Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Continual Peace

by Donna L. Watkins

How often I catch myself whining and grumbling ... sometimes it seems almost unconsciously ... but it's there.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Squirrel Eating Black-eyed Susan Seed Heads

Leave an open window in your mind and the devil will slither in to tell you how awful things are and that God is mistreating you and from the looks of things, He's not interested in the entire world. On and on and on and on he will go if you allow him to.

But we are to take thoughts captive: "...For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)..." (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5).

Do we obey this command? Do we think we are strong enough to battle the devil with human reasoning and willpower? Oh how proud we can become. But the more proud we become the further away God seems because "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (I Peter 5:5).

Our only effective weapon is The Word (which is a two-edged sword cutting the devil into ribbons). If you haven't memorized enough Word to do battle, carry some Scripture cards with you. When I was in grade school, my mother would always make sure I had a few tissues in my pocket because I had allergies and she knew I'd need them.

We know we need The Word to battle through our days, so make sure you have a few Scripture cards in your pocket before you leave your bedroom in the morning. I use index cards and write down things the Lord gives me during my time with Him. Over the years I've got a whole box full of them and I pick and choose according to the season of life I am in.

How do we practically keep our thoughts in line? It seems my brain is always thinking. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think, but it also tells us what to think: "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). We are told to think, so it's important to have such things continually on our minds. If we fill our mind with good things there is no room for the bad.

Philippians 4:7 says that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ jesus." Boy, do I need my mind guarded! I could use a whole troupe of guards on some of those really rough days.

If you read what comes before this promise of peace, you'll have the real victory in the battle. Philippians 4:6 tells us: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Our minds are going to think on something. We have the choice to worry (fear) or pray (faith) on every issue in our lives. We all know that fear blocks the blessings of God because we have given ourselves over to the enemy when we fear and our supernatural power to find joy and peace in all circumstances is non-accessible.

So, we have a way to stay out of worry, whining and wailing. We pray instead. We fill our minds with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Refuse the negative junk. Stop watching and reading the bad news. You can't expect to have a peaceful mind if you are continually feeding on war, death, destruction and horror. You have to make the choice to focus on good news or bad news. If you need some kind of news fix, subscribe to Happy News.

If we are anxious for nothing, and in everything, pray with thanksgiving (knowing God's reply is always good - not just wanting our own way in the situation), then we are promised the Peace of God. How much more could we ask for? We will not be rid of the trials and tribulations in this world ... but being able to stand in the midst of them with peace and joy intact is a testimony that will guide others into the Light of God and into an eternity in Heaven, rather than Hell. You could be the influence that determines the destiny of many people.

When you allow the devil to take you down to his level, you're not only giving yourself away ... you are taking others with you. Stand strong in the Lord. We are sons and daughters of the King. Let's act like it.

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