Meditation for God’s Peace

The practical foundation for establishing and safeguarding the Peace of God in our hearts and minds is to have an active lifestyle of meditation… specifically the kind of meditation that God Himself prescribes in the scriptures.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are
truenoblejustpurelovely… of good report,
if there is any virtue and… anything praiseworthy,
meditate on these things… and the God of peace will be with you.”

~ Philippians 4:8-9

Meditation is a conscious, sustained effort to think about a certain theme for an extended period of time. If other subjects pop into our string of thoughts, we put those subjects aside and return to our original theme chosen for meditation. While this may be more difficult for people who suffer with things like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the best of efforts should still be made to establish God’s prescription meditation as a regular part of daily discipleship.

Our unconscious streams of thought tend to inspire our conscious thoughts that are themselves usually in sync with the themes that we spend much of our time thinking about. Entertainment of various kinds and of different moral qualities develop our patterns of thought over time. Negative issues that are dwelt upon that invoke anger, hatred, and vengeance are also self-perpetuating.

The wisdom of God’s prescription meditation for us is in sync with His Spirit of Peace, the two go hand-in-hand. It isn’t so difficult for us to implement in our thought-life that meditation is only for a few super-saints; it’s not difficult to comprehend and utilize like rocket science, psychoanalytical theory, or string theory. It’s pretty basic, it’s as simple as setting aside some time with minimal distractions and then to “meditate on these things.”

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Serving Our Spouse in Their Divine Call

The young virgin, Mary, soon to be married to Joseph, received an unexpected angelic visitation that shared with her a Divine calling and anointing to fulfill a very specific mission for God.

“… God sent the angel Gabriel… to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph… The virgin’s name was Mary… ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus… The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”

~ Luke 1:26-35

We know that Joseph did not believe Mary when she told him about the angelic visitation and subsequent Divine assignment and anointing that God had given to her. An angel had to appear to Joseph and confirm what Mary had truly received from God. I think that with a story as fantastic as she had, I would need an angelic visitation and confirmation too!

Have you ever wondered how Joseph might have felt when he found out that in his marriage relationship his wife was going to be the one who had the primary calling and anointing from God for a special ministry, and that his role was seemingly less significant and secondary, relegated to “just” serving her and her child (one not his own)?

Joseph served with distinction. He loved and served Mary as his treasured wife, and he faithfully loved, served, and raised [with her] their virgin-birth-son, Jesus.

When you got married, where you assuming that you would be the primary ministry person and that your spouse would serve you and follow you in your calling? Have you instead discovered that your spouse is the primary one whom God has called and anointed for a special ministry, and that you have been called or relegated to “just” serve them?

Our personal value and worth in God’s eyes is not measured in how “big” our calling and anointing are for ministry. Instead, let us follow the example of Joseph who served with whole hearted faithfulness, love, and willingness to be a servant in accord with any of God’s callings. A servant with a towel in God’s house is 10,000 times greater than a weaponized conquering warrior in the devil’s world.

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Expendables for Christ

Are you a Pastor, a Missionary, a Leader in the Kingdom of God, or a without-title child of God who serves the missions and purposes of Christ in the dark and wicked battlefield that we call Earth?

We are expendable, my friends. We are Expendables in service to His Majesty, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Our lives and our deaths belong to our King, they are for Him to spend as He sees fit.

“For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

‭‭~ Romans‬ ‭14:7-98

Are you presently unable to minister in your usual forum due to health or circumstances that are beyond your control? While I encourage you to pray for God’s help in the area of your troubles, I also encourage you to be at peace with where He has you. He never “wastes” the lives nor the deaths of His servants. Ask the Lord to define for you the mission that He has for you where you are currently “stuck.”

I know what it is like, to have been a very active minister all of my adult life, but now at the young age of 50 years old, extremely “limited” in how busy and how available I can be. Having been an Evangelist in our state and beyond, and then a Pastor for a wonderful group of people for 9 years, now (for the last decade) I am stuck in bed 18-24 hours each day, enduring a body that is in great pain and very fatigued with exhaustion.

