PEACE IS JUST A BREATH AWAY
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of theLord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lordwas not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12
I know that we are so close to the end of Advent, but I really wanted to continue to dive into this word of PEACE for one more day before we step into celebrating the LIGHT that has come. And Yes, I also know that 1 Kings is not your normal Christmas/Advent Scripture but I think that as we are tackling this understanding of True Peace, we have to recognize that there were other people...leaders in the Bible that also struggled with the chaos of the world and needed to find rest in God. So today I chose to to talk about finding peace in the still small breath of God. There is no way that we cannot deny that anyone that followed as a disciple did not run into the struggles that were in the world. So I really do not expect that in our following of Jesus that we will also not run into struggles in the world. For the prophets and first disciples, this was a constant fear of death and imprisonment. They knew that the message that they were carrying came at a cost because of the real evil that existed in the world that was the complete opposite message that God and Jesus had planned for this world. So I just want to let you know that fear, chaos and struggles have always been around as long as sin has been in the world but that in the midst of that chaos, God is present.
I just keep watching as we continue to follow the lines of insanity. We as Christians... we as people in general, continue to follow the same patterns that have been proven to fail all throughout history and we are amazed when they don't work out for our good. If we sin... there is going to be consequences. If we don't give our lives and all that we have over to God, don't be surprised if things seem to fall apart at the foundation level. If we put all of our trust in money and possessions or think that we are in control of our future, please be ready for a back up plan when it does not work out and you are ready to flip over on God. All throughout the Bible we have been able to see and witness the mistakes that have led to anxiety, isolation, stress, fear, depression, suicide, wars, destruction, rise and fall of empires,
etc... Do we really think that we are capable of finding a new answer when we continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Why do you think God provided for us a way out through Jesus? Why do you think that God called Him the Prince of Peace? Well if you don't know let me give you my insight. The reason God sent the Light into the darkness was to give us a PEACE that could overcome any obstacle that we faced. God sent Jesus to show us true love, grace and mercy and to offer the final sacrifice that would have to be given for the sin atonement for our lives. God sent Jesus to step into our storm filled lives, our messed up relationships, our death destined lives and opened a door to find the stillness of God's breath in the power of a whisper. Jesus came to completely turn us upside down so that we could finally realize that we have it all wrong and the true way to find peace is through sacrificial surrender to an Almighty God.
As we are looking into the Scripture lesson for today told to us by Jeremiah the prophet, we are amazed that after God had proved himself so vividly to Elijah in his battle versus the prophets of Baal, Elijah was still fearful for his life and fled to the caves waiting for the next steps. Sound familiar? How many times have we been given proof by God that He exists and received grace and help out of our situations just to run away in fear of our lives. We continue to struggle because we got out of our situation through the blessing of God and we still fail to truly believe that God can overcome our storms. We find ourselves falling right back into this life of uncertainty and doubting that there really is a God or that God really cares for us. Our lives become shackled again by fear and even though we have been delivered so many times out of the depths of death. We still want proof that God is in control and that God exists. Here is where we really step into the meaning of PEACE for today. Many of us are just like Elijah hiding in that cave waiting for God to once again prove Himself and give us direction in the way that we should go. We are begging for God to reveal some hidden path that will lead us to joy and prosperity without causing us to have to surrender anything that is hindering our lives. We want to have our cake and eat it too, but in reality we have to be willing to step out of our caves and stand in the presence of God in anticipation of an encounter that is going to transform our lives.
And that is exactly what happened in Elijah's story. Just like us we think that God is going to show up in a way that will blow the world wide open like earthquakes, wind storms or fire. But it is in the still whispers or breath of God where He shows up and helps us to finally step into the stillness of rest that God has intended for us. We believe so much that God has to be flashy and have "bigger than God moments". And don't get me wrong, God did provide
those moment, but it was not with flash and fanfare it was in whispers, creation of LIGHT and His incarnation in flesh through Christ that truly made the largest impact in this world. Remember the darkness STILL does not like the LIGHT and that is truly why we still cannot experience the PEACE we are so much longing for in our lives. We are caught in the darkness and we just don't want to let it go. I have said it so many times that we want to be
in control but God is not in the tug of war business. God is ready to step into our lives and show us the way out of our struggles... out of our valleys.... out of the depression and isolation, the frustration and the chaos. BUT we have to be willing to stand at the cave of our despair and listen for the still... small... voice. It's not the booming voice, it is one that is filled with PEACE and STILLNESS. It is the same breath that gave life to Adam and all humankind in the beginning and that continues to breathe life into those in the grips of death every day, both physical and spiritual death. Are you ready to find this PEACE? Are you ready to step out of the depths of your sinfulness and breathe in the Breath of Peace that can ONLY be found in surrendering to God? LIGHT has come into the world and His name is "Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. Of the GREATNESS of His government and PEACE there will be NO END." Isaiah 9:6-7. May the Breath of God given by the Prince of Peace infiltrate your life in such a way that the world will never be the same! Amen and Amen!