Peace Rally. (Holy Spirit: Who or What? #12)
Less than nine miles from my quiet home on a long tree-lined street in Alameda, 1960s peace rallies quickly got out of hand, and became anything but peaceful . . . rallies crying for America to get out of the war. (Even as a teen-ager, I was not allowed to go anywhere near Berkeley.) But I'm wondering today-why don't we gather together and cry out for inner peace in the same sort of solidarity? Apparently, the recent Morning Briefings on peace have hit the mark.
One person wrote, "This is just what I needed . . . it is like you were looking at my situation and writing what I needed to hear!" Hmmm, how did I know that talking about
transferring all of our cares onto God, asking for his peace
would be meaningful to you? Because I'm writing from my own life. How did I know that you struggle with
forgiving someone who wounded you to the point of brokenness?
Because I am in the struggle, and it is real. How did I know that you
need some tools to apprehend peace that God promises?
Because there is so much pulling at my heart and mind from my family-things over which I have no control--that I am struggling to be at peace. So I am looking to the only person who brings real peace-God. I am looking to the only source of eternal truth on the subject-God's Words, the Bible. I am relying on both to help me stop clinching my jaws and grinding my teeth in my sleep. Real talk.
What I am thinking about this morning-God's perspective. You know,
God lives outside of our space and time continuum; he is simply above it all.
But for simplicity, consider that God is looking down on our lives-he sees my life and your life as all one piece. While we are caught in the day-to-day just now, he is above that, loving us, guiding us (if we let him), and seeing around the corners we cannot . . . God knows how the story ends, and 'he's got this!' Why, God doesn't just know how many hairs we have on our heads (or not), he knows exactly how many days we will live. Trust me, he has it all figured out!
And simply, I can entrust myself [including all those I love] to God's care.
He is big enough and his heart is certainly good enough.
Truth/Tool for peace: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.1
In the last Briefing, I told you that you had some responsibility for creating a mental and emotional environment that has room for peace, highlighting the need for getting rid of any unforgiveness or bitterness you might carry. You and I also have the responsibility to order our thinking. Surely, Paul was the most eloquent proponent of right thinking: "...We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."2 That indicates we have the ability to grab our thoughts and change them, Friend. How? It was to the Romans that Paul wrote, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world..."
~>not what you see on television, Facebook or Instagram...
not what you hear from friends or work colleagues
not what you listen to on the radio or see online.
But be transformed by the renewing of your mind."3
Change what you think about-from worries, envy, jealousy, regrets, shame or guilt to life-giving thoughts. Again Paul, "you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."4
And then, make a decision daily to look at God's creation-birds (how I love them!), flowers, ocean waves, farm pasture, little children, a rippling brook, moody clouds, expressive sunsets . . . and say, "Thank you, God!" When looking at God's creation, do you not see the good gifts he has in mind for you? So, look up! Look for reasons to praise God, and then celebrate him! As the singing shepherd king penned,
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."5
ATTENTION: this will take intention on your part. Otherwise, you will look down .... and negative, worrisome thoughts will flood into your peaceful environment again. Thereby creating a need for another peace rally.
1 - Proverbs 3.5-6, NLT
2 - 2 Corinthians 10.5b, NIV
3 - Romans 12.2, NIV
4 - Philippians 4.8, the message
5 - Psalm 37.4