When I catalog the things, people, or events that I believe are causing me to lose my peace, it’s always interesting to note how much power I have given my enemies. After all, if God gives me peace that surpasses understanding, who then can possibly overcome Him, break into the fortress He has built around me, and steal it from me?
The fact is, if my peace is stolen, it’s usually because I’ve let one of my enemies into my fortress.
We have three enemies and they are constantly plotting against our relationship with God (and thus, our peace). These enemies do not want us to know God. These enemies do not want us to experience the peace, wisdom, love, and magnificent power of God. Our three enemies are—the devil, the world culture, and one of the most surreptitious—our fleshly desires.
Even after our soul and spirit are redeemed, our flesh is never any better than the day we were born again! It is the enemy that lurks and waits to derail us from our relationship with God. It manifests itself in the form of ANY desire that is contrary to God’s holiness. When we feed these unholy desires, the enemy grows stronger. It slowly takes us away from God’s presence—and HIS peace. To fight back, we must feed our soul and spirit with the presence of Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace.
When our desire for God’s presence becomes a greater desire than our fleshly desires, our life is dominated by peace. Our desires for—friendship, companionship, love, money, security, comfort, pleasure, family, etc., MUST be surrendered to God. They must be secondary to our desire for God’s presence. I remember the first time God showed me this and my initial reaction was, “I’d rather have all that other stuff than have God’s presence.” Why did I have this reaction? Because I’d never REALLY experienced the presence of God. I was like a child who preferred a cardboard house in the ghetto to an offer to live in a mansion by the seaside because—I’d never been outside the ghetto. But…
Once I began to experience the peace of God, I never wanted to go back to my shack in the ghetto.
Yes, I’m still tempted—every day—to surrender to the desires of my flesh. But when I feel my peace dissipating, I know I’ve wandered from God’s presence. I run back to the light and beauty of God! And my dear Father understands the frail and fickle love of my wandering heart.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.”Psalms 103:13-14,17
When we know God as our loving Father, then we cling to Him so tightly in our everyday life that He is interwoven into ALL our desires, plans, and friendships. We don’t want to do anything without Him! God knows you—inside and out. He created within you a desire for love and because He IS love, He wants to fulfill you in ways greater than you can imagine. God created love and friendship; indeed, from eternity past the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have been engaging in a friendship more wonderful than our mind can comprehend. They invite us—to join them!
God knows your needs better than you know your needs; the closer you get to Him, the more you know—your greatest need—is Him.
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