We are midway through our time from when we asked folks to join together in a time of fasting and prayer. Yep, we are only 15 days out from Christmas day. The purpose of our 40 day fast and prayer was and is for us to seek God in our next steps. Seeking God for not only the rest of this year, but also to look out over 2013 asking ourselves “Lord how and where do you desire for us to reach our city?” And when we realize that sometimes what paralyzes us is when we are not at peace with either God, ourselves, circumstances, others or even a combination of all the above.
Last night we discussed peace. We looked at how peace offerings were administered in the day of Moses (1400 years before Christ) and how there was a sense of openness in coming to an altar with many others and offering sacrifices that would make you feel better about your relationship with God. Well we know that the ultimate sacrifice, the once for all sacrifice came through THE Lamb, Jesus Christ. We read in John 14:27 where He is giving us a gift….a gift of peace and mind, not how the world can give, but how He can (bivo paraphrase). Yet last night, we opened up and shared in our conversation how we find ourselves reaching for the “things” of the world to generate our peace.
Now I’m not the process mapping type of guy, so for the engineers and others that are gifted in mapping, give me some grace here hahaha…
What is this peace we see in Jesus and others discussing?
of Christianity, the tranquil (calm) state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.
1.So then when peace is not in my being? Ask the following:
is my unrest because I am not sure of my salvation? if yes…what am I basing my salvation on? Contact someone that you know is secure in their salvation and ask questions to help you become more assured of your salvation.
2. If you are secure in your salvation but still in unrest…am I fearing something from God? if yes go back to question 1.
3. If you are secure in your salvation and fearing nothing from God…are you content with your earthly lot (circumstances) whatever that is?
if yes…then you my friend are living in peace..RIGHT ON help others find that peace moment by moment….if you are not content with your earthly lot (circumstances) continue to next step below.
4.What is the source of the unrest? What positive steps can you take to help improve? Am I using “Things” (things that make me feel better about me, God or someone else) of the world to try to generate peace? If the unrest is God, go back to number 1..Do you have someone that you know, has, or is traveling through some of the same circumstances as you that can help guide to a place of peace? What parts of the unrest can I control or begin to change?
One quick timeout here, as I want to make sure we are on the same page in regards to the definition of content. Paul discusses being content in Philippians 4. He lets everyone know that he understands what it is like to live with much and to live with nothing. Either way, he was content as he learned and relied upon the Jesus in HIM to guide him through all situations. Part of the definition means to be independent of external circumstances.
Back to our process…..where are you on the map of peace? Live out the words throughout the book where we see our brothers and sisters sharing life together through Christ, our eternal peace offering. This will help generate peace in our day to day. Life is full of craziness that disrupts our peace, I am thankful it doesn’t change who our Prince of Peace is as we lean into HIM to gain strength through our circumstances in which takes us to deeper levels of peace.