I have never written a blog starting with the ending and working my way to the beginning, but today is that kind of blog. I guess the words from Stephen Covey, “begin with an end in mind” are proving quite helpful! You will understand as you read the last paragraph.
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.
Obviously, the issue of sin in our lives is the first category!
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.
1 Peter 5:8 (AMP)
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.
The second thing that seems to disturb our peace is promptings of the Holy Spirit, trying to get our attention! He upsets our cart, so to speak! After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father. His spirit is alive and lives within every believer. The Holy Spirit does many things. He convicts of sin, admonishes us, and guides us; tells us where and what to do. Have you heard His voice lately? Has He specifically disrupted your life in order to offer “perfect peace?”
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.
This week as I have prepared for the Restore Retreat and my part of the teaching, (can you guess what it’s about?!) it was evident that God wanted me to experience and understand more deeply about His peace. I got to visit the two categories of disrupted peace! And at the end of my turmoil, repentance, and obedience, His perfect peace washed over me. My heart has stopped its mad race; I’ve been able to sleep better, I am no longer consumed with spiritual and emotional turmoil, and my mind is in better shape as I have tied down my helmet and protected it with God’s words of truth! All to say, I’m much better equipped to teach about God’s gift of peace.
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!
So we come to the end of my blog, where I began. Sometimes, I’m not aware that I need perfect peace because I’m happy on my own path doing my own thing. God knows what is best for me and He supplies what I need, even nudging’s. My God will supply my every need! …even when I am unaware of my need. I'm just a stupid ewe in need of a loving Shepherd.
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!
May you look up and remember once again that the Lord is you’re very dear and precious Shepherd. Because you have him you have everything you need. He causes you to lie down and rest; he leads you to still waters and sacred spaces to restore your soul. He leads you along his best path for your life for his Namesake. Even when you walk through the deepest valley, he is right there with you, close beside you. He corrects and directs, guides and provides, and he’ll never for sake you. He establishes you and honors you in front of your enemies. He pours out a fresh anointing on your life when you need it. He feels your cup to overflowing. His goodness and mercy chase after you and always will. You are blessed because you get to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of your life. Have a sacred-paced-heart-at-rest kind of day today! Susie Larson
Jesus said, "Peace I leave you, my own peace I give to you." John 14:27 All we have to do is receive it! It's really not that hard and living a life without it is, well,...just wrong! A quote from a friend this week hit me hard. I leave it for you to ponder: "Anything that interrupts your peace, ultimately prevents you from living in faith and enjoying the blessings of God." So true!
Have a Peaceful week!
PS. Don't forget to pray for us and the ladies while we retreat this weekend!
Join us each Monday for Monday Musings Devotional Blog.
Have it sent straight to your email inbox by subscribing at the top right of this blog. Be sure to follow the directions to completion.
We pray that these blogs will minister to you and encourage you. Feel free to share them on your social media or email them to a friend.
Sign Up to Receive our Blog via email.
Click to set custom HTML