Today I was looking for another bit of scripture, but i think the Lord had me land here for a reason or maybe for whomever is reading.
Ps. 34:14 "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
Let me explain what i discovered first and then He will apply it to our lives. This "turn" is to turn off or depart. "Evil" is exactly what you would think evil or wicked thoughts or actions. The word "do" means to do, make, accomplish, but has an ethical obligation. I like the word "good" as it means excellent, fruitful, kind, precious, correct, or righteous. And i think my favorite is the word "peace" meaning sense of well being internal or external or the absence of strife.
When working in the ministry or even in a church with others - they happen to be just like you and I - imperfect. Because we are imperfect we can do things that hurt each other in incredible ways and with no rhyme or reason. I think the worse case is when we do things or things are done to us with much rhyme and reason. Bottom line though, I am responsible for ME!
This verse reminds me that I have to do my part and can not worry so much about the rest. Even though "the rest" affects me, I have to do what I am responsible for and make sure that I am at peace with Him. When I am at peace with Him, even when strife and problems do not dissipate, I can rest knowing He will take care of the peace with others - that is not my deal!
So what IS my responsibility??? I must take a serious look at my life and see what kind of evil has crept in and taken hold of me. I must examine my mind and actions. I have to look at my motives and all the actions that follow. I have to look at my intentions and my expectations. Once i have a good picture of what may be going on or not going on - the evil part, I must depart, I must leave, I must "turn" from it. The lexical aide recommended that we "turn off". Turn off desires, feelings, thoughts, and certainly actions of any evil.
Once that evil is nipped in the bud what is next? First of all I think it is important to notice that there is not just a don't do....., but there is a then do! Walking the faith is not just a "don't do" kind of life. Walking the faith is a then do most of the time and we find that here! We not only turn from evil, but then we must "and do good". We are to do those things that are good, excellent, fruitful, kind, precious, correct, or even righteous. These that we are doing is not always easy. We are to do those things, even the ones that we have an ethical obligation to. Many times in walking the faith it is those things, the ethical obligation things, that will not make sense to anyone, maybe even yourself. Being kind to those that have just crushed you. Doing good to those that just ripped your head off. Still working with excellence in a place that evil abounds. Walking in righteousness when no one else sees or will ever notice.
The bottom line is the kicker - "seek peace and pursue it". I thought peace was just something that happens and we enjoy it - nope! We see here and I know the Father is imploring my friends hurting today that peace is one thing we have to seek like a hidden treasure and pursue it like a momma looking for her lost child! It will not be easy. It will not be without tears. It will not be without ups and downs, but we can not give up!! We can not give in!!
Friends, I am not sure who this is for other than my one friend going through the ringer! I have been there! And it was not that long ago! We can not give up and we can not give in. We may have to change some things, but never abandon the Faith!! That would be too easy! Check out verses 15 - 17. His eyes are on you and His ears are attentive! He hears and delivers. He is close to the broken-hearted!! Claim these verses my friends!! I know I am!!
Oh Lord - thank you for this Word this morning! Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for the plans ahead. I am excited to see what you have planned for today!! You are great and greatly to be praised!!! I believe and trust!! I want to see Your glory!! Amen!