What Is Shalom?

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Some of the best definitions of shalom include ideas of completeness, soundness, and wholeness. One Jewish rabbi commented that when you say “Shalom” to someone, you’re really saying, “may you be full of well-being.” Or another way of thinking of shalom is—nothing missing, nothing broken. 

Some have tried to describe shalom as the absence of conflict, but that’s not quite accurate. On the verge of going into the Promised Land to fight their enemies, God commanded Aaron to speak a blessing of peace of the people (Numbers 6:24-26). And just before Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,” He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9-10). 

Shalom is not controlled by outward circumstances. Shalom is a deep-seated, rock-solid, unshakable assurance that I am in God’s hand. 

Isaiah describes how we live in shalom like this—

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind—both its inclination and its character—is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

How do we do keep our mind stayed on God? The Apostle Paul says, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Psychologists call this process metacognition: when we think about what we’re thinking about. It’s being aware of our anxious thoughts that are robbing us of shalom and then talking back to them. 

What often robs us of peace is listening to ourselves instead of talking to ourselves! 

Someone once asked evangelist Smith Wigglesworth, “Smith, how do you feel?” He replied, “I never ask Smith how I feel. I tell him how he feels!” Exactly right! 

Why do we make our thoughts obedient to Jesus? Because one of the titles given to Jesus before He was born was Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and Jesus assures us that His peace is unlike anything we can ever find in earthly things (John 14:27, 16:33). 

God’s peace is always there, but our divided minds keep us from experiencing His peace. So Isaiah tells us to keep our mind steadfast on God’s goodness, and Paul says the same thing—Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7)

I want to encourage you to practice what the Bible calls capturing your thoughts—or what psychologists call metacognition. Ask yourself, “Why am I thinking that?” Capture those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. Don’t let your worrisome thoughts rob you of God’s shalom.

Join me this Sunday as we take a closer look at the “shalom cycle,” including the things that can derail it. 

Favorite 2016 Posts

A Brief Bio Of Smith Wigglesworth

WigglesworthTo say that Smith Wigglesworth was a unique minister of the Gospel is an understatement! I doubt that you can find anyone else in history quite like Wigglesworth, but what an amazing example he left for us of someone totally sold-out to God!

This video biography by Roberts Liardon is a fairly accurate picture of this great man’s life. You can also get to know Smith Wigglesworth by reading his sermons. I have posted several reviews of books which contain his sermons, as well as extensive quotes from his those sermons:

Enjoy this video—

Links & Quotes

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“Never live on memories. Do not remember in your testimony what you once were; let the Word of God be always living and active in you, and give the best you have every time and all the time.” —Oswald Chambers

“A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.” —Augustine

GOOD NEWS: Abortions have dropped 12% across the country.

Today would have been Smith Wigglesworth’s 156th birthday. Relevant Magazine has a list of some of his quotes. If you would like to read some of the quotes I have posted from Wigglesworth’s books, click here or here.

Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are two of my favorite historical leaders. Here’s a great post: Churchill, Lincoln And The Fragility Of Freedom.

Ronald Reagan is another one of my favorites. Check out 4 Liberal Myths About Ronald Reagan Debunked.

Links & Quotes

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I get really tired of the arguments from people questioning the validity of the Bible. Most of the arguments have been debunked a long time ago, and are simply repeated ad nauseum. Here is a great post from a New Testament scholar taking apart these arguments.

Almost as bad as the arguments against the validity of Scripture are the arguments for socialized medicine. Here are 5 reasons why Obamacare should be completely repealed.

Parents, you should be aware of some security issues for your kids on Instagram.

