God of Peace
Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
Daniel 1:17 ESV
Acts 16:9 ESV
Acts 2:17 ESV
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
I think one of the most difficult lesson I had to learn in life was to trust and rely on God daily. That means regardless of what is happening, I CAN trust God.
It may sound easy, but for me it took time…even years to really learn that no matter what happens, I can trust God. I learned that when I experience peace, it is OF God. Peace like that doesn’t come from this world.
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
For me, I had to think of it this way…God has already seen what tomorrow holds for me so I need to relax and receive God’s peace.
I don’t need to think that the cart is before the horse. Drumming up problems is not necessary because God has it all covered.
Looking back, I can see that every time I faced a major change in my life, God knew it was coming and had prepared me for it.
I learned it helps me when I ask God to prepare me for tomorrow. I’m not sure I need to pray for that, but praying for that helps me because I remember God takes care of me every step of the way.
It’s a faith builder.
Writing several posts a week for this website is a perfect example of a way God is building my faith.
When I start a new series, I take time to pray about the subject of the series, the purpose God has for the series for me and for readers, and God’s ultimate plan for the series. As I pray and I sit and wait on God I begin to see each series take shape.
I am primarily a visual learner and God often speaks to me in pictures. I either see the plan through dreams or visions. I see God build each new series just like an architect would see a building plan on paper (except God shows me a 3D image.)
The first time God gave me a plan in a 3D image I was about 15 years old. I was very blessed to have a dad who was a believer and who helped me understand and build my faith in how God spoke to me. My dad helped me to be comfortable with what I saw and to believe the visual images came from God.
Through the years others who have the same gifts have encouraged me to specifically read scriptural accounts of how God spoke to others through dreams and visions.
God spoke to Daniel in Daniel 1:17, “As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
God also spoke to Paul in Acts 16:9, ““And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
And God taught us in Acts 2:17, “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
Those accounts and others in scripture helped me to come to a place of peace with the gifts God gave me.
Experienced believers also helped me to understand that remembering each dream or vision and how they came true in real life are important. Seeing how God utilized my dreams and visions in my life gave me baby steps of courage.
Once again, using the website as an example when I know the subject and have a plan, I pray each day before I start to write. I have learned not to have a timeframe. Sometimes I sit and pray and I immediately know and see what I will be writing about.
There are other times when I pray and I sit in silence and wait.
I’m convinced that God uses that time to heal me and bring me to a place of peace so I can see and sometimes hear what God has for me.
As a student in Spiritual Direction, I was told over and over again to open my hands and my heart so I can receive what God has for me.
I had to learn one day at a time it’s not about what I can DO for God…it’s about what God has for me.
When I pray I open my hands and my heart so I can receive what God has for me through each daily lesson.
That means like you, I am a student every day when I write.
As a sidebar, I’ve been a writer since junior high school. I loved writing and giving speeches. I grew up in a large metropolitan school district and we were encouraged to focus on specific areas of study. My main areas (like my favorite classes) were English and Speech. I loved art but I didn’t have time to study art. So a few years ago when I realized I needed to have an illustration with each post, I started learning how to do digital art. I love it, but I am definitely on a learning curve. One of my grandchildren is a gifted artist and I am amazed at how quickly she can create a wonderful digital image. She helped me recently learn a new program. I am definitely a student artist!
Through it all, God is faithful and every day God helps me, speaks to me, and teaches me new things about scripture and illustration.
When I remember to wait and listen without putting the cart before the horse, God’s plan comes together.
I am blessed by God and blessed by each reader who visits the website. I may not know your name, but I know when someone from Ireland or Iowa visits. I pray for each person who stops by.
Thank you for visiting!
Spiritual Practice: Pray and wait for God to lead you.
Stay with it until you receive God’s peace.
In God, Deborah