Journal Entry ~ 03/24/18
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. - Ephesians 6:14-15
Our God is a god of peace. The whole story of redemption, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is God's plan to bring about peace - between man and himself, and between man and man. As the children of God, we must be peacemakers - we must seek peace within ourselves and with others in everything we do.
Seeking peace within ourselves starts with finding those places where fear and anxiety live within our hearts. Peace is not the absence of pain and grief in our lives, it is the absence of fear and turmoil. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us: 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We are to fight anxiousness like an enemy. Our flesh is so easily tempted by our fears of the future - we all have multiple anxious fears that pop into our heads throughout the day. We need to grab a hold of every single one and offer it up to God in prayer. Every time you have an anxious thought about what might come, take it and give it to God immediately in prayer. Stop what you're doing and pray. Confess your lack of trust in Him in that moment, and then offer your prayer of thanksgiving to Him. Shift your focus to all that He has done for you, beginning with saving you from an eternal death. This is how you find peace with yourself - prayer, confession, and thanksgiving.
It is no mistake that seeking peace with others can be found the exact same way. Matthew 5:44 says: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. We all have those difficult people in our lives - they frustrate and anger us because they have either hurt us or they have hurt someone we love. But here, we are called to pray for them. We must learn how to pull back from the emotion of the moment and recognize that God has a plan for these difficult people just as He has a plan for us - and ultimately His plan is that ALL come to know and glorify Him as Lord. If they are not a child of God, His plan is salvation for that person, and if they are a child of God, His plan is for sanctification. If we consider ourselves to be children of God, we must be on God's plan. That means our work for the kingdom must be that all people come to know Christ. All people. It isn't our job to determine which people, or choose only those we like. All people.
We are told in scripture if possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Everything we choose to think, do, or say about others must promote peace. This is not possible without the power of the Holy Spirit, and that is why we are told to pray. When we pray, God reveals our sinful nature to us - our lack of peace with others, our frustration and our anger toward others, our choice to turn against Him. When we see that sin, we must immediately confess it because we know blessed is the pure in heart and blessed are the peacemakers. Without a merciful, pure, peacemaking heart you cannot be called a son of God on the judgment day. Strive for peace, my friends in all that you do.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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