No, please don’t feel sorry for me. At first, being bedridden was a very real trial, not just because of the pain in my body but because of the pain in my heart from a lack of fulfillment in ministry. Today, I am blessed, not because I have been healed (though I certainly anticipate His healing!), but because I have learned the secret of being content with the fiery call of God upon my life for ministry, a fire that is shut up in my bones, while my body is shut up in my home.

The Apostle Paul learned the secret of being content in every situation:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation… I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

~ Philippians‬ ‭4:12-13‬

As Expendables for Christ, our lives and our deaths are never wasted. Whatever our situation might be, our King is not wasting our service potential. This is the secret to being content: knowing that wherever we are as we follow Christ, we are still in valuable service to our King.

Our lives (and our deaths) serve Jesus in the natural-realm and in the spirit-realm, on the earth and in the heavens. From our beds of suffering may our heartfelt dedication to intercessory prayer and our trust in our King’s invisible purposes be fear-inducing to the Gates of Hell, and fulfilling to our callings.

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Pastors of Valor

There are many Pastors and others who have answered the Divine Call to minister and to set the captives free (Isaiah 42:7), serving with loving dedication and Spirit-empowered determination in the rescue of spiritual hostages from the terrors of hell which hold them captive.

Just as hostages are not able to pick-and-choose who rescues them and the tactics and strategies that are employed, so it is with many who have had a Pastor Spirit-assigned to them for their rescue and subsequent life’s journey out of darkness and into light. A Pastor may not become their best friend socially; or enjoy the same color, the same music, the same humor; or, share the same cultural background, etc.

There are however some qualities that we as Pastors strive whole heartedly to have and to offer every person entrusted to our ministry and care by our Heavenly Father:

“Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one… you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”

~ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:2-4‬

As fellow believers and as siblings in Christ, we wish that we could be best friends with everyone, but most of those joyous types of relationships will have to wait until we all reach Heaven. Until then, however, it is our privilege and honor to serve you as rescuers from your times of spiritual captivity, as doctors or medics when you are wounded in the battles of life, and as teachers of the Scriptures for your training in life and godliness.

It is our privilege and honor to live with you, and when necessary, to die with you as we all serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Prayer Athletes

An athlete is never a Champion by having Good Intentions alone. It is when the Good Intentions become the starting blocks that launch the athlete into the wholehearted action of Training and Competing.

One of our forefathers in the faith, Abraham, was a “spiritual champion” in that he followed through on his Good Intentions (his “faith”) with wholehearted action:

“You see that Abraham’s faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

‭‭~ James‬ ‭2:22‬

Taking this principle of faith-and-action, consider what Good Intentions we might have at the forefront of our hearts and minds. Perhaps you and I share a deep desire to be a Prayer Athlete (or in other terms, a Prayer Warrior).

The enemy is not afraid of our Good Intentions to be a Prayer Athlete, but he is very afraid when we get down on our knees, blast out of the Starting Blocks, and then compete in a real Prayer Race like a Champion!

We have our “training” and “competitions” and “races” set before us. Let’s turn our Good Intentions into actions that shake the Gates of Hell with fear…

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Relationship Equality

As human beings, we are far from perfect. Our entire lifespan should include a diligent effort to be in a never ending, and always progressing, transformation process that each day takes us a step closer to becoming like the perfect One, Jesus.

One of our imperfections tends to be our development of different protocols for our relationships of differing levels of intimacy. We may treat strangers one way, friends, another way, relatives yet another way, immediate family members another different way, and then we might even have a very unique manner in our spousal relationship.

For example, a person might treat strangers and friends with a tremendous thoughtfulness, a happy countenance, and a real giving spirit; and yet with their immediate family exhibit extreme self-centeredness, an angry disposition, and a very stingy spirit that hardly even cares for the needs of their family.

Or, a couple might become very close and very loving, deciding to get married and build a life together. However, on their honeymoon one of them begins to exhibit a completely different protocol in their relationship, one that is just plain ugly in every sense of the word; they are hardly recognizable by their actions, attitudes, and manners.

