What about that life of P.E.A.C.E. – well?
If you had an illness and you knew with 100% assurance that there was a remedy, totally free, and without any negative side effects, would you turn it down?
I have an illness. It’s genetic. You can’t see it; there is no MRI or CT Scan able to reveal it; but there is a blood test that resolves it. I was born with a deadly condition called the human heart, infiltrated with sin, visible only to God, but witnessed by every person I come into contact with. The Bible proves this many times in its 66 books, but look how the heart is described in the New Living Translation “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9
I try to be kind, thoughtful, trustworthy, conscientious, honest, and spiritually discerning, but I was born with this human heart that wants to be deceitful and is naturally wicked. In my daily Prayer and Quiet Time, I ask God to reveal things in my life that are sin to him. I sometimes need to act on what He inspired James to write in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” God has given me trusted friends whom I can ask any hour of the day to pray me through a circumstance, a fear, or an anxious time of waiting. My friends don’t point out that sin has caused this urgent need for prayer and therefore I need the remedy. They just pray for whatever healing I need.
Let’s talk about healing for a moment. Healing can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. I could need healing for an attitude, for a mistake, for rabbit trailing when I need to get back on track with a commitment. I could need healing because I have lost my sincere love toward God and am floundering in defeat while I find my back from disappointment with Him. There’s a passage in Isaiah 32 that describes it well. In verse 9 it says “You complacent women, get up and listen to me! You carefree daughters, pay attention to what I say!” Then when God has my attention, he talks about mourning over lives of neglect and then along about verse 15 he says “This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven.”
Sometimes I feel like I’m at the pinnacle of opportunity, life is grand. Then that deceitful heart pumps out ill feelings that become ill thoughts that become ill actions. Does any of this sound familiar? Remember that blood test I mentioned in the beginning? The blood test is Jesus Christ and his horrific death on the cross at Calvary. In His love for all mankind and wanting everyone to have a relationship with Him and be free from spiritual illness, God gave up his only son to shed his blood as the remedy for the sins of the world. 1 John 4:10 “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
I’ve survived the blood test, I’ve acknowledged my genetic sin illness and have with my heart acted on the words spoken in Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.”
So what about this life of PEACE? I know according to Isaiah 59:8 there are certain factors that are barricades to peace. “They are unfamiliar with peace; their deeds are unjust. They use deceitful methods, and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace.” Does that sound like the life I want to be familiar with, identify with? How about this instead: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
I’m considering a lengthy sabbatical from this blog. If you’re a regular reader, please pray that God will reveal to me a yes or no answer. I have been writing for about a year and a half, even before I designed a daily discipline to pursue peace. The last letter of the acronym is E – which stands for Encourage and Edify. This blog is one way I live out that E of PEACE.
Prayer & Quiet Time – reading scripture, devotionals, and praying
Exercise – taking care of my physical body
Accountability– planning my day, reviewing yesterday, working on goals, learn something new, self-education
Character – practices to enhance who I am, strengthen my thought life, contribute to my spiritual, God honoring lifestyle
Encourage and Edify – acts of kindness, post to my blog
I end with this encouraging verse today Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”