Sunday, September 20, 2015

Life and Peace? Yes, please.

Quick! It's a quiz. Give me two words to describe the activity in your brain.

Organized? Stressed? Full (or empty...)? Worried? Distracted?

Fill in your answers. My mind is ____________ and ____________. (For those of you who have tired or confused minds, please do not write directly on your screen.)

My own brain is busy and thinks a lot more highly of itself than it should.

But God is so good and faithful to forgive and in His mercy still deigns to communicate with me. He shared the following verse with me four times within 36 hours. I'm thinking in my busy brain that He wants me to stop and listen.

Will you listen with me?

The mind set on the Spirit
is life and peace.
Romans 8:6

(Did any of us fill in our blanks with these descriptions?) 

So friends, I tried. I spent a whole hour focusing on life and peace. Life - joy that I have been freed from my death in sin. And peace - that all is well because of my Jesus.

For the first few minutes I was doing great. Man, I am so happy in joy and peace! Yay! Jesus! Who hoo! I'm joyful! I'm so peaceful!

But then, like, real life started happening. Stressful things started happening at work while I was focusing on being peaceful. My children wanted stuff from me like food and clean clothes while I was reading my Bible. My husband dared to not eat the dinner I had joyfully prepared because he was tired

GEEZ! Didn't people know we were LIVING IN JOYFUL LIFE AND PEACE?!

Something tells me I'm doing this wrong, Lord. My day is most definitely not full of life and peace. 

And then came the light bulb moment. 

Child, I didn't tell your mind to focus on life and peace. I told your mind to focus on My Spirit. 

See, I'm not in charge of supplying my mind with life and peace. The Spirit is. "The Spirit gives life," says John 6:63.

This isn't about training my brain to think about rainbows and zen and fuzzy bunnies. This is about training my brain to turn in prayer and thought, in both big and small moments, to Him.

We, as believers, do not embrace the power of the Holy Spirit. This awesome and otherworldly gift that has been given to us. This very Spirit, yes even the one that lives in you: 

put Jesus in Mary's womb (Matthew 1:8), cast out demons (Matthew 12:28), came down like a dove and sat with Jesus after His baptism (Mark 1:10), filled a pregnant Elizabeth with joy (Luke 1:41), lit atop the disciples' heads at Pentecost (Acts 2:3).

The Spirit whom Jesus left with you (John 14:25). The same Spirit who enabled Him to fulfill the prophecies concerning Him in Isaiah: 

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.

Yeah, all those prisoners and oppressed people? That's us.

Friends, this is the greatest gift your Savior could have left you. His very presence, his wisdom, his love, his guidance goes with you.

Because when we set our minds on this Spirit at work within us the adjectives in our fill-in-the-blanks change drastically. 

Busy becomes strong.
Tired becomes diligent.
Stressed becomes confident.
Anger becomes grace.
Death and worry become life and peace.

You cannot put life and peace into your own brain. That's like putting vision into your own eyes. Just like sight, life and peace are gifts from above. 

Claim your gift today, friends. Turn your minds to Him. Turn away from what this world tells you you're supposed to be and turn to what heaven and its angels know is rightfully yours. 

Go now, friend. Set your mind on Him.

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here with me. 

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