Day 8: “Whispers of Peace”
Have you ever heard God speak to your heart? What types of things does God say to His people? How do you respond when God speaks?
“I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for He speaks Shalom to His faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.” – Psalm 85:8
The world is pretty noisy. Like a downtown city street at rush hour, our minds are filled with the noise of life, so much so that it is hard to hear the whisper of God, let alone decipher what He is actually saying to us. Our everyday activity consumes us to the point where God is often blocked out, or He merely becomes an afterthought that comes to mind only when a challenging situation arises. But God is always speaking to us, His faithful people, those whom He has called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9-10). Like a father lovingly whispers into his child’s ear, the Father of the universe is constantly whispering to His children, affirming their identity as His beloved kids, encouraging them in their development, correcting their missteps with wisdom, and directing them in the path to walk next. Are we listening?
While the news channels and social gossip is always blaring the world’s chaos into our ears, God is whispering the peace of His kingdom to us. He’s always speaking peace. One of the ways you know it is God speaking, and not another voice, is the sweet tranquility that you experience when you actually hear Him instead of the noise. When you hear His calming voice and know you are loved and that everything is going to be okay. His voice is not the critical and judgmental voice of the many other people that have corruptly spoken to manipulate or destroy. Like Steve Brown often says, “God’s not angry at you” since any just anger He did have toward sin was quenched on the cross when justice for all our actions was dealt once and for all on Jesus instead of us (Romans 3:23-26). If there’s no justice there can’t be peace, but since cosmic justice has already “rolled down” on Jesus, all we have left to receive from God is His constant loving whisper of Shalom, the nothing-broken-nothing-missing peace of eternity in His presence. That’s His posture toward you! He is at peace with you right now (Romans 5:1-2).
How does that make you feel? For me, it makes me long to hear His voice all the more, to really listen to Him, and to obey His promptings. I don’t want to miss out on what God is saying to me. It makes me want to turn off my distractions and dive into His Word. It makes me want to stay away from my “foolish ways” that bring chaos into my heart and society. If we really did hear the Shalom of God being spoken over us, instead of the noise of this world, what do you think would happen in our communities? Could racism, classism, misogyny, greed, and other oppressive systems and addictions continue to plague our world? If every human being experienced the deep love of the Father, and found their fullness in what He says about their value and worth instead of trying to find that in the other voices of our day, what type of transformation could happen in our families, our relationships, our government and businesses, or in our schools? Hear His voice of peace today, my friend, so you can confidently enter into the chaos and noise of this world and be a voice of peace in the midst of it all. Maybe there can be peace on earth if God’s faithful people listen to God’s voice more.
1. Take some time to read a portion of God’s Word out loud and listen to the Words you read carefully. Write out what you feel God is saying to you. Praise the Lord for what He has spoken to you through His Word.
2. Write out your “foolish ways.” What kind of chaos results in your life when you live in those ways? What noise of the world are you listening to that is bringing out these foolish actions? Be honest. God already sees them all and He loves and forgives you. He’s not angry at you, He wants to heal you, so you don’t have to hide or pretend anymore and live out of your woundedness. Bring them to the cross in sweet repentance and hear God speak Shalom over you…
3. List out some of the people in your life who are caught in their foolishness and the chaos of the world. Ask for the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts God’s peace and convict them of their sin and lead them into repentance and faith in Jesus. Make it a point to speak of God’s peace to them this week and share the hope you have found in the gospel.