God’s Word is Peace

Thank you so much for joining my blog! I received so much feedback after my last email letter. You would be amazed at how many of you saw yourselves as being completely like ‘Martha’! Which made my heart glad, because it shows you are not lazy or idle, and most importantly, you recognise the need to keep God and His Word first place in your lives. And you of all people, will actually do something about it! Why? Because you are wired to ‘do’, and not just ‘talk’.
So, it turns out that we seem to have more in common with Martha than we thought. Remember how she had the privilege of the Teacher being in her house that day? Well, according to the Word, we have the same Teacher resident in our’s too. I’m not talking about our brick and water houses, I’m talking about our reborn spirits, where the Spirit of Jesus dwells! In John 16:13-15, Jesus was telling his disciples about us. He told them the day would come when people would have His Spirit living inside of them, continually guiding them into full truth, which is the Word of God.
Why is the Word so important that God insists in Proverbs that we make it the ‘principle thing’? And why would He go to the trouble to make sure we would have a resident (live-in) teacher, to help us understand and grasp its wisdom for our lives?
Because God’s Word is spirit and life (John 6:63), and His wisdom is peace (James 3:17). In fact, the Amplified Bible explains the peace we receive from God’s Word as, “… perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts.” Are you kidding me? Are we really too busy to not make time to get that kind of peace for our lives?
When I was mulling over the definition of God’s peace that comes from His Word, I found myself remembering a conversation I had with the Lord when I was a teenager. Funny how certain moments in our lives, no matter how far in the past, remain as clear today as they were the moment they happened. I remember pouring out my heart, and telling Him how impressed I was with Him. Not for the fact that He was GOD, but that being GOD, He was so willing and interested to be a part of my life and spend time with me – an insignificant, somewhat awkward and teenager. His response spoke straight into my spirit with a question: “What do you want?”. Instinctively, I knew this wasn’t an invitation for a request for ‘stuff’ or any immediate need, it was a question directed at my destiny. He was asking me what I wanted from life, at that moment and in the future. I didn’t even have to think about it, the answer came out so spontaneously and so sure: I wanted to be happy. Wherever I would go on my journey in life, I wanted to feel at peace, be fulfilled and have a sense of perfect well-being.
I know now, that’s God’s perfect desire for everyone of His children. To always have that sense of peace and well-being, (the Amplified Bible calls in tranquility inside and out), no matter where we are, or what we find ourselves doing. The only way we can live in that peace, is by personally experiencing the Word of God, doing its perfect work in our lives. And we can’t do it by ourselves! We have the Holy Spirit within us, making the Word we pay attention to, alive and clear and perfectly doable to us!
I did a little studying, the Greek word for peace, expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, and tranquility of the soul. It gives the picture of someone who is unaffected by outward circumstances or pressures, and suggests the rule of order in a place of chaos. Rick Renner, a Greek scholar, wrote in his book Sparkling Gems, “A person who is dominated by peace has a calm, inner stability, enabling him to conduct himself peacefully in the midst of traumatic or upsetting circumstances.”
The Hebrew word for peace, means nothing missing, nothing broken. It suggests that when it dominates a persons life, it gives rise to prosperity in their soul. It renders a man whole, complete, stable and poised for blessing. (Sparkling Gems by Rick Renner).
Did you notice in those definitions and explanations of peace, the phrase, “a person dominated by peace is …..” ?
Since we know true, supernatural peace, comes from the Word of God, we should also realise that until it dominates our lives, it cannot produce the life and peace we long for. Wisdom from God’s Word must have a commanding influence over the way we think, the words we speak and the things we do in order for its power to flow.
That’s why God puts such emphasis on making His Word our top priority. Jesus said it’s the only way we can truly abide in Him (“…If my words abide in you…”), and have His life operate in us (John 15:4). The Word must become that ONE THING!
So, my fellow Martha’s, let’s take action and steer our lives in the course of making spending time in God’s Word, our vital necessity. It’s the only way we are going to live in that sure, secure, supernatural peace. Hebrews 6:19, says we can trust the Word to be the anchor of our souls: “Now, we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it..”
Until next time, happy sailing,
Jenny

Out With Worry and Doubt – In With Boldness and Peace!

