Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, October 28, 2016

Living a Truly Balanced LIfe....series..peace

Speaking of peace or rest. From this great book:
Next I'd like to remind you of another fruit of the Spirit in the list of Galatians 5 called peace. Elsewhere in the list of preventive remedies it is called "rest." In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." It's a gift. And exercise demands rest.  

I have a friend who was right up where he should be on his diet, and right up where he should be in terms of exercise. He thought he was in top shape until he went in for an examination and discovered that he had to have three to for bypasses. He was in trouble! Why? Because he lived a life of constant stress, and stress can do that to your heart. Our world is full of it. Think of it in the physical realm. Californians are known as people who always drive in the fast lane. Californians still exist for he same purpose that god California started - the gold rush.

I've had the privilege of moving a time or two from California to Oregon and to Colorado. In Oregon, if someone misses a day of work, they don't worry about it. They have some canned fruit down in the cellar. They can sit on the back steps and watch the sun go down . They have time.

I remember the first day I was in a town in Colorado. I found myself waiting behind a man who waited for the green light to turn red! I about had a heart attack. Suddenly it hit me. It was beautiful that someone could do this. The pace was slower. People could see people on the street and say Hello. So I tried waiting through a green light for a red one, but that caused more stress, because there was someone behind me, and I think he was from California.

We ought to have the privilege once in a while of slowing down and getting away from the mad race. All of us need that. But we need it most in the spiritual realm.

What is spiritual stress? The heaviest stress that plagues Christians everywhere, including our own subculture, is: "Am I going to make it?" "Is my eternal destiny certain?" "Will I be in heaven?" "How can I know that I am right with God?" And this kind of stress, we are told, is not necessary. Did you know that? We should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we will be saved. If a person gets bogged down in whether or not he is going to be saved, he is making self the center. We've done a great deal of that - wondering whether or not we can be certain of our own salvation. All this turns us away from the Source of our strength. Lets commit the keeping of our soul to God and trust in Him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committee o Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than a conqueror through Him who has loved you.

So, if we pay attention to the first four remedies, personal fellowship with Jesus, time in His Word, and time on our knees, and time day by day in service and outreach, the Holy Spirit will give us the certainty that all is well, that Jesus has made a more than adequate sacrifice, that the cross is the assurance of God's love for each one of us, ad that He is more interested in getting us into Heaven that He is in keeping anyone out. Do you have rest on that level? Have you accepted that rest? Isn't this what Jesus is inviting us to? Don't labor and be heavy laden concerning this one. Rest is a gift.  And it's yours, as long as you keep yourself in His hands day by day.

The other aspect of rest come from knowing that God is able to finish what He has started. It is the security and the peace that we can have knowing that God is still in charge, that He is still the One who sits on the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers, when it come to hindering His plans. It is knowing that God's plans still know no haste and no delay.

This includes His plans for the church as well. I'd like to remind you of the deep conviction some of us have that God is still in charge o this work. I think that I have been as cynical as anyone about the great white elephant called organization. But I've been watching it, and more and more I am convinced that God is in charge, and tat we can trust Him. Here's something from the days of our pioneers:

"Do not worry. The work is under the supervision of the blessed Master....All parts of the work - our churches,  missions, Sabbath schools, institutions- are carried upon His heart. Why worry? The intense longing to see the church imbued with life must be tempered with entire trust in God, for "without Me," said the great Burden Bearer, "ye can do nothing."

Let no one overtax his God-given powers in an effort to advance the Lord's work more rapidly. The power of man cannot hasten the work; with this must be united the power of heavenly intelligences.... Man cannot do God's part of the work....He is not to feel self-confident, for thus he will exhaust his reserve force and destroy his mental and physical powers. Through all the workmen now bearing the heaviest burdens should be laid aside, God's work would be carried forward"(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 298).

That's interesting.

You can trust God. you can have peace. It's a gift of the Spirit if you keep close to Him. Accept His peace, and rest concerning HIs power and ability to finish what He has started.

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