Thursday, October 2, 2008

Peace that passes understanding

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

I have talked with several people over the past few weeks that desperately need God's peace in their lives. I would like to share something with you from Philippians 4:7, and some thoughts from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" concerning this verse.

Are you tired of letting the devil get you all stirred up? Has it been easy for the enemy to throw you into a frenzy of panic and anxiety? Maybe it doesn't happen continually to you, but every once in a while, something happens or someone says something that pushes a button inside you and throws you into a tizzy! When this occurs, do you say and do things you later regret? Do you feel sorry that you allowed the devil to get to you again?

If what I just described sounds familiar, I have help for you today! In Philippians 4:7, the apostle Paul writes, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

As we begin our study today, I want to draw your attention to the word "passeth" in the verse above. It is the Greek word huperecho, which is a compound of the words huper and echo. The word huper literally means over, above, and beyond. It depicts something that is way beyond measure. It carries the idea of superiority; something that is utmost, paramount, foremost, first-rate, first-class, and topnotch; greater, higher, and better than; superior to; preeminent, dominant, and incomparable; more than a match for; unsurpassed or unequaled. The second part of the word "passeth" is the Greek word echo, which means I have, as someone who holds something in his possession. It can be translated to keep; to possess; to have; to hold; or even to acquire.

When these words are compounded into one, they form the word huperecho, which Paul uses in Philippians 4:7. This Greek word denotes a peace so superior that it is held high above all other types of peace. This is a peace that transcends, outdoes, surpasses, excels, rises above, goes beyond and over the top of any other kind of peace. The implication is that people may try to find peace in other places, but there is no peace like the peace of God. The peace of God completely outshines every other attempt to produce peace, causing it to stand in a category by itself. There is absolutely nothing in the world that can compare with the peace of God.

Paul continues to tell us that this peace surpasses and excels above "all understanding." The word "understanding" is the Greek word nous, the classical Greek word for the mind. This word refers to the ability to think, to reason, to understand, and to comprehend. It also depicts the mind as the source of all human emotions. In Greek, the word "mind" represents the inner powers of a person and thus the place from which a person rules and controls his environment and the world around him. The Greek word emphatically depicts the mind as the central control center for a human being. Therefore, it was understood that the condition of the mind is what determined the condition of one's life.

Then Paul tells us what this powerful peace will produce in our lives! He says that this peace "shall keep your hearts and minds." The word "keep" is the Greek word phroureo, a military term that expresses the idea of soldiers who stood faithfully at their post at the city gates to guard and control all who went in and out of the city. They served as gate monitors, and no one entered or exited the city without their approval.

The apostle Paul uses this word phroureo to explicitly tell us that God's peace, if allowed to work in our lives, will stand at the gates of our hearts and minds, acting like a guard to control and monitor everything that tries to enter our hearts, minds, and emotions. When God's peace is ruling us, nothing can get past that divine "guard" and slip into our hearts and minds without its approval!

This is the good news you've been waiting for! It means you can refuse to allow the devil to access you, throw you into a state of panic and anxiety, or push any button inside you any longer. When the peace of God is standing guard at the entrance of your heart and mind, the devil has lost his access to your thought life and your emotions!

Taking these Greek words together, Philippians 4:7 could be understood in the following way:

"And the peace of God — a peace so wonderful that it cannot be compared to any other type of peace; a peace that stands in a category by itself and rises far above and goes beyond anything the human mind could ever think, reason, imagine, or produce by itself — will stand at the entrance of your heart and mind, working like a guard to control, monitor, and screen everything that tries to access your mind, heart, and emotions."

By using this word, Paul tells us that the peace of God will keep and guard your heart and mind! God's peace will surround your heart and mind just as a band of Roman soldiers would keep dangerous nuisances from entering a city or from breaking into special, private places. In the same way, peace keeps fretfulness, anxiety, worry, and all the other wiles of the devil from breaking into your life. When this peace is active in your life, it surpasses all natural understanding. It protects, guards, keeps, and defends you.

Nothing compares to this powerful, protective, guarding peace that God has positioned to stand at the entrance of your heart and mind! When this peace operates in you, it dominates your mind and your life. Since what is inside you is that which rules you, peace rises up and conquers your entire being. It stands at the gate of your heart and mind, disabling the devil's ability to disturb you by preventing his attacks from bypassing and slipping into your mind. The devil may try his best to find access to your mind and emotions, but this guarding peace will paralyze his efforts.

So make sure Philippians 4:7 is a reality in your life. In every situation you face today and every day, let God's supernatural peace rise up to dominate your heart and protect your mind and emotions. If you're tired of the devil getting you all stirred up and throwing you into a tizzy, it's time for you to let this supernatural peace go to work and start monitoring, guarding, and approving what does and does not get access to you! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Treasure Seeker said...

such good stuff!
it spoke to me today.
thank you for sharing that Word today!

love ya!

Anonymous said...

That peace is such a wonderful gift that He has given us!! When we have that peace, we also have joy overflowing!! We can smile again, that genuine smile from deep inside....not those fake ones!!! GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!!! Thank you pastor!!!!

Karyn said...

Thanks for posting this. It's a great reminder for all Christians who are living out a genuine faith. Karyn