Contrary to modern Western thought, peace is a fairly violent word.
In Greek, peace means to obtain quietness by removing what seeks to distract and destroy you. It is not a compliant serenity but an aggressive taking out, a forceful extraction.
Peace has a very similar meaning in Hebrew. When we study the Hebrew pictographs that comprise the wordpeace, we find that it, too, is not merely a state of mind; it means to destroy or remove the chaos and anarchy around you.
So based on this understanding, when Jesus said, “Peace be with you,” He was not simply greeting His disciples. No, He was issuing a command to the chaos and anarchy in their lives. Essentially, He was saying, “May the chaos and anarchy that are trying to keep you from doing what God wants you to do be removed from your life.”
Peace is not a passive word. The peace of God has the strength to root up and demolish every single work of darkness that is meant to keep God’s Kingdom from advancing. When peace comes, it literally destroys the work of the evil one (1 John 3:8). It tears apart the anarchy around us. It dissolves the tumult.
We could say that God’s peace is a weapon, not just our refuge.
Peace and Relationship
How do we go about building peace in our lives? Peace, like authority, is not a spiritual gift that we were born with; it is something we experience and carry more and more the further we venture into God’s heart. The more we get to know Him, the more peace we will have because we trust Him and know His name (Isaiah 26:3).
Peace is directly proportionate to authority, because both are the fruit of relationship with God. The more authority we have, the more peace we have and the more we will be able to speak, “Peace,” to our circumstances.
When Jesus said to the storm, “Peace, be still,” He was rebuking the waves that were responding to the anarchy driving the storm. The peace He carried erased the devil’s plan around Him. It forcibly removed the chaos and anarchy, and therefore, the waves became still.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and He came to bring us the gospel of peace (Romans 10:15). No one does peace the way Jesus does peace. One of the things that marked His life on earth was that nothing hindered His relationship with the Father; there was no sin in His heart. This is important to understand when talking about peace because as long as we have sin in our lives, we have an open door for chaos and anarchy. Sin separates us from God. But the moment we repent, the enemy no longer has a legal right to attack us.
As we begin to understand the depths of the perfect forgiveness God provided through Jesus, the gospel of peace takes our hopelessness and turns it into hope. We go from thinking, Why are all these things happening to me? I can’t control anything in my life! to understanding, The chaos around me can be controlled by what God has done in me. Hidden in the heart of our Father, we can speak, “Peace, be still,” and the “waves” in our lives will grow calm.
With this in mind, we can begin to understand how the peace of God makes us very dangerous in dark places, where the enemy is working. God’s peace does not affect our lives alone; we can carry it with us wherever we go and impact the lives around us as well (Luke 10:5).
The next time you ask God to bring peace into a situation, remember what peace actually means. It means to obtain quietness by removing the chaos and anarchy that seek to distract and destroy you. So when you ask for peace, you are not asking God just to help you trust Him in the midst of a difficult situation — He is His peace. He destroys the works of the devil and completely removes everything that threatens you.