Devil, you can't have my peace!
My five-year-old nephew was at the house with us when I heard loud screams coming from the yard where he and our two sons, Kedar and Kaleb, were playing. My heart sank. Something serious must have been wrong, I thought. He sounded like he was in serious pain, like he was desperate.
Turns out that the little guy was upset because he had lost a game. He had a full-on meltdown because he didn’t get the victory. Something didn’t go his way. Something he really, really wanted apparently.
So instead of shrugging it off and accepting the fact that no one wins all the time, he threw a major tantrum instead. In his young mind, this loss was devastating.
Losing is no fun. Not for kids. Not for adults either. We like to have things our way. Truth be told, sometimes, we get worked up over stuff that in the grand scheme of things isn’t all that important. That’s not to say all issues are minor; they aren’t. There a seasons of life that drop those difficult-to-bear burdens on our shoulders, making us feel incapable of moving forward.
Then there are the little things. The molehills that we make mountains out of. It’s important that we regulate our responses to these small, but persistent and potentially distracting issues. Otherwise, we will be completely thrown off the path of destiny. We’ll be worried, stressed and distracted—precisely what Philippians 4:6 says not to be.
That verse reads: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Whenever I share this Scripture, I like to make a note of the fact that “careful” in this passage is the Greek word “merimnaó,” which means to be anxious or over-anxious about something, or to be distracted by it.
This is the state a woman named Martha was in. It’s recorded in Luke 10:41. In this verse, Jesus uses the word merimnaó when He said, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.”
When he said this, Jesus was at the home of two sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha was busy serving and making sure everything was just right. But Mary was on the floor, sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in all His powerful teaching.
When Martha saw that her sister was engrossed in Bible study while she was sweating it out in the kitchen, the busy-bee got upset and frustrated. So she said to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”
Often, we only focus on Martha. We zone in on the fact that Jesus told her in verse 42 that she was distracted and worried over unimportant things. We highlight how He said, “but one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
We are fascinated by the fact that Jesus praised Mary’s choice to focus on the spiritual as her sister, Martha, was preoccupied with the natural.
But let’s look at it from a slightly different vantage point. Think about how much resolve and determination it took for Mary not to get rattled by her sister’s complaining. Imagine the snide remarks, deep sighs, evil glances and apparent tension in the room Mary had to ignore in order to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Mary had to refuse to be distracted with the lesser so she could give full focus and attention to the greater. She shut out her sibling’s griping and moaning so she could hear from God. Mary was nurturing her spirit, while her sister minded the things of the flesh.
Mary, as Jesus noted, chose “the good part,” and that’s what you and I must do.
Friend, be like Mary. When Satan tries to distract you with cares, worries, stresses, anxieties, pettiness, issues and aggravations, say, “Devil, you can’t have my peace!”
And mean what you say.
Refuse to fixate on all the noise around you and sit at Jesus’ feet. There you will receive instruction. There your spirit will be nurtured. There you will find joy and peace. There, in the presence of the Master, is everything you need.
I know the enemy has been coming at you hard and heavy. He has hit you from all directions. He wants nothing more than to snatch your focus away, get you frazzled and make you melt all the way down like my 5-year-old nephew did over a lost game.
But right now, the Lord is making you aware of the enemy’s game plan. Satan is a thief of peace; a stealer of joy; an embezzler of faith. Little by little, by degrees, he chips away at your spiritual fruit through distraction. Before you know it, you’re weak, agitated, discouraged, depressed, and sometimes, downright despondent.
The devil will not have your joy, peace and focus. You have too much to accomplish; too many great things in store; too many important assignments to complete. Don’t let the adversary break your focus with adversity.
Again, tell him, “Devil, you can’t have my peace!”
When you have peace, you’re able to rest in God’s promises, give time and attention to what matters, and accomplish God’s will for your life. If the enemy’s distraction strategy works, however, he can fill your life with anxieties, worries and cares, and defeat you.
Once again… not today, Satan.
Through this word, God is arresting your attention, refocusing you and saying, I have too much in store for you for you to get sidetracked with that stuff.
God wants you to sit at His feet. Let Him love you. Let Him nurse you back to health. Let Him assure you of His promises. Let Him dry your tears. Let Him comfort your weary soul. Let Him soothe you. Let Him bring relief to your burdened heart and mind.
Get in His presence. Sit at His feet.
To help you do that, I’m stirring Psalm 16:11 ESV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup and get in the presence of God, nothing will be able to steal your peace away. You will experience that “good part” of life where your joy is overflowing.
Do what 1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV says: “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”
Now let’s pray.
God, I have a lot of things coming at me at once and it’s so easy to get caught up in anxiety, worry and stress. But please help me give my time and attention to what matters most, which is, above all else, being in Your presence. When I am with You, I receive all I need and more. Help me to seek your face more diligently, pursue your more passionately and prayer more fervently. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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