Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God's Redeeming Love {Day 26}: Peace That Passes All Understanding

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With only a few days left in February, I wish we could all sit down and talk about where we are with the Lord.  I imagine we would have some neat stories to share with one another.

For me, these lessons {that were mostly in my heart or written in my private journal} have taken on new life as I've shared them so publicly.  I'm amazed at how much my own walk with the Lord has been enriched all over again by remaining sensitive to His Word in the area of how He's loving me.

During this month, I've also been keenly aware of how the enemy tries to thwart a plan.  I'm on to him and staying armed with the Word, yet I would be lying if I said I'm not a little worn from it all.

Don't mistake 'worn' for discouraged.  Not at all the same.  If anything I'm more encouraged that God wins.  He'll never leave us the same if we're willing to see something through to the finish.  What a blessing it has all been to me!

However, you may be like me and know through experience just what the enemy will use to discourage you. Not to say there aren't new schemes or surprises along the way, but for instance, I know when I'm starting something new with the Lord or committing to serving in a particular area, the enemy will use an old trick to distract me.  Usually it's a tactic to make me fearful and anxious.  I'll go even further to say it usually involves a lot of 'what-ifs' with my family.

I mention all of this to bring us back to the first devotion in this series ... renewing our minds.  The thing about the enemy using an old tactic is that hopefully, we're getting better at telling God on him.  Staying in prayer or in conversation with the Lord about anything the enemy tries to discourage us with is a perfect example of cultivating our relationship with our Savior.  He wants us to acknowledge the fact that, without Him, we are left weak and defenseless.  But, with Him, we are victorious.

Like I said, during this month, a familiar dart has been thrown my way.  I recognized it and would push the thought from my mind and pray instantly for God to keep me focused on His Word.

Just yesterday, I was feeling a little beaten down over it and became a little more desperate for relief. Asking for wisdom and guidance, God led me to Psalm 55:17-18 ...

"Evening, and morning, and at noon,
will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle
that was against me: for there were many with me"

And, just like that, the peace that passes all understanding washed over me and reminded me I am His and He loves me.

There really is no substitute for a genuine relationship with Christ and His Word.  Yes, my quick prayers for God to help me push back fearful thoughts were beneficial and kept me afloat, but I didn't receive real victory and peace over it until I stopped and spent some focused time in His Word over the matter.  

I could cry again just thinking about it.  Without the Word of God, we will most definitely be tossed around in this world that is contrary to how we believe and we'll be so worn and torn we won't recognize ourselves anymore.  Quick prayers and pleas are fine and have their place, but genuine time and study in the Word will be what delivers us.

There's simply no other way.


Piper said...

We must press on Sisters!! We cannot allow the enemy any ground. Times that I fail to get into God's word are times that my circumstances beat me down. Even in those times His love never fails and best of all HE is RIGHT there!!

Rebecca Jo said...

There is something about digging into the word & hearing what God says to us... its so calming to me. Peace delivering.

Melanie said...

Thank you, I needed to hear this today. I admit, I do get discouraged when weary from battling the enemy. I feel I'm such an easy target at times. But your words encourage me to shift focus back to My Defender. I appreciate that.

Melissa H. said...

Something you said in this post struck at the heart of so much of my struggle - the "what ifs", and especially regarding those I love. In order to trust God with my loved ones, I must be totally convinced of His love for me/us. It is so easy to look around and see the heartache, injustice and suffering, and wonder if He cares. This is where I am in my journey. I MUST trust in His love so that fear does not get the best of me.

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