I long for Your voice. Your voice is life, hope, joy, correction, wisdom.
I see a snow-covered village, maybe in New England or Europe. It’s evening and the light glows from the windows of homes and shops. It’s quiet-no one’s in the street, but you have the sense that any sounds made would be muffled, made quiet by the snow on the ground. The overall sense is of peace, quiet, tranquility. It looks like a Christmas card.
We’ve been speaking of shalom for months now, a couple of years, really. My exhortation in Psalm 34 is relevant here: if you want to love life and see good days, you must seek peace and pursue it.
Peace is more than inner security, although it encompasses that. Shalom, like righteousness, is a relationship term. Peace exists with the self, then with Me, then with your loved ones when My Spirit controls your reactions, your conduct, your conversations.
The pursuit of shalom begins between you and Me. As you come to Me in honesty, humility, openness and dependence, I cleanse, renew, restore and refresh. As I replenish My life within you, you can move outward to your spouse to your extended family, your community with the message of My shalom.
Yes, there are times when you can and should verbalize all of these things, how I am restoring all things in and through Christ. But at other times your proclamation of shalom will be less direct. Your countenance, your demeanor and temperament, your kindness, your willingness to meet needs, your openness to others will make you an agent of shalom.
Think again of the parable of the Soils, or of the Sower, if you will. When you come to Me with an attitude of dependence, I fill your bag with seeds. The farmer typically has only one type of seed with him at a time, but I put all sorts of seed in your bag, because you are going to run into all sorts of soil, all sorts of needs. It’s good that you’ve renewed your interest in apologetics, and I’ll use that, but there are all sorts of seeds that I provide for all sorts of soil. One heart may be ready for rational discourse on creation, fall, redemption, restoration. Another just longs for friendship and a listening ear, or a word of encouragement, or a prayer. As you come to Me, not only do you get your seed bag filled, but you learn to hear My voice directing you to specific hearts, to sow in specific ways.
Lord, I long to be filled in such a way that the shalom-seeds come pouring out of me!
Concentrate on your Jerusalem. Every day you have the opportunity to be a blessing to someone. As you are diligent, faithful and loving in the sphere I give you, I’ll expand the sphere. Remember the strategy: sow your seed in Jerusalem and in due season I’ll lead you to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.