Tag Archives: Turmoil

God Speaks Through Internal Peace

9 Nov

When God speaks to our hearts, He gives us a deep sense of internal peace to confirm the message is truly from Him. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

When the deceiver speaks to us, he cannot give us peace in our hearts. We might experience peace, emotionally, but emotional peace won’t last. Only spiritual peace will last. When we try to solve things with our own reasoning, we cannot experience lasting internal peace. “The mind of the flesh (which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit) is death (death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter). But the mind of the Holy Spirit is life and peace (both now and forever). Romans 8:6

One of my Mother’s favorite expressions was “follow peace”. God’s Spirit lives within us if we are born-again believers. One of His gifts to us is His peace if we are following His will. If not, that peace becomes disturbed. There is a fine line within us about recognizing God’s peace. We may have hardened our hearts to God’s Spirit. In other words, we may have trained ourselves to ignore that still small voice within us by giving way to the comfort of the flesh (our bodies) or our emotions (our souls).

Ignoring the peace within our Spirits to follow the peace within our souls (our emotions) can be very dangerous. The Scriptures tell us that our hearts are deceitful and that we don’t even know how deceitful. That is why we need the Holy Spirit within us to be our guide. Some of us have become accustomed to selective hearing and obedience. God didn’t intend for us to live like that. We must be deliberate about listening for the Holy Spirit and in walking in obedience. Our commitment to God should be deliberate and constant. We are to “acknowledge God in all things”. This indicates that we don’t sail along doing things our way and stopping to ask God when we feel like it. To walk in this way is like walking on a slippery slope.

If we want a true and real relationship with our Father, God then we must yield to Him in everything. He isn’t just a “Sunday morning God”. He is a “24/7/365” God. He lives IN us. He is WITH us at all times. Sometimes we feel like God doesn’t keep up with us. We get in a hurry and don’t take the time to ask Him about things that concern us. The truth is we are the ones not keeping up with God! We like things done in our time and in our way. God just takes too long sometimes – most of the time. So, we think we just don’t have time to ask Him about it.

I would go so far as to say that I believe that many of our problems would go away if we would take the time to wait for God’s direction. That being said, know that there are times when God directs and things still seem to go wrong. Recognize that when this happens God did not call us to a life free from difficulty and hardship. But He IS there to walk us through those things. To walk through them on our own is possible but with much more turmoil. When we are yielding to God, we can keep our peace and know that we can trust Him to guide us to our destination, shielding us from anything not acceptable to Him.

Advertisements

Crazy Thoughts

26 Jun

Do you ever have thoughts that surprise you? Do you ever feel a slight “nudge” inside the pit of your stomach when you are doing something and all of a sudden you get a “feeling” you shouldn’t? Or, maybe a nudge that you should do something and you don’t?

Thoughts run rampant in and out of our heads all the time. How can we know where it all comes from? I wish I had the ability to put into words how important it is for each of us to spend time getting to know God intimately. Just because we may be advanced in years, or really, really smart, doesn’t mean we are hearing God speak to us. Nor, does it mean we are hearing correctly from within.

Think about it. Meditate on it. So many different events in our lives have molded and shaped our attitudes and our beliefs. Whether we intend to or not, we have mind-sets and preconceived ideas. In other words, our minds are “made up” about certain things. We have no intention of listening to anyone tell us anything different. Besides, we don’t have time to slow down!

We are creatures of habit. We like having our own way. We certainly don’t like anyone else telling us anything that goes against what we already know and believe to be true. Seems like today that our patience wears thinner and thinner. Our world moves faster, time is of the essence. We have appointment books that tell us where we’re going next or what we’re going to do in the next hour. We just don’t want that messed with!

Frankly, not listening to what I call “that red flag” inside of us – in the pit of our stomach, can be really bad. I’ll give you an example. A few days ago I was on a trip in an area I was unfamiliar with. I was driving a car I was unfamiliar with. I was far away from home and having a great time. I was sight-seeing along the coast and happened to see a sign stating that there were no more gas stations for the next 30 miles. I looked at my gas gauge and saw that it appeared to be okay. But inside, I “had a feeling” that I should probably stop and get gas. (Wait for it . . .)