Hello everyone!  It’s that time again, when I get to pour out my heart to you and pray that the words will be laced with God’s supernatural grace and power and find their way directly to a special place in your heart.  A place where, in the midst of all you have going on in your lives, you are able to find a haven where God’s Words of truth can refresh and restore and fill you with His wisdom, filling you with His peace.
Do you remember the words of Jesus, when He speaks of us being full of His peace?  John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” (Amplified)

I love the way He immediately links His peace with our tendency to worry.  I am ashamed to admit that this is an area that I can been quite skilled in.  Growing up, I clearly remember my Dad telling me, “Jenny, why do you always waste so much of your energy worrying about something that hasn’t even happened?”  He was right.  I would somehow manage to get myself into a state of absolute despair over an issue that hadn’t even materialised – except for in the confines of my own mind.  I wonder if I ever thought that worrying about something meant I was being responsible?  Did I think I could actually add some kind of value to my life by playing out all the possible scenarios that COULD happen, SHOULD something go horribly wrong?  Which reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, “And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?”

Well, no matter what our opinion on the subject of worry, God has made His very clear.  He says we mustn’t give it the time of day.  And I know why, worry always produces doubt and unbelief and they both, are closely related to the enemy of our faith – fear.  Fear is a powerful spiritual force that will completely neutralise our faith, rendering it powerless.  It will destroy any confidence we have in the Lord and His Word and will make every prayer we pray ineffective.
Now this – INEFFECTIVE PRAYER – is really the heart of the matter I feel to share with you today.  So why all the ramblings on about worry and doubt?  Because according to the Word of God, they are the cause of double mindedness in the area of our prayer life.  Look at what James 1:6-8 says about this, “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

There is a boldness and godly confidence we can have as children of God when we pray.  I’m not talking about an arrogance, or an attitude of entitlement.  I’m not even talking about a confidence we have  in ourselves.  No, it’s a boldness and a confidence we experience by knowing and participating in an active relationship with God, and understanding the covenant promises from His Word.   It’s this certainty we have in Christ that will drive out all worry and doubt and replace it with God’s supernatural faith and peace.  What a difference this makes in our prayer life!

Did you know the Bible says it’s possible to pray amiss?  It’s true, James 4:2-3 says, “You have not, because you ask not.  You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss.”  Praying from a heart of doubt and fear will cause our prayers to be ineffective.

There is so much to learn and share on this subject.  But an excellent place to begin, is to understand that our prayers ARE EFFECTIVE when we approach the Lord in bold faith and not worry, doubt and unbelief.  Scripture says that because of our RELATIONSHIP of right standing with God, we have an ongoing invitation to come BOLDLY to the throne of grace, to OBTAIN mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).  It’s interesting to note that the  word OBTAIN means certainty to posses.

There is a direct connection between three important truths here.  Firstly, our RELATIONSHIP with God and His Word, that leads to… Secondly, a confident BOLDNESS in Him and His Word, that causes us to… Thirdly, OBTAIN exactly what we need.

Look at the Words of Jesus in John 15:7, “If you LIVE IN ME [abide vitally united to Me] and MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU and continue to live in your hearts, ASK whatever you will, and it SHALL BE DONE for you.”

Do you see the very same pattern? Jesus first emphasises us having a living relationship with Him and His Word; in order to have a confidence or boldness, to ask and obtain whatever we need from Him.

This is how it works: When we choose to actively spend time fellowshipping with the Lord, and keep His Word alive in our hearts, we begin to confidently trust and lean on Him and His Words with our whole being.  He becomes everything to us and His Word is a constant guide for all we do.   Since His ways and purposes become the dominating authority in all we do, and a pure delight for us to live by, they will have a direct influence on the way we pray.  We begin to pray what the Holy Spirit within us, leads us to pray, backed by the truth in His Word.  That’s where the confidence and boldness comes from. There can be no doubt or uncertainty that what His Spirit and His Word have confirmed in our hearts to pray – is exactly what will become a reality in our lives!

There is so much truth packed up in that one paragraph isn’t there!  So I’ll stop right here, to give us time to really meditate on it and make it ours!  But I will leave you with one more promise to bring it all together, from 1 John 5:14&15, “And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.  And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.” (Amplified)

How do I know I’m praying according to His will?  Easy, ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide as you search the scriptures to see what God has to say on the subject.  When you have His Word on it, you have His will concerning it.  Let it fill you with peace and confidence as you pray!  And remember, don’t give worry and doubt the time of day!

Love you,

Jenny

Gardening 1 on 1 by Ps. Jenny

I absolutely love pretty gardens! There is such a wonderful peace and joy I feel when I get to walk through a beautiful display of colourful flowers, sweet smelling grass, and tall leafy trees that make a canopy of green over my head. Even a walk through a natural forest or African bush veld can be extremely therapeutic and a real treat to all my senses!

