Do you know there’s an unquenchable peace that can be found even in a lions den. It can be experienced as you’re being thrown into a fiery furnace and just as Stephen was martyred, it can be recognized as you're being bitten and stoned to death. I certainly can’t say that I’ve experienced it to that degree, but I do know it’s real. I’ve had incredible peace in the hardest of circumstances and I’ve felt consumed with anxiety and fear, even when everything was going well. What’s the difference? It’s where I am in my relationship with Jesus. You see... the amount of peace we experience directly correlates to the amount of time we are spending seeking Him.
We’ve missed it! The church has taught so much about God’s favor, mercy, grace, and blessings that they’ve left out sacrifice, growth, surrender, and total dependence on Jesus. We’ve become a body of believers who have tried to be self sufficient and prideful instead of fully dependent and filled with brokenness and humility. Often God is only spoken to when there’s a need, as if we were created to be served and pampered. When things don’t go our way, many become devastated and they are quick to blame Him and turn away. It’s not more blessings we need, but more of His glory revealed and reflected in our lives. It’s time we fall at His feet in repentance and take on His burden for the lost and begin to travail for what breaks His heart. As our eyes are removed from our needs and wants and become focused on Him and His desires, there’s a shift that happens in our souls. The things that once stressed us out, now become meaningless... life is no longer about pleasing ourselves, but pleasing Him. The closer you get to Him through prayer and supplication the more heaviness is lifted from your shoulders and the freer you become. The cool thing is, we have no need to spend so much time worrying. He said that as we put Him and His Kingdom first, He’ll take care of our needs.
This world is getting darker and if you read God’s Word, there are hard times ahead. Right now is when we need to become fortified in the Word and in our relationship with Jesus so that whatever comes our way, we will not be moved! It’s not about how good things are going, but our strength comes from the faith we receive from His Spirit. It’s an immovable faith, tenacity, and unwavering peace that only comes from time spent worshiping, studying, and seeking Jesus like we never have before! Let’s step it up and become all that He’s called us to be! Time is short, don’t waste another day!
Colossians 3:1-3 (TPT) Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.
Matthew 6:33 (TPT) So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from Him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
Acts 7:54-60 (TPT) When they heard these things, they were overtaken with violent rage filling their souls, and they gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, overtaken with great faith, was full of the Holy Spirit. He fixed his gaze into the heavenly realm and saw the glory and splendor of God—and Jesus, who stood up at the right hand of God. “Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!” His accusers covered their ears with their hands and screamed at the top of their lungs to drown out his voice. Then they pounced on him and threw him outside the city walls to stone him. His accusers, one by one, placed their outer garments at the feet of a young man named Saul of Tarsus. As they hurled stone after stone at him, Stephen prayed, “Our Lord Jesus, accept my spirit into your presence.” He crumpled to his knees and shouted in a loud voice, “Our Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” And then he died.