Psalm 94:12-15 (Message)
How blessed the man you train, God, the woman you instruct in your Word, providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked. God will never walk away from his people, never desert his precious people. Rest assured that justice is on its way and every good heart put right.
The Lord provides a circle of quiet with in the clamor…doesn’t that sound good right about now. At a musical showcase, I heard the song “Silent Night”. It was my mother’s favorite song. She loved the image of Mary rocking baby Jesus soothing Him in the night while the world around her slept. I believe my mother searched for peace her entire life but did not find it until she met Jesus for herself last month. We are promised to have peace and joy on the earth yet sometimes in the midst of the “clamor” it seems so elusive. We move quickly and chaotically from one thing to the next driven by the demands of life rather than resting in the Presence of the Lord. I spend time with God every day but sometime upon leaving this place I am immediately thrust from this peace that I have found into the vortex of stress, worry and anxiety that the world wants to cram in its place. I imagine Mary and Joseph making the journey to Bethlehem. She was young and inexperienced when it came to childbearing but her body had begun to show the telltale signs of labor. She just wanted a quiet, private place to birth her child. Instinct took over and fear moved aside as she went into the stable offered by a kind soul and gave birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She knew in her heart this was no ordinary baby. She knew that He belonged to God. Imagine her embracing the baby oblivious to the sights, sounds and smells of the animals all around as she basked in the light of pure love. I can remember my first baby when I as alone with him the very first time. As I look at him, I was overcome with a ferocious love that I had never felt before. I would die for this little human being if I had to. I wanted to wrap him in all my love and keep him safe for the rest of my life. Well, that little baby is now 24 years old and we have seen many things together in two decades of life. But even now as I recall that moment all those years ago, I think of the “circle of quiet within the clamor” and thank God for it. I believe that God has prepared a place very much like that in which He desires His Children to live. A stillness and quiet of His Love found only in His Presence that allows us to live in this world but not have to be affected by it. It is not a place of ignorance or random wandering, but a definite destination plotted according to His Plan. If you need to find peace today or escape the chaotic overload that comes with the season, all you have to do is step into His Love today.
Psalm 94:16-19 (Message)
Who stood up for me against the wicked? Who took my side against evil workers? If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.
When I think of all the times I chose to step out in the flesh and leave the sanctuary of God’s Peace that He has prepared for my life, it’s frustrating. I want to live in His Presence. I want to believe for all things in Christ. Who stood up for me against the wicked? God did. I remember when I stop and think about it. Who took my side against evil workers? God did just last week. I know that if God hadn’t been for me and with me, I would not have made it this far alive and well. I know it, but I forget all the time. I cry out to God because I think I am “slipping” and “falling” apart. That’s the moment, God’s Hand sweeps me back up, holds me tight, like He’s been there to do all along. It is when I get upset and “beside myself”. When we allow the sinful nature to override the Holy Spirit in our mind and body, we get “beside” ourselves and step out of the Power of God because we do not believe that the Spirit of God is stronger than any other force in our life. Before you object, think about it. If I truly believe in the Power of God, why do I try to help Him when He is not fast enough? Why do I try to make things happen rather than waiting on His Perfect Plan? Why is my life filled with compromise and substitutions if I really believe that He is God and has prepared a great life for me found only in His Presence? God will meet us in our doubt and fear leading us back home. God will not meet us there and leave us there so if we choose to live in unbelief by continuing to remain stirred up, worried, stressed and anxious – He will wait for us to believe. The only way to freely enter the Presence and Power of God is to believe. This will require removing all the excess baggage that create our comfort zone and place of complacency.
Psalm 46:1-10 (Message)
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in sea storm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city, this sacred haunt of the Most High. God lives here, the streets are safe, God at your service from crack of dawn. Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, but Earth does anything he says. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across his knee. “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
Jacob was less than perfect. He stole the birthright from his own brother. He had to flee for his life. Sleeping outside all alone and vulnerable, the Lord met Him there. God made Jacob a promise and showed him the angels bringing Heaven to earth. That did not stop Jacob from wrestled with the Lord later on. We still wrestle with God. We say we love Him, but then try to do everything our way according to our schedule. When we find ourselves, beside ourselves, left out in the cold alone – we cry out to God and He comes. We STILL wrestle with him. Human nature will always be contrary and direct opposition to the Will of God because in order to be who God create us to be our flesh must die so it fights to live on. No one will ever be set free from such battles until they step into Eternity. You are no different than anyone else no matter what they boast. They struggle just like you or they are a liar. By faith we are to fearless and courageous no matter what the circumstances of life. I find that only when rendered completely helpless do I find a way to completely trust the Lord. That is not His Intentions, but that His Children would step into the “circle of quiet” that His Love has prepared for us. It is this place of faith that God fights our battles handing us the victory. He protects us so we don’t have to worry or stress about life. He breaks every weapon formed against us disabling the enemy against us. God is a safe place. He is the quiet place that we long for.
Psalm 27:1-6 (Message)
Light, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.
The Peace of God is His Gift to us. No one else can give it to you. You cannot make it for yourself. You should not expect it from any other source or at any other time than the present. God wants us to live in the circle of quiet that is His Presence. He wants us to be still and enjoy His Peace. The rest is up to you (and me). I want to be calm and collected in every situation. I want to be fearless including all the little things I stress and worry about each day. I am asking God this Christmas for one thing, only one thing – “To live with Him in His House my whole life long.” I want to contemplate (gaze at, study, behold, and ponder) His Beauty rather than trying to make my own life beautiful. You can put lipstick on a pig but it doesn’t make her a beauty queen. I want to study at God’s Feet every day. When I hear the clamor of the noisy world and buzz of traffic calling me to join the race, teach me to stay in Your Presence right there at Your Feet. Help my unbelief Lord that is bent on driving me nuts. Lord increase my faith so it will be strong enough to stand when tempted to run off. Jesus, be my hope that is stronger than the biggest anchor holding the largest ship in any fleet. I want to live in Your Presence Lord. I want to remain in the “quiet circle” of Your Love every day, all day and forevermore.
John 16:31-33 (Message)
Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”