Have you found yourself saying that phrase, 'Where can I get some peace around here?' or, 'God I just need some peace, please!' Or perhaps you have been trying to go to sleep and that concern keeps going over and over in your mind, and you just want it to stop so you can get some peace and have a good night's sleep.
Peace. We want it. We need it.
I'm still on my sojourn through the Old Testament, now in Numbers, and I read this scripture this morning ...
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying,
'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: "The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." '
"So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." Numbers 6:22-27 NKJV
Reading it reminded me of a beautiful song by Matt Redman, Benediction, that starts with lyrics relating to this passage of scripture ...
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord smile on you, Shine His light upon you. May the Lord lift you, Turn His face towards you. Give you His peace, Give you His peace.
Perhaps this is a song to play if you find yourself tossing and turning unable to sleep. I remember hearing this song at lifegroup. The Holy Spirit would minister to me every time it was played. With open hands and an open heart it was as if the Lord poured His peace in everytime it was played.
Or maybe it was more that it reminded me that I already had His peace in me, as Jesus tells us ...
I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous! John 14:27 TPT
As I've said before I'm not a Bible scholar, but I do know this, there is a peace that Jesus gives that really does surpass all understanding.
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7 TPT
Let's have another look at the first part of verse 6 ....
The Passion Translation ... Don't be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing
New King James Version ... Be anxious for nothing
New Living Translation ... Don't worry about anything
The Message ... Don't fret or worry
The Amplified Bible ... Do not fret or have anxiety about anything
Maybe your response to this command, is 'Yes, but you don't understand .....'
But God's response is still ....
Don't be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing ... Be anxious for nothing ... Don't worry about anything ... Don't fret or worry ... Do not fret or have anxiety about anything
And whatsmore God doesn't just tell us what NOT to do, He tells us what to do ...
The Passion Translation ... Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.
New King James Version ... but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
New Living Translation ... instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
The Message ... Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
The Amplified Bible ... but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
Yes, God tells us to pray, but we need to pray with faith, not double-mindedness. And always give thanks for all He has done.
And what happens when we do that? Philippians 4:7 tells us we will experience God's peace, as our focus shifts from our circumstance to Jesus and Who He is.
then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. The Passion Translation
New King James Version ... and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
New Living Translation ... Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The Message ... Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life
The Amplified Bible ... And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I've had many opportunities in my life to fret and worry, and I have fretted and worried. But Philippians 4:6-7, one of the first scriptures I learnt when I became a Christian, has always been a 'go-to' scripture in those circumstances. Sometimes I haven't gone there immediately, but eventually I do get that place of petitioning God in prayer, thanking Him for what He has done, then experiencing His wonderful peace. And I am able to face the next day.
You may be thinking, "I have prayed about this before and nothing has changed." Well, I really encourage you to pray again. There is an enemy who wants you to stop praying, as Jentezen Franklin says ..
"The devil knows your greatest weapon against his kingdom is your voice, your prayer life. Prayer will usher you into the presence, power, and purpose of God." (The Spirit of the Python, page151)
So today, if you are wanting peace, take some time, perhaps play that beautiful song, Benediction, offer up a heartfelt prayer to God, your Heavenly Father, remember to thank Him for what He has done, keep your eyes on Jesus and be expectant that you will experience His peace.
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