And Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and named it “The LORD Is Peace.” The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. – Judges 6:24
The Lord is peace, as Gideon discovered, and he built an altar to the Lord with that very name. The Midianites were harassing Israel and destroying and plundering its crops. Gideon must have been scared to bits because he was threshing wheat in a winepress, and no one normally does that (Judges 6:11). People usually threshed wheat on the top of a hill so that the wind would carry the chaff away.
The angel of the Lord came and sat under a tree and watched him. After a bit the angel said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” (Judges 6:12). (He must have said that with a smile!) Then the angel of the Lord told Gideon he was going to use him to save Israel from the Midianites.
If you think Gideon was frightened before, you should have seen him then! He began to come up with all sorts of excuses. Then the angel of the Lord revealed his power. Realizing that he had been arguing with God himself, Gideon was paralyzed with fear. Then the Lord said to him, “It is all right. . . . Do not be afraid. You will not die” (Judges 6:23).
Fear petrifies, punishes, and paralyzes us. Fear of what others may do to us, fear of what we cannot do for others, or fear of what God may do to us if we do not do for others—all can be dealt with by Jehovah-Shalom, who is our peace.
With a yawn and a sigh, you anxiously sit at your desk. You feel miserable at this job, why should you hurry? When you take a seat at your desk, you know exactly how the day will unfold. Your boss will talk to you like you are something off the bottom of their shoe. You’ll have at least two voicemails to return of issues that you are unclear on how to solve. And your customers will give you a hearted grumble when you greet them. That’s just how things go in your workplace. And that’s why you dread going into work every morning.
Do you feel miserable at work?
Whether you can’t stand your daily responsibilities, work for a difficult boss or feel overworked, undervalued and underpaid, the process of enduring a job can feel depressing. So, where can you turn? You can call out to God for peace and help. And you can open up your Bible and mediate on God’s Word and spend time in His presence.
Lord, I feel overwhelmed at my job. Fill me with your peace today.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:15 NIV
Ever notice how children know their mom’s voice – even at a noisy playground. Little heads spin when mom calls. Our voices are unique. Sure, we can train them to sound a certain way, but the one we grew up with is uniquely ours.
God creates us with so many one-of-a-kind qualities. There may be similarities, but even identical twins have traits that are theirs alone. Even more amazing is that He knows each of us so intimately. Knowing the number of hairs on our head and the wounds and scars of our souls.
Truly astounding though is this: Jesus wants us to know Him intimately as well.”I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and I am known by My own.” (John 10:14 BLB)
Here’s the question of the day – how well do you know Christ? Getting to know that voice so well that others can’t lead us astray is pretty important in the times we’re living in.
If I wanted to get to know you really well, how would that happen? Go out occasionally to dinner? Nope. Meet up once a year for a whole week? Nope. Spending time regularly with you would be the only way. It’s the same with God. To know the One who created you: spend time in His Word, time in prayer, time with others who follow Jesus, and listen always for His leading. Day in and day out these will make us experts in knowing His voice.”Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.” (Revelation 3:20 CEV)
The Savior is calling to you now. But someday, Jesus is going to make a final call to all who follow Him. Before then, there will be imitators trying to lead us astray. When the Day comes and He calls, putting an end to all deception, we need to recognize that Voice.
“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.”(John 10:3b NLT) By name. He will call you out to gladly follow Him. I’m thinking when we hear that Voice say our name, we won’t be able to mistake it. For He’s been speaking it since before He began knitting us together in our mother’s womb. That Voice – He called you by name before your first breath and He’ll call you by name when you breathe your first eternity breath.
Father, help us listen. Your Spirit in us is ready to speak healing and love and peace and joy, let us hear with open hearts. Thank You that You know us and won’t let go of us. Let us live so others may see the freedom and the comfort of knowing the Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Psalm 43:3
When the Word of God is spoken, the possibility for understanding and then transformation exists. Whether or not that occurs in the life of a person is dependent on their response to the hearing of the Word. Understanding what has been spoken depends on the person declaring themselves ‘simple’. “Lord, I do not have any wisdom about my life apart from you. I am a dark place without the light of your Word. Teach me.” To this person, the Word comes as a sword and slices an opening in the soul where the shaft of light can penetrate. When light touches darkness, the darkness is challenged. And, if the light is then embraced, the darkness will be transformed. The heart will be washed with the water of the Word and new thinking and feeling will occur. In a short time, behavior changes.
Take any disciple who has immersed themselves in the Word over a long period of time and they will tell you that they no longer think like the person who lived a decade ago. They will, most likely, have a hard time remembering how they were. This is true of me. The insecure and fearful woman of my thirties began to discover the life-shaping power of the Word of God and the light of God’s love touched my insecurity. The strength of God’s character collided with my fear. I began the journey of healing and am still discovering the cataclysmic effect of what happens when God’s Words unfold inside this simple woman. Boldness, spiritual understanding, and joy have been the biggest changes.
Light can be soft, enveloping me like a warm blanket. It can also be blinding and convicting. No matter how it comes, I must not run from it. Defending myself against the need of it would be my demise. Even when it sears, it saves. Running away for fear of change or exposure is my loss!
What Word do I need today? Comfort, guidance, assurance of something? My need exists because I’m aware of a dark place that is in desperate want of the Light. Need takes me to Jesus’ feet. Like Mary, I say “teach me”. The simple student is usually the teacher’s favorite. Is that not true? So whatever the Master says, let me be a student that soaks it in like a sponge.
When my heart faints because I have no plan to save myself, I come simply. Let the unfolding of Your Word bring light into my darkness. I live in hope of Your instruction. In Jesus name, Amen.