Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pursue Peace with the Windshield Wipers of Obedience by @JenniferOWhite

Angry thoughts can storm our mind. Marriage, work, extended family; every relationship needs mind and heart windshield wipers. If only all of our encounters could be friendly and encouraging. But we never know when a clap of emotional thunder will have us on edge.

photo credit: Seth Anderson

You and I have several options when we find ourselves in a whirlwind of opinions, egos and self-defense tactics. God is faithful to direct your path to bring the peace He intends for all involved. He may lead you to confront the storm head on. He may invite me to keep my distance. Regardless of His appointed next step with the other person, He wants both of us to be very careful to guard our hearts.

Soak Your Soul in these Truths:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NLT

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matthew 15:19 NLT

And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, Ephesians 4:26 NLT

Windshield Wipers & Storms  

Today we drive through storms to get where we want to go and we use our windshield wipers to see our way through the storm.
Have you practiced using the tools of confession and forgiveness to see through the emotions that cloud your heart? As windshield wipers cast down the pouring rain, confessing our sin and asking for forgiveness casts down the imaginations designed to separate us from God.

Occasionally, I struggle with thoughts that do not honor my husband. It’s not just me is it?  I lose sight of his value because I’m focused on my expectations. It’s much easier to point out his faults and grumble in my spirit than to see my own.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

Ideas like this contaminated our relationship once before. Not this time! I had learned the hard way that peace comes from a life of obedience.

And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

I began to practice confessing to God each thought as it came up. Then I would ask for God’s forgiveness.  My side of the conversation with God would go something like this:

“God, I know that thought about David did not come from you. Please forgive me for entertaining that idea. I forgive myself and I forgive David for _________.”

This might take hours of repetition as I battle my own emotions and self-centered desires. But the act of obedience honors God and keeps the window of my heart clean.

The next time you find yourself rehearsing the faults of others remember to turn on the windshield wipers of your mind. Choose to obey God’s instructions to:
·       honor others
·       confess the sin
·       ask for God’s forgiveness
·       and forgive the other person.
God’s perspective is there to get you through the storm and on to victory – His version of victory! Keep wiping away the temptation to focus on people instead of God.
Peace is for you and for me. It is a gift of salvation we could be easily miss if we exalt our own emotions higher than God’s ways.

May we embrace the peace-filled life on earth Jesus bought for us with his death and resurrection.

Jennifer O. White
Author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on the Armor After the Wedding Dress (January 2015)

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