The Pursuit of Peace 2
Last week, I started this journey with you all on the “Pursuit of Peace,” and let me tell you, I have not had peace since the day I wrote Part 1. I have been under attack from the enemy, and he has not let up! On the positive side, I have finally decided and realized that giving it all to God, and trusting He will go before me, will restore my peace once again.
Just because I like to study the Word, and have a passion for ministry, doesn’t mean that I will not come under the attack of the enemy. He is always lurking; waiting for the right time to come in and cause chaos, destruction and frustration. This week has been just that for me! Fortunately, I have felt the urgency to stand firm against the enemy and take foothold in the truth, pushing back with my shield of faith to advance and start taking the offensive stance once again. I have reached out to numerous prayer warriors who have lifted me up in prayer, and have been fighting the battle with me this week. I am so grateful, so thankful, and so blessed. Although nothing in that current situation has changed, but, my perspective and my stance has.
I have been chewing on this second half of the” Pursuit of Peace,” and honestly, if I hadn’t been on this pursuit of peace, I don’t think I would have gotten through this week, and ended up where I am spiritually today. Isn’t God good? He knows exactly what we need, exactly when we need it! Last week, we focused on Isaiah 66:1,
“This is what the Lord says:
Heaven is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?”
We talked about how important it was for us to slow down and take the time for God, to clear all the junk out of our hearts, so that God can come in a put His feet up and rest. Stay a while. To be at peace in our hearts.
Today, I wanted to talk about Isaiah 66:2, “These are the ones I look on with favor:
Those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my Word.”
I don’t know about you, but I want God’s favor! So, let’s look at each of these qualities so that we can strive to have them.
- Humble- means lowly, modest, meek, submissive. Humbleness is the quality we strive to have. It means you are marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful. You will show submissive respect and have a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God.
I think in this day in age we all struggle with entitlement a bit. We all struggle with wanting to be important, to be strong, or powerful, or have say over something or someone in life. There are not many of us who seek to be small, invisible, or unworthy. In fact, I would argue that we think we are worthier than we actually are. We fool ourselves into thinking that we are more important, or more special than we actually are. I don’t mean to say this in a way that we are not special or worthy of love, etc. I meant it in the way that we think we know more and better than God, which in turn means we have dethroned God and replaced Him on the throne. Since when are we worthier than God? Doesn’t He know best, do best, and love best?
- Contrite in Spirit- contrite literally means bruised or broken-hearted for sin. Contrition means penitence; having a deep sorrow for sin, grief of having offended an infinitely holy and benevolent God, and the sincere resolution to live in obedience of the divine law.
I know I am guilty of not taking my sin seriously sometimes, or downplaying my sin because I am comparing my sin to people instead of Christ! There are also times when I ask God to forgive me very half-heartedly, with no sincere devotion to turning from it. I don’t even think about how I have offended God. I usually think about how I have offended people first! People’s reactions to my sin drive me to repentance sometimes, instead of God’s reaction.
- Tremble at the Word. When we talk about trembling at the Word of God, we mean having the fear and respect of the knowledge and understanding that the Word was written by the most high, God! The urgency we should feel when we read the Word, should hit us like a ton of bricks, that we should be quick to do, go, or stay; quick to be obedient to his calling, and humble in our approach.
I know I am guilty of reading the Word to see how it can help me personally. I make it my personal guide, and go to the pages in reference to what I am going through or struggling with. But when we tremble at the Word, we come to it in prayer, with a respectful caution. We should know how holy and righteous each verse is, and the context behind those translations and generations. We should tremble at the thought that the creator of the universe has written this Word for us to follow. The creator of the universe! We forget that sometimes, don’t we? It is that healthy fear of the Lord that will give us that healthy trembling in His presence. It is acknowledging how powerful and big and mighty He really is, and treating the Bible the same way.
You may be thinking. “Amanda, I thought this was supposed to be about the Pursuit of Peace?” Well, it is, in a round-about way. I think that when the Lord finds favor in me, I will be at peace. For Jesus, is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) And if I am in Christ, so too will the peace be in me! My goal, what will I strive to do? Be humble, have a contrite spirit, and tremble at the Word. Anyone with me?