This is a year that holds great potential for a harvest of souls. It is interesting to note that in six weeks, Lou Engle and other notable leaders will be gathering in Florida for the event known as The Send. It is an evangelistic campaign to launch the youth of this generation out in the spirit of Billy Graham to evangelize. A recent conversation I was involved in brought us to the passage of scripture in Luke 10 where Jesus sent out the 72 who were being discipled by him. We noticed as we dove into this passage of scripture that Jesus tells them that as he sends them, what is typically customary for a person to take with them on a journey. Instead, Jesus tells them that when they go to a place, they should first share their peace.
Peace is an interesting word. In looking at the Greek translation of the word peace, according to Strong’s Greek Lexicon it can literally or figuratively mean wholeness, tranquility, quietness, rest, to set as one, or by implication, prosperity. So, when you go somewhere, you should be carrying with you a peace that you can pass to others. This is a fascinating thing. Carrying peace is such a powerful thing to carry because it has the potential to shift the atmosphere of the place you go to. When you share your peace with someone, you’re literally sharing what God, through the Holy Spirit has given you an abundance of, for the purpose of restoring what is lacking in others.
If you are carrying peace with you, this is the first act that you can employ in discipleship/evangelizing. It is like a primer. It literally sets the stage for everything else that you can or will do to engage the culture that you have been sent to. When Jesus first began his earthly ministry, the peace that he initially shared with people was that he was anointed to present good news that a Kingdom existed which could effectively bring peace to any situation that they had. Whether it was freedom for those in captivity, a broken heart, blindness, or liberty for the oppressed, he was anointed by the Spirit to provide them with that.
We should note also that throughout the Bible, Jesus walked with the disciples to show them what this looks like. When He entered Peter’s house, he healed Peter’s mother-in-law (see Matthew 8:14-15). When he entered the house of Matthew the tax collector, Jesus ate with him and sinners, as it was noted by the Pharisees. There, Jesus made it clear that it was, “not the healthy who have need of doctors, but the sick (see Matthew 2:13-17).”
Your peace, when you carry it, is like a refreshing drink of water to those who need it. In this season, where there is an expectation of a great harvest, the peace you carry waters the ground of the hearts of the receivers. According to wine growers, the best wines require the right soil, the right amount of sunlight and warmth, rain and oxygenation.
What does this look like from a practical and application aspect? Well, the right soil is going to always be the receptive heart of the person we engage with. If you go back to the passage that we started with, you’ll see that when Jesus gives the 72 followers instructions for when he sent them out, he told them to speak peace to those with whom they made a connection with. Then if they were a “son or man of peace is there, (a person who is receptive of your peace)” they will receive it. Otherwise, your peace will return with you.
You’ll know you are dealing with the “right soil” when they are receptive of your peace. Your peace, is that refreshing, nourishing thing that you offer them that they are lacking or are needing. For some, this may be an encouraging word that God is able to handle their situation. For another, it is the literal ministry of healing, a prophetic word of hope and life, it is the gift of the presence of the spirit that puts them at ease when previously they may have been experiencing life stresses or emotional trauma. Warmth and light will consist of a compassionate heart for where they are in life and illuminating them to the hope that is in Jesus. The oxygen is ministry of the Holy Spirit which is present in you wherever you are.
Your peace is knowing that you don’t have to have everything figured out because God is making up the difference in you in the same way God made up the difference for Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter, and even the woman at the well who returned back to her community after an amazing encounter with Jesus. As you progress through this year, remember to carry peace with you.
QUESTION: Are you carrying peace with you wherever you go?