Monday, October 29, 2012

Peace is not external and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.
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Seeing the beach picture reminds me to pray for those in Sandy's path.  Will you join me in prayer?
I used to think:

if I could just be at the beach or

if my house was quiet and it was cold outside and I could light that pumpkin spice candle or

if I just didn't have this financial insecurity hanging over my head or

if my marriage didn't have THAT problem...

I could have peace.

But as I study about this armor of God that is necessary for our spiritual health and survival, I realize that peace is not something that comes from the external surroundings of ME.  And if I think back, how many times have I gotten to the beach, stood in front of the rolling ocean, flung my arms wide, and felt...nothing.  And then those other times, when I am sitting with my Bible open, chaos flying around me, the world turned upside down, but somehow in the quietness of my spirit, peace was there.

"Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand, therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace."  Ephesians 6: 13-14, ESV

We are to stand ready, armed by the gospel of peace.  What is the gospel of peace?  "Gospel" means "good news."  We are to be ready to fight because we have the good news of peace.  I think about the times that I am bereft of peace and in most of those circumstances, I am consumed with worry.  I cannot be peaceful and worried.  I cannot be peaceful and anxious.  I cannot be ready to war against the enemy when I am consumed with the "what-ifs" and fear of the potential "is-to-comes."

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  John 14: 27, ESV

I love that Jesus says that He gives us His peace.  To know that Jesus fully trusted His Father, that He never lived into fear, doubt, or uncertainty, and that He was able to stand fully in His Father's love alone...this is the peace that He so graciously gives to us.

How can I surrender my worries and my fears if I don't fully trust that God is in absolute and full control?

How can I be ready to go wherever He sends me if I don't believe that His plans are good and hopeful and rooted in love?

How can I teach others to accept His direction if I am not willing to heed that same Voice?

If I am forever dependent on all my circumstances being perfect in order to be peaceful, I will wait a long time.  And even if everything aligns and I feel peaceful, if this is only based on my environment, my peace can be taken away in an instant.

But this is not so with the peace that Jesus gives.  Jesus longs for us to be at peace -- fully trusting, giving our troubles and fears to Him -- no matter what happens in this physical world.  His peace is so powerful and transforming that we don't have to be shaken to the core when our world is rocked.  When we put on the surefootedness of this gospel of peace, we will not be moved off of our foundation.

What about you?  Do you feel a difference between worldly, everything-is-going-smoothly-peace and the peace from Jesus that can supersede any thing this world brings forth?

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I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.

Also, I'm at Melanie Dorsey's women's ministry place today where I'm sharing what I learned about retreat planning.  If you are thinking about putting on an event and would like to learn what I did, please click here.

15 comments :

  1. Our hearts have been thinking about similar things. Living in full confidence of His love gives peace in the midst of turmoil. It's a peace I can't muster up myself and a gift of grace. Beautiful truth here, Jen:) www.toshowthemjesus.com

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  2. Yep, peace is an inside job. That's what I thought. Thanks, Jen. Good stuff.

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  3. i have been pondering the psalm of peace like a river...so how interesting that your SDG post is about that! Oh, there is such a huge difference of having God's peace...that passes understanding. You are so right that getting to the beach just doesn't bring the peace you think it will. Ya know, in some ways I am experiencing a season of "worldly" and at times I am not feeling a 100 percent peace on the inside. I agree with Lisa, it is an inside job from Jesus. Thank you for such a gently reminder of where real peace comes from. Blessings to you sweet sister in Christ

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  4. it makes me think about the scripture...be ready to give an account for the hope within you~ hope and peace not based on our circumstances...but based on who He is in our lives. blessings to you Jen~

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  5. Life itself isn't conducive to peace. But the giver of live freely gives peace. Sometimes when life swirls around me is the times I'm most peaceful.

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    1. I so agree, Pamela. Life isn't conducive to peace and yet, we have a God that will use other avenues - real avenues - to calm our hearts.

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  6. What a great lesson here, Jen! Yes, I often think I need to wait for the right conditions for peace... but then I will wait a long time. Finding my new inner peace today..

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    1. My thoughts exactly. The perfect conditions will rarely work out -- I don't want to wait that long for peace.

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  7. I love your armor study! You've illustrated why the peace of God isn't understood by man. Because it's not circumstantial. It's a lesson I want my boys to learn.

    As always, I'm blessed by your words. Hugs!
    Michelle

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    1. The armor study has been incredibly powerful for me. To know that I can choose every day to be protected by Jesus -- what an amazing gift!

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  8. Thanking you Jen for Tuesdays at your place. Always a safe and joyous spot in a sometimes stormy world. Bless you and your gift of hospitality.You lay out the welcome mat warmly, graciously and I am grateful.

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  9. This is especially timely for me now. Today has not been easy, but God's gift of peace is ever present. Thank you for the reminder. <3

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  10. Thanks, Jen, for sharing your heart and Scripture...I think of Jesus saying the peace He gives is not like this world, and I'm grateful for when I have experienced it, and when I read or hear of another person experiencing His peace despite tough times...Blessings :)

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  11. Peace is never found in the "when, if, and maybe" but only in Jesus. Casting all our care on Him because He cares for us.

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  12. Praying for those in Sandy's path! Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!

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