Saturday, February 13, 2010
The search for inner peace
Q: Who is the source of our inner peace?
A: The Bible clearly tells us, time and again, that Jesus Christ Himself is the source of that peace. In Romans Paul says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Again in Ephesians, Paul says, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” In Colossians, we read, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” And consider the words of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, found in the book of John: “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.”
Jesus gives peace to every believer. But so often, we allow the distractions of our days and our choices to pursue sin instead of the character of Christ to prevent us from accepting that peace.
Q: Some Christians have been wary of the art of Christian meditation because they have associated the word “meditation” with Eastern religions. Why is meditation so vital to our search for inner peace?
A: We live in a strange and changing world shaped by banking collapses, recessions, wars, politics, famine, hurricanes, pollution, and diverse economies and demographics. How does this changing, strange world affect our daily decisions? Where does God fit into all of this? One of our biggest hurdles to hearing God’s voice is the fact that we simply are not listening.
Many people wrongly believe that Eastern religions have the monopoly on “meditation.” The truth is that meditating on scripture was a spiritual discipline valued by the early church fathers, and it is a practice the church desperately needs to return to today. Whereas the aim of eastern meditation is to focus on nothing (in effect, emptying the mind), Christian meditation is about filling the mind—focusing on Holy Scripture and Christ. With the constant stream of media, noise, commitments, conflicts, and other distractions, you will not likely find times of quiet, stillness, and spiritual reflection unless you are intentional, unless you pursue meditation as a discipline. Through prayer and meditation we can transcend all the distractions and difficulties of our days if we live by the Spirit and put God’s love and presence first.
Q: What role does the Holy Spirit play in our search for inner peace?
A: God’s Spirit is within us constantly. As we read in John, “We know that we live in Him and He in us because He has given us His Spirit.” Therefore, because God is in Jesus, Jesus is in you, and you are in God. The Holy Spirit dwells in you at all times, and it is the Holy Spirit that connects you to Christ and to God, the power source that brings inner peace. Prayer and Christian meditation takes on a completely different quality when we realize that God knows us intimately from within. And God is love; within God’s love are the seeds for inner peace. When God comforts and encourages our souls through His love and when we share that love with others, He is guiding us along the path that leads to inner peace.
Q: Because the practice of Christian meditation has been neglected for so long, many Christians aren’t sure how to begin. Can you offer an example to get them started?
A: Start prayer and meditation by finding a quiet comfortable place, by closing your eyes, by breathing deeply until you are completely relaxed. Quietly and slowly open your heart and mind to a loving God whose Spirit is dwelling within you.
Breathe in love, breathe out anger.
Breathe in peace, breathe out despair.
Relax: let God’s love into your heart.
Be calm. Be at peace. Take more deep breaths, and feel the stress, anxiety and fear drain from your bodies.
This exercise will prepare you to listen to God’s voice as you concentrate on a scripture passage and to respond in prayer.
Q: What is the most important message you want to communicate in Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times?
A: If we seek inner peace we will find it. In the book of John, Jesus says “And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” So many people don’t experience inner peace because they haven’t truly sought it. My hope is that through reading this book, people will commit themselves to that search for inner peace and share this peace to the glory of God.
Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times by William Moss
The Barnabas Agency December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-578-04244-2/64 pages/softcover/$5.99