Wellbeing, Wholeness, and Satisfaction
A common greeting between English speakers is “How are you?” answered with, “Good thanks, how are you?” The interchange is a polite way for two people to acknowledge each other in place of stony silence. Expressing sincere concern and a genuine condition is not always a factor in the exchange. In fact, one or both of them may not be doing well at all or not really want desire a truthful answer. When people greet each other in Hebrew, however, they are expected to mean what they say. The word Shalom, used in greeting, means peace and expresses the desire for the other person’s health and overall wellbeing.
Jesus provides through His relationship with the heavenly Father all we need to serve God and live our lives with peace, satisfaction, wellness, and joy. Jesus is our peace with God. Being united to Him empowers us to love God as Jesus does with a heart to do the Father’s will at the right time with the right motives. Enthroning Christ as king dethrones the idolatrous influences and the priority of nations. The god of this world has been judged and so has no legal claim upon a life lived in the peace of God. With Christ as our peace, we the people of the well-message of Christ live to love God and others. Pleasing the King of kings, we bear fruit for His glory.
The peace Jesus gives is characterized by wholeness, deep-seated satisfaction, wellness, and joy. Jesus enjoyed this intimate connection with the heavenly Father when He walked the earth. He spoke the same peace to His disciples, and He releases the same peace today to those who are His. The peace Jesus gives encompasses all the parts of our essential being joined together in health and unity because of our being put at peace with God through His Son Jesus. Jesus is our peace with God the Father. This is the Good News or well-message of Christ.
The well-message of Christ characterizes people who are hearing what Jesus is saying and are overcoming according to His word. They rely completely on what Jesus says to them and do not seek what the nations seek. As a result, they experience completeness in life. They understand that nothing is more important than loving God —the one and only— and loving others as themselves. The love of God empowers them to do what is right, at the right time, and for the right reasons. They are not anxious about their lives, but knowing that the Father understands what they need, they are ready to do His will and be generous with others because they trust Him.
Those proving to be the disciples of Christ Jesus live a trusting, victorious life, with the Lord providing all they need the way He feeds the birds of the air and clothes the flowers of the field. As the Lord leads, the person having peace with God overcomes obstacles through His power and presence. By putting God’s reign first in life, they provide the space in their hearts for becoming the servant God is making them to be. They keep asking and they receive. They keep knocking and doors open. They keep seeking, and so they find, but they do not seek what the nations seek.
Traditionally, worshippers sought worldly deities at the tops of mountains, where it was believed they would come and dwell. Micah contrasts the mountain of the Lord with all other mountains and therefore all other powers when he says in Micah 4, “And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, The mount of the house of Jehovah is established above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the hills, And flowed unto it have peoples.” As believers put the reign of God first, they are replacing idols with the Kingship of Christ and becoming vessels of honor to cause others to flow to God’s dwelling place.
No other power, no other mountain can compare with the mountain of the one true and ever living God. Exalting Him puts everything else we desire in its rightful place under His Lordship. Exalting Him removes from our lives the authority of the gods of the nations, who have already, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, been stripped of any legal claim to authority in our lives. Seeking first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness turns the authority in our hearts over to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, of whom Psalm 97 says:
2Cloud and darkness [are] round about Him, Righteousness and judgment the basis of His throne.
3 Fire before Him goeth, And burneth round about His adversaries.
4 Lightened have His lightnings the world, The earth hath seen, and is pained.
5 Hills, like wax, melted before Jehovah, Before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens declared His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His honour.
7 Ashamed are all servants of a graven image, Those boasting themselves in idols, Bow yourselves to him, all ye gods.
8 Zion hath heard and rejoiceth, And daughters of Judah are joyful, Because of Thy judgments, O Jehovah.
9 For Thou, Jehovah, [art] Most High over all the earth, Greatly Thou hast been exalted over all gods.
10 Ye who love Jehovah, hate evil, He is keeping the souls of His saints, From the hand of the wicked he delivereth them.
11 Light [is] sown for the righteous, And for the upright of heart — joy.
Seeking first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness refers to what must take preeminence in the life of every follower of Jesus. Righteousness, as Psalm 97 implies, is a heavenly reality. It’s the righteousness that accompanies the judgment of victory pronounced on behalf of the saints, the righteousness, which is the basis of God’s throne and authority. This judgment is also the basis of our rejoicing. While the Lord God sustains and delivers His own with joy, all other gods must bow to Him. Because God’s mountain, Zion, hears that all gods must bow before Adonai, the true daughters of Judah rejoice. All who worship idols will be ashamed.
Investing daily in walking with Jesus and learning from Him enables bearing fruit that remains for all eternity as He leads us with His peace in the world. In His presence, in Him and His well-message to us, He will lead us in becoming as productive and as profitable as possible for the glory of God on earth and for all eternity.