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From Chris's Heart

May 2011
The Lack of Inner Peace
by Nick Harris

Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher and mathematician, once made the remark that the greatest problem facing the human family is the inner inability to be still. And Pascal was right! Just think about this: Pascal lived 300 years ago. At that time there were no automobiles or airplanes. There were no television sets, electronic games, or movies. There was no internet, computers, or cell phones. And yet this man saw people dashing around like chickens with their heads cut off.

When I read this, I asked myself what Pascal would think if he could transport himself into our present time. Those of us living in the twenty first century can't be still for even a moment or we are bored. We just cannot relax anymore. We have got to be going, doing, and pushing. As a result we are all tighter than drums. We are tense and stressed to the max. Not only that! We are also filled with fear and anxiety. People everywhere today are being treated for phobias; we have grown to be afraid of just about everything.

But a life of fear and anxiety is not the way our God wants us to live. Rather, His desire is to see us live joyously and abundantly. He wants us to live a life that is filled with inner peace, and not a life filled with restlessness, strife, fear, and uncertainty. As the Hebrew people express it, God wants our lives to be filled with His SHALOM.

Believe me, we can have a life of SHALOM; we can all know the peace of God. All that is necessary is that we come to an understanding that we cannot create inner peace on our own. Inner peace comes from God and it is one of the nine attributes the Holy Spirit will bring to our lives, if and when we allow him to have dominion. In fact, the more of ourselves we surrender to God's Holy Spirit, the more of our lives he will control, and the more inner peace we will experience.

One thing you should always remember is this: everyone who is on this planet is being controlled by one of two persons. We are either being controlled by the presence of the indwelling Christ or we are being controlled by what Paul calls "the flesh." And what is the flesh? It is nothing less than the human soul or mind (especially the will) cooperating with the demands of the physical body.

And when the flesh controls our lives, it can be a very mean thing. When the flesh dominates our lives, it does the same thing the Holy Spirit does when he dominates our lives; the flesh produces certain definable fruit. However, unlike the fruit of the Spirit, which is a lovely thing, the fruit of the flesh is vile and disgusting.

So, what are some of these fleshly generated fruits? Well, among other things, there is drug and alcohol abuse, sexual sin, spending more money than we make, and heresy. But it does not stop there. There are also things like hatred, strife, jealousy, and anger. That is the fruit of the flesh. Only the Holy Spirit can help us walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.

One of the great verses dealing with peace of mind comes from Jesus himself. He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." What things does Jesus mean? He means all of those things we drive ourselves crazy trying to attain in life and some of those things are legitimate, like a roof over our head and food to eat. Jesus is telling us that the key to these things is to seek God's righteousness. Jesus doesn't say one thing about our trying to be righteous enough on our own to receive these things. That will do us no good because we have no righteousness of our own. We are to seek the righteousness of God.

That fact is crucial to a proper understanding of the gospel, because the prepositional phrase "of God" in the words, ”the kingdom of God ,“ is in the genitive case, therefore the phrase means "generated by God." In other words, the righteousness of God is God’s own righteousness and it is His righteousness that drives all fear from our lives, and it is this righteousness of God that adds those things we desire to our lives.

How do we seek his righteousness? We invite God in the person of the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, and then we die to ourselves; that is how we seek His righteousness. If you are tired of the inner battles, surrender your life to Him. Stop trying to be good on your own and allow God to be good through you. Be like Abraham of old: he believed God and it was “reckoned” to him as righteousness. In other words, God's righteousness was imputed to him. In the same way, by faith, Christ's righteousness can be imputed to us.

Ask God for it, and do it now, and you too will experience the SHALOM of God.

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