Suggested Reading: John 20:19-29
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus—Philippians 4:7
Think of the peace of God as your personal, spiritual sentinel. The definition of a sentinel is “a soldier or guard whose job it is to stand and keep watch.” That’s what a soldier does: keeps watch, guards, and protects. It is not a passive position, although they can look like they are not doing anything at all; but all the while they are watching and will take steps to make sure what or who they are guarding is not breached, harmed, touched, or compromised. Your spiritual sentinel: peace, is there to guard your heart and mind/thoughts, emotions, and actions. Peace is a byproduct, or fruit of the Holy Spirit, but Paul makes it clear in Galatians 5:22-24, But is also a guardian angel whom the Lord assigns to us at the time of our baptism.
What a powerful and affirming visual we get to have concerning the protection of God. Through Holy Spirit we enjoy the fruit of peace, and through the sentinel of peace we enjoy protection over our being. Peace becomes a real spiritual presence that stands guard at the door of our heart, our emotions, and our thoughts.
The characteristics of peace fall in line with the personality traits of a true sentinel or guard. The true nature of peace is one who is careful (to weigh), is consistent, motivated by good, and does not need external factors in order to maintain their position, to be productive or focused on their job. A person who embodies these characteristics will never let you down, and the same is true of peace.
No wonder Jesus bequeathed his peace to his disciples and every time he returned to them after his resurrection, he breathed his peace over them. When he ascended, he left peace as their spiritual sentinel to stand guard over them knowing they would encounter many troubling situations; be the targets of those who wanted to discredit and destroy their work and reputation; meet many seeking to undermine them, threaten, persecute, jail and even murder them if they could. They would need God’s spiritual Sentinel of peace to keep them in peace, to stand guard day and night, in season and out of season.
Our spiritual sentinel, peace, never sleeps; never yawns, never bats an eye, never gets intimidated; is never off his post. He is always standing guard over our life, our mind, our soul and being. Like the angels who protected the tomb of Jesus and directed the disciples of Jesus where to go, and those who stood guard at the gate of the Garden of Eden, on their watch nothing would come in that should not be there. On their watch no enemy will be able to breach the protective boundaries they have put in place; no outside forces will be able to harm us. Even faced with the most troubling situations, in the midst unpleasant encounters, looking at all kinds of problems that would otherwise shake and rattle us, peace guards us.
I recently heard a report about a former president of the United States who often made it a practice of putting himself in harm’s way by disregarding the perimeters put in place to guard and keep him safe. This made for dangerous, and eventually a tragic outcome. Because the Father, and the Son have sent a heavenly, spiritual sentinel of peace we do not want to resist his purpose or ministry in our lives. We want to accept and stay behind his protection. Many enemies will try to breach the protective barrier peace brings but they will not get to us, they will not be able to breach the fence of peace he has placed all around our heart, mind, and emotions. Regardless of the event, conversation, circumstances we will be wrapped in peace, filled with peace which become a mystery to others, and especially to the forces of darkness that are always at work trying to penetrate the wall the heavenly sentinel has erected. When we cooperate with him our peace is secure, complete, and intact.
As long as we stay attached to the vine (Jesus), live as a branch on his vine, rely upon prayer and godly counsel to guide and help us when disturbing incidents arise, we will enjoy his ministry and thrive under his protection. We will have the peace of God, peace of mind, peace of heart, a peaceful countenance. We will have this powerful sentinel of peace with us; he will accompany us all the way home to heaven. Let’s Pray,
God thank you for the heavenly, spiritual sentinel of peace you have sent to guard and keep us in this life. When we do not resist him, we can reap the benefit of his protection and ministry with us. Through him we are kept in perfect peace and have that peace that surpasses all human understanding. We treasure the peace you have brought to us and the one you have brought it through. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Reflection: how does looking at peace as a heavenly, spiritual sentinel, as an guardian angel change your perspective of the peace God has sent to guard your heart and mind?