Rufus Moseley began life at the end of the Civil War and lived to the middle of the 20th century. He had an amazing intellect and studied under such famous thinkers as William James. He had access to Presidents of the United States, but spent the majority of his time with poor black people and white people in Georgia.
Moseley was a university professor, but chose to raise pecans so he could be free to serve God in a very fresh and unique way. He was a vocal opponent of the death penalty and a strong supporter of civil rights long before the civil rights movement began.
At the heart of Moseley’s social activism was a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. Dr. Wayne McClain wrote his doctoral dissertation on Moseley’s experience with Jesus Christ. McClain’s book is entitled, A Resurrection Encounter: The Rufus Moseley Story. McClain’s book and other books by Moseley are available on Amazon. I highly recommend them all.
In Moseley’s book, Manifest Victory, he presents ten powerful principles for making peace. I hope you are challenged and blessed by his thoughts on a topic that is needed in our time.
1. Pray for the Spirit of Jesus, the great and perfect peacemaker. The Spirit of Christ is a peacemaker and we are peacemakers to the degree we yield to him. When we pray for the Spirit of Christ, that prayer is always heard. Jesus came to earth to give us the Spirit and this is a prayer he delights to answer.
2. Forgive all. Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11.25). We can have all the love, joy, peace and everything else of God that we are willing to pass on and share. We cannot continue to live in love and give out hate. This is the deepest law of life; to have anything from God as a continuous possession, we have to become channels for its outflow and the outflow is even more blessed than the inflow.
3. Seek the forgiveness of all. Jesus said, “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5.23-24).
4. Never talk about, but talk to those you would help. Jesus said, “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend” (Matthew 18.15 The Message translation). The best way to defeat an enemy is to make him your friend. You cannot be a peacemaker until you get your tongue and spirit under control, under God’s control and under self-control.
5. You must be a friend of all. The Christian fight is for the good of everybody and not against anyone. Any taking sides one against another is fatal to successful peacemaking. Whenever anyone loves estranged parties greatly enough he becomes God’s agent to bring them together.
6. Make no arbitrary commands. The teachings of Jesus and of the Spirit are not arbitrary commands, but revelations of the Spirit and of life. The cross is the symbol of the whole of God. The sword is the symbol of the whole of Satan. Jesus is love and works by love.
7. Be ready to go the second mile and never contend over trifles. The kingdom of God is of such infinite value that we are ready to let go of everything that keeps us on the outside of it.
8. Get everything and lose nothing of value. By going Jesus’ way, we have only to give up our enemies and we keep everything. We have so much heaven in going to heaven, or rather in cooperating with Jesus to bring heaven to earth, that we are already in heaven while being used to bring heaven.
9. Confess for yourself only. Confess freely your own faults, but don’t talk about other people’s failures.
10. Watch the spiritual thermometer. I have a spiritual thermometer and I expect you have one too. It allows me to see how every thought, feeling, word and act causes me to sense an increase or decrease of my consciousness of God’s presence and joy.
How do we accomplish these feats of peacemaking? How do we find peace with ourselves and with other people? Moseley observes that dogs bark not because they consciously think, “I must bark now.” Rather, dogs bark because it is their nature to bark.
If we are going to be at peace with ourselves and promote peace with others, we must have a nature that is peaceful. That is why Moseley’s first principle is so important. As the Holy Spirit has more access to our inside condition, we will do the next nine principles more naturally.
May God richly bless you with his peace and the ability to share God’s peace with all people!