Sentinels For Christ :: “Jehovah Shalom” (The Lord our peace)

“Jehovah Shalom” (The Lord our peace)

Posted by on October 24, 2015

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There is a famous painting called "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Rembrandt that I have always admired, and I had stumbled on a wonderful description of this homecoming between the younger son and the father that has always stayed with me. "The father's touching the son is an everlasting blessing. The son resting against his father's breast is an eternal peace."

Like a spring of pure water, God's peace in our hearts brings cleansing and refreshment to our minds and bodies.

I have a friend named Abram who by the grace of God I am still able to stay in contact with. I use a translator to communicate with him as he is Bulgarian and doesn’t speak English. He was also Muslim. I met Abram while living in a small village of 500 people in Bulgaria for two months. Our translator friends helped us to communicate with the villagers as we were doing our prayer walks, ministering, assisting their families with odd jobs, and building relationships. They were very friendly people who were also extremely poor, and wanted more than anything to experience hope and peace in their lives, amid the difficult challenges that they faced every day.

We offered church service for the community every Thursday, which consisted of worship, fellowship and teaching, and Abram had managed to make it to most of our services. After the teaching, he stood up, and in Bulgarian, mentioned that he had read the Quran most of his life, and it had done nothing for him. He read it out of obligation. He told us all that he had this heaviness in his chest that he was still carrying…and he wanted to experience peace in order to be rid of it. Then he asked the room a powerful question. “Is the God that you serve and love…real? “If this is the truth, then I want to know.” he said. “I want to experience this peace that you all seem to have.” My friend Rabiah, who converted from Islam to Christianity only a few years ago, shared her testimony with him in that moment, which I believe opened his eyes to the power of God working in another, and gave him hope. The power of God is real!

Over the next few weeks, we were able to build a friendship which was not hindered by the language barrier surprisingly. He invited a few of us out to visit his sheep one day (yes you heard correctly…a Muslim shepherd named Abram ;) He demonstrated his unique “shepherd’s call” for us which only his sheep answered to (quite literally! Not all of them were his, but the ones that were did react to his call!). In that moment, I felt compelled to share a scripture with him (“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27), and allow him to see the relationship similarity. Praise God for that experience! And I believe The Lord got a hold of him through the power of His Word that day.

The day before we were planning on leaving the village to head back to New Zealand, the small gypsy church that we were blessed to enjoy many amazing worship nights with offered to pray for us, and Abram walked out with me after the service had ended. I gave him a Bulgarian translation of the bible, and he blessed me with the necklace that he was wearing as his gift to me, which humbled me. And then he said the words that I will remember the rest of my life. “Thank you for introducing me to the real God. I want Him in my life.” Abram became a follower of Jesus that day, and he will never be the same!

Abram experienced peace in the form of a tremendous weight being lifted from him that day. And he got to finally experience the power of God working in his life. We all bared witness to a physical transformation in my friend’s face that day as well. And it brought tears to our eyes.

We are filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding, and when we allow him to break us, he begins to build us up into a reflection of His righteousness and perfection. He heals the heaviness in our hearts, and gives us that peace that we long for. In a day in history, Jesus went to a cross to remove our sins, and make payment for our guilt and our shame so that we could be reconciled, be at peace, and be in relationship with God the Father.  

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

And everyone said…AMEN

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