Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forfeiting Peace

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 Not long ago, I was sitting in church singing an old familiar song. I guess I have sang these words a thousand times in my life, even had it memorized, for the most part. But this time, God revealed something in that song and suddenly I realized my eyes were locked in on this phrase. My voice had stopped singing as God let this phrase take over my mind and my heart: "Oh what peace we often forfeit". My eyes filled up with tears when I realized how often I had forfeited peace, God's peace. Why do we do this? God answers that question in this post... One definition of peace is, 'freedom from oppressing thoughts or emotions'. One definition of forfeit is, 'to give up or to loose the right to, especially by some error, offense, or crime'. After reading these two definitions, why in the world would we ever want to use the words, forfeit and peace, in the same sentence? The reason is that Satan tells us they go together. He sells us the lie that we can't have peace in our hearts as God's children. God's word tells us differently. In fact, BECAUSE we are God's people, we are offered peace, daily peace. So why do we feel so empty at times? Why do we feel so uneasy? Why does our mind run and run, feeling as though we can't turn it off? Why do we wake up with an unsettling feeling, and go to bed with the same? It is because we are choosing to forfeit, or give up, our peace. Yes, I did say choosing. Once a person accepts Jesus into their heart, the Holy Spirit dwells within them. The Holy Spirit gives us the feeling and the concept of peace. All throughout the Bible, we find evidence of this (Rom. 15:1; Acts 9:21). So why do we abandon this peace we ALREADY have access too? Isaiah 26:3 tells us. It says that God will 'keep' us in perfect peace (not a little bit of peace but perfect peace!) if we keep our mind steadfast. So, forfeiting peace begins in the mind, the thoughts. Satan loves to lounge around an 'unguarded mind', placing defeating, depressing, and anxious thoughts about our life. God's word tells us to keep our mind steadfast. This means we must focus on God with our thoughts at all times. We do this by taking the thoughts captive, that shouldn't be there (the one's that are forfeiting our peace) and making them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). We then make up our mind not to worry (Luke 21:14) and replace unsettling thoughts with scripture, or in other words, find out what God has to say. We do this over and over again until the peace comes. And, my sweet friends, PEACE WILL COME!! We can then find joy in our trials!!! (James 1:2). Today is Thanksgiving Day. But maybe, you are finding it very hard to be thankful for your trials in your life right now. Maybe you woke up this morning with an empty feeling. If you are God's child, this means you have chosen to forfeit your peace. The song I wrote about at the beginning was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". I can sing this song with a light heart today because He is my friend. He wants to be your friend too. Maybe you have forfeited your peace because of a relationship that has gone terribly wrong. Maybe it's because you have hurt God and others in your past and the guilt consumes you. Perhaps you can't feel peace because your health is failing or a loved one is very critical. God needs you to know that you don't have to feel that way. Because you are God's child, we are given peace...if we just seek Him for it and begin with making our thoughts obedient to Him. I will end this post with evidence of that. The following is the blessing God gave to the Israelites...His people. We, my friends, have this same blessing. Remember it today: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 Happy Thanksgiving, Corrie

CrossRoads' Women's Retreat

Just a note to say "thank you" to my own church, CrossRoads Baptist, for giving me the honor to lead the Bible study for our annual women's retreat. Words cannot express the love that I have for my sisters in Christ in my own church family. I will never forget the fellowship, laughter, and tears we shared together (and of course, other 'memorable moments' that will forever keep me laughing!!!). But most of all, I will never forget how God revealed Himself to us in that cabin that weekend. Hearts (including mine)are forever changed because God showed us more about Him, ourselves, and the Body of Christ. We know that an intimate, personal relationship with God is possible in the 'land of the living'. Go West, my friends!! (wink) Love, Corrie