“You will do more in one year if you are really filled with the Holy Ghost than you could do in 50 years apart from Him.” ―Smith Wigglesworth

“Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fadingness of the best it yield? … How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good?” ―John Bunyan

“Pride, on the other hand, is the mother of all sins, and the original sin of lucifer … an instrument strung but preferring to play itself because it thinks it knows the tune better than the Musician.” ―C.S. Lewis

“The assurance that prayer is heard is the earnest that prayer will be answered. The petition is accepted, though no answer has yet been received. Well, we can leave it there. … God never is before His time; nor is He ever too late; He comes just when He is needed.” —Charles Spurgeon

StewardshipNew outfit

 

 

Book Reviews From 2014

4 Quotes About Witnessing Empowerment

AuthenticityThese are the quotes I shared in my message this morning as we wrapped up our series on Pentecost Power. Any of the emphasis in the quotes is mine.

“The strength of the church is not the strength of its institutions but the authenticity of its witness.” —Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

“The Pentecostal believer is to be something, not just experience something. He or she must become a living witness of Christ on earth.” —Charles Crabtree

“Your very presence should bring such a witness of the Spirit that everyone with whom you come in contact would know that you are a sent one, a light in the world, a manifestation of the Christ, and last of all, a biblical Christian.” —Smith Wigglesworth

“If I may be baptized with the Holy Spirit, I must be. If I am baptized with the Holy Spirit then will souls be saved through my instrumentality who are not so saved if I am not so baptized. If then I am not willing to pay the price of this baptism, and therefore am not so baptized, I am responsible before God for all the souls that might have been saved but were not saved through me because I was not baptized with the Holy Spirit. … There is nothing more deadly than the Gospel without the Spirit’s power. ‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’ It is awfully solemn business [witnessing] either from the pulpit or in quieter ways. It means death or life to those who hear, and whether it means death or life depends very largely on whether we do so without or with the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We must be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” —R.A. Torrey

[Repost] God’s Word Is…

My wife and kids are on spring break this week, so I’m taking a little blogging break to spend some time with them. I am becoming more and more concerned at the level of biblical illiteracy I observe every day. Even among the pastorate this is becoming quite alarming to me. There is quite simply no book which can compare with the Bible! So this week I’m re-posting a few thoughts I have shared about God’s Word.

“Never compare this Book with other books. Comparisons are dangerous. Never think or say that this Book contains the Word of God. It is the Word of God. It is supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in value, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through. Write it down. Pray it in. Work it out. And then pass it on.” —Smith Wigglesworth

17 Quotes From “Smith Wigglesworth On Prayer, Power, And Miracles”

Prayer, Power & MiraclesI highlighted more quotes from Smith Wigglesworth On Prayer, Power, And Miracles than I can possibly share here. But I hope these few quotes will help whet your appetite to buy this book. If you’d like to read my review of this book, please click here.

“God can so fill a man with His Spirit that he can laugh and believe in the face of a thousand difficulties.” 

“Real faith has perfect peace and joy and a shout at any time. It always sees the victory.”

“If you knew the value of it, you would praise God for trial more than for anything. It is the trial that is used to purify you; it is in the fiery furnace of affliction that God gets you in the place where He can use you. The person that has no trials and no difficulties is the person whom God dare not allow satan to touch, because he could not stand temptation; but Jesus will not allow any man to be tempted more than he is able to bear.” 

“God will do great things for us if we are prepared to receive them from Him. We are dull of comprehension because we let the cares of this world blind our eyes, but if we keep open to God, He has a greater plan for us in the future than we have seen or ever have dreamed about in the past. It is God’s delight to fulfill to us impossibilities because of His omnipotence, and when we reach the place where He alone has the right of way in all things, then all mists and misunderstandings will clear away.”

“The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.”

“Beloved, if you read the Scriptures you will never find anything about the easy time. All the glories come out of hard times. And if you are really reconstructed it will be in a hard time, it won’t be in a singing meeting, but at a time when you think all things are dried up, when you think there is no hope for you, and you have passed everything, then that is the time that God makes the man, when tried by fire, that God purges you, takes the dross away, and brings forth the pure gold. Only melted gold is minted. Only moistened clay receives the mold. Only softened wax receives the seal. Only broken, contrite hearts receive the mark as the Potter turns us on His wheel, shaped and burnt to take and keep the heavenly mold, the stamp of God’s pure gold.”

