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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Guard on!

I have not been to Buckingham Palace, but have seen those pictures of the finely dressed guards in the tall black hats, bright red uniforms, and standing at rigid attention.  It is said it is almost impossible to distract them or to get them to crack a smile, laugh, or pay attention to something you are doing right in front of them.  They stand at their post, guarding the Queen, or whoever is in residence.  They have a duty to perform, and it is said they perform it with the utmost of professionalism and dedication.  Rain or shine, they stand their post. I kind of liken this tenacity of commitment to the "post" of standing guard to what we can experience when the peace of God stands guard over our thoughts and feelings.  Rain or shine, good moments or the tough ones, his Spirit appoints "Peace" to stand guard.  With that kind of guard over our thoughts and feelings, we can stand assured that whatever we have need of in our lives, it will be provided - we need not worry.

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. (Philippians 4:6-7 ERV)

There is a great deal in this life which we can choose to allow to reign over our feelings.  I found myself watching a movie with a friend in the quietness of the day yesterday, only to be moved to the point of tears over the outcome.  The dad was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and made the decision to live life to the fullest.  His daughter was struggling in her marriage.  To him, the message was simple:  Find the music again.  It wasn't the melody of some love song, but the beating of God's heart he was referring to - for when we hear the music of his heartbeat, all else falls into order in our lives.

Feelings are powerful tools - they can sway us to make all manner of decisions which are both good and bad, honorable and dishonorable, trusted and downright shaky.  What we don't realize is how much God wants us to have control over those ones which take us down wrong paths, or sway us to make decisions which will give us troubles later in life.  If we want stability in the realm of our feelings, we need a "guard" over our emotions who is not swayed by the distractions of life, the taunts or jeers of those things demanding attention, and the turning tides often faced when life just happens around us.

The instructions are clear - don't worry, pray, ask God for everything we need, and remember to give thanks for what we have.  It should not surprise us that God expects all four of these things.  Each compliments the other.  To not worry, we have to lay it out before God.  When we have needs, we can look a lot of places, but no one will meet them in quite the same way as he can.  He may use the services of another human being to help us through whatever that need might be, but he is behind it.  Being grateful for what we have been given, are being given, and will be given is something which keeps us humble.  When we are thankful, we are expressing a sense of dependence upon God for the very things we have come to rely upon in life.

In turn, the peace of God reigns over our minds - our hearts (complete with mind, will and emotions).  This is important to recognize because whoever stands guard is the one who allows admittance, but also the one who lets those things contained within to get out.  If we want control over what we say, what we express in emotions, etc., we need a guard who will help us "govern" those things and temper them with the beauty only Christ can provide.  We may not see the guard posted, but we can feel the security that guard provides.  I don't have to experience the protection of the guardrail on the side of the roadway, but I know its strength is there to protect me nonetheless. 

The peace of God is like a guardrail of sorts - keeping me on course and protecting me along the journey.  When we begin to rely upon his protective covering over our lives a little bit more, we find ourselves worrying less, trusting more, doing less and less of the "wrong" stuff, and just generally enjoying life a little more.  Take your "post", Holy Spirit!  Guard on!  Just sayin!