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You Become Like What You Pursue…

As I look around me I am overwhelmed by the variety of things we are pursuing.  Things like: The perfect house…the right career…the right guy or girl…escape from life’s realities through books, film, poetry…

We pursue justice…vacations…accumulating stuff and things…the American dream…passions…health goals…life goals… financial goals…pleasure…money…power and control…recognition…family and independence…

We are tired and weary from the elusive pursuit, yet every day we get up and the race begins all over again.

What are you chasing after…who are you becoming?

The reason this is an important question to ponder and ruminate upon is because we become like the thing we pursue. The things that get our time, energy and focus are what we slowly shape-shift into becoming. Generally, the things we pursue are not actually what we truly desire, there is something deeper, but we have invested so little time into our souls that we are deaf to her cry.  Out the soul’s deepest longings are desires that would bring about life, beauty and joy.

The soul is timid, powerful but timid. The energy-draining-crashing-around we exhibit as we pursue something generally causes the soul to stay in the shadows, waiting for a quieter moment…but the moment passes us by as the volume of life drowns out the soul’s whisper.

Psalm 34:14 in the Amplified translation notes:

“Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace                  and pursue (go after) it!”

Interesting…I wonder what our world would be like if instead of pursuing global-economic primacy nations instead pursued peace. I wonder what would happen in our neighborhoods if instead of one-upping the Jones’ we chose peace and received contentment. I wonder what our soul would sing if we chose to live a lifestyle that pursued peace and not all the stuff and things that we think will bring us peace.

King David was a man that longed for God’s peace yet lived a life where peace was as tangible as a steak at a Vegan seminar. Wars, subterfuge, marital conflict, adultery, betrayal and constant criticism nipped his heels daily. Yet his words seem to lock in on something beyond…something fascinating…something beautiful…something his soul was crying out for: Seek after…inquire for…and crave peace…then by all means make that your pursuit!

The greatest gift God has given me is an otherworldly saturation of peace in the midst of storms. A feeling so powerful and so real that I have wondered what it was, where it came from… and then, I pray it will never leave. It is more than peace though…it is God’s own Spirit unleashed in our soul causing her to sing in such a way that all those other pursuits fade on the sidelines of life.

To pursue peace is to become peace. Your presence will affect the people around you. Your countenance will be a calming reality and a contagious morsel. Your eyes will radiate a sense of God’s power and presence that is beyond the normal human pursuit.

You see, when we pursue peace and embrace it we are allowing God’s Spirit access to the control center of our life. As The Spirit slowly begins to lead us, there is something forming, growing, expanding and bringing even more peace with it and that is the very life of Christ Himself. The Spirit’s role is to form the living Christ in us by faith.

Jesus was called the prince of peace…the bringer of peace…so to pursue peace is to pursue the author and embodiment of peace, Jesus.

When we run around trying to experience a feeling we never quite get there because peace isn’t a feeling, it’s a person.

Let’s choose to pursue Peace at work; at home; in our communities of faith; in our storms; in our goals and in our soul.

Jesus said it this way:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Jesus gives us peace by giving us Himself…no formula…no hoops to jump through…no major clean up in order to deserve it. No, He offers us His peace in and of Himself…to hold Him is to have peace…Isaiah said the the punishment that brought us peace was taken on by Jesus. (Isaiah 53:5).

May you be fascinated by Him this week, and may you experience peace as you pursue it in the face of the Messiah.

~Monty

A.B. Simpson devotional

Days of Heaven on Earth

Monday, May 03, 2010

Here lies the secret of abiding peace-God's
peace. We give ourselves to God and the Holy Spirit takes possession of
our hearts. It is indeed "Peace, peace." But it is at this precise point
that the devil begins to interfere, and he does it through our
thoughts, diverting or distracting them as the occasion requires.

This is the time to prove the sincerity of our consecration and the
singleness of our hearts. If we truly desire His presence more than
anything, we will turn away from every conflicting thought and look
steadily up to Jesus. But if we desire the gratification of our impulses
more than His presence, we will yield to the passionate word, or the
frivolous thought, or the sinful diversion. Then when we come back, our
Shepherd has gone, and we wonder why our peace has departed.

Failure occurs often in some insignificant thing-usually a thought or
word. The soul that would not fear to climb a mountain may actually
stumble over a straw.

The real secret of perfect rest is to be jealously, habitually
occupied with Jesus.

Scripture

My peace I give unto you—John 14:27