The Sea of TranquilityJanuary 14, 2009
In the twenty eight months that this blog has been in progress, Isaiah 26:3 has probably been referred to more than any other passage. It tells of Gods perfect peace that will be ever present as we keep our eyes upon him. A peace that and contentment that is complete in every possible way. A residing in this present world but living as an eternal soul; once lost but now washed in the blood of Jesus. Our season in this fallen world is but a fragment of time in an ocean of timelessness and our salvation is nearer today than it was yesterday. As this truth begins to manifest in our heart, our only desire to fellowship with and serve the Lord will rise to first place inour heart; leaving everything else; even the needful obligations of life, in second place. The weights and sins which may have once caused contnual stumbling will just fall away, while the threatenings from this present world, regardless of their size, lose their ability to shake us.
I know that this post is almost a duplicate of many others on this blog, but this seems more needful than ever as many are following from afar which is evidenced in their conversation and decisions. The falling away is in full swing (Hebrews 3:12) as sin is rampant, compromise in exchange for unity is the trend (kind of like “land for peace”) and many are content to go through the motions of christianity while loving their lives in this world. It’s heartbreaking because those who are content to allow such things are lacking the supernatural joy of the Lord but don’t realize it. (I squandered several years in such a condition) To those in a state of compromise or lukewarmness, a life of holiness may seem to resemble a prison sentence instead of the wonderous liberty that we know it to be. My prayer for such is that the Lord would grant them such a revelation of himself that they’ll be forever ruined to remain in a state of compromise.
When a person begins to know the peace of God and joy in the Holy Ghost, the former things lose their appeal. Even the interests that we often classify as neutral will drop to lower slots on our priority chart. In my case one such neutral activity was football. There was a time when I knew every player on every team and the standings of every team. Today it fails to move me as it has no eternal significance. A saint who plays the game has a great platform from which to be a witness for Jesus, but as far as the spectator aspect, the interest is gone. (And it has nothing to do with the Lions perfect season) As we grow in Christ, the pure joy overflows and the things that we once filled our lives with give way to that which truly satisfies.
I John 2:3-5 “And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
Neither the fleeting pleasure of sin for a season, nor the exhileration of the worlds most treasured pastimes can compete with the peace of God that passes all understanding. The absolute contentment that defies our best attempts to explain it. (Perhaps this is why there are so many posts on the subject. None of them meet the challenge, including this one) A sea of tranquility when the world is giving us a thousand and one reasons as to why we should “be afraid…be very afraid.” Psalm 107: 9 reads “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Satisfied means “wanting for nothing else.” When we are made complete through the precious blood of Jesus, we are complete. It simply cannot be enhanced by the weak and beggarly elements. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, his perfect peace will be ever present and his grace will be sufficient for any situation that we encounter.
John 14:26-27 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your rememberance. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The old song, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” comes to mind here. So much turmoil we often go through because, instead of bringing everything to God in prayer, we hesitate until we find ourselves in a dire situation. A situation that, had we been abiding close to Jesus, may have either been avoided completly or if it was designed to be a trial of our faith, (I Peter 1:3-9) would have been in a place spiritually where we could face it without fear. Such trials are spiritual mile markers; we need them to know where we are trusting the Lord and where we are lacking. They reveal to us faults and pockets of unbelief that cannot be flushed out when all is smooth in the theater of atoms. This final passage is known to all, but I fear that few of us, including myself, attain to it as we should:
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for the body,what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than rainment?”
A question for us is “can we honestly say that we have reached this level of complete confidence in Christ?” I’m sure that many have, but I know that many have not and it manifests in their continuous concern over the events taking place in this world. When we grasp this truth, we’ll be in such a place that, even if we are at our wits end and cannot see where our next morsel is coming from, we’ll be at peace. Our pastor was recently talking about a man who started an orphanage in England during a much earlier time than this one. (I think his name was George Mueller or something close to this) On several occasions, they reached a point where there was nothing to feed the children. He would instruct to have the children seated in the dining area while he went in to pray. Every time, without fail, there would be sustinence. A baker would suddenly stop by with a bunch of extra bread, a man selling milk would appear with extra bottles, etc.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I’m convinced that in the days to come, we’ll either have to arrive at a place where we are living in this realm, or we’ll be inserious danger of compromising for a morsel of bread. This past year has been one of financial strains for us and yet I found myself constantly acquiring more tracts; fearing not what the fallout might be from this expenditure. (or the wrath of Mrs. timbob who, upon seeing the boxes arrive, would often inquire “how much did this cost? We cannot afford this) My heart has become so desirous to take the gospel into the street as that I don’t consider the fear of consequences in this area. This may seem like a simple matter, but for me it became a spiritual barometer as in times past I would have been much more cautious. (Especially during the prolonged strike when we saw no resolution in sight and the future of the plant was in doubt)
Well, at the conclusion of the previous paragraph, this post had rambled up to a count of 1285 words so I’ll close out for now. Today, if we have any form of apprehension or fear in our hearts, it’s a sure sign that we must draw closer to Jesus. And if everything is well we still need to draw closer to Jesus. Regardless of where we are spiritually, we will always need to draw closer to Jesus. My prayer is that, every day, we’ll abide closer to the Lord than we did the day before and that our affections would be securely upon heavenly things. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.