I heard a pastor once say, “You can’t preach peace to those who walk in disobedience.”
The truth is, as much as we want others to experience the rivers of peace we know because of Christ; those who insist on walking their own way, in disobedience to the ways of God, will never experience the lasting peace of Jesus found by those who belong to Him—His family.
Early in his ministry, Jesus is surrounded by a large crowd. The people flocked to see the miracles and hear his teaching. Jesus is told his mother and brothers are outside wanting to see him and he replies with a response, that on the surface seems unkind, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21)
But His statement is actually incredibly kind, because those who desire to be near Christ, to experience His peace, rest, comfort, joy and direction, are those who obey Him.
No, it’s not popular to say, but it’s completely true!
Those who preach peace, apart from obedience, are false teachers.
God tells us, through the prophet Jeremiah,
“Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
They continually say to those who despise Me,’The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ”
For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back. Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.”
The fact is —Those who seek to tell you the truth, to help you walk away from sin and the “dictates of your own heart”, to walk in obedience to Jesus, are those who truly love you and want you to experience the lasting blessings that come only from Him.
Is it easy to lovingly talk to someone whose sin is keeping them from the peace of God?
Of course not!
But aren’t you thankful someone loved you enough to talk to you about sin that kept you from true peace?
We can wish peace for someone all day long, but if we never endeavor to tell them the truth about misery-making sin, all we will ever do is “wish”, while they drown in the sorrows that those who refuse to follow God experience.