Brothers and Sisters,
As we await regathering for our worship and fellowship services, I wanted to offer some Biblical encouragements for these strange times…stressful times. And much of that help comes to us by way of ‘Shalom’.
The Hebrew word ‘Shalom’, which at face value is interpreted as ‘Peace’, was actually intended by God to be an attitude to be adopted toward life, as in a ‘Shalom Mental Attitude’. ‘Shalom’ is meant to both protect us from the onslaughts of stress and to empower us to overcome the instabilities of this world. In order to develop a ‘Shalom Mental Attitude’ several Biblical habits are essential. One is to permit only one thing to ‘rule your heart’.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Col 3:15– NASU
The peace, the ‘shalom’ of Christ is to be the only thing that rules our heart, mind, and spirit, since Christ is the only One that has the ‘right’ to rule our lives. Remember, we are but ‘stewards’ of our lives, not ‘owners’. As ‘stewards’ we are the ‘door-keepers’ to our ‘temple’. And our ‘temple’ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, we are to ‘deal’ with the daily problems that come to our temple, but they are not permitted to ‘dwell’ there. We must not allow them to replace Christ’s rule. We will know whenever we have let them by what we sense is ruling in our mind and heart: the peace of Christ or the ‘invaders’ of the world.
Another habit is to ‘Replace our daily Expectations with daily Appreciations’. Connected to the ‘peace of Christ’ is this: “…and be thankful.” Paul reveals to us that there is a way to raise a ‘defense shield’ around our heart and mind:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:6-7 NASU
It is important to notice that the giving of thanks precedes the ‘peace of God’. A key step in turning problems and pressures away at the door of our ‘temple’ is replacing them with something more powerful than them…Gratitude! We activate this ‘defense shield’…this ‘peace of God’ by the giving of thanks. As we replace the expectations from either the world or ourselves about ‘how life ought to be’ with our appreciations of ‘how our life in Christ is now and will forever be’, the Spirit of God raises His ‘peace shield’ around our heart and mind. We will still have to ‘deal with the messes’, but as we only ‘dwell on what blesses’ we are both guarded and strengthened and ‘ruled’ by the ‘shalom’ of Christ.
We can continue our conversation further, but how great of our God to teach us how to deal with the enemies of sin, sickness, and the sufferings of this world. You and I are the ‘guardians’ of Christ’s temple. Only Christ has the right to rule in your temple. As we meet the invaders at the door with the power of praise and the giving of thanks, the Spirit of Christ raises His shield of peace around our minds and hearts, and we then face them as victors over them, not as victims to them. That is a ‘Shalom Mental Attitude’.
Grace to you Brothers and Sisters, Pastor Clay Olsen