He’s the Prince of (my) Peace

The great gift of Christ to me when I was first a believer was peace.  “I still have all my problems,” I told my mom, “but I’m not afraid any more.”  The peace that passes understanding.  This is a peace that can’t be explained.  It can’t be understood apart from experience.

But today, I am not often seeing that peace in others who say they are believers.  This disturbs my peace!  But note I did say “disturbs” not “steals”.  I guard my peace and when I feel its pending absence (no longer a feeling I am willing to live with) it’s time to go to The Prince of Peace.

Some people think that means God’s all about peace in the usual sense of the word.  But I know the truth is that He’s about the peace that only comes via fighting the good fight of faith.  And He’s about giving me peace right in the middle of the battle.

That’s where we are – in the middle of the battle.  I don’t think anyone would argue about that.  But there is mental wackiness going on because of fear.  Fear must be fought!  Fear must be defeated.  Faith, which the Word tells us “works” through love, is what connects us to God.  Not fear.

People are afraid of their own shadows, and teaching their kids fear as well.  I saw a toddler the other day with a mask on and it was unbearable.  Kids are being programmed to fear, to “all their lifetimes be subject to bondage through fear of death.”  But the good news is that Jesus came to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” – Hebrews 2:15

I’ve been released from Fear’s tyranny more than once.  I didn’t hold on to that peace experienced when I was spirit-filled.  For years I struggled to walk in faith, and the biggest problem was that I was in unforgiveness.  Finally, I was finished with the torment of fear, but that’s another and lengthy story.

For now I urge you, I pray for you (for the entire world daily) to be free from the awful bondage of Fear.  Raise your head up and receive your freedom.  Remember Jesus came that we would be “free indeed.”

The physical mess we’re in is a result of the spiritual mess we’re in.  We will not have political freedom as long as we are spiritually bound.  So let’s look at the chaos in the world around us and see it as an opportunity to trust.  What else can we do?

 

Jesus the Homemaker

The Word of God tells us to “guard our hearts” and that sounds like a defensive posture, which sounds, well, defensive.  But it’s actually a preparation and strength posture.

I think of it in physical terms as the Keep of the Castle.  Guarding our hearts means keeping our hearts.  “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

The Keep is where the goods are, the sustenance, the abundance.  For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

What is spoken will be.  Proverbs 18:21 tells us that there is the power of life and death in the tongue.  Focus on the word “power” there, and let’s ask ourselves this question:  Who has the power here – are we going to speak for Satan, words that will destroy our own lives, or are we going to speak for the Lover of our souls, the author and finisher of our faith?

James 3:2 says, “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.”  The only thing more amazing to me than how little Christians know about the tongue’s power of life and death, is how often I speak as though I am a total tongue-power ignoramus.

I know and believe the Word’s admonitions regarding the tongue.  I have read and re-read Joyce Meyer’s Me and My Big Mouth. I know that I guard my heart, indeed my entire life, when my tongue is harnessed to the Holy Spirit via prayer and diligent attention to the Word.  I know and believe and have experienced the devastation wrought when I go ahead and wound my very own soul by speaking death words.

Death words are words of darkness and doom, of doubt and dismay.  Words with the power to open my heart right up to fear.  Then comes the physical manifestation – an actual poisoning of my entire system, also known as stress.

We guard our hearts with our tongues, and we guard our tongues when we guard our hearts.  A lovely life circle.  Or, we can go our own way . . . and say whatever the HELL (that’s where it’s from) we FEEL like saying.

What would Jesus have us say?  “Poor poor pitiful me?”  “Woe is me, I’m so misunderstood and unloved?”   “Why does this always happen to me?”

The answer is “none of the above.”  He would have us say, “God is my refuge, God is my strength, a very present help in trouble.”  He Himself would say, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” and “Where’s someone I can love and bless and heal and help?  Come unto me!” (John 7:37).

“Come unto me all ye who are weak and heavy laden.”  We weaken ourselves when we SPEAK the weakness.  Weakness is only a temporary fact, but it is not the truth of the matter.  The truth of the matter is what the Word of God says about it.  He is my shelter (Psalm 61:3), my strong tower, my very present help in trouble.  Sing the song I Will Arise (listen to Phil Driscoll do it first), “I will arise and go to Jesus.  He will embrace me in His arms.  In the arms of my dear Savior, oh there are 10,000 charms.”

What again, would Jesus say?  He would speak from a guarded heart, words of life.  His heart was guarded by his focus on and love for others.  He freed Himself to the beautiful life that is a life of caring for others.

Like, um, well, a Homemaker.