Supernatural Peace

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6, 7 MSG)

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 NKJV)

Worry, stress, and internal conflict rage against your mind, will, and emotions anytime we place ourselves at the center of our lives, but by placing Jesus at the center of our lives displaces worry and anxiety as we surrender ourselves and our issues to the care of our loving Savior.

Peace is not the absence of external conflict, but the absence of internal conflict in the midst of external conflict. Life can be raging on the outside, while we are at complete calm on the inside. It’s not always a change in the circumstances but an assurance, a confidence that says. It won’t be long we will look back on this and say, we made it through, knowing all the while that we would be fine.

Judges 6:12-24 NKJV says,

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”
And He said, “I will wait until you come back.” So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.” Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord- Is -Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

>Gideon had a moral conflict
>Gideon had a bully conflict

He was able to defeat both serious external pressures without running away and having an assurance it was all going to be alright.

The bible is full of examples of this:

1. 3 Hebrews, faced the external pressure of persecution but stood their ground because of internal peace. Peace breeds courage.

2. Daniel’s faith and complete surrender to God along with his consistent and persistent prayer life gave him peace while in the lions den.

3. Jesus himself. Was internally resolved to carry out the fathers plan. It’s internal peace that gets you through when you know you could stop the assault but in meekness let it happen.

These men didn’t deserve the external conflict they were experiencing but they suffered it none the less. The beauty of it is, however, they faced these intense external pressures with dignity and grace because of an inward supernatural, incomprehensible peace.

How do we engage with the supernatural peace of God.

1. Devote ourselves and circumstances to God
2. Decide to do things Gods way no matter what.
3. Trust God not your emotions.

When you surrender yourself to Gods way of doing things God will make your problem solve itself.

>>>the midiniates turned on each other in their confusion

It’s gonna be alright. Romans 8:28. Says, “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

Whatever your facing today, release it to God, ask Him for peace, and he will give it to you.

Peace

David

Peace is Practical

John 14:27 (AMP)

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

(MSG)

I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left-feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

I love this time of year. Coming out of the thanksgiving holiday into Christmas. Everything seems to change, the weather is changing, the season is changing, the focus of almost everyone is changing. It’s exciting all the hustle and bustle, and life just intensifies.

We have lots of family moments, friend moments, and fun moments.

On the other side of the coin there are those for whom this season is difficult. It stresses them to no end. People who’ve had loss, people who are in tough situations, families who’ve broken up, lives that are disheveled.

Really, this month to six weeks to me is like a microcosm of life, packed in and intensified.

This season or at least what believers celebrate in the upcoming weeks is not one of stress or anxiety, pressure or fear. Rather, it’s original purpose was all about peace. Peace on earth. Good will toward men.

Many times we take this to mean the absence of war, and in a broader context that’s true, but it really refers to something much more individually internal, Gods peace in the heart of man. Today I hope to help us all understand that inward peace, the peace the Bible describes as incomprehensible, is available to all of us at all times. There is a source of this peace, and actions that perpetuate it, but there are also peace stealers and peace killers.

Before we get to far into the season lets learn how to keep our peace, because “PEACE IS PRACTICAL”

One of the words to define peace means

the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is…could be better said this way. “free from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts”

The idea that now that I am following Christ, have been born again, my eternity, my relationship with God, my rejection of sin, my submission to His will as I turn my back on the spirit of the world, has been forever settled. I’m whole, I’m complete, I’m free.

Fear- a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger. Concern or anxiety.

Agitating passions – to disturb or excite emotionally with strong negative desires.

Moral conflicts – to internally fight or do battle over what is right or wrong conduct.

This word peace also means harmony among people, so in order to have harmony interpersonally we must first have peace personally.

God wants us to have peace internally and interpersonally, that precious absence of constant conflict.

The question is, will we embrace it or will we sabotage it? The truth is, although God is the author of our peace, the originator of it, he has left the obtaining of it up to us.

Before we talk about the practical steps to living in peace let’s identify peace stealers, and peace killers.

(Peace Thieves are attitudes and mindsets)

Thieves

>Thief # 1: guilt and shame of the past

Guilt, shame and condemnation can be mindsets we learn to live with, but should be free from. They hold us hostage and steal our peace. Under their reign we are in a constant inward turmoil.

>Thief # 2: anxiety and stress

Are results of either not knowing how or refusing to trust God. This robs more Christians of their peace than any other thing. Stress & worry are completely opposed to peace, that calmness of spirit and soul. Anxiety results in emotional turmoil. To the point of physical dysfunction which creates more anxiety.

