I Peter 3:10-12 (ESV) For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Faith is a quiet place. Once the battle of our heart and mind are won, faith takes the place of fear, anxiety and worry when our confidence is in the foundation of Christ alone. Few will ever find such a place because the enemy works day and not to uproot us with circumstances, conditions and concerns in that natural that keeps us from supernatural revelation that with God all things are possible for those who simple and fully believe. To say one has faith and continue to strive is inconsistent. The Lord offers us peace that passes all understanding. It is up to us to make up our mind who we believe and even more important who to serve. We do not lean on faith when our confidence is secure because it is our hope that sustains us. Trust and believing begins with seeds of faith planted in the Kingdom. Over time, it becomes confident hope that quiets every storm and keeps us in the waiting. Faith is a peaceful and quiet place of dwelling in the Presence of God no matter what the conditions of your life may be.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to love life and see good days. Do you? There are simple instructions in this passage beginning with our conversation and communication. We must keep our tongue from speaking evil and our lips from speaking deceit. What does this mean? Our heart and mind must agree to produce words that affirm our faith and trust in the Lord rather than the current situation. We must learn to speak of His Goodness to us. It is important that our mouth speaks His Word not the way it is. Rebellion is anything contrary to God’s Word, Will and Way including what we say. To say, “I believe” and then express doubt marked by complaining, grumbling and malice is to refute our previous claim. Faith is in God alone and His Careful Concern for us that gives us confidence no matter what life looks like that He works every detail for our good.
We must turn away from evil and do good. We must stop allowing evil to penetrate our heart and mind. It is imperative to the growth and maturity of faith that we carefully filter what we feed our heart and mind on a regular basis. Like a diet counts caloric intake or carb monitoring, it is the same with our soul. To read the Word of God and study its way, but then not carefully examine what we see, hear and engage in is contradictory living. We become frustrated because those things attributed to faith are not producing good fruit when the problem is that in our fertile heart are seeds of faith and weeds of sin. We must challenge ourselves in every moment of every day to do good. Regardless of how we are treated or what we face that our character resembles that of our Savior and Lord – Jesus Christ.
I must seek peace and pursue it. Peace doesn’t find us – we must pursue it. Peace that passes understanding is offered but one must decide to accept it before it takes over. The meek inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. (Psalm 37) Meekness is humility. A peaceful and quiet nature not governed by pride. Humility is exactly what God is looking for in His People to given them an abundance of peace. Peace that comes from knowing He is fighting our battles and we must only be still. Faith is quiet and gives way to thresholds of peace in God’s People. The Lord promises us peace that passes all understanding and that peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ. Do you need peace today? You must pursue it. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but it is the tearing down of strongholds in our mind. To think like God thinks and respond per His Instructions. The battle is won in the natural. We must win the war in our heart and mind to stand victorious.
I Peter 3:4 (ESV) But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
This treasure of a verse is tucked in between careful instruction regarding submissiveness. Submission is the duty of every wife to her husband. There is power in submission to authority found only by the humble. We are ALL the Bride of Christ which is the submissive role in the relationship…woman or man. Our place in our covenant relationship with Jesus requires us to submit to His Authority and Power in all things. Our heart is thereby covered in the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” deemed precious in God’s Sight. We do not fight for the Lord. He fights for us. If we are still, we win. It is when our flesh tells us to do more than what God has instructed that we overstep boundaries of faith into a place that we are not called to be. We do not argue the Word of God for it is truth and therefore verified all by itself. We are not in conflict with people because that would be like our right arm trying to subdue the left arm. Faith is quiet when our heart is submitted and secure in Christ alone.
Isaiah 32:17-18 (ESV) And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Righteousness will produce peace in our life. Right standing with God is not based on performance but acceptance. Crazy I know and often times difficult to fully comprehend so it is human nature to throw ourselves into serving God as though it somehow is repayment of our debt to Him. The truth is that the purest form of worship is to do so by living a peaceful life. The result of righteousness is a quiet life wrapped in trust. It means trusting God in all matters and at all times simply because He is God. He loves us unconditionally. His Grace is always enough. He pursues us with His Goodness. We are His Delight. There is nothing we can do to ever change that even when living in the depths of darkness. His Love never fails us though we constantly fail Him. God’s People, those who live by faith, will abide, dwell, and live in peaceful habitation. The Holy Inhabitation of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Peace is one of the fruits that He is cultivating in us with seeds of faith. Are you living in perfect peace today? Is your dwelling place secure? Is your existence a quiet resting place that draws others to it? If not, it can be.
Psalm 46:10 (ESV) “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Be still. Know that I am God. Faith is not logical. I say it all the time. Faith is not a practical form of living widely accepted by the average person. It doesn’t make sense at all most of the time. In fact, faith is usually developed when faced with the impossible. In other words, in situations where there is no other choice. God wants you and I to have faith. He desires to give us peace of mind and soul security so we can prosper in every area of life. It’s definitely not a “God” problem. God will do exactly as He promised that He would do. His Word cannot and will not return to Him void. We must be still and wait for the Lord. Stop fighting for every lost cause and with every person who doesn’t agree with you and be still in the Presence of the Lord who fights for you and gives you victory time and time again. You can only do this when you KNOW that He is God. When that knowing becomes living in confident hope.
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV) The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
When our oldest son was overseas serving our country, I had this verse on my refrigerator. I prayed this over him every time I was in the kitchen. He was in a foreign land unwanted and in the enemy’s territory but God was with him. I prayed that the Presence of God would surround him especially in his sleep. I wanted him to have peace and rest each night though far from home and in constant danger. The Lord brought him back safely. Reading this today, I wonder if we are all not facing battles every day. Battles of our heart and mind without absolute confidence in the hope we have so our striving becomes strife. We begin to fight for something that already belongs to us simply for the asking. God will give us His Peace. We can rest in the stillness of the quiet place of faith. The Lord is in our midst. He is the Mighty One who will save, heal and deliver us. He rejoices over us with gladness because He loves us. He quiets us, soothes us and revives us in His Love. He signs over us as a mother to their sleeping child out of an overflowing love from the innermost depths of their heart as only a parent could understand. God loves us. We can trust that love in all circumstances and craziness of this life. We must only step over the boundaries of fear, doubt and insecurity into the quiet place called faith.
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.