PUTTING ON YOUR PEACEMAKER TOOLBELT.
Throughout our Peacemakers for the Cause of Christ blog/podcast series we offer you a number of short exercises and/or resources that will aid you in bringing this blog/podcast theme to life. Enjoy!
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 9 (NIV)
Tool #2: Taking An Inventory of Good. Blog/Podcast 3.2
I’d like to invite you into a time of reflection with Jesus. A bit of retreat, if you like, where you can sit down for a moment or two, take some deep cleansing breaths (some call that Breath Prayer or Centering Prayer), and simply invite the in-breaking presence of God’s Kingdom (Jesus’ presence) to become evident to you.
Now, I’m not getting Pentecostal on you here, but I’m simply inviting you, as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, to stop your ‘busy’ long enough to give you a time to reflect, with the Holy Spirit sitting alongside, on all the “good” that has occurred in and through your life because Jesus is your Lord and Savior. You might want to take a pad of paper and a pencil with you and simply jot down what comes to your mind as you ask yourself a few simple questions. Below is a sample of what this time with Jesus might look like.
- Find a quiet place (and time) where interruptions will be minimized. I’d suggest giving yourself at least 15 minutes (or more, if possible) where you can step out of the traffic, allowing you and Jesus to be uninterrupted. Turn off your cell phone. Get yourself comfortable and settle in. This place can be in your home or outside in Creation. You choose the most inviting place that speaks to your soul.
- Take a few deep and slow cleansing breaths. Generally in the busyness and stress of our lives, our heart rate goes up, our breathing gets shorter and faster, and our body tenses up. Both those who teach healthy medicine and vibrant spirituality suggest you give your body a much needed break by simply sitting in quiet for a few moments, intentionally slowing down your breathing, allowing your body to dial down and relax.
- Invite the in-breaking presence of God’s Kingdom to join you as you ponder on these things concerning your life. Again, this is not an invitation to Pentecostal goofiness, but simply a way of expressing your honest desire to have the loving presence of God, your loving Father, Jesus, the precious Son, and the Holy Spirit to be there with you as you give time to this effort.
- Replay in your mind, seasons in your life when you found yourself being drawn closer to Jesus and His peace that passes all understanding. For some, you might recall the time in your life when you first discovered Jesus as your Savior. For others, it might be times when you knew that you knew that God loves you, cares for you, and showed His love for you. Allow your imagination to be involved as you recall these special moments from your past.
- Next, ask yourself to honestly identify some areas of your life (both internally and externally) where Jesus has brought an upward lift (i.e. His peace and wholeness) to your life. Maybe it’s a freedom you feel to be your true self, or the gift to live freer from past hurts and wounds. Maybe it’s a sense of unmerited forgiveness or grace that’s been extended to you by Christ. Or maybe, it’s a blessing in your life (i.e. your family, your livelihood, etc.) where you know Jesus has brought His uplift to you. Jot these things down as they come into your remembrance.
- Finally, give Jesus a big ‘Thank You’ for all He has done. Invite Him to do even more, and ask Him to give you the indwelling and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to go into the remainder of your day as a witness to His ongoing work in and through your life. Amen.
So, how did that feel? Hopefully, it’s been worth the effort and you felt Jesus of Nazareth uplifting you even in this short time of reflection. If you dare, I invite you to try this exercise out again tomorrow, and the next day, and see what more the Holy Spirit might bring from it.