Daily Discovering the Blessing

Posts tagged ‘Peace’

Never-Ending, Unshakeable Peace

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; My {own} peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. {Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.} (emphasis mine)

John 14:20 – …I am in My Father, and you {are} in Me, and I {am} in you.

John 14:30 – {Satan} …has no claim on Me. {He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.} (emphasis mine)

Following the progression in the above Scriptures, we are encouraged and instructed through this good Word to receive and constantly evidence deep abiding peace – always. No matter what the day’s circumstances bring, peace is to be a defining characteristic in the life of a Spirit-filled believer. Through the Holy Spirit God lives in us. Jesus lives in us. There is nothing that we will encounter that diminishes that Truth. We see here the overcoming force of the believer obeying and working with the Lord – through His Spirit Who lives in us. Synergy – two working together.

Each believer must own the Truth of these verses. When we, without reservation, without the diminishing power of unbelief, fully accept God’s Word as true, when His Word is more dear and defining to our lives than any other idea or circumstance or attention-grabbing issue, then peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is the inevitable result.

First, in Verse 27, we understand that Jesus has given His peace to us. When the enemy, the world’s attitudes and troubles, and the concerns and ailments and longings of the flesh try to hinder your faith walk (that’s what the world offers us), Jesus tells us that He has already given us, bequeathed to us, His peace. Knowing that, believing and receiving that, agitation, disturbedness, fear, intimidation, unsettledness have no place to live in us. Our Lord’s instructions to us that help us maintain this peace are very clear. “Stop allowing!” We have a role to play here. The role is to believe that our Lord speaks Truth. His peace is ours, and everything else that falls short of that Truth may not stand in our lives. We need to recognize when our heart peace is being challenged and stolen.

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule {act as umpire continually} in your hearts {deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state} to which as {members of Christ’s} one body you were also called {to live}. And be thankful (appreciative), {giving praise to God always}. (Colossians 3:15)

In verse 20, the extraordinary, awesome way in which our Creator determined to interact with His children is revealed. Knowing our frame, our weaknesses, He enables us to realize all of His benefits by living in us. The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer to teach and guide and come alongside and counsel and strengthen us (John 14:16). The divine interaction of Jesus in God, and us in Jesus and God in us reveals the heart and the love of God for His creation – you! And with this holy impartation, there must be peace. How do we “stop allowing” anything at all that would try to diminish that peace? Faith in the Truth and reliability of God’s Word. True faith in our Father’s character and in His Word exhibits peace.

Finally, in verse 30, the Master speaks of his complete separateness and immunity to the devices of the enemy. “He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.” Because He lives in us, the same is true of us. The life of God, the Holy Spirit, fills us. There is no place in our lives for the machinations of a defeated foe (Colossians 2:15), the “dictates of the flesh” (Romans 8:1), or the errant philosophies of the world (Romans 12:2). Never-ending, unshakable peace is the heritage of God’s Spirit- filled sons and daughters.

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:7 – Message Bible)

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Bubbling Over With Hope!

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing {through the experience of your faith} that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. (Romans 15:13)

Joy and peace in believing! That is the attitude and character trait that should demonstrate your faith walk. Is there an excitement in you – an expectation concerning your reliance upon the Word of God? The wonder, the awesome promises, the supernatural power and reality of what God has spoken and what Jesus has accomplished for us, once truly realized and relied upon, will create such excitement and expectation. In fact, if you are not excited today, if you are not joyfully expectant, you need to take your faith temperature.

What causes a believer to “exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy”? (1 Peter 1:8) Trust. Trust in our Father – His character and His Word. For if you truly believe that what He says He means; if you truly believe that everything Jesus came to fulfill and accomplish is yours now; if you allow the Holy Spirit to fully represent our Father in your life – to establish His ways of doing and being right as your standard and plumb line – then joy and expectation and excitement will overtake and overcome spiritual malaise.

