Here we go again. The all-too-familiar cycle of headlines has returned, drowning our news channels and social media platforms in a deluge of grim details surrounding yet another international military conflict. Even my YouTube feed, which I've meticulously curated to cater to my hobby interests, seems to have been hijacked, with distressing updates overshadowing the content I usually turn to for escape and relaxation. Faced with this external chaos, I turned to the Lord who provided a perspective that shifted my focus inward, reminding me of the importance of addressing the wars that rage silently within us all.
In Matthew 23:8 Jesus says to His disciples; “You have only one teacher, Christ, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” It is difficult not to recognise the undeniable truth that genuine security and peace can only come about when humanity looks to the divine, to the Lord. The present state of the world might present external challenges, but the crux of the problem, and indeed the solution, lies within the human spirit.
Wars are not just external confrontations between nations, but they are a manifestation of the internal struggles each individual grapples with. If each of us were truly fighting and winning these important spiritual wars that rage within us, the need for natural wars would diminish.
This spiritual understanding of the nature of war is analogous to the weight of an individual's vote in a representative form of government. At face value, one might argue that a single vote in the vast sea of a nation's electorate seldom tips the scale. However, imagine the ramifications if large swaths of citizens, believing their individual votes to be inconsequential, chose to abstain from the democratic process. This collective apathy, born from individual disillusionment, would undermine the very foundation of the representative democracy.
A healthy nation thrives when each citizen exercises their right to vote, understanding that their collective voices, much like their collective spiritual alignment, define the destiny of the nation. Just as the internal spiritual wars of individuals collectively manifest in external conflicts, the collective action or inaction of a nation's citizenry shapes the health, integrity, and direction of the entire nation.
Undeniably, in our current global scenario, nations feel the need for armies to ensure their security. It's an imperative for a country to guard its citizens against potential harm. However, influencing or intimidating others with the threat of force is not the path towards lasting peace. We must remember that each nation grapples with similar problems, be they social, economic, or political.
When the Lord walked this Earth, He did not champion a specific societal or political structure. His teachings were focused on the internal battles that define the very essence of our character. These are the battles that determine whether a system uplifts or oppresses its people. Therefore, it is imperative that nations and individuals align their goals with the Divine will, trusting not in their own power, but in the Lord’s guidance.
There's a profound realisation that if every individual and nation acted on this divine truth, prioritising it above all else, war would become an obsolete concept. On the contrary, if we perpetually wait for others to make the first move towards this realisation, conflict remains an inevitable outcome. True peace can only emerge when each entity, whether individual or nation, recognises this truth and begins the journey of internal transformation, fostering mutual love and respect.
It's crucial to understand that while national boundaries have their significance, they should serve as bridges rather than barriers. Rather than plotting routes for conquest, nations should build paths for mutual service and assistance. In doing so, we further the Lord’s design, where each individual and nation has a divine purpose and is equally cherished. The Lord’s love is all-encompassing – loving each for the sake of all, and all for the sake of each. When we open our hearts to this divine love and actively manifest it in our actions, the dream of universal brotherhood becomes an achievable reality.
In this divine perspective, how can one nation justify seeking its own advantage at the expense of another? The love that binds individuals should be the same love that binds nations. Prioritising the welfare of the global community does not diminish one's love for their homeland. In fact, it is through this broader lens that patriotism finds its true meaning. A patriotism not confined by borders but extended to the entire human family.
The journey to global peace starts from within. It's not solely about diplomatic treaties or international agreements, but about each individual recognising and addressing the spiritual battles within. It’s about nations embracing a universal love and understanding that their well-being is intrinsically linked to the well-being of all. When we individually and collectively align with this divine truth, a world of mutual love and everlasting peace becomes more than just a possibility – it becomes our reality.