>Thief # 3: people pleasing

There is simply no way to be at peace and attempt to please everyone. Focus on pleasing God who accepts and lives you, don’t get caught up trying to please everyone, because it’s impossible and it will steal your peace.

>Thief # 4: fear

Fear directly opposes peace. They can not coexist in your life.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 NKJV)

(Killers are behaviors and actions)

Killers

>Killer # 1: attempting to control others

This behavior is to assume the role of Jesus over someone else’s life and world. To make yourself their Lord. We are not equipped to handle such RESPONSABILITY, and this kills your peace. Murders it.

>Killer # 2: Personal perfectionism

Since you can not be perfect your continued fruitless attempts at it only result in killing any opportunity for peace.

>killer # 3: peer pressure, keeping up w/others

Comparison is a killer of peace. Will result in behaviors that will steal your peace now in and in the future.

>Killer # 4: selling out the long term for the short term.

lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. (Hebrews 12:16, 17 NKJV)

Overfilling your life with things and activity now because you want it now at the expense of your future.

Instant gratification is a killer of peace and can kill the peace in your future.

>> Practical steps to walking in Peace. (the beautiful absence of internal conflict, and anxiety)

1. Daily prayer. A leaning of your entire self on God. Submitting to his Will while surrendering yours.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

2. Daily study of the word to renew your mind to Gods way of thinking.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9 NKJV)

3. Daily simplify your life by planning your priorities not your time

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (Matthew 6:33 AMP)

4. Daily Say no to your selfish desires, to your emotions, and to emotional controllers in your life, say no to worry.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 AMP)

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)

It’s required to say no to some things, some issues, and some people in order to have peace. You are not obligated to say yes to everyone and everything.

God is on your side and you can have peace, because peace is practical.

First step to real peace is to know Jesus.

Hope this helps you walk in peace every day.

I can’t get no satisfaction

We’ve all heard the song by the rolling stones. “I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, but I can’t get no, no, no, no, no…”

I truly believe one of the most dangerous adversary’s of destiny, purpose, marriage, success, or significance is discontentment. Dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction is the state of fulfillment and contentment.

It seems in a lot of humans especially those living in the western world struggle with an insatiable discontentment. No matter what they try, never satisfied, never happy.

Always want more stuff, always thinking theres a better marriage partner out there, or constantly thinking someone else’s life is better than their own, and desperately trying to match it.

The problem is discontentment tends to be insatiable. Never satisfied. It causes us to compromise our integrity, and to be absent in the moment because we are always in the future in our heads.

The great thing is, we can learn to be content. We can realize that all though we may be striving for success we can be happy with where we are. We may have dreams for our future and appreciate our present at the same time. How?

Learn to appreciate…

1. What you currently have
2. The family and friends who you do life with
3. The moment. Today.

Stop…

1. The comparisons
2. The greed
3. The constant wishing for more

Your life is not about how much more you can get or you can have, but rather about what God put you on this planet to be.

Our society infiltrates our mind with the thought that we have to have more or we will be less. There is nothing wrong with prosperity but there is plenty wrong with discontentment.

Think of how ridiculous this marketing is, if you buy this car we will give you this iPad. That is indicative of this mindset. There are people who don’t have the extra money to buy an iPad who can’t afford the debt on a car, that will be motivated to get one to have the other. How about saving your money and buying an iPad?

More, more, more…nothing is ever enough.

There is freedom in contentment, in being satisfied, in learning that in all situations we can be complete and whole.

Don’t let this enemy destroy your marriage or your finances or your heart. Be willing to be satisfied, be present, and be content.

Just a thought.

Thankful

Thankful for…

Love…

The love of God, the love of my wife, the love of my daughters, my family, my friends; LOVE

God…

His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. His perfection, and promise. His word, and wisdom. His wonder and willingness. His power and passion. His creation and compassion. His Life and love. His greatness and grace. His immensity and intensity. His purpose and plan; JESUS

Wife…

Her beauty, inward and out. Her commitment to our God, our marriage, our family, our purpose and Destiny. Her mothering, authentic, loving, compassionate, graceful, wise Role model to our girls on what a real godly woman looks like. Her Friendship to me, walk, talk, live, rise above anything to overcome together. Her everything, there is nothing in her I’m not thankful for; Janae