Every Word of God is filled with power (Hebrews 4:12); is self-fulfilling (Isaiah 61:11) and watched over by God Himself to be sure it is fulfilled (Jeremiah 1:12). When you know beyond all doubt that God loves you (1 John 4), that He desires to be known trustingly and intimately by you:

But if one loves God truly {with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing}, he is known by God {recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him}. (1 Corinthians 8:3),

and when you understand the work of the Holy Spirit in teaching kingdom living and expectations; when you cooperate with Him in yielding to His guidance and instructions, then you are walking in a kingdom rhythm whose life force is the exultant joy and expectation that demonstrates absolute faith in Him.
This is faith – in God, in our Lord Jesus, and in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord constantly taught on the importance of rejoicing, and maintaining peace, and refusing to fear. For because faith is the currency of the kingdom, because it is faith alone that pleases God, anything less than these positive spiritual attributes is the precursor to doubt and unbelief. Joy and expectation are the identifiers of strong faith.
The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us – His love, His provision, His watchful care, His expectations and His joy. Allow His ministry and the realities of kingdom life fill you with an expectancy that honors and glorifies our Abba.

A Continual Feast

Proverbs 15:15 – … he who has a glad heart has a continual feast.

I have, in previous writings, written a description of the offices of the church I attend. As a teacher at the associated school I would have occasion to walk through that area and was inevitably touched by the atmosphere of peace that prevailed there. Praise music was softly playing, ministry and prayers on behalf of those seeking counsel was taking place – the entire purpose of the office area was to honor and reflect God, and the result was extraordinary, tangible peace.

Your home, your days, can give evidence of this same peace. A peace that speaks the Truth that God is here and in full control, that Jesus, Who is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14), is Lord over your life, and that God’s Holy Spirit establishes our moments in this peace “that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7);  peace that reflects the absolute certainty of new creature status:

…the {previously moral and spiritual condition} has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come.(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Unwavering confidence, unshakeable peace, and a completely altered perspective are the intended outcomes of this “new creature” status. For our new life in Christ is established on “precious and exceedingly great promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Numbers 6:26 defines peace as “tranquility of heart and life continually“. According to our Father, according to His Word, that continual tranquility of heart and life is not only possible, it is our inheritance, our expectation, as His children.

We have a role here. That “peace that passes all understanding” is not automatic. We are to search for, seek eagerly and pursue “peace (harmony, undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts (1 Peter 3:11). We are to assume, faithfully accept, that this peace is ours. We are to reject outright anything that attempts to destroy that peace and diminish the Truth of our Father’s Word. We are to tune into the Holy Spirit Whose ministry on our behalf produces peace. He always points us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace (John 16:13-14), Who tells us:

Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. {Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.} (John 14:27)

When we “do not let…stop allowing…do not permit” we are choosing God’s life, God’s Truth, and God’s promises to “ garrison and mount guard over our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7). We are determining, resolving, that the Word of God overcomes anything that the world, the flesh, and the devil throw our way.

We are God’s family as believers in Christ, the Messiah, who are watching for the soon return of our Lord. Let every moment reflect His Person and His peace. Whatever you are facing this day, because you belong to God, and because He wants to bless you and do you only good – let there be peace.

“Since He may come any day, it is well to be ready every day.” A. J. Hudson

A Calm and Undisturbed Mind and Heart

Speaking peace to storms (Mark 4:39-40) is a stand that God’s kids should be very comfortable with. Our Lord is our example in this. He spoke peace to a storm “of hurricane proportions” (Mark 4:37 – Amplified)

“Hush now! Be still (muzzled)!” And the wind ceased(sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was {immediately} a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). (Mark 4:39)

Our great lesson from this story are the next words He spoke to His disciples:

Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?

Very often the storms in our lives are in our thoughts and imaginings. There may even be a legitimate storm that you are facing, but again I assert that the battle to overcome it is in your thoughts and your words. Financial issues, health issues, interpersonal relationships, concerns for the future – we ponder, we meditate, we give place in our thinking to negative, even frightening possibilities. We look fully upon the storm giving our full attention to all of its implications and potentially devastating outcomes. Like the disciples in the boat during the storm we cry out, “Do you not care that we are perishing? Help God! Don’t you see my dilemma?”

It would be helpful and powerfully effective if, prior to the arrival of any storm, we established some certainties. Storms will come. Jesus told us that we would encounter “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration” (John 6:33). For there is an enemy who seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). However, He assured us that in Him we “may have {perfect} peace and confidence“, for He has overcome the world!

