Perfect Peace

hayley-seibel-wYewZjoy3Lk-unsplashHe keeps in perfect peace those who depend on Him. That’s why the following verse is spot on.

You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You. Isaiah 26.3

I woke up convicted that I’ve put too much weight in other people. That’s the first thought I had after reading Isaiah 26.3. That’s such a paradox isn’t it? I’ve been married for over 20 years, and Carey is the most important person in my life behind Jesus Christ, and my daughter is priceless to me. We are active church goers, and our extended family is vitally important to us, so to say I’ve put too much weight in other people is obviously paradoxical. Jesus shows us through Scripture and the Holy Spirit how to balance that paradox. He was completely dependent on his Father as the Old and New Testaments communicate to us over and over. But he was obviously committed to showing others the way of life. He knew how to give, but he also knew how to receive. He struggled with anxiety as we read about in the Garden of Gethsemane because he was fully human, yet I believe with my whole heart that anxiety was not sin. My interpretation of sweat drops of blood was anxiety about the crucifixion. He was not trying to avoid the inevitable because it was perfectly acceptable for him to exit out of that horrific death. He did not hence the reason I am able to type this sentence. In fact as he hung from the cross he was able to tend to the paradox of caring for what God wanted and what his earthly mother needed. He instructed an Apostle to take care of Mary. We assume the Apostle was John.

It’s important that we solely depend on our Father, but because we are broken there will be times when the balance to depend on mankind will outweigh that dependence. What we do during those times is important. So many of us have been there many times, and we will be there many more times before we pass from this life, and thankfully I’m glad this isn’t all there is. I’m not suicidal, but frankly I’m not afraid of death.

The Father we are in relationship with continues to amaze me as He loves me. His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness continues generation after generation. I know there are those who do not adhere to our train of thought. They’ve been hurt by organized religion, and I don’t blame them one bit for exiting organized religion, but this goes beyond organized religion. It cuts to the heart of what individuals believe about a higher power. I was raised in organized religion, my advanced degrees are in religion, and I choose to shepherd my wife and daughter in organized religion. But I really hate the term “organized religion.” It gives us a point of reference. It gives us a semantic from which to talk about God. Labels are plentiful in our world, and until we gaze upon the Father’s face in our new bodies we will continue to use labels. That can be good and bad. God is not limited in His activity by the labels we assign each other. He sees an ocean of humanity He loves deeply. Whether we choose to participate in organized religion, I think, doesn’t really matter to Him. He’s looking for hearts that seek Him. For me that means being a part of a local church that is striving to draw nearer our Father. That’s not at all writing that those who choose not to be a part of a congregation aren’t. God is bigger than any one congregation, and if we assert that God is only found in church then we are displaying our ignorance. I don’t think it was an accident that the Temple curtain was torn from top to bottom at the death of Jesus. Not only can we approach the Father directly, but we don’t need a priest, place or position to do it. I’m approaching Him now through a blog in a US city with you my brothers and sisters, and I draw near Him every time I offer myself to Him and you through this blog.

If we truly had an inkling into the love and power of Jesus Christ I think our heads would “explode.” Evil is alive and well on planet Earth, but my LORD’s work reminds it everyday that it’s time is limited. There will come a day when death will be no more. Cancer will not have a presents in our health care, and depression will not be in our vocabulary. No mind can conceive of that now, and that’s ok because He continues to sustain us in our pain and suffering.

We do that by depending on Him.

I love you guys.

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