One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Living in Shalom

We live in a world which tends to keep an individual very busy: busy earning a living, busy doing all kinds of things, and being involved in all kinds of causes. Now these things are neither good nor bad, in and of themselves. Regardless of what a person is doing in his everyday life, these things cannot, and will not, bring shalom (peace) into his life.

It seems to be a common fallacy, that if a person has certain things in his life, then everything will be good and right. This mindset is not surprising considering that we are bombarded with so much advertising suggesting this very thing. Each advertiser sets out to establish in the hearer’s mind within a few seconds, that he cannot live without their product; in fact, if he was to buy their product it would make his life so much better. This is simply not the case.

The aspects of doing and/or having something cannot, and will not, bring shalom. Shalom is an inward quality that can only come from one source, Mashiach Yeshua. He clearly taught that He would give shalom to His followers via the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit). Now most of those reading this already know this truth, and YHWH willing, have experienced it in their own personal lives. But that is not the question here. The question here is how to live in that shalom once it has been received. How does one maintain shalom in his everyday living?

First, let it be said that it is not just going to happen by accident or happenstance. Just as one did not receive shalom by chance, neither will he maintain it by chance. If a person does not nurture the shalom once it has been received, then most likely he will not have it for very long, and will have to go back and get it again from the same source from which he had received it in the first place. Sadly, this is the cycle most people are caught in, of getting shalom, then losing it, and then returning back to the Author of shalom to receive it again. This seems to be the standard modus operandi of most people. However, as we are about to see, it is not necessary to live life in this manner.

There are many things which, from man’s point of view, can disturb one’s shalom. However, this viewpoint, while common, is not true in the least! The truth is that nothing can disturb one’s shalom unless one allows something to disturb it. In short, it is a personal choice for this to happen. Now, the reader may take exception to this at first, but if one will carefully and objectively consider this, he will see that this is, in fact, true.

What often happens is that events tend to grab one’s focus and hold it, to the point that, what has taken hold of one’s attention, then begins to determine the degree of one’s shalom. This is not only unfortunate, but completely unnecessary. When something happens, or when someone says or does something which attempts to steal away one’s shalom, then that should be a clue for that person to work extra hard at maintaining his focus upon Mashiach Yeshua in that present situation.

The truth is that when one’s focus is upon Yeshua, then, shalom is present because He is present. It is when Mashiach is not present in any given situation that shalom leaves. Only when a person invites Yeshua to be a part of his daily living, that is, when he invites Yeshua to be a part of each and every situation during the course of the day, that one will find a high degree of shalom in his life.

It really is not all that difficult to live in shalom. However, it does take a conscious and willful decision for it to happen. It takes effort to make sure that Yeshua is present in the here-and-now for one to experience this in his life. It is not just going to happen. This is especially true when emotions become elevated for any reason. It doesn’t even matter what those emotions are, whether they are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, or whatever emotion or combination of emotions are present. A person needs to invite Yeshua in to be there in that moment so shalom can reign supreme.

Scripture teaches that one of the titles of Mashiach Yeshua is Sar Shalom - Prince of Peace. If a person wants to live in shalom, then it stands to reason that the Prince of Peace must be present. If one feels his shalom beginning to wane, then he simply needs to ask for Sar Shalom to come and restore His shalom; and when Sar Shalom is present, then shalom is also there.

One last thing before closing this essay, it is common to have expectations of another person. This is especially so of one’s spouse, but true of anyone who is close to a person. Oftentimes those expectations are unspoken. Regardless of whether those expectations are spoken or unspoken, at some point there will be disappointment because of unfulfilled expectations. These unfulfilled expectations will very likely attempt to steal away one’s shalom. But again, this is completely unnecessary.

First, one should begin working at doing away in his own mind of expectations of other people. If a person does not expect, then he will not be disappointed. If he is not disappointed, then his shalom will more likely remain undisturbed. Work at placing your expectations in the source of his shalom, Mashiach Yeshua. He will never disappoint!

Living in shalom is all about proper focus. It is about not focusing upon other people, or situations, or events. It is about focusing upon Sar Shalom, Mashiach Yeshua. When a person lives with his life focused solely upon Yeshua, then he can, and will, live in shalom.

May each one of us learn to so live our lives that the presence of Sar Shalom is evident to us as well as to all those around us; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach. Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah