Short Meds in ‘Living the Life’: 31. Impossible Peace (3)
Rom 8:6 “the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”
In a world where peace is in short supply (and we are part of that world) it is only as we submit to the King of Kings and let his Spirit rule our thinking and our behaviour can we know true peace. That’s what our thoughts about praying, that we saw yesterday, are about. It’s about putting the problems of life into His hands. A number of times this month we have considered that we are called to live in a spiritually supernatural life, where God’s provision goes beyond the ‘natural’.
Anxiety prevails where faith is subdued by the ways of sin, the work of the world and the wiles of the enemy – and just ‘common or garden things’ going wrong! It’s a ‘fallen world’ and so things go wrong. Each of these things impacts our lives from time to time and the Bible speaks about them as ‘trials’ or ‘testing’s, things to be overcome and, again as we’ve noted before, that may take time.
I suspect we take for granted the fact that most of the letters of the apostle Paul start with “grace and peace from God.” Grace, we’ve said, is the resourcing by God and it is only as He resources us that we can have peace. So when we pray about trials, testings and tribulations, big and small, we are asking for His resources to handle it. Abraham came up with the life logo or bumper sticker, “The LORD will Provide” (Gen 22:14) but basically it is what perhaps should summarise this whole series: living the life is ALL about receiving the provision of God. (We’ll go on to consider this in depth in the next series on the ‘Wonders of Grace’.)
But there is another side to this particular coin. If one side of it is trusting God to provide, the other side is summed up by the instruction, “take every thought captive” (2 Cor 10:5) “to make it obedient to Christ.” It happened when we came to Christ and it has to happen on a daily basis. To go back to a recent study, faith or belief are built by grabbing hold of God’s word and letting it prevail over the lies of the enemy.
When Paul said, “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus,” (Rom 6:11) he had to say it because we forget to do it. The Christian life is one of continual reminders. The reminder in the second part of that verse – and it is so easy to forget – is that we are “alive to God” or as one paraphrase adds, “alive and sensitive to God,” and another puts, “alive to God, alert to Him.” I am alive to my wife, aware of her, sensitive to her, listen to her, talk to her, and so much more. The same needs to be true of God. Yes, we receive from Him His grace, we imbibe His word into our life to be transformed by it, and we remain constantly aware that this life is lived with Him, by Him, through Him, and for Him. It isn’t always easy – and it’s sometimes downright difficult – but the main point is that He is HERE for us – Emmanuel, God with us. The more we realise that, the more it evokes thanks, praise and worship in us and that sets up the environment within us for the Holy Spirit to act. Hallelujah! May it be so!