The Peace of God or A Piece of God

peace-2piece-of-pie-2In his book I AM, Steve Fry says, “Peace is the evidence that we have submitted to God.” Scripture talks about a peace that surpasses all understanding. I can only experience this kind of peace when I completely trust God with everything in my life. This included the good, the bad and the miraculous. Steve Fry goes on to say, “The rule of peace begins when we no longer want answers, but only want God.”

In other words, I cannot just have a piece of peace. This concept is contrary to what I perceive when I think about a piece of fruit pie. If I had baked an apple pie that was setting on the kitchen counter and I wanted some to eat, I would cut a piece for myself and leave the remainder of the pie. A whole pie would be too much for me to eat. This is not how the Lord does things. I find His spiritual fruit pie in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” I notice that Paul says it is “fruit” – not “fruits” – of the Spirit. In other words, I cannot simply cut myself a piece of peace without also having a serving of self-control and seven other things. God serves me with His sovereignty. I must not question what the Lord puts on my plate.

God wants me to understand His rulership and authority over my life. His sovereignty goes beyond my knowledge, and even goes beyond my sense of His presence. When I grasp this concept, I will be able to experience true peace. This peace comes only when I trust God and submit to Him not because of what He does but because of who He is. With this in mind, I want to share some scripture verses that describe the kind of peace available.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are
steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may
have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take
heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body
you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 ESV

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace
at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
II Thessalonians 3:16

As I look at each of these pieces of peace, I see that surrendering to God’s sovereignty is significant to my experiencing the peace of God. I cannot allow my own understanding, or lack of understanding, to allow me to cut out pieces of the whole pie God prepares for me. One piece of apple pie may satisfy my hunger, but my spiritual hunger will only be satisfied when I accept without question all that God hands me. The peace of God comes when I submit to each piece of His personal plans and purposes.

So, Lord, take me into a deeper understanding of your ways. And, Lord, give me your peace. I do not want to settle for just a piece of your peace!

gold apple new

*Click on images to find the credit for appropriate images.


Smoothies Made Smoothly

Our daughter-in-law has started the tradition of their having fruit smoothies for their family‘s Saturday morning breakfast.  The family looks forward to this nutritious treat.  Right now since it is summertime, something cool and refreshing to drink is especially appealing to me whether it is Saturday morning or not.  I also have a spiritual thirst needs to be satisfied. So, my Reader, I would like to share a couple of recipes with you.  The first is one that Amy has given to me from a cookbook and the second one is found in Galatians 5:22-23 of the Bible.

apple smoothie mfRecipe for Refreshing Apple Smoothie
2 small containers of vanilla yogurt
1 large apple – peeled or not (depending on your preference)
1 cup of apple juice, made into ice cubes and crushed
1 frozen banana
pinch or 2 of cinnamon

Combine the yogurt and apples in a blender.  Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

This recipe serves 4 people but can be adapted for more or less servings.

*Taken (but slightly modified) from Super Smoothies by Barber and Whiteford

fruit of spirit link pdRecipe for Fruit of the Spirit Smoothie
love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . forbearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . faithfulness
joy. . . . . . . .  .   . . .  . kindness  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gentleness
peace . . . . . . . . . . . . goodness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . self-control

Live your life by walking in the Spirit and the fruit listed above will be produced in your life.  No ingredient will be lacking.

This recipe serves 1 person or it can be multiplied many times to serve as many people as desired.

*Taken (but slightly modified) from Galatians 5:16, 22-23 NIV

As I compare these two recipes for fruit smoothies, there are several observations that I want to share with you. The extraordinary thing about the recipe for the Fruit of the Spirit is that the action of walking or blending is the first thing that occurs and then the ingredients are produced.  This is different from any other recipe I have ever made.  Most always ingredients are measured and then combined.  Here the ingredients are the fruit, or the results. I do not know exactly what the fruit of the Spirit looks like compared to an apple, but I do know that this spiritual fruit portrays the multifaceted nature of God. It reflects the spirit and character of God who is holy, complete and perfect. This spiritual smoothie is what is produced in me when I live and walk in the power of Holy Spirit.  This is delicious!

When I picture a fruit smoothie, I think of a medley of fruit flavors blended together to create a unique taste.  Apples, strawberries, peaches etc. – each is good by itself.  However, there is a brand-new flavor and texture when all are combined.  It is the same with the spiritual smoothie.  All nine ingredients, or character traits, are combined to produce a unique fruit.  This personality will be evident in an individual walking in the Spirit.  The outgrowth of this complete mixture is different from a personality exhibiting only one or two of these traits.

While comparing these two recipes, another thing I notice is that although there are nine “ingredients” listed in the recipe for the Fruit of the Spirit, they are referred to as a singular fruit rather than plural fruits.  This spiritual fruit is all-inclusive; all nine characteristics or ingredients are evident.  Caution:  there is no picking and choosing of what traits are found in this fruit.  This fruit is the outcome of living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  With a fruit smoothie, the results are evident after the fruits are blended together. 

I also become aware of another difference between natural and spiritual smoothies.  Substitutions are more readily accepted in the natural realm than in the spiritual realm.  When I asked Amy for a recipe for a fruit smoothie, I asked for one including apples because apples are emphasized in my blog.  However, I would encourage you to try your own substitutions with the recipe.  How about using various kinds of summer berries or different flavors of yogurt?  My Reader, you and I can be as creative as we desire with this type of recipe.

I want to point out one more difference between these two recipes. When the Fruit of the Spirit Smoothie is produced, there are no specific quantities listed for each “ingredient” while there are exact measurements for each item used to make the Refreshing Apple Smoothie.  The consistency would be quite different if the ratios between the fruit and yogurt were significantly altered.  For a fruit smoothie, each ingredient needs to be increased or decreased proportionally.  For the Fruit of the Spirit, I expect that the proportions of the nine “ingredients” may vary according to the personalities of  the people are who make up this particular group.  I Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”  If the spiritual smoothie is produced by the body of Christ, some of the people (myself included) may need to be “beat up” a bit to be blended with other Christians to show the true nature of Christ. I tend to think that although all nine qualities will be found in each person in a specific group of believers, each person may contribute a different amount of each facet of the fruit.  For example, I may be more patient than someone else while another person may be more joyful.  These differences in personalities, will make it harder for some people to blend together than others. Hmmm!  I wonder which recipe will need the most blending for the best smoothie that is refreshing and satisfying to the natural body and the spiritual body?  Whether people or fruit are involved, consistency can require patience and time.  These smoothie recipes share some similarities, but there are also many differences.

My Reader, is it time for you to satisfy your spiritual and physical hunger and thirst with both spiritual and natural fruit smoothies?  I have given you a couple of recipes.  Now it is your turn to blend them up.  Enjoy!  

Joyfully,golden apple #2(MF)