January 16 - The Path to Peace
The wicked people seem to be enjoying peace while they take peace away from others. The Psalmist makes a complaint to the Lord and it seems that God was hiding from the world. The peace of the wicked is actually pseudo-peace. They gain such peace by inflating their own selves and ignoring or despising God. They operate from an incorrect concept of God, or they have made God in their own image, humanizing the Almighty. When they fully eliminate God from their lives, this pseudo-peace will then come.
The real peace that Jesus offers comes to us in an opposite form, to make God greater and greater and the self smaller and smaller. This is the motto of John the Baptist: “He must increase, I must decrease.” The Kingdom of God is about peace and total rest in God’s presence. From the time of John the Baptist on, the Kingdom of God has to be entered by violence, or one must strive hard to get in. This is in line with the Book of Hebrews when the Israelites were told to strive hard to enter the rest. How can one work so hard, to storm the gates of peace so as to enter in? The answer is very simple: we must try our very best to enter into peace and rest.
Jesus calls all who are weary and heavy laden to go to Him, not to any other person, to get real peace. One cannot get peace through practicing Yoga or meditation. No guru or master can lead us to the path of peace. It is Jesus and only Jesus. He is the only person that is truly gentle and humble, He knows the path to God’s revelation and we are to come before Him like a baby. Humility is the prerequisite to true knowledge and wisdom. God will not reveal anything to the proud. A proud person needs to uphold his view about himself and hence has to minimize God’s power and role in his life. When Jesus is not in his life, there is no peace or rest. He has to be striving to prove himself all the time.
Jesus is gentle and humble in heart, we all need to take on the yoke of Christ to learn from Him. To take His yoke is to work under His authority, to obey Him and to lose one’s own will. This is hard for anyone, especially for the proud and haughty. To take His yoke is to learn from Him, i.e. to follow Him wherever He goes, committing our life’s direction to Him. When we become like Jesus, we have received real peace and rest. Jesus gives us the guarantee: “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Compared to what the wicked and the proud are doing to maintain their pride, giving everything to Jesus looks like a real good deal. Do you have peace in your life? Come and follow Jesus, learn from Him and give Him all your burdens. You shall find rest for your soul.
Ps 10:1-10 Gen 32:13-34:31 Matt 11:7-30 Prov 3:19-20