I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you. (John 16:33 – Amplified)

We chose to either look to the storm or look to the Lord. Looking to the storm indicates faith in the enemy’s ability to defeat you (and diminishes the work our Lord accomplished on your behalf). Looking to the Lord indicates “the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness” (2 Timothy 1:5 – Amplified)

A continuous trusting gaze toward our heavenly Father is a storm killer. Words (our Father’s Word) spoken out in faith, filled with all the authority of Heaven (Luke 22:29) establishes the calm, peaceful daily walk that is meant to be ours.

…in returning {to Me} and resting {in Me} you shall be saved; in quietness and in {trusting} confidence shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body… (Proverbs 14:30)

These are not just trivial greeting card banalities. This is God’s Word concerning what your life is meant to look like in His care. This is the observation post we are meant to occupy. Let the life and the Truth of God’s Word define your daily outlook. You are firmly established in peace. When peace eludes quickly recognize that disharmony and speak God’s alive and active Word into the situation (Hebrews 4:12). Look up some of the Scriptures spoken of here today; preach to yourself, and with authority speak to the storm. For what God has done for us, what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf, defeats every storm.

God’s Word on the subject:

John 14:22 Philippians 4:7 Colossians 3:15

The Salve of Heaven

In Proverbs 22-23 God tells us that His Word is medicine for all of our flesh. He then commands us to:

…keep and guard your heart with all vigilence and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Maintaining and cultivating peace is a healing salve that will profoundly alter your life. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines salve as “a remedial or soothing influence or agency”.

We can sense when disharmony in any form attempts to interrupt our peace. That continuous peace ( “harmony, undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts – 1 Peter 3:11) that is meant to be a defining characteristic and a nurturing force as we grow daily in this walk in the Spirit. We are admonished to search for peace, to seek it eagerly – to pursue it.

Peace in our hearts, in our daily lives, in our interactions with others is an informed choice, based on our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. And that informed choice is undergirded through practice and experience. For once we have tasted the heart benefits of the peaceful response to any and every situation we might encounter, once we choose peace rather than agitating passions, once we step out on the authority and absolute reliability of God’s Word and “surrender” to trusting in Him unconditionally – we have placed ourselves on the path of eagerly pursuing that continuous state of peace that will nurture us, sustain us, define us, and utterly defeat any attempt by “the world, the flesh, and the devil” to shatter that “heart calm”!

If faith is the currency of the kingdom then peace is its “Amen – so be it”. Peace in our hearts is the acknowledgement that in everything we encounter God is totally in charge and He wants to do us only good (Psalm 86:5; Psalm 145:9). We choose to think peaceful thoughts and positive outcomes, we take part in peaceful interactions, we choose to respond with peace to any temporary (brief, fleeting, and passing away) storm for within that unflustered state we are nurtured, and with our eyes gazing intently on our Abba – His love and His promises- we are teachers to all who witness our joy in the midst of the storm.

When any negative, disruptive influence tries to infect your days, apply the healing salve of Heaven. From the vantage point of a peace-filled heart, every moment is not only do-able, it is a stunning success and an opportunity to apply the beauty of Heaven’s standards to worldly affairs.

God’s Word on the subject:

Isaiah 26:3 Matthew 5:9 Romans 14:17 Colossians 3:15 1 Peter 3:11

Times of Refreshing

Psalm 23:3 – He refreshes and restores my life (myself). He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him – not for my earning it, but] for His Name’s sake.

Our Father so very often in revealing to us the spiritual truths of His kingdom uses nature and our experiences in this physical world as demonstrators. That which we experience in the natural very effectively translates supernatural realities. Jesus calming the storm with a word (Mark 4:39) informs the Truth that God’s Word, spoken out in faith, will calm any storm that tries to rise up and challenge us. For any issue or event that sets itself up against God’s alive and active Word (Hebrews 4:12) we will demolish (2 Corinthians 10:5). The parable of the sower sowing seed (Mark 4:1-20), which Jesus characterizes as a foundational teaching (Mark 4:13), illustrates the conditions of the heart and the soul that either make the Word of God of little or no effect in a life, or that offer the conditions necessary for it to flourish. The withering of the fig tree at His word (Matthew 21:19), to the complete astonishment of His disciples, was the example in the physical realm of the power of faith. That faith in our Father and His Word is truly a mountain moving force.

