THE POWER OF SHALOM
4 Ways to Thrive in Supernatural Peace
Ribbet, Ribbet, Ribbet…that’s all I heard… all night! I had just arrived in the Philippines, jetlagged and exhausted. I prayed for peace, put on my noise-canceling headphones, and still heard the frogs croaking all night. At one point, dogs joined the chorus of noise with barking. To make matters worse, I had an injury in my lower back and had chronic back pain. Despite that, I was flying all over the world until I could hardly walk anymore. I guess you could say I had “frogs” in my body.
When I was heading into surgery a few days later, God dealt with something in me. By that point, I had dealt with pain for several years. Father God asked me, How would it feel if there was no pain in your body? Would you have shalom? He reminded me that the word “shalom” means wholeness and abundance—not absence of pain. He also reminded me that there were some frogs in my mind I hadn’t dealt with; in my marriage; in the office; in the Middle East; my community; the church…
We have a worldwide frog problem. There’s tension everywhere—an absence of shalom. So what does it look like to have a group of people living in total shalom?
Millennials are often called the Hero Generation. They’re fascinated by the heroes in society and superhero movies (which has been good news for Marvel)! If you’ve seen X-Men, then you know that Xavior—the founder of a school for gifted youngers—takes in all these misfits in society. They’re outcasts because they have superpowers; people are afraid of them because they’re different. Xavior gives them identity and purpose and unifies them to solve the problems of this world.
God is raising superheroes in this season; not superstars. The generation that lives with total shalom will be the superheroes. You’ll see a difference in them since they’re not like everyone else. They get supernatural solutions to the problems of this world. They know their place in the world as sons and daughters of glory. And they’re working as a unified, loving community, sharing the longings of the Father to get His family back.
It’s easy to react to people or circumstances in a not-so-loving way. There is a constant war against your peace. But people are not your enemy—they’re merely victims of demonic powers who need to be enlightened by love. It may seem impossible to live in total shalom, but I assure you that you can do it with God’s help! These are some of the things that have helped me overcome the noise (frogs) in my life:
Create New Habits.
I’d like you to try something for the next 28 days. Before you start the day each morning, look in the mirror and ask the Lord:
1. What do You see in me; and what do You see about me? You’ll be amazed how God speaks to you when you just ask the question.
2. Then ask Him, What do you say about me? Make it a habit to start saying the same things about yourself.
3. Next, What do you think about me? Write these things down. The more you remind yourself of His thoughts toward you, the more your mind will be renewed and you’ll start thinking like Him.
4. Finally, What do you feel about me? Feel the very emotion of God for you.
Come into agreement with the Father. You start to see, then speak, then think, then feel what He does. After you do this, start asking God those same questions about other people. What about people you dislike? It only takes a few minutes each day, but then it becomes a new lifestyle that will change your life. Perhaps you just heard a terrifying news report… God, what do You say about that?
In Exodus 8, Pharaoh had again stubbornly refused to let Moses and the Israelites go, so the Lord issued a plague of frogs to cover the land. They were everywhere! If you wanted to go to sleep, you’d probably find them in your pillow and under the sheets. I imagine it was hard to even walk since they covered the ground. Naturally, Pharaoh calls Moses back to stand before him. In his desperation, he’s looking for a superhero—just like the world is today.
Moses told him to simply state the day and time and he’d pray for God to lift the plague. But Pharaoh says, “Tomorrow.” Why would he want another day of frogs when he could have been rid of them today? Many people still think this way. So many are waiting for tomorrow instead of dealing with the frog problem today. Why is the world system doing that? Maybe it’s hard, or emotionally challenging, or painful to get rid of the frogs, but God wants to walk through it with you. Today is your day of peace, healing, freedom, breakthrough, upgrade… total shalom!
Cultivate a Lifestyle of Peace.
We were created to be history makers and environment changers. If you start to think about how bad the world looks, how annoying that person is, how things just seem to never change in your city or the nation… let the dove come upon you. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the shoes of peace. Matthew 5:9 says when you make peace, you will have joy and be recognized as a true son of God. Make a decision each morning to focus on peace rather than the storms around you.
Jesus was asleep in the middle of a storm because he had peace with the Father and Himself—which means that all of the frog problems around Him had to be quiet! You can’t have authority over the storms around you if you can’t sleep in the storm.
To some this may look like releasing and forgiving anyone the Lord highlights in your life; even people who don’t deserve it. This will free you from a self-made prison. What other people do to you is their problem, but how you respond is your problem. Choose to respond with shalom so you can be a superhero. I choose peace with God, myself, my spouse, friendships, family… I choose peace even in my finances, my job, people who cut me off in traffic, politicians, and the list goes on.
There’s lots of storms going on, but now you can think, “This is good for me as a peacemaker! I’ll solve some of those problems. What’s our strategy, God?”
Become an ambassador of peace in your community.
After you reconcile with yourself and start living a lifestyle of peace, you can become an ambassador of peace in your community. We have a voice that can change our environments. When you are at peace, you release something into the environment that changes it, and covert revival begins.
Daniel was a covert influencer. Though Nebuchadnezzar was a maniac, Daniel was changing the environment through his peace and love (read more about this here). He had such a love and honor toward an evil king that it led to his conversion. God starts to give dreams and strategies when superheroes step up to the plate. This excites me!
When you’ve been dealing with the same frogs for many years, you get used to them. You may even think you just have to tolerate them. But that’s not true. Try to remember the last time you had 100% shalom. Shalom is about healing. It’s about establishing a community of peace so the next generation can then steward heaven on earth—and the world will come and say, “Why is this a cancer-free zone? Why is there no crime or divorce in this city?” Shalom means getting rid of all the frogs in your life, even if it costs us something. Are you willing?