No time to Breathe – Beware of what takes your breath away

Kingdom Principle: Knowing your Purpose will increase your Patience & Peace.

This will lead you to be a confident servantleader, while others to look to you for hope.

Isaiah 40:1-11 Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 2 Peter 3:8-15a Mark 1:1-8

  • The baby’s blanket is lost.
  • The Doctor says you must give-up dairy & gluten.
  • The DVR got erased.
  • You forgot to pack your hair dryer or cosmetic bag
  • The death of a loved one

Unfortunately, we become most aware of things important to us when they are removed from our enjoyment. Advent has a way of drawing our attention to what matters most. In our consumer driven culture, we discover what matters most in this season through shopping and attending social gatherings. Might we pause on that for a moment to ask – Why do you matter? And how is it that God has called you to impact those around you in such a way that they might notice the power of God in you now, as opposed to after you are “gone.” (for we are all like grass – Is. 40:6)

It was three years ago after being in Mexico at www.dofo.org for a week that I learned how much my comfort came from my own control. I had been going to Dofo for years prior to this, but for some reason on this trip the Lord opened my eyes to see what was hidden before. My watch broke, my phone was disabled, my schedule was not what I had planned and even my hair gel became an invitation for the kids to mess up my hair I was out of my comfort zone… Comfort is the call of Israel in Isaiah 40, but this a far cry from leisure or control, rather it is call to fear not, and to trust is the Lord’s rule and reign. Do you know how to articulate your purpose in the Kingdom? Where you are to be? What you are to be doing and how it is that you will do what God has directed? (2 Peter 3:11)

John the Baptist (Mark 1) knew his purpose, in that he was at peace, patiently waiting and proclaiming the coming messiah. His comfort came not from his possessions, or his relationships, and he laid all labels down, only to patiently wait for the King to rise!  As we turn our hearts to God, wisdom and guidance will be given as we recognize his power and security in the Salvation given by Grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So does this mean we are to wear camel skin and eat locusts and honey this holiday season– you may if you wish, and it will be remembered– but more importantly we are to be covered by the righteousness of Christ, the holiness of the Holy Spirit and to trust God’s Word that does not fail.

Israel was being called away from a time where they had been doing nothing in regards to living into their purpose; they had found a false comfort in their sin and idolatry. Again – we often learn when things are taken away from us. This is why the wilderness is so powerful and effective in teaching us they ways of Jesus and being formed into the image His image. I believe it is fear (Bible verses) (of the wilderness) which keeps us seeking the comfort of our own control, rather than enjoying the comfort of the Lord’s calling.

The person who knows their purpose and has the perspective of patience and will know peace beyond any discomfort…To others this looks like unwavering Hope. (Bible verses) Patience & Peace are rooted as the fruit of the Spirit, therefore – you can’t produce them without it being a work of the Spirit. Purpose is rooted in the gifts of the Spirit, therefore it is the breath of the Spirit which is to fill your life.

  • Therefore Hope = (Patience + Peace) x Purpose

The virtues of God’s comfort are Wisdom, Power, Guidance, and Security. We often find short cuts to comfort through Money, Possessions, Food &/or Drugs, Labels and Relationships in general. These short cuts are not vices or negative in and of themselves, however if they become the center of one’s life, it is then where a false center of purpose is established. The virtues of comfort are used by Steven Covey in Habit 2, to guide you to your goals which are based on your purpose. The difference between the two lists is that Wisdom, Power, Guidance, and Security (of the Holy Spirit) produce patience in you, which when expressed with purpose yields a true peace. The short cuts produce patience that is not long-suffering which actually inclines you to seek instant gratification.

So the question becomes not what gives you comfort, but what has the power to take away your peace and test your patience? (It is usually the same thing that takes your breath away…)

Advent is the season of beginning and laying a new foundation for all that is yet to come. What will be the foundation of your beginning for this New Year. (Biblically the time of the “New year” – has already begun) Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of the Kingdom. How has this taken root in your life? This Righteousness of Psalm85 comes from above (see last week) and it produces in you a peace that passes understanding. Peace alone does not solve any problems, peace alone brings you through problems, unharmed or unshaken, but the purpose of the Kingdom is not merely to exists, rather it is to advance. (Matt11:11-19) To advance is to move forward, looking forward is the theme of the text in 2 Peter this week.

Looking forward to increase our patience and peace – we must “work out” and “grow up” in our salvation with is a Gift from God – for this is where our purpose is discovered. (Phil 2:12-18)  There are many places in this blog that help point you to your purpose, 1,2,3,4 , But here let’s make it even more simple – Let your patience be found in your confession that  “Jesus is Lord” and your peace be and expression of “Love the Lord”. Imagine a list of everything that is in your life… now attempt to place everything on that list under one of the two columns – Jesus is Lord or Love the Lord. As you able to surrender your list and submit it into the columns you will discover how and where the Kingdom of God is advancing in your life, and where it is not – Where an aspect does not fit into one of these concepts – the rule and reign of the King may not be present.

Ex. My children are either mine to raise and disciple, or I see myself as a steward of God’s gifts including my children, which while I am to raise them, they are not mine – therefore Jesus is Lord over my children.

Ex. My work is an expression of worship, therefore it is a way in which I love the Lord, or my work is my responsibility and obligations to provide for myself or family.

Ex. My time is my own or it may fit into either category – I submit it to the Lordship of Jesus or in finding karios movements – I find more “time” to love the Lord.

As there may be things in your life that do not fit under these headings – you have found places in your life which resists the rule and reign of the Kingdom. This is what remains for you to work out and grow up into Salvation. Where does my desire to watch TV fit? What about my desire to vacation and relax, or the ways in which I wish for others be punished for their lifestyle….  For the most part these are the places of my life where comfort comes from something other the Salvation of my King who rules and reigns over the Kingdom.

Take a breath -inhale saying “Jesus is Lord”…. Then exhale saying “I love the Lord”. In this you are increasing your Peace and Patience by claiming that your very breath is a gift from God. It is simple but this practice will take your attention off of the things that cause distress and refocus you on Wisdom, Power, Guidance and Security.

About chaplaincasey

In my Community I am a Chaplain, Coach and Catalyst.
This entry was posted in Advent, Year B and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to No time to Breathe – Beware of what takes your breath away

  1. Pingback: Tired of trying… a simple re-focus is in order. | confrontingchaos

  2. Pingback: Life is messy – control it and miss the point. | confrontingchaos

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