Friday, September 6, 2013

True Peace

When you are reading something do you ever feel like the words on the page are literally jumping out at you?  This happened to me recently when I was reading a passage from Stormie Omartian's book, The Power of a Praying Woman, (which I highly recommend if you haven't read it!)  The chapter was about bearing the fruit of God's spirit and the particular section was on planting the seeds of peace.  I don't know about you, but with the political climate being so focused on peace and the lack thereof around the world recently, this issue has been on my mind.  I'm not going to comment on anything specific politically but rather share with you what has really spoken to me about peace in my own life.

The section I was reading says, "Plant seeds of peace.  Pray that the presence of the Lord planted in your life will provide peace that is beyond comprehension.  Pray that this peace will grow strong and prevail no matter what your circumstances are.  'The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:7). We can only have true peace if we live in right relationship to God.  Pray that God will help you to know His peace in such a powerful way that it brings peace to those around you."

The line in bold letters above is what jumped out and kind of hit me smack in the forehead!  Y'all, we've got to be following the Lord if we desire real, legit peace in our lives!  Last night the girls and I were sitting around the table discussing our Bible study and one of the girls mentioned something that illustrates this point beautifully.  She said, "you know, I was having a really hard time sleeping at night for quite a while.  Then I mentioned to Tiffany that I felt like I really needed to get my relationship straight with God and she invited me to Bible study.  Ever since that time, I have been sleeping at night again!"  I don't know about you but I think that's super cool!  She felt like there was something that the Lord really wanted to get her attention about and when she finally figured it out and responded, she began to experience peace!

Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night just worrying, or even for no apparent reason?  Ask the Lord to reveal to you what it going on.  Is there someone that you need to be praying for?  Is there something that he is asking you to be obedient in and you're not acknowledging it?  I know when someone challenges me to be living in a right relationship with God I tend to bristle a little.  Obedience is a scary thing for many of us because we may feel a certain amount of guilt over ways that we've failed to follow the Lord in the past (or even currently).  This challenge is not about being burdened by guilt but about beginning to ask the Lord to show us how to be obedient.  Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the ways you've neglected your relationship and then begin to pray each day that He will show you how you can have peace in your life.  If something in one particular area (or more) of your life is out of whack, so to speak, it can be robbing you of the peace you are meant to have.  Some of you may know exactly what that something is.  Others may honestly have no idea.

Stormie says, "It's important that you keep asking God what He wants you to do.  If you don't ask, you won't know.  It's that simple."  I've found that I am so good at asking God for what I want but I often forget to ask the Lord for what He wants!  Sometimes in that still quiet moment in the middle of the night when I can't sleep I have the presence of mind to ask God what He wants, and it's in those moments when I suddenly understand.  For me it's often to pray for someone specifically or to pray for a circumstance in my life that I have been neglecting to pray for.  The Lord knows that I will hear His voice when there are no other distractions (and He knows how easily I am distracted!).

The enemy wants to steal your peace.  He does this by lying to you, by distracting you, by keeping you trapped in sin and separating you from the Prince of Peace.  Do not give him this power over your life.  Do not let him win!

If you are struggling to feel real peace in your life, reach your hand out to the Lord and ask Him for help!  As your life becomes more aligned with the life that the Lord has called you to live, you will begin to experience the real peace that only comes from the One who created you!

Psalm 37:36
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; 
for the future of that man is peace.

Proverbs 3:1-2
My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have those who love your law and nothing can make them stumble.

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