Monday, December 18, 2023

PEACE: The Third Fruit of the Spirit

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

I wondered what I was going to write today.

God has given me nothing for a few days.

Yesterday afternoon was hard.  Like really hard.

I let my thoughts derail back to David, and I know better.  The devil tried that earlier in the day, and I was able to quickly take back control. It was amazing to witness his defeat.

But I was tired later in the afternoon.  I had gotten up early to read and head to church and I had a cookie party to attend.  By the time I finally got back home, it was after 4, and I was tired.

I've come to learn that when I am tired, it is the perfect opportunity for Satan and his minions to attack.  That's when my Shield of Faith gets lowered and leaves my mind and emotions open to manipulation.

I let my thoughts drift back to memories - a dangerous area.  To a David that used to exist.  Times spent, intimate moments only the two of us shared, holidays and trips.

Satan quickly removed any confidence or joy I had at church earlier in the day.

I ended the day watching my Dallas Cowboys get demolished and embarrassed in Buffalo and watching the 1938 (my favorite) version of A Christmas Carol on Max TV.

As you can imagine, I went to bed and dreamed of David all night.  Wow, what a bummer and only deepening the sadness of the season.

But God.

This morning, I woke up with a gentle prompting from God to pray (once again) for David.  So, I did.  Same prayers as always.  Knelt quietly by my bed as Tank watched, and I prayed for David.

I prayed for a pliable heart.  For God to let loose of the evil forces impressing upon David's heart - demons of fear, anger, and hurt.  I prayed for God to turn David's glance back over his shoulder instead of away and locked in an ivory tower of false peace, false happiness, and false security.

The devil really has a hold on David right now, and I will continue to pray FOR him as God leads me.

True - TRUE - JOY only comes from the PEACE of God and knowing GOD as our Lord and Savior.  JOY and happiness do not come from eliminating the hurts and fears in our lives.  That is the devil's trick to keep you FROM God and knowing His Spirit and His true JOY.

Only God can heal your hurts, your fears, and your anger.  The Bible tells us Satan is the FATHER of all those things, and when you give in to him, he wins the battle.

And then, as I sat down to read this morning with my (first!) cup of coffee - I learned more about the third Fruit of the Spirit -- PEACE.

Imagine that!  God is always on time!

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3)

I am claiming that Bible verse over my life & my valleys today.

God will keep me in PERFECT PEACE because my mind is steadfast and I trust in only You, oh Lord!

I am also going to be praying that verse over the growing list (taped to my laptop keyboard) of women in my life who do not have that PERFECT PEACE right now because they have lost (or are losing) their loved one(s).

I am redirecting my thoughts back to where they should be, not on David and what I am missing but back to the Throne of God who will provide PERFECT PEACE.

I will continue to pray FOR David, and I hope that one day God will allow the Holy Spirit to break through the hard shell the devil has encased his heart within.  I pray that God will allow David's glance to return to the cross where hurts, fears, and anger can all be given to Him, where forgiveness can be given and accepted, and where the true JOY of God can permeate through and light up David's heart once again.

David is not my cross nor my Savior.  Jesus is, and as much as I love David and what we have shared for the past five years, I cannot replace Jesus with David.

I have to keep Jesus at the forefront of my thoughts because I need to manifest the Fruits of the Spirit in my life daily. I want to obtain LOVE, JOY, & PEACE, always.  Therefore, I must keep my gaze on Jesus.

The devil may have won the battle over David's heart and mind, but he will not win mine.  One heart won is one heart too many.

My prayers for David's release will continue as long as the Lord prompts me.  My hurt over David's abandonment will always be laid at the Throne of God, and I will always trust God to do what is best for me and to take care of me.

Below is a little bit of my reading from today.  If you are struggling with memories of a lost loved one in your life, I pray the Scripture above and learning about the third Fruit of the Spirit (Peace) will help YOU this morning, as it did me.

May this season of hope and light be filled with both of those things for all of us.  I know my little prayer list is growing. I am praying for myself and for all the women on it.

I pray we are not lonely, sad, or depressed over the next two weeks.  May we feel God in our presence daily and even hour by hour.  May we feel the love He freely gives us.  May our days be filled with adventures and the people we love and who love us unconditionally in return.  Amen.

"If you google the definition of peace, you will see a few different definitions. Some define it as the absence of turmoil. Some describe it as tranquility, calmness, and restfulness, and others describe it as a lack of war. Within Scripture; however, the word peace is tied to harmony and wholeness.

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is the word used in this passage. It’s being used to refer to people’s wellbeing and completeness. Therefore, when Isaiah writes that God will keep those who trust in Him in perfect shalom, he literally means that God will make them complete and keep them whole!

Think about a time in your life where you felt like you were not whole. It’s not a feeling we normally talk about, but it affects us more than we realize. I think about the daily tactics the enemy uses to make us live in a state of incompleteness. For example, for me personally, a state of not living in wholeness is when I’m so consumed with work or school that I’m overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. This is often the result of me shifting my trust from God to myself and forgetting that He equips and provides for me always. I’m not living in the wholeness He has to offer because the stress and anxiety prevent me from embracing God’s shalom.

In today’s Scripture, Isaiah reminds us of God’s promise to keep us in perfect peace when we trust in Him. The decision to trust someone is a decision we must make daily. This is what God’s peace grants us: the ability to live in wholeness because we trust in God—the only one who can truly make us whole. I hope that today, you can trust in God and begin to walk in shalom.

Jesus, You are my Prince of Peace. You are the only one who completes me and makes me whole. You have redeemed me from my brokenness. Help me to daily commit my life into Your hands. It’s hard to live in Your shalom because I still struggle with my own imperfections and the world’s darkness, but I know You are faithful. I surrender to You again today. I receive Your perfect peace, Your wholeness, Your restoration, Your shalom. Thank You! Amen.

But God:


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