Daily D – Isaiah 32:17
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. (NIV)
The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. (CSB)
Interacting with others is a threat to personal peace. Interacting with others from a settled disposition of God’s good and right ways empowers us to maintain quiet confidence forever.
Working from home from time to time with our dogs as my only companions makes it possible for me to tightly focus on what is most important. It makes it possible to accomplish more in less time. It protects me against normal distractions.
There are times and seasons when this deliberate withdrawal is important. It is much easier to live with a sense of peace and contentment, of quiet confidence, when working productively alone.
Most days are not like this. Most days, work is a matter of conversations and meetings and projects and tasks. Calendars and to-do apps keep me focused. Interruptions sometimes create the best moments of the day.
Alone time is nice for ambiverts like me. Too much alone time makes an ambivert edgy. Too little alone time makes them irritable. There is no such thing as true balance. Each day requires differing levels of energy and engagement.
How can we experience peace, true tranquility, and a calm demeanor in busy workplaces, marketplaces, or event spaces?
Peaceful places exist. Peace, however, is something we carry within us more than something we achieve or somewhere we physically enter. Peace is an absence of conflict. This can be personal conflict, national conflict, international conflict, or ideological conflict. There is no story without conflict. There is no life without conflict.
Peace is possible even when we are surrounded by every kind of conflict simultaneously. Peace is a settled disposition determined to engage every circumstance from knowing God’s heart and living in full compliance and total satisfaction with his will and ways. This is possible because his every thought and motivation is love. His every action provides the best possible outcome.
Simplistically, we can state a lack of peace is a lack of conscious awareness of God’s presence.
Simplistically, we can state the pathway to peace during moments of conflict is a return to the starting place of knowing God’s heart and mind for the moment.
This is simplistic because learning the heart and mind of God is a lifetime pursuit. If we simply declare trite sayings and tired maxims, we will not experience God’s peace. We memorize Bible verses and passages and truths instead. When we ponder God’s words of truth and life, we find the pathway of peace.
Where is peace absent from your life? What is God’s heart and mind on this issue? How can you attune your heart to his? How can you align your mind with his? How can you shift to a place of settled disposition to address this place of conflict in concert with his will and ways?
The sweetest music of our lives emerges from those times and places when we experience God in all of his goodness at the point where peace now reigns and conflict is transformed.
What conflict are you currently transforming into a symphony of peace and purpose?
I will live a life of quiet confidence forever.
Our Father, peace is impossible without your presence. Empower me to set my mind and my heart on your transforming righteousness so that I may know and express peace. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”