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Sunday, August 14, 2016
Pull out the big guns
Those who love Your law have an abundance of peace, and nothing along their paths can cause them to stumble. (Psalm 119:165 VOICE) How are things for you in the "peace" category? Is your life kind of topsy-turvy right now, with waves almost crashing in on you to the point you feel about to capsize? Or maybe it is a kind of "silent" unease you might be enduring - something within which just "isn't right" and you know it, but haven't been able to really put your finger on it yet. There are moments in time when all seems to be "at ease" or "going well" on our lives - those are probably moments we'd describe as "being at peace". Yet God describes a kind of peace which is abundant, not really conditional, and enduring. This is the kind of peace his kids are to possess - because when they invite Jesus into their lives, they invite the King of Peace! One thing is pretty clear in David's writings - there is a connection between what we experience in life and how much of God's Word has been able to take hold. The more of God's Word we have engrafted into our lives, the greater the sense of peace which begins to settle in. Why might this be the case? I think it might just have to do with what God's Word does for us in the terms of giving direction, bringing wisdom into our choices, and helping us to see others as God sees them. When his Word takes hold in our lives, there is a definite shift from the way we used to see things - for our vision broadens to see through the eyes of grace and love. Peace is not just the absence of noise or chaos. Sure, it is a state where war ceases, fighting is no longer the norm, or there has been a "cease-fire" proclaimed for one reason or another. Yet, peace as God expects us to know it is much different than the absence of conflict externally - it is also the absence of conflict internally! When God's presence begins to come into our lives, there is a settling once and for all of the conflict which existed between him and us because of our sinfulness. As a result of his presence, grace invades the places in our minds, hearts, souls, and emotions where disquieting and oppressive thoughts were once allowed to dwell and fester to astronomical proportions. I am not unlike the rest of us - I deal with times when I allow disquieting thoughts and oppressive emotions to begin to take control once again. The best antidote to this in my life has proven to be relying upon the Word of God to set straight again what has become kind of muddled in the mess of my emotions. Notice that I said I "allow" disquieting thoughts and those oppressive emotions to take hold - it isn't as though I don't have control over them - but I let my guard down, giving way to these damaging "conflicts" of emotions and thoughts. In time, they override sensible thought and rational emotion - so this is why they are so damaging to us! I take heart in knowing nothing can cause me to stumble when God's Word has been engrafted into my life. Yet, if I don't use what I have been given, it is like owning the best weapon one can own and then forgetting to use it when under attack! As soon as we begin to recognize those troubling thoughts, unsettling emotions, or "gut reactions" to life's events mounting, we need to pull out the "big guns" of God's Word to counteract their attack. Nothing settles unrest better than a big dose of peace! Just sayin!