Today I want to share with you an older blog post about peace that I think is very timely right now. It also ties in with a short talk I’ll be giving next week at a Meet & Greet at Ashley River Baptist Church on What’s in Your Backpack. If you are in the Charleston area, I invite you to join me and bring a friend! We’ll be looking at what is in our own “backpacks” but here’s a little preview of how carrying around baggage in our backpacks can rob us of peace —
Are you at peace? Or do you feel stirred, anxious, restless? Paul addresses the subject of peace in the third chapter of Colossians. He reminds the people of Colossae that they have been raised with Christ into a new life. And what is this new life? It is a life where our minds are set on the sounds of heaven–where our minds are not set on earth. God has given us our minds but they are to be renewed so that we can tune in to God’s voice, not to the other voices that try to crowd out His voice; so that we can see things with a God perspective.
Friends, God is good. Everything He created is good. His plans for you are good. What gets in the way of our peace? It is the baggage in our backpacks– our insecurities, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, bad feelings towards others, false perspective. Paul tells the church at Colossae to unpack their backpacks filled with these things and take on the life of Christ hidden within us.
But now put away and rid yourselves (completely) of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foul-mouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips….
and… clothe yourselves with the new (spiritual self) which is (ever in the process of being) renewed and remolded into (fuller and more perfect knowledge upon knowledge) after the image (the likeness) of Him who created it. (Colossians 3:8-10)
Paul tells us to let the peace which comes from Christ rule (act as an umpire continually) in our hearts.
Now that is good news! In Christ, the peace of God can and will rule our hearts if we are willing to put away the old and embrace the new.
So I ask you again: Are you at peace or are you restless and dissatisfied with your present circumstances? What to do? Let’s be practical:
- Begin by asking yourself, what has robbed your peace?
- Once you have ascertained what that is, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to deal with the issue. Perhaps it is unforgiveness, a hardened heart, being misunderstood, financial crisis, broken marriage or relationship. Put the issue on the altar of God’s love. Offer it to Him. Take it out of the backpack you have been carrying around.
- Now you have room for Christ’s peace and it is peace that will act as the umpire of your life, not the frazzled-dazzzled existence you have been living.
Now, take a deep breath and pick up your backpack– lighter and filled with the power, peace, and Presence of God and walk boldly in the renewing of your mind, clothed in peace which is your inheritance in Christ.