Thinking about peace on a happy Sunday :)

Being back at my home church in Inverness this morning was a joy. 

Honestly, our pastor is an awesome, yet incredibly humble man of God (you can listen to his sermons online at www.icfchurch.co.uk and I definitely recommend you too!)

We continuted looking at the names of God in the Old Testament.
This morning: Jehovah Shalom.
God is my peace.
God is our peace.
A name that was given to God by a man called Gideon.
A name that was given to God by a man in desperate need of peace.
 
Most people in the world want peace. Individuals. Families. Even the nations.
People are looking for peace.
Searching.
Hungering.
And in the heart of Jesus there is peace. 
Prince. Of. Peace.
 
But the opposite of peace is our sadly-often-better-known-companion-of-anxiety. 
Anxiousness.
Worry.
Those thoughts and mindsets that we know are irrational and unhelpful, but yet those that get a grip-hold on our minds so easily. Those thoughts that can seem so well founded in a wordly perspective, but yet are so contrary to the peace that Abba longs to quiet our busy hearts with. 
 
Yet Jehovah Shalom is my peace, and in this beautiful name of God there is a peace that passes all understanding. 
Regardless of circumstance. 
 
The name Jehovah Shalom only appears once in the whole of the Old Testament.
Gideon. Judges 6.
Gideon pronounces this name of God back to his Creator.
It was his experience. His testimony.
He inscribes God’s name on an alter, symbolically declaring, ‘in all my experiences God has been, is and will be my peace.’
 
Whatever your circumstances, without exclusion, God by His Spirit is Jehovah Shalom.
 
We read that Gideon was Israelite Judge number 6.
And the country was in an idolatrous rebellion against the God who loved them. 
In a bad way. 
They worshipped a god called Baal. 
And this foreign god was entwined into every aspect of their culture.
Yet into this apparently-hopeless situation, the Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon. 
 
And Gideon was scared.
Petrified.
 
Because he’d seen the Lord. The God of judgement. The God of the law. The God of Sinai. 
 
Because of the condition of the nation and his own personal circumstances. They were in a famine. The Midianites were overtaking the nation. Israel is living in fear. And he is the smallest member of the smallest tribe hiding in the smallest possible place.
 
Because of the call of God upon his life. God was calling him to do things that he didn’t feel capable of doing. 
 
But God speaks peace into his heart and into his life.
‘The Lord is with you brave and mighty warrior.’
‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel.’
 
And Gideon gets in a state thinking about the call of God on his life.
Like we often are.
A state.
Because God will take us out of our comfort zones.
And it’s scary and uncomfortable.
 
God says, ‘Gideon, I am going to call you to lead Israel…’
And Gideon does not have a high view of himself. 
He is full of excuses.
I am so often full of excuses.
But God takes us out of our comfort zones.
You’ve got to see yourself as God sees you.
I’ve got to see myself as God sees me.
Brave and mighty warrior.
 
I have to learn to trust Him over my own understanding. 
Because it all depends on my confidence in the One who is in charge.
And if I want to know something of Jehovah Shalom then it depends on where my confidence is… Am I leaning on my own understanding or am I leaning on Jesus? 
 
God calls and then He equips. 
Promise.
Definite.
Unfailing.
And then the peace of God starts to fill your heart.
Jehovah Shalom.
 
This week is incredibly busy for me, so this morning resonated. 
I need to know Jehovah Shalom. 
Tomorrow I am in Glasgow doing a presentation for a substantial amount of government funding to work with young people in Scotland (prayers between 9.30 and 10.30am MUCH appreciated!), Tuesday – Wednesday I am in the Lake District planning a youth work conference, Thursday I am back in Glasgow for a manager’s event, and Friday, I finally get to head home. 
Phew. 
But I have heard from Jehovah Shalom. So in the presenting, in the driving hundreds of miles, in the planning, in the public speaking and in the writing, I know He promises to equip and be my peace. 
Do I feel confident in my own strength? Not really. Do I in His? Most definitely! 
He has given me a vision, and for His sake I will step out and run forwards.
(Your prayers are still appreciated though! I need them in fact ;))
 
And I’m staying in a variety of hotels that may or may not have good wi-fi, so I will blog and keep you posted when I am able! πŸ™‚ 
 
But for today, I have the privilege of hanging out/eating soup/helping homework write with three of my favourite-ever-in-the-world people. Truly these wonderful girls are the little sisters I never had! (Btw, in that final picture we’re trying to do model-straight-face-poses…. Fail!!) 
 
 

 

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