Perfect Peace

I’m not sure what that is but it sounds wonderful.

I run, helter skelter, through my day.  I push and pull, coerce and manipulate.  I believe in myself (at least part of the time) and know my potential and capabilities.  I get to work early almost every day, participate in meetings, advise and pray.  But sometimes I think my only motivation is that I will somehow get noticed, my value will be seen and I’ll be promoted. 

I fret over every red light (even after all that I’ve prayed over and written about).  I struggle so much with seeing every road block as an attack against my dreams and aspirations.  I’m angered by every rude driver and exalt over every time I get in front of the pack (usually through my own acts of rudeness).  I have fear about my days, my family, my job, the worship team, the church and the world.

Perfect Peace

Isaiah wrote that, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  Ah, but once again, I see it, hear it, out of context.  I want to think that I trust Him because I talk to Him every day.  I want to believe that my mind is stayed on Jesus because I consider him, pray to him.  Verse prior – “He sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.  Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.”  Verse 5 and 6 then says, “For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.  6 The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”

But I don’t want to be under the needy.  I don’t want to be humbled and laid low.  I think I’ve been pretty clear that I want to get ahead in life.  I want to be successful.  And all too often, I don’t want to accept my need for God’s armor to surround me.  It is amazing to me that we see hear in Isaiah 26 the same use of salvation as a protector that is seen in Ephesians.  I’m convinced that part of my struggle is that I lose sight of the fact that I still need salvation.  That asking Jesus to come and live in me was only the beginning of saving me.  I will further assert that Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to keep me from burning in hell.  I was redeemed to renew the relationship God always intended between us.  I was bought and paid for by the blood of my Savior so that others would know Him and love Him too.

And what is a better way to reach them than the evidence of Him living in me. 

Let’s face it.  We all would like to know what Perfect Peace is.

And there is only one source!

Sex, Sex, Sex

Easy killer….

Just the word will have people tripping over themselves with questions, consternation, desire, offense.

What does sex have to do with the heart of a worshipper?  How is the role of intimacy in a relationship played out with the God of the universe.  I think for many church people this idea is too “lofty” for them to wrap their mind around but Ephesians tells us that there is a comparison between a man and his wife and Christ with His bride (the Church).  So what does that look like?

Now I should begin this with a disclaimer.  I am no great husband or lover.  I would be embarrassed to attempt to delve into God’s role in this.  I am not a woman so it is with fear and trembling that I attempt to look at it from the bride’s vantage.  But, I have a strong desire for christians to gain a better understanding and on no other topic more than relating to Jesus.  So, I will give you my insights and you can laugh them off or ignore them because of their ridiculous author.  And maybe, just maybe, you will see Him a little better.

The Honeymoon is that amazing event of discovery and adventure where all things are (or should be) new.  Things not seen or touched before are now exposed to the lover.  When we first come to Jesus, there is a newness to our self-concept; even though we know the intimate places of heart and soul have been ravaged, been raped by life, by sin, by Satan with his mocking, condemning hatred of all that we are.  We catch a glimpse of our beauty, our value when we first gaze into the eyes of the One who died for us.  It opens our hearts, our lives to Him with an understanding that He wants us just the way we are.  Our worship, the love we give back to Him, is reckless and passionate.

But we are married to Him for a long time.  He seeks intimacy with us on a daily basis and over time we listen again to those voices that remind us of our failings, our ugliness, our issues.  So we see ourselves as undesirable.  We question and doubt the trustworthiness of our spouse and see our vindication when He does not do what we want.  We protect ourselves by denying Him.  We seek to guard our now diminishing significance with the chrysalis of fear and anger.  Our only way out…our ONLY way out of this downward spiral is to, beyond reason, past rational thought, open ourselves again to His intimate touch.

I know that in this world where evil abounds there are husbands that abuse, that blame, that hurt their sweethearts.  None of the male members of our species are now or have ever been perfect, save one.  But I would submit that the blame for much of the harsh treatment, horrible days that we’ve faced, should be placed at our own feet.  He is the sinless one, the God of love and reconciliation.  He is the one who left heaven to die in our place.  If we have lost our love for Him, we must take off our clothing, lie close to Him and let Him hold us once again.

We must…