Matthew 21:22 – And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.”

We have, just recently, been treated to another such spiritual lesson from the physical realm. And it was a powerful example in contrasts. The recent stretch of enervating heat we experienced has been followed by several days of quite cool weather. In our home we spent days listlessly sitting in front of many fans or sequestering ourselves for hours at a time in air-conditioned bedrooms. No chores were accomplished and no energy expended. Then, quite abruptly, we were refreshed with cool weather, pleasing breezes, and rain – sweater weather! And the thought that bounced joyfully around in my spirit was, “Days of refreshing”! We lived through stark contrasts – days of debilitating heat compared to days of comfort and refreshing.

God promises just such “times of refreshing” as we look to Him and Him alone. In Christ, those times of refreshing can be a constant benefit. When fear and worry are replaced by peace, when confusion and stress give way to days of certainty abnd trust, when anything that Satan and the world try to throw our way is overcome by our

“leaning the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness” (Colosians 2:5)

then we receive the times of refreshing He so longs for His kids to experience. The recent weather extremes so clearly demonstrated what “times of refreshing” offer us – for we have been translated from the uncomfortable effects of sin and rbellion, doubt and fear, stress and turmoil, into faith-filled days of peace in all areas.

Our gracious Abba says:

So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out wiped clean) that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the Presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

First Things First

Before you even begin your day, before you open your front door and step out into busyness, attack your “to-do” list, or strap on the resolve to confront the issues that “loom large” in your life – first establish in your heart your placement in Him.

First, recognize with absolute assurance that as His beloved daughter you have the privilege to walk through your day “careless in the care of God” (Matthew 6:26 – Message Bible)  Our loving Abba, Who delights, in fact, takes great pleasure, in our prosperity (Psalm 35:27), Who has lovingly gone ahead of us to prepare our own unique path – that “good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” (Ephesians 2:10), and Who promises that:

There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.  For He will give His angels [especial]l charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all of your ways [of obedience and service].  (Psalm 91 – 10-11)

Set your sight, the eyes of your spirit, on the Truth that:

No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper…for [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17).

First, establish your heart in peace, release your spirit into rejoicing, and warn away all “fear, doubt, and distrust” (Proverbs 31:18).  For the truth of the matter is that as His beloved daughter, released through faith into His care, He oversees your moments, watchfully and affectionately (1 Peter 5:7).

First, there is a purposeful “looking away [from all that would distract] to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2);  a peace-filled recognition that any and every trouble the world might throw our way has already been overcome; it has been deprived of its power to harm us; it has been conquered through Jesus (John 16:33).

Knowing these promises, filling and establishing your heart on these truths colors your day, alters your perspective, and sets your compass.  You walk out confident and secure, not intimidated, concerned and fearful.  And this faith, this release into His care, this assumption of blessing delights our Father (Hebrews 10:38).

 

God’s Word on the subject:

Psalm 91                Matthew 6:26               Ephesians 2:10

Responsive to God’s Touch

…a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the heart of their God]…(Ezekiel 11:19)

There are so many ways that our daily walk in the world can compromise our walk in the Spirit. Our children rebel in big and small ways and we call it normal; the conversations around us are filled with blasphemy, crude and rude remarks, and demeaning comments concerning others which we choose to ignore to avoid uncomfortable interactions; political correctness wins out over Truth, convenience trumps commitment, and the comfort of status quo is so much easier than the determination to get it right God’s way.  And each of those moments establishes spiritual callouses on our hearts; places that gradually become unresponsive to God’s touch.  We become desensitized to His voice, unclear about His leading, and indifferent to growth in Him.

We purposefully silence our voices in the public square, believing that while our faith in God is vitally important and defining in our lives, we have no right to “intrude” into other lives with the Truth of the Gospel! Certainly the world’s prevailing attitudes encourage us in this as we are reminded daily to refrain from interjecting God’s principles into public debate.

The Holy Spirit is in the callous removing business. He softens and gentles and very effectively re-establishes the lines of communication with Heaven if we will let Him. His ministry in a life restores the wayward or indifferent child to peace with God, re-opens pathways to effective listening, and revitalizes our desire to be open and responsive to His leading, His teaching and God’s touch.

