Recently, I have been on tour serving as the drummer for the amazing band, “Group 1 Crew.” We were right in the middle of a 40 plus city, nationwide tour and I was feeling pretty tired. By this time in the tour, I was still having a rough time getting rest on the bus (tour bus sleeping is an art that I still haven’t fully mastered). I woke up one particular morning to some pretty awesome neck cramps and body aches (insert sarcasm). The whole day was just uncomfortable for me. Every drum I picked up seemed heavier than the day before. Every conversation seemed more difficult than ever. It was like being stuck in a spiritual mud. No food I ate tasted good and it seemed like nothing could satisfy me. We took the stage that night and halfway through the set my good friend and leader of G1C (Manwell Reyes) says boldly on the microphone, “I don’t know about you guys, but I am just grateful to be alive right now.”
In that moment, I could feel my heart pulsing in my neck for what felt like the first time that day (although it had to have been doing that all day, right?). All of my senses became captivated by one simple truth...”I am ALIVE!”
I feel like so many of us are frustrated and unsatisfied with our current place in life. Whatever happened to the attitude of the old saints that sang, “It is well with my soul?”
I’m curious to know where that type of satisfaction in Christ has gone for my generation and me. Better yet, I am curious to know where that type of peace comes from.
Why do I/we find ourselves spiritually fidgety?
For me, the answer to that question has become crystal clear. I am not thankful. Period. I am just not thankful. I believe there may be a direct correlation between our gratitude and our attitude. Between our thankfulness and our ability to enjoy our lives.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (this is an active choice) on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
God wants us as His children to experience peace in every area and circumstance in our lives. So many times we start marching to the wrong tempo. It’s in this place that everything becomes heavy and frustrating. The peace of God guards us if we choose to allow it to!
My father has recently been enduring some challenges with his health. It seems that no matter how bad the prognosis, he has deep gratitude in Christ. He has gotten a piece of true peace.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard (safety comes from time spent with Jesus) your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Colossians 3:15 says, “And let (it’s an active choice/allow) the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (having gratitude about our position with God through Jesus Christ)”
Gratitude can be seen as a positional or experiential experience. An attitude of gratitude is directly connected to whether or not the peace of God is THE ruling motive of our hearts.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving (with gratefulness) 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.”
Peace of God is different from Peace with God.
The peace ‘with God’ is positional. (Jesus accomplished this one)
The peace ‘of God’ is experiential. (We actively get to pursue & experience this one)
Some of us get that we have peace ‘with God’ but haven’t experienced the ‘peace of God’ that only comes from time spent with the Word and very presence of our Savior.
I challenge you (and myself) to take some time to observe our lives.
Take a second to (Selah or pause) and be grateful.
It’s when we start thanking God that we realize our own inability to be satisfied by anything else but His Word and His very presence. We have peace with God because of Jesus, but the peace of God comes from our daily time spent in communion with our Father.
The piece we are missing is peace! True peace is directly connected to our gratitude and will dictate our attitudes.
It’s hard to have a bad attitude about anything when you are thankful for everything.
May you experience true Shalom.
The absence of spiritual agitation and fidgetiness.