His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Extol the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion. He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Psalm 147:10-14
These verses have been on my heart and in my thoughts day and night for many weeks. As I have allowed the Holy Spirit to “marinate” me in these words, lately I have become more aware of their power. He grants peace to your borders. This is a profound truth! Living in peace is as important to your spirit and soul as breath is to your lungs. Without peace we are tossed by every storm and become unstable in all of our ways.
Now, more than ever, God is inviting His people into the peace that comes from knowing Him intimately and fully living in the truth of His unfailing love. In times of trouble and in a world that is growing in turbulence, His peace becomes our safe harbor and resting place. He is our shelter and hope.
Out of Bounds
“Out of bounds” is the term used in sports when a team moves outside the boundaries of their playing field. Whenever I allow myself to move into fear, I have asked the Holy Spirit “blow His whistle” and declare, “Out of bounds!” Then I can quickly move back into the safety of trust and reliance upon His grace and goodness.
It is vital to embrace the truth of His unfailing love so that we may live in the boundaries of His peace. Scripture tells us “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4:18).
Peace has become a compass for me; if I am in peace then I am confident that I am walking in truth and complete dependency upon my Papa God’s promises to me. When I begin to fret and fear, I know that I have left the boundaries of peace that He has ordained to surround my life and into my own carnal strength and thoughts. Peace is the reward of my trust and fear is the result of my worries.
The enemy continually tempts us to fear so we will make decisions outside of God’s truth and wisdom, and act out of our own understanding. Within the boundaries of trust and peace we cease to live as individuals who react to circumstances, but rather become those who respond to Holy Spirit’s leading.
Living in His Unfailing Love
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
The Lord takes delights in our dependency upon Him. As we put our hope in His unfailing love and unfaltering promises, we bring Him delight and move into a life surrounded with peace and filled with His finest riches. This is both His invitation and His delight. He longs to bless us with days filled with His presence, His goodness, His assurance and His limitless love. He longs to have us invite Him into the storms of life so that He can speak, “Peace be still” to both His servant and to the storm.
Does this mean that we will never face hardship or trials? No. It does mean that we can remain in peace and hope in the midst of life’s trials. God has an answer to every problem and pain that we will ever encounter; there is nothing too difficult for His love to carry us through.
Almost a year ago I faced one of the greatest storms of my life. It came suddenly and without warning. That night I wondered if I could make it through the storm. How could I navigate the waves that were hitting my life? I remember having my son-in-law, Luke, hold me and say, “Mom, it’s going to be alright. We are with you and God is with us.” As I took a deep breath I asked God to come in and take this battle from me. It was too much for me!
By the next morning peace had entered my heart and His presence had replaced the fear. Since that day I have experienced a new level of peace, hope and unfailing love. He has not only restored what was lost that night but has given back far more than I ever dreamed possible. God was with us and He always will be.
The Battle Belongs to the Lord
Think back on many of the battles that you have faced: how many were made much harder due to fear taking hold of you? The “grip of fear” can come suddenly and seem to push us out of our boundaries of peace. But take heart: you don’t have to stay there! If you remove fear from the battle, you immediately lower its intensity. Dwelling in borders of peace allows the battle to belong to the Lord:
This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15
Often, our greatest battle comes from the call to surrender. Surrender requires trust in the One who is stronger and wiser than us. As we put our trust in His strength and wisdom, surrender follows. It is in surrender that He is able to grant peace to the borders of our lives.
Let us abandon trusting our own strength. Choose this day to put your hope in His unfailing love. He will not disappoint! He will bless you, your family and all those who dwell in your gates.