If you’ve ever been in the ocean, you’ve more than likely experienced waves knocking you down, being held under the water.
If you’ve never had that happen to you, I can only explain it as what it must feel like to be in a large washing machine. You’re being tossed and thrown in every direction all at once. You have no idea which was is up until the waves push you down so far that you hit the sand beneath you. That gives you some point of reference, but you still have to fight through the weight of that water pushing you down just to get a breath. It can be scary, multiple memories come to mind where I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back up at all.
Isn’t life like that sometimes? Things push us down, and hold us underwater. We can’t breath, and we get overwhelmed by all of the pressures around us. We’re all familiar with the feeling of being held down on the bottom, trying so hard to get a break in life. I think a lot of us are even there right now, today. We need a breakthrough.
Ephesians 2:14 says, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”
The “He” in this verse is speaking of Jesus Christ. Before you dismiss this as another Sunday school message about how Jesus can solve our problems, hear me out.
This verse doesn’t say Jesus brings peace, or even that Jesus offers peace. It says that Jesus IS peace.
Think of the most peaceful situation that you can imagine. I think of lying in my hammock way up in a tree, I have my headphones in, relaxing in the sun. Those peaceful situations give us a chance to take a deep breath. To let go of the struggles and pressures around us, even if it’s only for a moment, and breath. In a way, those situations are small breakthroughs for us.
Jesus IS our peace.
In Jesus, we get that deep breath that we need, we get that breakthrough from the struggles of life. Our relationship with Jesus is the most important factor to our breakthroughs, because in Jesus, we’re made right with God. That verse from Ephesians says that Jesus broke down the wall of hostility between us and God. That’s the gospel! Our sin had put up this wall between us and God, and we couldn’t cross it or go around it or get over it. We were stuck. We were being held underwater by our sin. Jesus saw this, and He came and broke through that wall. Jesus didn’t show us a path around it, or build a bridge over it. Jesus broke down the wall. Jesus removed all of the separation. We have full access to God through Jesus.
This is huge, and it is a complete game changer. We don’t have to be overwhelmed by the struggles around us, or held down by the pressures of life. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us! We have the promise that we will spend eternity with God. Our God is alive and loves us. The peace that comes with that will overwhelm every circumstance or pressure that could ever rise.
Our relationship with God is a vertical relationship. The things going on around us today are just horizontal, and Jesus promises to be our peace, not just in the vertical, but in the horizontal as well.
When our vertical life is right, our horizontal life is doable.
No weapon that is formed against you can prosper, God has promised to reveal His goodness through every circumstance that comes your way. Waves will come. Life happens. We will all be held under at some point or other. This isn’t a promise that life won’t be tough, but it is a promise that we have a breakthrough in Jesus. When the vertical is right, the horizontal is doable.