“We must be taken out of the ordinary. We must be brought into the extraordinary. We must live in a glorious position, over the flesh and the devil, and everything of the world. God has ordained us, clothed us within, and manifested upon us His glory that we may be the sons with promise, of Son-likeness to Him.”

“Oh, this baptism of the Holy Spirit is an inward presence of the personality of God, which lifts, prays, takes hold, lives in, with a tranquility of peace and power that rests and says, ‘It is all right.’ God answers prayer because the Holy Spirit prays and your advocate is Jesus, and the Father the Judge of all. There He is. Is it possible for any prayer to be missed on those lines?”

“God has something better for you than you have ever had in the past. Come out into all the fullness of faith and power and life and victory that He is willing to provide, as you forget the things of the past, and press right on for the prize of His calling in Christ Jesus.” 

“There is nothing impossible with God. All the impossibility is with us when we measure God by the limitations of our unbelief.”

“It is as we feed on the Word and meditate on the message it contains, that the Spirit of God can vitalize that which we have received, and bring forth through us the word of knowledge that will be as full of power and life as when He, the Spirit of God, moved upon holy men of old and gave them these inspired Scriptures.”

“The trouble is that we do not have the power of God in a full manifestation because of our finite thoughts, but as we go on and let God have His way, there is no limit to what our limitless God will do in response to a limitless faith. But you will never get anywhere except you are in constant pursuit of all the power of God.”

“Jesus said, ‘Be not afraid, only believe’ (Mark 5:36). He speaks the word just in time! Jesus is never behind time. When the tumult is the worst, the pain the most severe, the cancer gripping the body, then the word comes, ‘Only believe.’ When everything seems as though it will fail, and is practically hopeless, the Word of God comes to us, ‘Only believe.’”

“Faith is a divine act, faith is God in the soul. God operates by His Son, and transforms the natural into the supernatural. Faith is active, never dormant; faith lays hold, faith is the hand of God, faith is the power of God, faith never fears, faith lives amid the greatest conflict, faith is always active, faith moves even things that cannot be moved. God fills us with His divine power, and sin is dethroned.”

“There is nothing small about our God, and when we understand God we will find out that there ought not to be anything small about us. We must have an enlargement of our conception of God, then we will know that we have come to a place where all things are possible, for our God is an omnipotent God for impossible positions.”

“We have a big God. We have a wonderful Jesus. We have a glorious Comforter. God’s canopy is over you and will cover you at all times, preserving you from evil. Under His wings shalt thou trust. The Word of God is living and powerful and in its treasures you will find eternal life. If you dare trust this wonderful Lord, the Lord of life, you will find in Him everything you need.”

“There are evil powers, but Jesus is greater than all evil powers. There are tremendous diseases, but Jesus is healer. There is no case too hard for Him. The Lion of Judah shall break every chain. He came to relieve the oppressed and to set the captive free. He came to bring redemption, to make us as perfect as man was before the fall.”

Smith Wigglesworth On Prayer, Power, And Miracles (book review)

Prayer, Power & MiraclesWhenever I need a booster shot of faith, or a challenge to believe God for even greater things, or just a unabashed reminder of the power of the Scriptures, I pick up a book by Smith Wigglesworth. By the time I got done reading Smith Wigglesworth On Prayer, Power, And Miracles compiled by Roberts Liardon I was totally fired up!

This book is a collection of sermons delivered by Wigglesworth and articles he authored for various Pentecostal publications. Every one of the chapters is simply saturated in Scripture and the anointing of the Holy Spirit! Each of the articles made we want to dig into the Bible more, believe God for more, and crave the empowerment of the Spirit more!

If you are tired of humdrum church-as-usual, or if you are ready for your faith to be stretched like it’s never been stretched before, pick up a copy of this book and strap yourself in. I promise that you will not think about the things of God the same after these messages have worked their way into your heart.

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