Unless you change…

I shared on my Facebook page last week that I have been feeling anxious lately. (Speaking of Facebook, if you happen to be there, feel free to “like” or “follow” my page…I sometimes share little thoughts there that don’t warrant an entire blog post of their own.) Anyway, about worry — God’s word has always been my antidote to worry. And Jesus is the peace in the puzzle of my life. But it’s not always as simple as we might like it to be to apply the peace of God to our everyday lives, is it? God has been bringing me through a season of repentance, doing deep healing work in my spirit; and one thing I am noticing is that as I completely submit myself to Him, willing to give Him total access to anything He wants to change in me and not willing to let darkness have even the tiniest outpost in my soul, His light and life drive away the fear! It’s distrust and unbelief that breeds worry. And when I completely surrender to my Heavenly Father, I discover that He is completely safe to trust!

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3 (CSB)

Other translations say “unless you change”, “unless you are converted”, “unless you repent”. These words of Jesus make it clear that being humble and trusting like a little child isn’t just the best way, it’s the only way to live in the peace and joy of the presence of God! Change/repentance/conversion/turning…whatever you want to call it…is imperative!

I’d like to share a couple of resources with you today that have been so helpful to me lately. One is free. One is not.

Have you heard of the Dwell Audio Bible app? It’s basically like Spotify for the Bible. You can listen to the Bible straight through, from cover to cover, if that’s your style. You can listen chronologically. Or you can choose from a host of playlists that pull together different Bible passages for different topics or experiences you might find yourself facing. It is amazing! Lots of different translations to choose from, top notch narrators, and various quality background soundtracks. I listen while I workout, do housework, walk, or even as I fall asleep at night. I really like the narrator David paired with the piano & cello soundtrack. Honestly, when his rich, British-accented voice starts feeding me God’s word, I think my blood pressure automatically lowers. It has been a beautiful investment in my spiritual journey, providing lots of contact points throughout my day with God’s Word, not just during my morning quiet times. So if you’ve seen it advertised and wondered if it’s worth it, IT IS! Check it out.

And now for the free resource. I recently discovered a podcast called the Christian Meditation Podcast. I am usually leery of anything dealing with “meditation” that slaps the title of Christian onto it. A truly Christian understanding of mediation has nothing to do with emptying our minds but, instead, of giving our minds truth from God’s word to chew on and digest for the purpose of transformation. This podcast, which I would argue is truly biblical in its ideas about meditation, is put together by a hospice and ICU chaplain who has had a lot of experience in guiding people toward the peace of God. If you’re like me and are suspicious of much of the trendy teaching on “mindfulness” today, don’t be put off by the breathing exercises at the beginning! It is simply meant to be a way to really relax your mind and body so you can hear clearly from God’s word. I have only listened to a few of his episodes so I can’t vouch for all of them. But I absolutely love what I have heard and experienced so far. There is definitely something different about S-L-O-W-I-N-G down to really drink deeply from a few verses of scripture. You can also download his app called “Recenter with Christ” and easily listen to all the podcasts from the beginning. That’s what I’m doing. He has almost three hundred episodes!

What about you? Do you have any good resources for more peace right now? Please share in the comments below!

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