These kinds of inconsistencies based on the various levels of relationships should not be allowed by us in our own lives. The spirit in which we treat every person should be the same: The Holy Spirit. More specifically, we should treat every person in accordance with our genuine and sincere response to the life changing ministry of the Holy Spirit. This transformed character is referred to as The Fruit of the Holy Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

‭‭~ Galatians‬ ‭5:22-26‬

It is quite often very difficult for us to measure our own inconsistencies in our treatment of others, especially when it comes to our family relationships. Are we treating our own family members with an equal graciousness and kindness that we treat strangers or friends? Do we have Relationship Equality at heart? Ask a family member… and be ready to receive their perspective with a gracious, sincere, and humble heart.

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Invisible Angels

God’s Angels are His invisible spirit-servants who serve His human-servants in their Christ-centric life and ministry. Sometimes they will visibly appear, but the majority of the time remain unseen.

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

~ Hebrews 1:14

Foremost in our understanding regarding invisible angels is that there are Two Types of Angels:

1. God’s Angels are commanded by God alone, operating in obedience to God in complete holiness and righteousness, and accomplish God’s purposes through serving believers; and

2. Fallen Angels (aka “demons”) are commanded by Satan for wicked objectives, but can be super-commanded by Christians [through their authorized use of the authority of Jesus Christ] to cease-and-desist their evil activities.

The scriptural “rules of engagement” that surround humanity’s encounters with the spirit realm in the form of angels and demons can be quite extensive, especially if entire scripture passages are quoted. So for our purposes here we will keep the focus limited to the basics about God’s Angels:

1. They are never to be directed by humans; they always receive their instructions either through the authority structure of God’s angelic forces, or directly from God.

2. They are never to be offered worship by humans; worship is to be offered to God alone.

3. They are never to be addressed in prayer by humans, only God is ever to be addressed in a believer’s prayers; other beings are never to be prayed to, whether angelic, or human (eg. spirits; dead human beings; living human beings; any other gods).

4. They are to be recognized as God’s servants in the spirit realm that serve to the benefit of the believer and God’s holy purposes.

Realizing the involvement of God’s Angels is a tremendous faith booster! Whether we see them with our physical eyes, or simply acknowledge by faith their possible presence and involvement, either way it can turn fear into courage. For example, the story of the Prophet Elisha with his servant when they faced an enormous army:

“’Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’

And Elisha prayed… the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he… saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

~ 2 Kings 6:16-17

So, if you are facing an enormous enemy and outnumbered in the visible realm, have faith! Ask the Lord to open your eyes so that you can see things as they REALLY are in both the visible AND the invisible realm. He may open your eyes in one of any number of ways, but whatever method He chooses it will result in your faith and courage erupting like a new river springing up from the dessert ground, becoming a fantastic source of joy that will refresh yourself and those around you.

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A Centered Spirit-Fighter

If the enemy can’t push us over, he will try to pull us down. Above all else, we should guard our Center of Gravity, staying “Centered” and mobile on our feet to maintain a solid stand in godliness whether we are fighting in a mode of offense or defense.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power… so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is… against the spiritual forces of evil…

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that… you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

~ Ephesians 6:10-15

Being centered and mobile on our feet means to guard against the enemy (1) pulling us down by tempting us with an attractive sin that will destroy our ministry effectiveness if we pursue the fulfillment of that temptation; and (2) pushing us down by tempting us to become overly zealous in a foolish manner: self-righteous, legalistic, judgmental, and holier-than-thou in our attitudes, relationships, and ministry.

When we are a centered spirit-fighter, we remain resistant to temptation to sin, and resistant to being over zealous in a foolish manner. This second aspect is not about being “too holy,” but is related to being a hypocrite who does not allow others to benefit from the grace of God which leads to repentance. Being overly zealous in a foolish manner promotes immediate judgement without any recourse.

Stand strong using the armor of God, and “after you have done everything, to stand.”

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