Warning – by David Brauner

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The warning is that you will never be the same. When we cultivate a relationship with God, when the Divine begins to dwell in us, everything changes. That is the great mystery of life- solved. But it isn’t easy. Jesus calls us not only to worship but to put our faith into action. But how? Following God’s will for our lives is a struggle for most of us, even if we know what we should be doing- and not doing. Putting the interests of others before our own, for instance, being a servant in the way that Jesus demonstrates in his ministry, is as unnatural for most of us as resisting the rewards of this world, even when we know those things don’t sustain us. I’m thinking of Jesus in the desert who rejects the temptations of comfort and power, to follow the will of the Father. Unlike Jesus, we are calibrated to pursue our self-interests first. That’s human nature. And some of us are considerably more human than others. But God gives us something more valuable, as described by His Son Jesus in John 14: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” 

This peace is a frame of mind, a way of being, that keeps us buoyant amid life’s troubles. Don’t be troubled or afraid, we are told. So, we rest in the assurance that we are loved and cared for. In the hardships and the blessings of this life, we look for the hand of the Divine at work.  And when we’re disappointed or confused, we wait for things to make more sense. Paul says that the peace we enjoy is a measure of which side of this tug of war is pulling harder: the ways the world or The Way of God. If we are restless and disconnected, Paul suggests we take a look at where our feet are and the direction they’re moving. In Colossians 3, Paul says: “Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].”

The British theologian Adam Clarke, from the EnduringWord.com, writes that “When a person loses their peace, it is an awful proof that they have lost something else that has given way to evil and grieved the Spirit of God.” If the concept of evil is too over the top for you, simply substitute it with any action or inaction that causes a separation from God. When we give way to it, Clarke says, we are diminished. When peace is restored, so are we. The song pairing is “Praying for Relief.” Until next time, stay safe, be brave and keep walking in the light.

Praying for Relief
The floor boards are creaking
underneath my feet
it’s 3 o’clock in the morning Lord
and I just can’t sleep

There are things that can’t be fixed
some things we can’t control
and even though we try
some things we can’t let go

Oh Lord let me be brief
tonight I’m just praying for relief
Oh Lord let me be brief
tonight I’m just praying for relief

Out in the distance
pretty lights twinkle and glow
but those streets are tough down there
lives they come and go

Now the house is quiet
buddy’s following at my feet
tucked safe in her room down the hall
my little girl’s asleep

I reach for my wife
as I climb back into bed
drifting off to a peaceful sleep
better dreams in my headListen: “Praying for Relief”

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