (The Kingdom of Power, pg. 22)
Instead of seeking out escapist activities and implementing new laws that infringe on our civil liberties to find peace, I propose that we should try leading lives and nations governed by the Prince of Peace. With His leadership, the promises of abundant life are ours forevermore. Submit to the Kingdom of God and watch His peace flood your life!