John 14:27 (AMP)
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
As I return to our home town and begin to go about my regular routine and responsibilities, I cannot help but be slightly overwhelmed. I have been slowly packing up our room at the Lodge and finishing last minute details for our son as I prepare to head home after over a month of constant care at his side. It is a privilege and blessing that the Lord has allowed me to be here with him. Work has been gracious. My family wonderful. Our friends fantastic. God has demonstrated His Goodness and Care in that our son can continue to live and attend school albeit just one online class which is his passion. The Lord has provided everything that he needs to do that. I am overjoyed at returning to planning and preparing for our daughter’s wedding in just a few months. As I pause to think about transitioning, my heart begins to beat faster and tears rise behind my eyes staying just out of sight. I am so torn. I want to be home doing what I would normally be doing, but I am hesitant to leave our son even though I know that he is more than ready to stop rooming with his mom. My heart strings are pulled in many directions. I can feel agitation rising up in me and I must admit that I am disturbed. When Jesus gave us His Peace, He was strict in His Ordination. I am giving you my peace. It is not like the world gives you. It is perfect! Now, do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid. Stop “allowing” yourselves to be agitated and disturbed. Do not “permit” yourselves to be fearful, intimidated, cowardly or unsettled. As I curl up in His Word to find my comfort, I realize that peace in my life is not a suggestion but a mandate. To live in the calmness of His Love by faith is my directive. So why do I get stirred up all the time like I am right now?
Psalm 62:7-8 (AMP)
With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God! Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower).Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
To trust in, lean on, rely on and have confidence in God at all times is the life that I am after. Although I have fallen short many times, I scoop up new mercy each morning and forge right back in. Every day, I search His Word to know Him more. I want to believe with all my heart that with God rests my salvation in every situation and that He is desperate to reveal His Glory in my life. I want to be confident in His Unyielding Strength that He has for me. It is that refuge, fortress, and strong tower that I strive to remain in. But there are times that I am not successful just like tonight. The waves of doubt begin to rise around me. The wind of wavering is blowing on me hard. The storm is brewing all around me. Why did I leave that refuge of peace? How do I find my way home? Selah. Selah! It is the Holy Spirit inviting us to pause and calmly thing of that.
Psalm 32:7 (AMP)
You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
The Lord is our hiding place. He is the One who preserves us when trouble comes. He surrounds us with song and shouts of deliverance. Can you hear Him? I know the crashing waves and whipping winds of your storm are ominous. I know that it is difficult not to be distracted and focus on the Lord. The Lord is our refuge. He is our hiding place where we can take a few minutes and get away from it all. Don’t pray about your problems – He knows everything you need. You have given enough of your time and attention to them but now just focus on Him. I was watching a worship session on Bethel.tv. Some people are not comfortable with such organic displays but I love it. As the camera pans the crowd during a powerful move of God’s Spirit and people are worshipping before the Lord, I get chill bumps. But then there is always the one or two who sit motionless in a chair. Oblivious that the answer to their problem has entered the room, they are consumed in their thoughts. When the worship leader stops singing, and the musicians stop playing – some people grow uncomfortable in this silence. The truth is that they have not experienced such intimacy with God. Like a first blind date with a perfect stranger. What do you say? How do you act? What will others think of me if I dare enter this place? God can never be your hiding place if you don’t know where to find Him. He cannot be your refuge if you are afraid to be with Him. You will never hear His Songs that He sings over you or the Shouts of Deliverance on your behalf if you cannot silence your cares and concerns. Selah – it is time to pause and calmly think of that.
Psalm 84:4 (AMP)
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your House and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
As you begin to frequent this place called His Presence and grow comfortable, it is a place you will seek more often. You will feel blessed, happy, and fortunate just to be there. Soon your voice will stop complaining but begin to sing His Praises. You will not be able to stop them from flowing through you as He moves closer walking nearer than ever before. Imagine! Selah! Pause and consider calmly walking through life without a care in the world. It is possible for those who seek the Presence of God every day in every season regardless of the wind and rain or even if the sun is shining brightly. You are changing the way that you think about the Lord and listening to what He is saying. Today as I roamed around the lodge doing laundry and taking care of the details of our departure, old hymns just kept rising up inside me and before I realized it I was whispering them as I walked along. I had such a wonderful peace. As the day went on, I found myself multiple times in position to share the Goodness and Greatness of my God with other people. I didn’t mean to. I was just in that place of walking in His Presence. Those who decide to do this day in and day out will be blessed, happy, fortunate and envied. Today was just one day, Lord make this my lifestyle.
John 14:1 (AMP)
Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.
Talk about an advance directive, Jesus told the disciples “do not let your hearts be troubled, distressed, or agitated.” Believe in the Father and believe in me. Our peaceful freedom from agitation and distress is found in faith in Jesus Christ. Do you believe? The more that we come to understand and attach our faith to God’s Love and Goodness for us, the more confident that we become in His Ability and Willingness to care for us.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (AMP)
That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
Agitation is a symptom of fear. It implies dissatisfaction with one’s current condition without confidence of a solution or change coming. Jesus told us do not let your hearts be troubled. Why? He has given us a Spirit of power, love, calm, well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control. We have everything that we need to be blessed, successful and prosperous. The only question that remains is whether or not we believe it enough to remain calm in every situation? I will be the first to admit that this is a daily process for me. The enemy is constantly handing me things to worry about and sometimes I fall for it and pick up on his scheme. It spreads like a cancer through mind trying to get into my heart. “A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.” (Proverb 14:30) We have everything we need to remain calm, cool and collected in this life. His Name is Jesus Christ. Selah – it is time to pause and think calmly of that.
Psalm 131 (AMP)
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting]. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.
Who put that in there? Does that ever happen to you? Reading the Word of God, and then you read something convinced that God dropped in ten minutes before I cracked open the book. Introducing Psalm 131. David said, “I have calmed and quieted my soul…” We have a responsibility to do certain things. We have everything we need to be calm and confident in His Love. We must use these powerful tools every day to secure our position. I went to my son’s apartment this week to “help” him clean it up and get ready to move back in. I was quite dismayed to find all the cleaning supplies purchased when he moved in two years ago in adequate supply. However, the apartment was a bit out of sorts. He had the tools to clean it but chose not to use them. Given his circumstances, don’t worry I was gracious in my reprimand. How many times to we get worried sick over things that quickly are resolved? The Lord wants to bear all our burdens. He carries us through each day. If we knew Him more we would recognize His Hand on our shoulder, and His Presence in our life. If we spent time with Him, we would be more comfortable in His Presence and frequent there more often. It takes discipline to turn off the TV and open the Word. It is an act of self-control to log off Facebook and get face down in prayer. These are acts of maturity that will center our life on Christ and allow us to live in the blessing of peace that He has given us. Selah – pause and think calmly of that.
Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
When our son was in the Middle East on deployment for a year, I prayed this over him every day. Taped to our refrigerator, it reminded me to pray for him daily as if I really needed to be reminded. I wanted him to feel the Presence of the Lord around him. I did not want him to be lonely or afraid. I wanted him to rest in silent satisfaction that God loves him, was with him, delighting in him and singing over him. I would even pray that he would hear the angel’s voices as they joined in. I wanted him to remain calm, cool and collected making good choices so he would come home safe and as soon as possible. Once he got back, I took down the piece of paper. Now I wish I had it back. The Lord MY God is in the midst of me. I want to feel His Presence each day. I want to know Him so when He comes I am not afraid to worship Him freely. I want the Lord to teach me and show me the way to discipline my heart and mind to trust Him more. I need to Selah and think calmly about living like that!
2 Timothy 4:5 (AMP)
As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.