TO CHEW ON: "The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness
quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings and in quiet resting places." Isaiah 32:17,18
The shopkeepers of a certain section of downtown Vancouver, B.C. probably didn't appreciate the peace and security of their existence until one night in June 2011 when hooligans posing as hockey fans wrecked it all. Civic peace is like that. One is hardly aware of it until it is threatened or destroyed.
Isaiah, in our reading today, connects civil peace with the presence of the Holy Spirit: "Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high .... Then justice will dwell in the wilderness .... The work of righteousness will be peace and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation. In secure dwelling places and in quiet resting places" - Isaiah 32:15-18.
This result of the Holy Spirit's influence is interpreted by many to speak of a future or end time. Nathaniel M. Van Cleave writes in my Bible's notes on Isaiah:
"Isaiah ... pictures the Holy Spirit as the source of all end times blessings. Here is the first time there is a connection between the ministry of the Spirit and the moral and ethical results of salvation such as justice and righteousness. The Spirit is not only involved in the ministry of judgement (Isaiah 28:6) but He is also the source of a peaceful, ethical existence" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 910.
However, I believe this aspect of the Holy Spirit's presence can be very real to us now as we allow Him to steer our actions and reactions. His fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23) can't help but make a difference in how we live among our families and neighbors (refraining from some actions while doing others), and how we serve our homes, churches, and communities.
May the peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit be poured on us and through us onto our world so that we are builders, not destroyers, of the peace and security of our neighborhoods, cities, provinces/states, and countries.
PRAYER: Dear God, please train me in the practicalities of the Holy Spirit's presence in my life so that I will serve well in my neighborhood, city, province, and country. Amen.
MORE: Ethical living and leading
There is a lot to be learned from watching the lives of ethical people. They sometimes have to make hard decisions that would appear, on the surface, to be damaging to their cause.
Mike Hyatt is, in my opinion, such an ethical person. In a 2010 interview he discusses with Jim Bradford, Dean of Owen Graduate School of Management, topics like:
- What I learned from a personal business failure.
- A situation where I had to take a difficult ethical stand that almost cost me my job.
- The practical value of humility in leadership
Listen/watch at: "Candid Answers to Tough Leadership Questions: an Interview"