Daughters…

Their grace, beauty, submissive, willing spirits. Their love for God and life. Their purpose filled hearts and dream filled passions. Their brilliance and brightness. Their caring and compassionate hearts. Their love for me and their mother and their care for others; Taylor/Sydney

Family…

Moms, dads, bros, and sisters. Grands, aunts, uncles and cousins, nieces and nephews. We have been blessed with great family in our lives. The things they’ve taught us. The prayers they’ve prayed the support they have given, and the lessons they have taught us. The love shared by us all; FAMILY

Friends…

There through ups and downs, encouraging, caring and sharing. Life together. Good times and bad. Care for me, my family, and allowing us in their lives. The vulnerability of friendship; FRIENDS

THANKFUL

No Thank You

I’ve learned and regularly learn that success in life requires focus, and in order to focus distraction must be a thing of the past.

Especially in the area of attitude. Having a good attitude requires us to say no to wrong attitudes. To focus on thinking right, we have to say no to wrong thinking?

No thank you is a proper response in developing right attitude.

Say no thank you to…

1. Constant negativity
2. Being drawn in to inappropriate conversations about others
3. Making assumptions
4. Pity
5. a victims mindset
6. people pleasing
7. Insecurity

Sometimes the best response is “no thank you”.

Thanks for Nothing

Years ago when I was a children’s Pastor we had a grumpy puppet, and he would always end his conversation with the host by saying, in a grumpy voice, “thanks…for nothin!”

This guy was in a perpetual state of disappointment, which was a big laugh for the kids. The point was to teach them that being an ungrateful grumpy Gus was no way to be.

The truth is many adults I know are very familiar with this way of living. It always has to do with not letting something go, not forgiving someone, or being easily offended.

It’s so easy to do this as a human. You’ve seen people do this, to be honest we’ve all done it before.

Unresolved issues in our lives become the filter through which we see life. Someone hurts us, so we see all people through the filter of that hurt, and hold everyone responsible for something one person did that we still haven’t forgiven. So we don’t trust because someone has broken our trust. We refuse to love because someone broke our heart in the past.

We are disappointed in advance because we expect to be disappointed.

How do we take this filter off our lives?

1. Deal with the unresolved issues.
>forgive
>talk
>let it go

2. Live in the present not in the past.
>viewing the present or future with the eyes of the past will lock you into a perpetual cycle of disappointment.

3. Be truly thankful.
>Stop complaining
>stop making excuses
>count your blessings

Let thanksgiving be a philosophy in your life not a date in your calendar.

Tell that attitude that’s been stealing joy from you “thanks…for nothing,” and tell God and those who love you thanks for everything.

Have a very happy thanksgiving!

Good is the Enemy of Great

In my family, ministry, and life I have an enemy. My nemesis tries to sneak up close to me and those around me regularly, trying to draw our lives down to insignificance. To accomplish this he doesn’t have to attack, or fight with us, but merely effect our perspective, or keep us self focused and busy.

My enemy is mediocrity. The sad part is mediocrity can be a “good” life. Living the routine uninterrupted life, of going in the same circles, meeting our own needs, providing for our own family, living our version of the “American dream.” Our circle of friends, our vacation time, our activities, our hobbies, our time, our tv shows, our whatever. Is any of this wrong? Absolutely not! Until it takes precedence over our relationship with God and His purpose for our lives.

Sadly it’s a good life but not a great life and much of the time we are happy with good which precludes our attaining greatness.

In order to reach greatness we have to aggressively break the mediocre, convenient, self centered goodness, and transform into, the reaching, loving, caring, others focused, greatness.

When God exposed me to the third world of developing nations it yanked me out of the good life into great life, it opened my eyes to helping people around the world and even people at home. It showed me that true fulfillment in life is reaching for your full potential and purpose in God, and reaching to those whether poor or rich or somewhere in between with love and hope is the key to greatness.

Right now I’m only on my way, I’ve got so much more to do for the kingdom and the purpose of God, but my family and I have decided, we will not settle for good, we will not stop pre-greatness.

Is it challenging-yes
Is it inconvenient-yes
Does it take sacrifice-yes, in every way
Is it worth it-without a doubt!

Kill mediocrity in your life, and overcome good for great.

You could start by joining us for our global reach experience this Friday night at harvestokc campus. Here is the link to get your tickets. You can change lives simply by coming to this event. Decide today that good is no substitute for great!

http://www.harvestokc.com/global-reach/global-reach-experience/