Here of late, many things have been interrupting my sense of peace. It seems I cannot even sit down and have a cup of coffee without being disturbed. Seriously?! Just give me 30 minutes! My front door has become a revolving one and it seems as though everything and everyone is getting on my nerves! My ears are hyper sensitive and every sound distracts. I’m irritable! I realize that I am in turmoil and that “I” am my problem. My brain hurts with thoughts of inward discourse and I’m battling attacks from every angle. It’s tax time, school program time, bill-paying time; personal business and health insurance issues are on the rise. Tough decisions to be made and all on a time schedule with a nearing deadline! The minute hand on the clock appears to be spinning more rapidly. My anxious heart beats so hard; I feel it will leap out of my throat. I toss and turn and am awakened at night with spiritual and emotional unrest. I’m not a crier, but I’ve shed a few tears this week. Doesn’t sound so peaceful, does it? Surely you can relate as we all do not live peaceful lives every day. My heart and soul cry out, “Oh Prince of Peace, where are you?”
I feel that not even a Calgon bubble bath can help with the stresses of my life right now! As born-again believers in Christ with the Spirit of God alive within us, what is it that disturbs the peace He so freely bestows? Why does the Prince of Peace appear so distant or even non-existent? I believe there are many reasons, but can be divided into two categories.
A sinful heart and peace cannot co-exist. Sin is a builder and a divider. It has the ability to build false truths and accusations while constructing barriers and walls separating us from basking in the love, forgiveness, fellowship, and peace that Christ freely offers. Sin is a strong force and Satan likes to tangle us up by enticing us with harmful pleasures of this world, reminding us of past hurt or guilt, stirring up emotions of inadequacies, and speaking to us with lies. Just to name a few! We must protect our mind, for in Christ, we wear the helmet of Salvation.
8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a] in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
We cannot allow this enemy to gain even a toehold in our life! It is a battle for our mind. There are many scripture passages that tell us how to overcome.
Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Philippians 4:6-9 (KJV)
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
I love this acronym that Rick Warren has given in his teaching on “The Battle for the Mind.” THINK! (As a side note, click on the link and read his sermon after you have finished this blog.)
Read your Bible; study it to learn God’s ways. Meditate on Scripture. Make yourself available to God through prayer. Worship the Lord. Be still in His presence. Invest in your relationship with your heavenly Father. (See Psalm 119:105, 77:12; I Thessalonians 5:17; II Timothy 1:3; Psalm 29:2; John 4:23–24; and Psalm 46:10.) Heed the Godly counsel of trustworthy fellow believers. As you do, you will learn to recognize God’s voice.
Test every thought.
Helmet your head.
Imagine great things.
Nourish a godly mind.
Keep on learning.
With a keen ear, the voice of the Holy Spirit can be heard through the pages of God’s word, through others, prayer, and circumstance. He uses a still small voice to grab our attention. One of the ways that I verify if it’s “me” speaking, or “God,” is that I begin to question “is this something that I would typically do or think of on my own?” The answer for me has more than often been, “not me!” Which then causes my heart to race and I am unsettled. My nonchalant soul gets highly disturbed and my peace is unsettled! The message from God is always to guide my steps (counsel), admonish (warn me), give me insight or understanding, reveal sin, or to encourage my heart in ways that are supernatural. I can assuredly say that when I am obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit, a sense of peace then floods my heart and resolution is sweet. Actually, I cannot find adequate words to describe the relief that is experienced when my heart surrenders to God’s nudging.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can discern the difference between the issues of unrest. Throughout the course of my life, I have found that the two categories run neck and neck with the Holy Spirit leading the way. Listen to Him. Trust Him. He has your better good in mind. And it’s not just good! It’s perfect!
Susie Larson’s daily blog hit me this week when I was at my lowest. It’s her reflection of Psalm 23. While reading it, I imagined I was there…I was! ...in the deepest valley. Then there was peace…perfect peace!
Have a Peaceful week!
PS. Don't forget to pray for us and the ladies while we retreat this weekend!
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