PathWay 2 Restoration of Wholeness
Why all this talk about shalom?
Is shalom really possible in this broken world of messed up lives?
Is it even realistic when things are falling apart everywhere?
That’s why I’m sitting up in the wee hours of the morning, writing this post, while a huge thunderstorm is dumping flood waters onto an already saturated clay lowlands around this house, and onto my newly planted spring garden.
Because I know that YOUR life is very REAL!
Life for all of us is full of challenges, concerns, anxieties, fears, pain and gut-wrenching suffering in what is now being called an ‘age of fear’. Life is so fragile and vulnerable that it seems anything can go wrong at any moment. It’s only the grace of God that protects us and sustains us from day to day.
If you think I’m being melodramatic, if your life right now is A-ok, a charmed life with no major problems in the foreseeable future, I am grateful with you. And just hang tight. Because sooner or later you will likely encounter some kind of major challenge that could overwhelm you if you’re not prepared ahead of time to deal with it constructively when it comes.
That’s why I’m writing all these blog posts. To try to help you, to help us all, to deal with life’s very REAL challenges in ways that actually lead to a deeper sense of God’s inner shalom, as well as outer shalom (in every aspect of our lives) as much as possible in our broken world, even in these tumultuous times.
Based on God’s word, and on the experiences of His consistent faithfulness to His people throughout the ages, I believe He wants to help us know how to make the best of challenging situations in ways that turn the negatives to positives, as we trust Him to guide and sustain us all the way through to victory on the other side of them.
There are several facets of the means to shalom, but it has helped me to be reminded along my journey, that they all seem to boil down to two simple steps – not necessarily always easy in real life – but simple basic choices that have the power to change everything on our journey to shalom.
The first choice is to trust God.
The ancient wisdom of the Scriptures says that whoever comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him ( ). In other words, we have to choose to trust Him as a good God who cares and wants to help us, right in the midst of our messed up lives. He loves us. He loves you! Enough to lay aside His glory and power in the heavenlies, to come down to live among the sorrows on Planet Earth. He lived a very full life in 33 years, then was falsely charged and executed as a criminal on a shameful cross. But then, by His own innate power as God, He broke death’s grip, to new life.
Why? In order to show you how much He loves you. And to show you His unfathomable power to help you experience victory over the death grip that’s victimizing your life.
But we understand that His help is only available as we choose to trust Him. To trust His love, His goodness, and His power to make a difference in the daily issues of life.
The second step is to choose to obey God.
It’s as simple as that. Again, not necessarily easy, but quite simply, it’s the only pathway to victorious living, rather than to victimized living.
You can’t choose to consistently obey someone that you don’t trust. That’s why trusting God and obeying Him go hand in hand. And trust is not real trust if it’s not linked with obedience.
If you haven’t always obeyed Him in the past, ask for Him to forgive you – He’s promised to do that. And while you’re at it, also ask Him to help you obey His word and His leadership more completely and consistently from now on. Ask Him to cleanse out of your heart everything that tries to pull you back from wanting to obey Him fully. And ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit who will empower you to obey Him more completely and consistently. It is His will to help you in these ways.
Obedience means taking God at His word and doing what His word says to do. Which means reading and applying the ancient wisdom of the Word of God to your everyday life.
When you choose to trust and obey God, that doesn’t mean that all your problems will suddenly disappear. Or that you will magically be anesthetized to all pain and suffering in your life. Afterall, we do still live in a broken world with messed up relationships, fragile economies, rogue governments, unpredictable weather patterns and indiscriminate devastating disasters that litter the countryside.
God’s shalom does mean, however, that God is with you, right in the midst of life’s storms, to give you His wisdom, His strength, His resilience, and yes, even His victory and peace – shalom. Like the bird sitting in a crevice of a rock face, singing it’s heart out while a tumultuous thunderstorm is whirling and streaking across the sky all around it, God can give us a song in our darkest nights as we trust His lovingkindness and tender mercies. And as we obey His ancient wisdom and relevant guidance.
Yes, it’s a choice of your will.
It’s a choice. And it’s a journey.
I dare you to trust Him! I dare you to obey Him!
And see what God will do in your life along the ‘PathWay 2 Restoration of Wholeness’. As you move toward experiencing a deeper sense of His ‘Shalom in Our Times’!
Enjoy the journey with Him!
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