My mind is swirling with thoughts and my heart is stirring with care this morning.
So many thoughts…so much care and concern mixed with heartache and longing for peace everywhere. I see now that even when our own souls have found lasting peace and rest concerning ourselves, we are still subject to the pain and turmoil that surrounds us in the lives of others. “In this world we will have trouble…” (John 16:33)
We may listen and hear what sounds like complicated circumstances with seemingly insurmountable obstacles preventing resolve, but I find these complex matters can most often if not always be unraveled to simple underlying issues upon which these massive problems are built. “Nothing is new under the sun…” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Self-centeredness, pride, lust, arrogance, and greed are the basis for the problems we have from the interpersonal to the global scale. I can see it at work all the time. Each person struggling to have his or her own way, do what “I” want to do, have what “I” want to have, etc. Do we not do that? What about how to spend the family money? Does each person want it for themselves or do we all willingly surrender for what is best for the family? What about how we spend our time? Doesn’t each person usually have his own agenda and want others to bend and conform in order to meet his own desire?
Scripture tells us that the eyes of man are never satisfied, (Proverbs 27:20) that the borrower becomes servant, or slave, to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). We find a wise prayer that asks the Lord to satisfy with His mercy, His lovingkindness, so as to be able to rejoice and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:14) I truly believe this request revealed in this recorded prayer holds for us the answer to our longings…if we obtain wisdom that opens our eyes to the mercies of God that are continually poured out on us through the gift of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the ultimate gift of love, then and only then are we able to be satisfied and rejoice all our days.
One of my favorite scriptures, which those of you who regularly read my blogs know, is the one that tells us to “Love one another” (John 13:34) Why is this so dear to me? Because if we are truly loving one another, we have first come to Love God and so we are filled with His goodness and we are able to live unselfishly and eradicate the basis from which all manner of strife emerge.
I mentioned pride, arrogance, and greed…why do we want so much? Really, think about it. Once we have what we reasonably need, why do we continue to accumulate more? Is is to gain the envy of others, to make ourselves feel important, to elevate ourselves above others? Does that sound like pride, arrogance and greed? Please hear me, I’ve been right where I’m pointing to so don’t think me above any of this! I face my own pride and greed daily and have to intentionally turn from it, put it away, and seek instead the way of love.
I guess it is important to say that we won’t recognize our proclivity toward these downfalls unless we are open to seeing, to hearing, to knowing. There is great need for intentionality in the Christian walk. The Holy Spirit reveals truth, but the Holy Spirit is not an intruder. If we close the door of our hearts and refuse to heed the beckoning call to peace and to love, He will not force Himself upon our wills. There is a choice to be made each day by each person.
When I was up early this morning I could hear in my heart the message from 1 Peter 5:6 calling to me with these words, “humble yourself…under the mighty hand of God…” So clearly this message indicates the responsibility to humble ourselves is on us.
Later I thought of the words from Psalm 46:10, “be still and know that I am God.” There is some doing to be done, responsibility to heed God’s call, to stop and recognize who He is and to honor His authority over our lives. How do we do that? Well…we do it intentionally. We focus our thoughts, we find a quiet place, we surrender our hearts in obedience, we read and ponder His Words, we seek…a very active, intentional, and ongoing process. Much in this world, we simply have nothing to do with in order to fulfill His call to come out from among the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). If we remain entangled in the pursuits of the flesh, we are not able to walk in the Spirit and so we will remain bound, in bondage, to the desires of the flesh…never satisfied, always self-seeking, unable to love. A hard truth for me as well as for you, but truth nonetheless.
As I try to find a closing for what I’ve shared, I am reminded of times when I’ve found satisfaction in the mercies of God. I can see in my mind’s eye, many years ago, those long Summer days when I was alone working in the yard, planting flowers on my knees in the dirt with the trees as a canopy over my head sheltering me from the sun…I would talk quietly to the Lord in my heart, speaking to Him all that I held dear, loving Him, enjoying Him, recognizing the gift of His loving presence, marveling that He still loved me in spite of my pathetic failures. To be able to bask in His unfailing, enduring love from which I will never be separated…How precious and serene is the time spent alone with Him. I want every person to find the Wellspring of Living Water, to drink and never thirst again. Such strange words to anyone who has never heard them and never found them to be true, such comfort to those who know…