Peace at Last

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

November 11th is a very historical day in our country. It marks the end of World War 1. Forgive me for doing another history lesson, but it fits what I want to talk about. November 11, 1918 was the day fighting stopped in “the war to end all wars,” more commonly known as World War I. The exact end to the war has been romanticized somewhat by history writers by using the phrase “the 11th hour of the 11th  day of the 11th month” of 1918, the fighting ceased.

What actually happened on that day was that in the hours before 11am, both sides tried to use up all their ammunition and kill off as many of the other side as they could. Officers ordered senseless charges across “no man’s land” and many were killed in the atrocities that occurred. But finally at 11am, peace came. The guns became silent, the charges stopped, men stopped dying. The peace was so pronounced in it’s silence, that men actually went insane because of it. They had become so used of to the noise and carnage that they couldn’t handle it.

Not long after, November 11th became known as Armistice Day and later became a national holiday  In 1954 Congress changed the day to Veteran’s Day in honor of all the soldiers who died in war. Sadly, “the war to end all wars” gave birth to World War II and the Korean War, and on and on it goes.

A passage came to me this morning as I was doing my normal Walmart run. It was Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God trough our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the Glory of God.” As I thought about this passage, a few things came to my mind that I would like to share.

As with Armistice Day marking the end of WWI, our salvation marks the end of our war with God. Scripture talks about us being enemies of God before our salvation. We may not have thought about it in that light, but we were at war with God. But when we finally surrendered ourselves to the will of God, the fighting stopped. God said, enough. There is now peace! We can have rest. What a glorious day!

But sadly, at least for me, for so many years, I have kept my fight with God going. Not because He was my enemy, but because I could not truly believe that He had made peace with me. I was more a prisoner of war and believed I had to keep trying to earn God’s favor to get out of my legalistic prison I had put myself in, even though He had put all that aside through something called Justification. Through that act, God made it possible for a permanent peace with Him. All I had to do was accept it. Through Justification, God pronounced me righteous, clean and holy before Him. But I kept saying, “No!!! This cannot be!!! How can I be justified before a holy God!!” And that is just it, I can’t, at least in my own right, be holy and righteous before Him. But because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is true whether I believed it or not.

So I continued to live in my little legalistic prison, trying to make myself right before God. It has taken a lot of years for me to finally see this and come out of my legalistic life style that I had bound myself with. But now that it is beginning to take hold, I have this strange peace and freedom that I had never realized before. I tried to describe this to my Regeneration group at church last week but I could only do a poor job. During the recent weeks, I can still see where I fail and displease God in thought and sometimes action. But there is now this strange peace as I just confess it to God and ask Him to please continue the process of making me more like Him.

By God’s grace, I am beginning to learn what John 8:36 means when it says, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” For God’s people, Veteran’s Day happen every day, not just on November 11th of each year. When peace came after WW1, it was only temporary, even though that war was supposed to be the last one. Our peace with God is permanent! Our war of God is over!!! Praise God!!! I guess that is all I have to say today. May God bless you all and may you rest in your peace with our God.

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