The only downside is that as much as I LOVE beautiful gardens, I’m really no good at gardening. I was not blessed with so-called ‘green fingers’. If a pot plant is left under my care, unless it’s of the synthetic kind, trust me, it’s not going to make it. And it’s not for lack of trying either. I’m probably just not cut out for gardening, but I believe I make up for it in the ‘appreciation’ department. My family and I had the privilege of visiting Vail, Colorado one summer. Oh my goodness, did I live up to my ‘appreciation’ skill then! I spent delightful hours snapping pictures of the most brilliant scenery I have ever seen! The mountains came alive, not with the sound of music, but with colour! It really was a feast for my eyes! Even in the village itself, everywhere I looked were flower boxes overflowing with gorgeous flowers of magnificent colours! There was beauty all around me, every step I took! Now that is some pretty skilful gardening if ever I have seen it

Having said all that, throughout the Bible, we find reference to gardening too. Mark 4:26 is only one of many examples of this. It says, “…the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground,…”. Now, of course, as we have already established, I’m certainly not an expert on gardening, but I do know enough to understand that before a beautiful garden can exist, there has to be a seed. Inside one tiny seed is everything necessary for the life and abundant beauty of a garden. And once that seed is put into the ground, it will keep on producing after its own kind.

Now, in the New Testament, the Word of God is likened to a seed. 1 Peter 1:23, says God’s Word is an incorruptible seed that lives forever. Since we know the Word of God is His infinite wisdom and carries His life and peace; when it’s planted into the soil of our hearts, it’s going to reproduce that very same nature inside of us! This excites me tremendously! Do you know why? It proves that human nature is subject to change! That’s right! According to scripture, there is a process called transformation that is expected to take place in every believer, when God’s Word is planted into our hearts.

You see, at salvation, our spirits took on an immediate transformation when God’s Spirit took residency in it, but our minds and bodies didn’t. According to Romans 12:1,2, that transformation must still take place and it’s our responsibility to do it, through the Word of God!

Which means, from the moment of our salvation, until we go to heaven, we have some gardening to do! If we are unhappy about the state of our lives, if there is an area that we long to see changed, I want to show you that it really is possible, through God’s Word, to transform it from an ugly, hopeless state, to one of magnificent beauty. Every gnarly, thorny bush can be pulled out and replaced by a beautiful, leafy oak. It just requires some diligent gardening in the area of our minds. I say this because the mind is the control centre of our lives. The thoughts and emotions that we allow to grow and thrive are the ones that set our path in life. The Bible says, “…as a man thinketh, so is he…”.

 

According to God’s Word, we can transform the gardens of our minds by ridding them of every negative, depressive thought that triggers off a hurtful emotion and replacing it with God’s very own thoughts of life, peace and hope. To begin with, we need to see what God’s Word says about us and replace our wrong thinking with His truth. We need to get the seed of God’s Word into our hearts! Look what Proverbs 24:3 and 4 says, “Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation], And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Amplified).

We can have every area of our lives transformed to display God’s precious and pleasant riches of His grace, mercy and loving kindness. His goodness can be seen in every aspect of who we are, if we choose to let His Word be planted and rooted in us.

So ladies, let’s begin the gardening process today! With the help of the precious Holy Spirit, examine your life. See if there is an area that you know you need to see changed. Then go to the nursery or garden centre, of God’s Word and find the seed that will produce the results you want to see. His Word will have His perspective concerning that area of your life. When you find that promise, begin to meditate on it, don’t just agree with it, see it as being a part of your life.

When we take the promises or principles from God’s Word, we need to believe that they are His will for us! The Bible teaches us that ALL His promises are YES and AMEN for those who are in Christ and BELIEVE (2 Corinthians 1:20). In other words, we need to settle in our hearts that there is no debating or arguing the matter, if God’s Word says it, that settles it, this is the new me! This is how my garden is going to grow!

This is the first step of our gardening process, planting the seed of God’s Word in our hearts.

 

In the next letter, we’ll look at other steps, to get the gardens of our lives growing beautifully. Until then, keep spending time finding the ‘seeds’ from God’s Word that you want to see bloom and blossom and bear fruit in your life. When you do, remember to not just read them or memorise them, actually meditate on them and make them yours! If you feel free to share, I’d love to hear which ones you have chosen to beautify your life with!

A really great place to get you started is Psalm 103:2-5. Oh, and Psalm 1 will be a great place to encourage you, as we begin our gardening/transformation process together!

Until next time, happy gardening!

Love Jen