It was getting late, and based on the mileage I had gotten so far, I was really sure I would be okay in waiting to get gas. Oops! should have listened to that small voice inside. The dreaded warning light popped up on the gas gauge and I had more that 33 miles to go. Don’t know how that happened, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that I should have listened to that very still voice inside trying to warn me of danger ahead. Obviously, I couldn’t have a “do-over”.

I was on a virtual roller coaster along the mountains and coast of California. It was getting late – would be dark soon. The gauge was fine when I started the journey. What I didn’t count on (and wasn’t familiar with) were the mountains using more gas.

I’m normally calm and at peace. I’ve been down this path so many times you would think by now I would pay attention. It happens – I just didn’t want to take the time to stop if I didn’t have to and it appeared to me I didn’t have to. What frustrated me eventually was that I knew better. I had done it before – ignore the warnings, I mean. I didn’t really realize they were warnings at the time. But, we can always look back and see where we’ve been – think about it.

Anyway, I literally had a panic attack. I kept watching the gas gauge. I tried to read the manual to see how much gas I actually had left – no clue in the book. I wondered if a light would come on to warn me when the gas was getting lower. Got my answer right away – the warning light came on. At that time I had about 20 miles to go. At a red light in the middle of nowhere – don’t ask me – I jumped out of my car and ran to the car behind me. I told them my story and asked them to please keep an eye on us and told them why. I’m not sure what I expected them to do, I just felt like I had to do something. But, they didn’t even respond to me. They just looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I was at that stage.

I jumped back in the car and the light turned green – still don’t know why that light was there. Anyway, while I was stopped at the light I re-set my trip gauge so I could count down the 14 miles I had left to go. One mile down, now five – okay now we’ve gone nine – just maybe we’ll make it. By now it’s getting darker. I see transients along the road. The people I stunned when I jumped out of my car on the mountain top were still behind me. I coasted down the hills, hoping that would help.

My personal vehicle only has eight miles left after the light comes on – my book says so. So, I had no idea what await me. Alas, I began to see houses and lights and we had just about reached civilization. So, at least there was life close by if we did run out of gas. But, we didn’t. We actually made it to the gas station on time. I waved to the lady behind me as if to say “Thank you, I’m okay now”. I’m sure she really didn’t care at all. But, I felt as though I had imposed on her and should at least thank her for keeping an eye on me – even though she had no choice at all since I was in front of her. She was probably more concerned that I not run out of gas and cause her to run into me.

Can you see my point? Had I only listened to that small voice inside warning me. I could have actually enjoyed my sight-seeing trip. But, all I saw was that blazing yellow light calling me a dummy all the way. Just imagine what would have happened had I actually run out of gas – how much fear, frustration, time, trouble I would have had to endure, all because I did not listen to God’s Holy Spirit warn me.

You ask me how I know it was God’s Holy Spirit? Because I know God looks out after me and he warns me of things like that. Why didn’t I listen? The same reason you don’t. I thought I knew better based on what I already knew about the car. And, yes, even though I know God and listen for His voice all the time, I’m not perfect. I get in a hurry. I think it’s my own inner voice speaking and I ignore it. I was talking to my sister, we were laughing and having fun. The voice was small, I even considered it my own imagination because the car appeared to have plenty of gas.

Are you getting the picture? I’m no super human – I love God, I talk to Him and I listen to Him. I should know better because I’ve made enough mistakes in my life. So, why am I telling you all this if I don’t have the right answer? Because it takes a lifetime of training – you won’t “arrive” until you are in heaving at the feet of the Master. We must continually be aware of God – acknowledge Him – as the Scripture tells us. Keep our minds on Him and He will keep us in peace – again a quote from the Bible.

We always need God. We have to listen all the time. We can’t just assume we have all the right answers and we don’t need to stop and ask Him. When, in truth, many of our mistakes are made because we do just that. We are the ones to blame. God tries to warn us. We have to listen and then – yep, obey.

Our Least Favorite Subject – Obedience – God Is Not Santa Claus!

