Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Alive to Peace

Day 95

Alive to Peace

It is not the yoke, but resistance to the yoke, that makes the difficulty; the whole-hearted surrender to Jesus, as at once our Master and our Keeper, finds and secures the rest.[i]
Andrew Murray


hen we sin by closing our minds to God in order to follow the demands of the flesh, we are mistaken if we think He stands silently, sadly by and takes no action. He is the Almighty God, and He has rights to us beyond those we have consciously released to Him. There is comfort in this, but also a word of warning to the disobedient. God will not allow us, as His children, to run the wrong direction without placing obstacles in our paths. 

We are not the center prizes in a tug of war between two equal powers; it goes without saying that the awesome power of the most Holy God trumps any strategy of Satan. The battle we sometimes think of as being between the enemy and God is actually a struggle within ourselves, a tug of war that takes place on the field of free will. This is a battle the Lord encourages us to win through release, not acquisition.  When we release free will to the Lord, we come to a new level; we enter a realm where His rule reigns. It is here we find peace of mind and heart.

The Lord is Sovereign, whether we submit to Him or not. All things will come together under His reign and His rule.[ii] The enemy can act only within the current of this inexorable flow that is bringing all of creation to God. When we submit to the Lord and obey Him, we stop fighting against the strong current of His will. This brings a restful peace with God as opposed to our former turmoil of struggle against Him.

A byproduct of obedience to God is freedom from the idea that difficult circumstances are God’s punishment for disobedience (fear has to do with punishment)[iii].  Belief, trust, and obedience to the Lord lead to peace of mind and heart regardless of our circumstances. 

Overeating is a self-comfort measure that we have used to help us cope with life on this earth, life that is often difficult or painful. Eating is pleasurable and grants short-term relief to emotional discomfort, but causes a rebound effect of misery that truly isn’t worth it. Peace with God is available for us when we obey His direction to forfeit short-term pain relief because we are banking on His promise of blessings on the road ahead. It's safe to allow our physical bodies to be uncomfortable when our hearts are safe in God's hand. And the sweetness of communion with Him, when unimpeded by our willful disobedience, provides us food for our spirits and peace of mind and heart.

Pray:  Lord, I release my free will into Your hands. I don’t want to struggle against You anymore. I want to obey You moment-by-moment, and feed freely upon the bread of life. I entrust the welfare of my physical body into Your hands. Help me to be a good caregiver of this body, and not abuse it by seeking what is pleasurable over what is nourishing. Please forgive me for struggling against Your rule in my life.  I surrender to You. Amen. 


 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

[i] Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ, Day 2, public domain
[ii] Ephesians 1:9-10
[iii] 1 John 4:18

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