JOHN 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Is there an invisible reality? During this corona-virus pandemic we have been made aware of the invisible reality and an invisible enemy. A virus is something that you cannot see, yet it attacks at will. As a result, fear has gripped the hearts of men and women around the world. Is there an invisible reality and an invisible victor that can overcome this invisible enemy?
As we watch this pandemic play out, it is plain to see that everything that we are doing to stop it are things that we can see. Social distancing, hand washing, face masks, the search for a vaccine, the addition of emergency hospitals – these are all visible things. Yet, the invisible enemy of fear still paralyzes and plagues the hearts of men and women. It is in this stark reality that the words of Jesus come as life and hope.
- “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I don’t know anyone who would not want to receive peace at this troubled and uncertain time! Yet, Jesus makes it very clear, this peace does not come from the world. The world struggles to find answers, yet it cannot provide peace for the human soul. Only the peace that Jesus gives can calm the troubled heart and conquer our fear.
So what is this peace? It is not a something. It is a Someone!
- “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:15-18 NKJV
Jesus walked in the full presence and power of the Holy Spirit in His life. When He was baptized in the Jordan the Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit only came upon key leaders and prophets. He did not abide within them, but came upon them at given times to do God’s work. In the same way the Holy Spirit was with the disciples as He dwelt in Jesus and Jesus moved among them.
Note Jesus’ distinction – “…for He dwells with you and will be in you, I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Jesus had been preparing the disciples for His death, resurrection, and return to the Father. He knew that they would be saddened by His physical loss. So He began to teach them about the yet to come, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, which they would receive. The Holy Spirit would no longer dwell among them.
The Holy Spirit would come to live within them!
It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus now abides with us. And, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us that is our peace. The world can only give outward solutions to the problems of life. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, to bring the presence of the living God into the heart of each and every believer. When a person receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit come to dwell within their heart.
Yet – there is more!
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, and as He spoke to His disciples, there were two things that happened.
First, He commissioned them to proclaim the Gospel to all nations.
- “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22 NKJV
Second, He told them not to get started on this mission until they have received power from on high!
- “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-5, 8 NKJV
When Jesus met with His disciples and breathed upon them, the Holy Spirit came to indwell their hearts through faith, as He indwells the heart of everyone who believes. Yet, before they were to begin their ministry, Jesus told them to wait for the power from on high – the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was on the Day of Pentecost, that the disciples went from the indwelling Spirit, to the empowering Spirit of God working in their lives.
What does this have to do with peace? Everything! Why could Jesus sleep in the boat as the waves raged on? It was because He was living and abiding in the fullness of the Spirit’s power. Why could Jesus endure death on the cross? It was because He was living and abiding in the fullness of the Spirit’s power. How can we face such uncertain times and walk in the peace of God? It is only as we live and abide in the fullness of the Spirit’s power!
If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells within your heart. Yet, have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Have you received His power from on high? Throughout the book of Acts we encounter believers who were not walking in the fullness and the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, when they knew of this provision, and when the disciples laid hands of them, they were baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit!
In Ephesus Paul encountered a group of believers who had been baptized with the baptism of John. They had never heard about the Holy Spirit. This does not mean the Spirit was not abiding in their heart through faith. It simply meant that they were not walking in the fullness of the Spirit’s power – because they had never known or asked for it. Note what happened when Paul ministered to them.
- “Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:4-6 NKJV
Jesus felt this baptism of power was so essential to our lives that He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If they needed this to begin their ministry, and to walk in confidence and peace, don’t we? If you have never asked Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit, ask Him today. This was not a one time promise for the original apostles. This was God’s promise and provision for all who will believe!
- “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39 NKJV
When the disciples received this provision they began to walk in a new awareness and understanding of God’s presence. They received a new prayer language. They began to move in the power of gifts of the Holy Spirit. And, they faced persecution and trials with confidence and peace! In these days of a great invisible enemy – we need a great invisible victor!
The Holy Spirit is our invisible, but tangible Victor!
Father, I pray that you would draw hearts to believe in Jesus, to be saved from the power of sin and death, and to receive the indwelling promise of the Holy Spirit. Lord, I also pray that each believer would come to You to be clothed with power from on high! Father, if they ask for You to baptize them in the Holy Spirit, You will honor the cry of their heart!
- “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13 NKJV
Father, and for all who have been baptized with power from on high, may You fill us anew each day with the overflowing power of the Holy Spirit! May we walk in His power and presence. May we pray and worship You with the spirit and with the understanding also. May we move in the power and ministry of all the gifts that You so graciously give. And, may we be kept in Your perfect peace as You abide in us!
- “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
In Jesus Name!