14 Jun

He Walks With Me

Obedience to God is the key to so many of the things we desire from Him. I am not referring to material things or things on our “wish list”, or to getting our own way all the time. It’s not about having all of our prayers answered just the way we want them or living in a perfect world where there are no problems and life is easy. It also isn’t about a life of wealth and health and utter bliss.

If you are looking for a life where true love exists with no heartaches, and your heart can be at peace when everything around you is failing – going wrong in almost every sense of the word – then, I believe this series of devotionals can help you.

I’m gong to write about finding The Way – true peace in the midst of every storm. It is about learning to trust in the One True Source that can give you everything you need. It is about following through. It is about timing – His timing.

My challenge to you and my purpose in writing this is for you to consider that God wants more of you – not for you to DO more – but for fellowship and friendship with Him.

Where do you look for peace?

God’s Word, is real and sharper than a two-edged sword. It really is. It is so alive and so full of God’s love for you and His direction for every situation in your life. You can have peace – the kind of peace that can’t be explained. It’s a peace you cannot find in all your money. You can’t find it in your mate, or your children or your grandchildren. It isn’t in the toys you love. These are ways to spend your time that may occupy your time and distract you. They may take your mind far away from reality. But these are only temporary fixes.

Your peace won’t come from drugs, alcohol, sex or food. These things may help dull your senses and satisfy your flesh. However, none of these things really give you the peace in your heart you so need when your life is falling apart and your heart is breaking.

We have all seen how hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters, can wipe away all the precious material possessions we all hold on to. When some sort of catastrophe visits our doorstep and begins to take away all that we have held in our minds to be the things that make us who we are, what happens to our peace then? Who do we turn to?

What happens when the world as we know it – our world – is shattered and everything we found our comfort and contentment in fails us? We try to hold it together. We do all we can to make it right again. We struggle and fight within ourselves until we feel our hearts will never mend. We cry out to God and make vows and promises we can’t keep. We try to bargain with God and plead with Him to make everything okay again. We’re disappointed and angry when He doesn’t jump in there and make miracles happen to prove He is God and to show us He will make things okay for us again.

What did you do wrong?

We even come to a point where we’re angry at Him and embarrassed that He could let us down in such a way that our friends think we couldn’t be living right. Surely, we must not be following all of the rules. There must have been something different we could have done. If we had, our lives would be proof of it. We would have everything in order and we would be like the Joneses – with perfect houses full of goodies and great cars and beautiful and perfect, well-behaved children. We would have lots of friends and the most up-to-date clothes – whatever toys our hearts delight in – great health – perfect holiday celebrations and nothing to worry about. That would prove God loves us and we’re living the good life, wouldn’t it?

After all, God said, “Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart”. He said it – did He mean it or not? Well, if I don’t have everything my heart desires, does that mean I’m not good enough or that I am not doing enough for God? Okay, then. I’ll join one more Bible Study or volunteer for a committee to show just how much of a Christian I am. I’ll work a little harder at making everyone see what good person I am. I’ll lose some weight and bring my wardrobe up to date – dye my hair – have some cosmetic surgery. Then everyone will see that I still have what it takes. They’ll envy me and see what a good person I am. I’ll surely feel better about myself.

I know something that will really help me feel better. I’ll buy some more toys. I’ll get new furniture or a big new car – a bigger, newer, faster computer – the most up to date cell-phone or smart phone.
I’ll drink away my sorrow or my shortcomings. I’ll take a few more pills so I won’t have to think about all of the things that bother me. I’ll join another group. I’ll find another mate. I’ll turn up the volume on my IPOD and drown out everything that is trying to bring me down. I’ll eat some comfort food. I’ll buy something that will make me feel better.

Have you gotten the picture? Do you see what we do – what we call living? Can you see what lengths we go to so that we will have peace and joy? Do any of them work for you when your life is falling apart or when you are hurting so much inside? Do any of these things last when you are all alone?

What, then, if anything, is the answer? Where can I find peace and joy? How can I be content? Is it possible?


Come back later — This devotional is continued
.

%d bloggers like this: