Life today is characterized by stress. Is shalom in the midst of turbulence and stress really possible, or is it merely a wonderful but impossible ideal?
Three searching questions must be asked if an ideal like shalom, a promise documented in the Bible, is to become flesh-and-blood reality.
1. Do I have a problem?
(i.e. Am I walking daily in shalom, or is it sadly lacking in me?)
2. Do I want to fix the problem?
(i.e. How intensely do I really want shalom?)
3. Am I determined to do what it takes, as long as it takes?
(Shalom, like all promises in the Bible are a sovereign work of God’s grace, NOT a product of self-help or will-power; nevertheless, each promise requires intentional action on our part.)
Once we achieve clarity of focus and desire, we are ready to engage the three-step process through which a promise (in our case, shalom) becomes real experience. These are identified by three verbs: hear, decide, act.
The Apostle Paul writes, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Hearing is more than sound passing through the ears into the brain. The process of transferring promise into physical reality is a spiritual dynamic. The faith required to embrace a promise like shalom springs from our spirit not our mind.
As faith arises in our spirit, our mind must shift to correctly process the various aspects of shalom. Faith does not eliminate the mind—it requires that our thinking aligns with truth. Truth is spiritual not physical, revealed by Holy Spirit. Too much our mind is conditioned by physical presuppositions which are counter-productive to faith. These limiting paradigms prevent faith from being conceived in our minds.
In our grappling with the promise of shalom, there comes a point of decision. We may not fully understand the concept—many questions still remain—but the desire for shalom stirs with growing intensity in our heart, the ‘command center’ of our life. We have a positive gut feeling about it. It’s decision time—time to follow your heart, go with your gut!
A decision is not a decision until it is backed by intentional action. A promise from God will remain an unfulfilled ideal until we, like Peter, step out of the boat and attempt to walk on water! Step by unsteady step, our eyes fixed on the Master and our mind focused on the promise, shalom becomes reality.
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