Even though I am in danger of sounding like a broken record, I love the word shalom. The main reason is because YHWH gave me a revelation and healing vision surrounding this word which I am fully embracing. Not only is shalom a beautiful-sounding word but it is also an awesome blessing, that’s why I use it a lot on my blog and when greeting and saying goodbye to other people. I want them to experience shalom in their lives. Nevertheless, some people have asked me why I use the word shalom, the thinking behind this is that it’s a Jewish/Hebrew word and this frightens many Christians.
Just so that you know, I am not trying to Judaize anyone or God forbid mutter a curse, so this post is to illustrate as best I can what I have discovered shalom to mean.
Even though there are those who get freaked out by my using Hebrew in conversation and on my site, I have also noticed that it’s actually becoming popular within evangelical and charismatic circles. This is a good thing but it can also be a bad thing if it means that the truth of the word or essence is lost/cloaked behind the more mundane English language.
For example, a common definition of shalom is “nothing missing, nothing broken”. Although this bears a lot of truth it does not do the word shalom any justice in my mind or heart, it’s turned it into a catchy phrase instead of the Living Word which it is. It’s like when people say “let go and let God”, it’s so common that it’s value decreases the more you hear it until you get that inward groan and wince when someone says it (especially to you).
The word shalom is very powerful, it doesn’t need to be turned into a catchy slogan, instead to get the full breadth, height and depth of the WORD it requires meditation and reflection. For example, I told you that YHWH gave me both a revelation and a vision of this Word, so vivid and so detailed that I can never get tired of writing or talking about the shalom of God.
I want to share with you three aspects of shalom that you can meditate on, using three S words:
- soundness and
Each of these words capture an aspect of what shalom means and taken together show us why this Word is alive and not dead.
Definition ~ The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury:
Shalom is a place that exists both within and outside what we perceive, a place of green pastures where we can rest at the feet of our Saviour knowing that we are protected from all harm. Shalom doesn’t mean that we will never experience pain or suffering, but it does means that our welfare and our well-being is actively protected by someone who loves us very dearly. The Bible often refers to the Secret Place of God, this is the place of safety, security and protection, we enter into this place through our ability to wait on and rest in YHWH God.
There are so many scriptures which point towards this but here is one that has touched me quite recently:
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)
Many of us struggle with the idea that God actively protects us from danger especially if we have experienced painful incidents in our life, it’s hard for us to get our heads around that equation. I understand this aspect of shalom as meaning that YHWH is preserving and protecting the truest part of me, in that He has put a hedge around my true self just like He did with Job when Satan came to tempt and test him. For example the scriptures say the following:
“And the shalom of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The shalom of God is able to keep (protect) us from the harshness of this world but it does need for us to learn to trust Him and rest in Him so that we can enter His Secret Place. This is not always so easy I know, but it is one of those things that get easier the more we “let go and let God” 😉
The idea of being safe and sound is very common within society, these two words go together for a reason. Whilst safety focuses on preservation from danger soundness refers to being unharmed when we do go through tough situations. Soundness is defined as:
In good condition; not damaged, injured, or diseased:
When we are sound we are complete and whole, a bit like that house which survived the storm and was left in tact because it was built on a firm foundation. All aspects of our being are present and fully functioning: body, soul and spirit.
But The God of Shalom shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep (preserve) your whole spirit, soul and body without fault (being sound) for the arrival of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. (1 Thess 5:23)
God does want us to be both holy and whole just as He is Holy and whole – He is the God of Restoration, again this is another BIG area where many Believers stumble. But this is part and parcel of salvation and the gift of Shalom given to every Believer (my shalom I leave with you).
Most of time we don’t even recognise that we are not whole until something happens to us, we can continue to go around broken and with bits missing from us for our whole lives unless something begins to hurt us whether spiritually, psychologically or physically. The job of the Holy Spirit is to bring us healing in all areas of our life, and this often takes time to heal us from all the damage we have experienced in life. The key is to know that healing is available to us and rest in God’s wish to make us whole.
Success is often translated as prosperity within the Bible, this is where prosperity preachers get their ammunition from but they have missed the point.
Definition ~ The accomplishment of an aim or purpose:
To be successful means to do something to completion or to prosper in something, such as:
So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
True success or prosperity comes as a function of our will being in line with the will of YHWH God, when this is the case it is HE who removes the obstacles from our way so that we can succeed in what we put our hand to.
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. (Deut 8:18)
I am continuously learning not to leave God out of my plans, in fact He is what makes or breaks my ability to prosper because it is His power and strength that goes before me and clears my path. As I am embracing His Covenant of Shalom in my life, I understand that it is not by my power or might that I receive anything but simply as a function of trusting, believing and resting in His promise. It can be a bit frustrating for a former type A gal and control freak as I learn to walk quietly and reflectively by the side of my Shepherd but no bulls or goats are allowed in this sheep’s pen.
Now may the Lord of shalom himself give you shalom at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. (1 Thess 3:16)
This has only been a brief reflection on the word shalom but I hope that it has been enough to get you thinking more about the preciousness of this promise to us.
Question: what aspect of shalom do you experience the most and where do you tend to struggle?