Tag Archive | God’s peace

From Infancy to Adulthood

I Corinthians 3:1-3 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

We can be confident in our relationship with God the Father. He will nurture us from infancy to maturity. This journey is filled with learning experiences just like a toddler learning to walk. Trying to take a step or two, they plop and fall down. Sometimes, they get hurt and even cry. Eventually, they get up and try again and again. Finally, walking is mastered and celebrated with parents. Then, it’s on to running. 

We begin the relationship with God as infants and grow to maturity. Each stage of our growth has its difficulties and rewards. This process brings the uncertainty of the wobbling, teetering steps of a toddler learning to walk. When we experience the difficult seasons of life on earth, we can be easily distracted away from the goal while focusing on the injury and refusing to get up to try again. This is the fleshly nature taking over. God, our Abba, is ready to scoop up His children to provide comfort and safety. Re-centering on God’s Word provides the safety net for us to try again. Notice I did NOT say it’s a comfort zone. At least for me, it usually is out of my comfort box. It is this process which allows God to refine and sculpt you and me into His likeness. 

Even when life is difficult, we can experience a joyful relationship with God. Life’s pressures purify our souls and our characters allowing God’s love to flow through our hearts. God already knows how the pressures will change us to be more like Jesus and more like God’s image. When life’s pressures surround us, may we turn to God for his peace and joy.

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Romans 5:1-5 (TPT)

Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and He now declares us flawless in His eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us. Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!

But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!

“What’s Wrong with Me?”

“What’s wrong with me?” that voice in my head says again. Often, God’s gentle prodding replaces it. But, sometimes when the voice playing in my head like a broken recording, repeating over and over again, I get tired of hearing it. So often replayed, that I begin to believe there is something wrong with me. That’s when the downward spiral begins. I might not sense it at first, but the voice wants me to drown in self-doubt, depression, anxiety, fear and even guilt. This voice is not God or from Him. It doesn’t affirm as Abba Father would. I must send it away, turn it out into the street to look for another dwelling place. There is NOTHING wrong with me. I am redeemed by grace. Made in Father God’s image. A child of the King! I begin searching His word for instruction…peace…silencing the voice. God is there in His word. It is waiting for my attention. HE is waiting for my attention. How easily distracted I am by life – to the point of not paying attention to His word. His word: instruction manual, a light for my path, everything I need to survive!
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Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved!
James 4:7 Therefore, submit to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you for you are NOT under the law, but under grace.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled or afraid.

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A-Movin’ and A-Quakin’ — the Blessing of Shaken Foundations

ImageOf late, does it seem as if everything familiar in your life has begun to shake?  Are your plans continually having to be changed and your routines upended?  Nobody — not even those of us who seem to thrive on adrenaline —  enjoys living in a state of interruptions — full of sidelined plans, broken appointments, aborted goals, and chaotic schedules.  For most of us, life seems to lurch forward at light speed; we are regularly almost late to nearly everything, and more and more details are swallowed up in the “forgotten items” pile of our brains.

As a child, I remember long, lazy summers when I yearned for the much-anticipated first day of school.   I recall the joy and anticipation of the Advent season.   I counted days until visits from favorite relatives or our much-loved vacations to family in the Rocky Mountains.   Everything seemed to take forever to “get here,” and my enjoyment level of everything we had anticipated was unbelievably high.

Now, however, it seems school starts before I can even begin settling down for the summer.  Christmas comes before I am prepared for it.  There is never enough time to plan, much less execute, a lazy weekend with friends or family.   Life literally screams for attention, in spite of my vain efforts to refuse much of what it demands of me.   Schedules swallow me alive, and it seems there is very little room to breathe.

However, I am finding God is present in the whirlwind and the storms.   My plans do not, after all, shape the framework of my peace.   Only Jesus can do that.   All my survival systems and coping mechanisms pale in comparison to His Presence.   In fact, it appears He is currently shaking everything in my operating systems that can be shaken.   He longs for me to rely on Him and Him alone, to seek His Presence and peace in the throes of all the pressures of life.

A well-organized day-planner will NOT give me peace, as people and circumstances have the power to alter the most carefully laid plans.   A better calendar and more well-developed ability to say “no” will not give me rest.   Only Jesus can do that.   In His mercy, He shakes my plans and my systems and my coping mechanisms.  “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11).  God wants our foundation to be on Jesus, the Rock, rather than on anyone or anything else (Matthew 7:25-27).  Only HE will sustain us when the storms of life hit and our plans (our little houses of cards) collapse.

In His mercy, He shakes every foundation that does not reflect His handiwork.   Although He temporarily allows us to go our own way, He promises that everything not built on Him will ultimately fail.  In Haggai 2:6-7, God promises:  “Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  Truly, it is God’s MERCY and boundless LOVE for us that provoke Him to shake up anything of our own making.   He yearns for us to yearn for Him — and to abandon all other things on which we so easily have come to rely.

Father, help me remove the rubble of my own plans and systems.   Teach me — gently, if possible!  — how to remain solidly planted on the foundation of Your Presence in my life and to rely on Your Word, Your plans, and Your perspective.   Teach me Your way, O Lord.  I choose to walk in Your truth.   Unite my heart to fear Your Name (see Psalm 86:11).  Help me to rejoice in the rubble of my own ways and embrace You — the joy and power of Your Presence in me!