The Peace of God

One can see that the Book of Philippians was first written as a letter to a mature audience. There is so much that reaches down into your core and pulls out what shouldn’t be there and exposes it. This is the healthy thing to do – deal with our swampy mess we haven’t even noticed since our first cry out to God. Each layer is exposed as God reveals our sinfulness.

Often people want to avoid such a thing, but taking things to God is what frees us from such things. What you think you have hidden away will always surface at some point whether it be by the world or by God. But when God allows it to be exposed, we should pay attention. God handles things with a gentle hand when we address it right away.

This morning I read from Philippians 4 NIV. Verses 4 through 7 is what first struck me:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Recognizing our sin is always difficult; it causes us to feel terrible……. until we present our requests to God. When we wholeheartedly present our sin to God, we do experience the peace of God. We must let our sin and our concerns go, and we do this by letting Jesus take it. Verse 7 tells us that this peace “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

This peace that Paul – the writer of this letter to the Philippians – refers to is a peace that guards us and protects us from spiritual harm. The lies of the evil one can certainly affect us through stress, depression and anxiety, but when we make things right with God, things can change.

As we draw crosser to God, over time, this peace comes to us easier as we more readily accept it. Remember that while we are born again, we are also adopted. In our adoption, God knows that we have a past that needs to be dealt with. Being born again doesn’t make us a completely different person but, rather, a new creation. God loves to take our old experiences and use it for the good of others. But if we don’t learn how to overcome our past, then God cannot use it.

It is through our submission to God that we experience change. I am just thankful that God takes us just as we are with our sinful nature and every other difficulty that our lives contain at the moment of being reborn. He wants a new creation. God wants to change all of that bad to good, and he is perfectly capable, if we let him.

May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.

Who we are in Christ?

One will never understand who they are in Christ unless they come to truly know who he is. It is necessary to know Christ to know yourself. We can’t fully know who we are unless we know Christ- not know of him, but know him. Knowing Jesus is more than dedicating your life to him. Knowing Jesus is more than obedience. Knowing Jesus embodies a knowing of who, what, where, and why he ever did what he did. Jesus didn’t just die for our sins. That act of bravery, alone, created a bridge for us to reach God. It didn’t give us the understanding we need to truly know who we are in Christ. You will never know who you are in Christ until you truly, fully know who Christ is.

How is it that there are Christians who are alcoholics, struggle with fear and many other types of struggles? While I understand that every person’s journey is different, what we need to always see is some sort of progress in our life. That progress – if not complete healing or even deliverance – should be in the form of learning and growing. Our personal growth is the result of our learning. While we are in the trenches of the battles of this life, never are we to just sit and wait. We are to wait by doing. What does that look like? Our time should look like this: we are to be drawing closer to God through reading our Bibles and through prayer. We are to be seeking God’s fullness.

In essence, we need to learn who Christ is, but we will not learn about who we are in Christ unless we are reading our Bibles and spending time communicating with God. God wants us to talk to him, and then give him the opportunity to say something back. When God speaks to us, it may not be profound, but the experience is. God’s voice brings so much peace and even deliverance. God’s voice brings understanding that we would have never had unless we had taken that time to listen. Sometimes it comes in something like a download of the knowledge we need to change or a path to walk.

So, how do we overcome the trials and tribulations of this world? By communing with God. And in our time of communing with God, we should talk to him about our past and all the hurts in it. Through the Holy Spirit, God is our counselor, and he brings more comfort, more peace, more understanding, and much more direction for life then any other counselor you can make an appointment for. It is not my recommendation to cancel appointments that you already have. The question is this: who do you rely on more? People or God? If you place more faith in people than God, then all you will get is a very watered-down version of what God has to offer you right now. God can do things that people can’t. He is the source of all things that you need whether that be food, money to pay your bills, or even the strength and endurance to accomplish things you never thought possible.

The store got busy fast. I was barely able to find the time to take this photo. Book signing table photo at Chapters in St. Albert, Alberta Canada
My book, “When The One You Love Doesn’t Love You Anymore”, on the shelf at Chapters in St. Albert, Alberta Canada

For example, recently I published my first book. This past Saturday, I had my first book signing, and it was a huge success. My book sales were expressed to be competing with seasoned authors and their own book sales. Now, the fact that I even wrote a book is a miracle all in it’s own, but for it to actually be a success is down-right a miracle of a completely different kind of miracles. It’s huge! I would have never been able to do this without the Lord walking me through it. He surely is my strength to conquer any obstacle standing in my way of fulfilling my purpose in this life.

So, friend, where does your faith lie today?

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.