Let the peace of Christ RULE/REIGN in your heart (MIND) and BE THANKFUL!
Two urgent requests:
Let Christ be master over your mind.
Practice that attitude of gratitude.
How does this work? That’s right. It’s work! It’s intentional living.
The other day I was invited to spend a week in the home of a pit bull who had made himself King of his Kingdom. I had to learn to win over this animal with teeth and a growl by squelching the fear that had consumed my entire body (we had had an awkward introduction). I needed see him not as a monster, but as this over sized toddler with teeth who would rather lick your makeup off if you were willing. At first the two safe places were the guest room and the front porch, but walking through the rest of the house was a lesson in overcoming fear and playing by his rules. Give me a treat and I’ll let you walk through the house without nipping at your heels or jumping and biting your hands, he seemed to say. Easier said than done but I chose to overcome this fear and physically face it down by forcing myself to let this dog take a treat from my hand. The second morning, as I was sitting in the guest room, feeling quite trapped, I turned to Psalm 88. It was the next Psalm in my personal reading. I read the first two verses:
“Lord, You are the God who saves me; (from this pit bull!)
Day and night I cry out to You. (not one bit of sleep that first night!)
May my prayer come before You; (please hear me!!)
Turn your ear to my cry.” ( I’m begging You!)
I prayed those words of David over and over and sensed His incredibly real presence in the room with me. I would survive this week with my friend and neither the dog nor my fear would rein in my spirit. Later, on the front porch, I read all my favorite verses on peace–Christ’s peace and soak in this truth that Christ came to overcome my fear–to comfort me in all things. I lived it out–not just read these as platitudes in the Bible. By the fourth day, the pit bull and I were on friendlier terms and by the time I was to fly home, I had grown a bit fond of the playful toddler on four legs. Christ had won.
The following week my husband told me he had some inner fears of how an inspection on his shop might go. He remembered all the years that the Lord God had taken care of him at the shop, protecting him, providing a living for his family, keeping him and his workers safe and he told himself, that even if the inspection did not pass, God would still take care of him. He prayed. He texted me to pray and then he gave it to the Lord. The inspection passed.
What do you do when something threatens to paralyze you with fear? Do you pack your things and head for a hotel? I had seriously considered it! Do you stay holed up in the guest room? Or throw down a sleeping bag on the front porch? You know who has won when you entertain those thoughts and act on them, don’t you? Fear does.
Everyone has a fear of something or someone or some circumstance. And everyone has a way out–calling on the Lord to sustain you, overcome you with His presence and calm the fear in your body and mind. Choose to call on Him. Choose to get in to the Word of God, focusing on those passages that speak to you. Underlining and meditating on them helps you to remember them and where they are in your Bible.
Call on Him or to lift your voice and cry out to Him. He wants to rescue you! He wants to relieve you of the fear and give you His abundant joy and His peace that truly passes all understanding. And when He does and you realize it, then BE THANKFUL! Give thanks to the Lord! Speak His name and thank Him aloud and recognize it was Him who took care of you.
These verses may calm your fear, as they have mine:
John 14:27-peace I leave with you….
Proverbs 14:30-a heart at peace gives life to the body….
Isaiah 26:3-your mind at perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You…
John 16:33-in Me you have peace….
Go out with JOY! Be led forth in His PEACE!