"whoever listens to me will be at peace, without fear of danger or harm" (Proverbs 1:33) Oh how I love Jesus' words to us, "My peace I leave you, my peace I give to you..."
For some reason I've never seen a scripture that would support believing that Jesus ever had an anxiety attack. Jesus was so incredibly secure in His Father's love and protection that He had no need for fear. His peace is unchanging. His peace the complete ultimate take a deep breath and relax in my Father's arms peace that is not disturbed by emotions, people, or circumstances.
I was talking with some students yesterday about who God is. What His character is like, according to the Word mind you, not according to things we've heard in various religious circles. The Word says that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind. The Word says that Jesus gave us HIS PEACE.
Proverbs 1:33 says whoever LISTENS TO ME... will be at peace, without fear of danger or harm.
I began to think about times in my life that I was in fear, times that I had anxiety, times that I was not at peace. If I know that God has not given me a Spirit of fear, and I know that whoever listens to Him will be at peace without fear, then I must conclude that when I am lacking peace or I am in fear then I'm not listening to Him..... OUCH.
Oh I won't go on my rant, but the Word says that we hear His voice. Did you know there is a difference in "hearing" and "listening"? Let me address you mothers out there!! When you tell your kid to go clean their room and they continue to sit in the chair with their iPod in their hands unmoving, chances are they HEARD you, but they aren't LISTENING to you. Did you know we often do that to God?
How about that morning that you read that scripture that says, "God works all things for the good of those who love Him" and yet THAT DAY circumstances turn south and you start saying GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME ARE YOU JUST TRYING TO PUNISH ME? Well you heard Him through the Word that morning, but you didn't listen, and now you are up in arms rather than resting in His sweet peace.
Oh how about the day the Holy Spirit spoke to you and said "leave ten minutes early for work" and you just kind of thinking it was your imagination leave at your normal time. Then you get stuck by a train and are late to work. Immediately you become frustrated and irritated and are no longer living in sustaining peace. If you would have listened, we'd be at peace.
I'll take it home for the last one. How about when YOU KNOW God tells you to go to South Sudan and you're sleeping on the ground and in the middle of the night began to feel alone, fearful, and confused. In that moment you stop listening to every verse you've ever read about His character, every time He's whispered the truth of His love over you, every time you've seen Him supernaturally provide and protect you. Because you stopped listening (uh ok because I stopped listening) fear was given an a door to steal my peace.
This morning I'm just so grateful for the peace of God that passes all understanding. Even when we don't have the words to explain, even when times are hard, even when others are telling us to quit or give up, His peace shines through. His peace comforts, His peace sustains. Oh how I love having His peace, it always reminds me of who He is.
Be Blessed, J. Tate