The Bare Soul - January 3, 2010
Peace Beyond Comprehension

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever been in the midst of a turbulent or tumultuous situation and the Spirit of the Lord seemed to brood over your heart and life with the care of a loving mother? Circumstances may be screaming at you to react in a carnal, worldly manner yet there is such a placidness within your being that you feel that Jesus has lifted His holy hand and spoken, "Peace, be still" to the storm raging all around. This is the peace that Paul describes in this passage. It is a peace that defies any logical natural explanation, but is so simple in its spiritual definition that many often overlook how to enter into this glorious abiding. The peace given by God is born out of a position of death to self which ultimately results in the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The apostle gives us a direct path to this place of peace through the preceding verses. The key to perfect peace is indeed a life given to worship -- a three-legged stool of praise, humility, and trust which allows us to be seated with Him through all aspects of this earthly life. While some might relate worship to an act of adoration and praise toward the Creator, it is much more as Paul relates both in his letter to Philippians and also to the church at Rome.

Paul urges the believers at Rome in the twelfth chapter and first verse of the book of Romans ...  to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1). According to this scripture, the apostle implies that a life of worship entails a surrendering of one's self on God's altar -- a living sacrifice that He can use to glorify Himself through on this earth. In the book of Philippians, Paul defines a yielded life of a believer that has presented their entire being to God as a worshiper. In verse 4, Paul states: Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). His emphasis by repeating himself is God's way of telling us that this is EXTREMELY important in order to live a life as men and women of peace. This is the defining catalyst of a worship-filled believer that is living to serve the Father. Without thanksgiving and praise, the Holy Spirit within is hamstrung to fulfill His ministry through us. He delights to rejoice in the Father and the Son and is functioning in His God-vocation in the heart of a believer when we allow Him to do so (John 15:26). Therefore, we empower the Holy Spirit to equip us through praise and adoration to fulfill Paul's additional admonitions that will complete us as spirit-filled worshippers.

In Philippians 4:5, Paul tells us to let our gentleness or meekness be known to all men. A gentle, humble spirit is molded and crafted by a heart of thanksgiving and an understanding of what the Lord has done on our behalf. By consecrating ourselves as a living sacrifice to continually offer up thanksgiving to Him, we find that the alabaster box of ointment within us all as believers (Luke 7:37) begins to exude the very fragrance of Christ to others (II Corinthians 2:14-16). No more are we decaying from within by the putrefaction of sin but we are allowing the aroma of Christ -- His gentleness and humility -- to waft out His life-giving breath to those desirous of His Person. Finally, a life given to praise and thanksgiving and to humility and meekness must be adorned with complete trust of God and His ability to meet all our needs. Paul states in verse 6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). This "three-legged stool" that Paul has constructed of praise and humility is incomplete without the trust or faith that God will meet us in every area of our lives. As we trust Him with hearts of prayer birthed in thanksgiving, He meets us in every circumstance causing us to be well-seated on this seat of worship that we have allowed Him to create in our lives.

As we are seated securely on our "three-legged stool of worship", God does a remarkable thing. He gives us a peace that is both immeasurable and incomprehensible. Peace is the very fruit or direct product of a life of worship. It is the absence of complaint, murmuring, anxiety, or turmoil of any type. It is a life that is seated in worship and alive on God's altar of sacrifice and yet is never consumed for God continues to restore and resurrect His life within us continually. It is a life filled with an eternal knowing that He is to be adored, He is to be imitated in His humility, and He is to be trusted in all things. This ultimately gives us a God-given position in this turbulent, chaotic world that is unexplainable to those who know not the Risen Lord or the power of worship. Oh, that we would all find that place of praise, humility, and trust that would bring us into that perfect peace that defies all comprehension. Only then will a peace-starved world find a true and lasting peace to be secured only in the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

Holy Father, we invite you to build within us a seat of worship, a three-legged stool of praise, humility, and trust that will bring us to that perfect place of peace. Cause us to find this resting place in You so that we can invite others to find this place of restful abiding. Thank You Lord, for enabling and helping us. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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