A callous heart believes that it is putting up protective barriers to avoid being hurt.  It is establishing parameters which it feels will very effectively prohibit emotional pain, in all of its manifestations, from entering.  But that is not how God created us.  He created us for open, honest relationship with Him:

Isaiah 30:15 …in quietness and in trusting confidence shall be your strength…

John 4:24– …those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth…

Ezekiel 11:19– …and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]

Our Father’s antidote to a callous heart is found in the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His call to love – love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves.  As we trust in His guidance, as we learn daily to hear Him better and better, and as we resolve to get it right God’s way, always, a calloused heart will be a thing of the past.  We will be finely tuned and responsive to Heaven’s touch and gentled down, peace-filled daughters of God.

 

God’s Word on the subject:

Ezekiel 11:19-20            Hebrews 3: 7-10

Be Healed – Part One

When you give more credence to the complaints of the flesh rather than the developing understanding of your maturing spirit steeping itself in God’s Word, you need to be aware of who and what is being glorified.  We don’t often take that next commonsense step into thoughtful, Spirit led pondering, being too distracted with our symptoms to look away long enough to recognize the correct response, and to realize who we are submitting to – our own flesh and the enemy.

I remember watching a youth group, given the opportunity to present the Gospel message at a Sunday morning church service. As they danced around the stage, “preaching” through hip-hop moves and rap music, loudly rhyming and energetically bouncing about, I endeavored to hear the Gospel message through their chosen medium.  But the significance of the message was outweighed and over-ruled by their emulation of worldly strategies and their unintentional (I truly believe) but inevitable upstaging of the Gospel.  And I heard the Holy Spirit clearly ask me, “Who is being glorified here?”  They were the stars of their own show.

We must regard symptoms of illness and disease in this very same way.  “Who is being glorified?”  Because this is our purpose –“To do all for the honor and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) and because we “have been destined and appointed for the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12), to permit our flesh to accommodate sickness does not honor His Word or reflect Him accurately.  It becomes more than just putting up with a cold or the flu; it is more than just personal inconvenience and a few uncomfortable days. It’s your witness to the world of who you are in Christ.

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.  When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. (John 15:7-8)

If the Word of God dwells in you richly, whatever you ask (according to His Word) will be done for you, and the production of that fruit will honor and glorify God and prove to the world that you are a follower of Jesus.  Fruit is the production in a life of the promises of God.  Fruit is godly children raised in a godly home. Fruit is the positive results of effective, Spirit led evangelizing.  Fruit is the direct result of a strong “vine life”.  Fruit is the result of a life walking daily in the knowledge and love of God.  Be always healed!  For that testimony will honor and glorify our Father.

 

God’s Word on the subject:

1 Corinthians 10:31                Ephesians 1:12

Fear Knocked, Faith Answered, No One Was There

Years ago, I created a crewel work design using today’s title – all bedecked with flowers.  The words are not original to me. (Credit would be given if I knew the source!)

Fear is a tactic of the enemy.  Faith is our weapon for the pulling down of such strongholds.  The Word is our ammunition that, stood on and spoken in faith, thwarts the enemy’s intentions and receives God’s provision. Every symptom, every attack, every ambush is rendered ineffective by the Word of God.

When fear of any kind knocks at your door, equipped with God’s Word – which specifically confronts the issue at hand – stand in your authority as God’s daughter and directly confront the lie.  For truly, anything that sets itself up against the Word of God is a lie.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Financial hardship plagues your days?   Fear of terror or danger?  Fear of illness?  Dig into God’s Word about finances or provision, or safety, or health.  Gather together Scripture verses filled with God’s promises and clearly stated purposes on the subject.

Read books by brothers and sisters in Christ who have discovered God’s principles concerning whatever issues confront you – whatever area of provision you need.  Listen persistently to faith-filled CD’s on the subject.  Build yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 1:20) on the subject and that particular lying vanity will pass.  It must pass!  God does not lie.

This is not a case of “God knows where I live so He’ll bless me if He wants to.  If He doesn’t, I’ll bear up under it.”  The legwork is yours; the homework, the digging in.  The faith stand, your words, your mouth speaking God’s Word in faith, puts fear in its place – well outside your camp

 

God’s Word on the subject:

Luke 12:32          Romans 8:15            2 Corinthians 10:4-5

1 John 4:18         Jude 20