John 14:26-27 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
I took the day off yesterday to prepare for the holiday and our family. Cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving and insuring all the proper ingredients were on hand. Opening the dining room table, I thought to myself our growing family can barely fit around this crowded space much longer. Strapping our grandson’s booster seat to the dining room chair, I couldn’t help but smile at how much our voracious eater will love this special day. I also sensed the disruption of order that usually facilitates holiday stress. Pulling us from gratitude into a full-fledged flurry of worry and stress that facilitates fear and anxiety about a time that should be peaceful and enjoyable. Quickly crossing over from my present preparations, my mind raced ahead to Christmas. The to-do list of hosting parties, buying gifts, and meeting the endless expectations became to make my heart race and panic ensue. It was then I heard the still small voice like a tiny whisper to my soul – “Hey, can I come to dinner too?” Trying to shake it off for more pressing matters, it occurred to me in the midst of my self-made whirlwind that the Holy Spirit was speaking to my overloaded mind. “Of course, Lord you are always welcome in our home and at our table.”
Stress and anxiety tend to run quite high during the holiday season. Depression also sinks people far deeper than their ability to cope. It is important to invite the Holy Spirit into our heart and home for the holidays. It is easy to get entangled in the doing and fall flat on our face. To get wrapped up in presents and not be present. The material drive of supply and demand can overtake us if not careful. Even our time spent with Jesus gets forsaken for the folly and frolicking of holiday fervor. There is a voice whispering but are we listening? “Invite me to stay with you through the holidays and my gift to you will be My Peace!” Thank you Jesus for the gentle undoing of our priorities and remaking them something new.
My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…
The Peace of God promised to us is well-worth having. It is not the common practice of humanity to remain calm and peaceful. It is through active participation with the Lord and His Spirit that allows us the Gift of Perfect Peace. God gives His Peace to those whose heart and mind are set upon Him. Set as in unwavering, it is a transfer of perspective from the world and how it operates to God and His Promises. Faith is the glue that forms believing which makes all things possible with the Lord. I have faced some impossibles – God has always been faithful. I have encountered the unexpected – God was not surprised but faithful all over again. God’s Peace given to us by His Spirit allows us to step out of the natural boundaries of human thinking to live in the supernatural realm.
Colossians 3:15-17 (NKJV) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Did you see that “and let”? It means that the Peace of God is not forced. It must be invited and accepted into your heart and mind. We must invite the Holy Spirit to come into our heart, still our troubled mind, bring order to our priorities, live in our home, sit at our table, and become a welcome part of everything. God loves us. Jesus promised His Peace to us upon His Departure until He returns. We must only invite the Holy Spirit to live in us. We must seek Him as our constant companion and dwelling place. He will stick closer than a brother. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, helper, advocate and guide. All I need is found in Jesus, His Word and His Spirit. It is important to get carried away in the Love of God rather than swept off in the current of the world’s idea of a holiday. God promises that one day in His Courts is better than a thousand anywhere else. Why not take Him up on His Offer? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain living in the Peace of God.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.