His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Are You Content With Too Little?

Is there an ever-present, gnawing hunger in your soul? Hunger for a sense of peace, and maybe something more, that you believe is achievable, but never within your grasp? I’m referring to the peace that Jesus promised us, the peace that is so deep and all consuming that its power is beyond our ability to understand. But, it’s not beyond our ability to possess.

Yet, based on my own experience, I think we can fall into a trap of being content with too little. And I sense that Satan baits the trap.

I urge you … don’t take the bait. BELIEVE that the peace Jesus promises is for you too. And then go look for it. The best part is that you don’t have to look far, because the peace and fulfillment you seek are right inside you. That is, the peace comes from your own intimate relationship with the Spirit of Jesus, where as He prayed, you are in Him, and He is in you.

So where are you on your journey to find the Spirit of Jesus within you? Are you where I lingered for more years than I want to admit? Are you teetering on the edge of belief? If you don’t yet have the faith that has crossed over into a deep feeling of certainty, maybe what you need is to get to know Jesus better. After all, it’s hard to believe someone if you don’t know them very well.

If this is you, then you are one of the many people for whom I wrote We Called Him Yeshua. Please check it out, for in the personal stories told by some of the people who walked with Jesus, you can come to know Him as intimately at they did.

Available on Amazon, currently priced as low as Amazon will allow.

 

Now then, for those of you who are past your struggles with unbelief, I’d like to refer you to other books that have helped me find the Spirit of Jesus within my soul (book recommendations). And I’ll continue adding to this list of books as I write more reviews.

Finally, here’s a quote from a book I’m reading for the 7th time, where I’ll be posting a review sometime soon.

“He (God) often calls men blind, complaining that we are content with too little. God has infinite treasures to give us, he says. Why should we be satisfied with a brief moment of worship? With such meager devotion, we restrain the flow of God’s abundant grace. If God can find a soul filled with a lively faith, He pours His grace into it in a torrent that, having found an open channel, gushes out exuberantly.”

The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence.


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Chasing Peace – Day 44 – The Beginning

My journey to escape stress and find peace has become a journey to surrender to God. That’s where I’ve found true peace… in surrender, and trust. Trusting God with my life knocks down the walls of my mind and lets His peace come pouring in.

Anyway, I believe this is my last blog post about this journey. Well, I want it to be my last– but I’ll soon see if God agrees.

I’ve decided to pull together all my blog posts about chasing peace and turn them into a small book. And writing this book should help remind me of everything I’ve learned while on this journey. Also, once the book is done, it will give me something to refer back to when I wander off the path, as I’m sure to do.

And you know, this book just might be helpful for other people. That’s why I plan to give it away. And I believe with more help from the Spirit of Jesus within me, and with some heavy editing, the messages will be stronger, and more helpful.

And maybe through this book, other people will find the peace they seek. And they will find that peace in their own personal relationship with the Spirit of Jesus. They too can learn to surrender to the peace within them.

 

←Day 43

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 43 – Lesson’s Learned, So Far

I think I’m almost done blogging about this journey of mine to escape stress and find peace. After all, I don’t think it will ever end. But so far, it’s helped remind me of some truths that are crucial to my life, such as…

I need to stop trying so hard. Just relax and let Jesus live through me. His life and energy and His presence within my mind – that’s where true peace comes from. I won’t find peace within any efforts of mine.

And I need to be patient with myself. I’m a flawed person. I’ll frequently stumble on my never-ending journey. I just need to accept this.

Another truth: pure, complete and invincible peace waits for me in heaven, where there is no stress, and no chaos.

But true peace is still available to me now, while I’m stuck in the midst of this messy world. All I need do is surrender my life to the Spirit of Jesus. As I’ve learned, selfishness creates stress, love conquers selfishness, and true love comes from surrendering to Jesus. Therefore, peace comes from surrender.

Trust… that may be the most important thing I can bring on my journey. With unconditional trust in Jesus, He will do the rest and take me home, to peace.

 

Day 36                    Day 44 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 36 – Midnight Stress Monster

Woke up last night, middle of the night, and my mind immediately started chewing on a problem at work. What brought that on? Why did my mind go there? The stress monster of work had followed me home. And it crawled into bed with me, waiting for a weakened moment to strike.

Oh God, save me from myself!

And then freedom. Wearily I crawled out of bed this morning, but now I feel joy and peace… and freedom from my inner demon, the stress monster.

Each morning is the same. I go in search of the Spirit of Jesus, who lives within me. My mind sometimes resists – for some reason it likes hanging out in that cluttered room of random thoughts. But coffee helps, or at least it wakes me up enough to steer my mind towards Jesus. And then He starts to replace the clutter with His presence. And then freedom, and peace.

There is only one true peace – living with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus. He’s here.

 

Day 35                    Day 43 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 35 – Mind Control

The apostle Paul once said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) That’s what I want, that’s what I crave. I want to surrender control of my mind to the Spirit of Jesus living within me. And He’ll keep my stubborn mind from diving into that stress-pit every day.

I’ve been on this journey to escape stress and find peace for over a month now. Is this going to end up being some biblical 40-day thing? I don’t think so. Actually, I don’t think it will end, until this body of mine gives out – that’s when the never-ending peace will begin.

But I do believe there is a way to peace on earth, and that is found in a daily surrender to Jesus. I also believe that I’m not able to completely surrender on my own, since my self-centered ego will always fight against it. My ego wants to keep control. But Jesus can overcome my ego. Jesus can take control, and He will, if I sincerely want Him to. What’s impossible for me is possible for God.

Have you been following me on this journey? Are you on a journey of your own? What have you discovered? If you like, please share with the rest of us in the comments below… and thanks.

 

Day 28                    Day 36 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 28 – A Glimpse of True Surrender

Praying my way into another day. Another day at work… meh. Yet in my mind (and hopefully my heart and soul), I hand my self to the Spirit of Jesus within me. He’ll take it from here. Jesus will take this person CJ and carry him through today. Whatever happens today is in His hands, under His control. I can relax and watch. Cool.

And then it hit me: whatever we actually do today doesn’t matter. What matters is that by Him making my feeble and partial surrender complete, Jesus is in control.

Going to work, or staying home, or going to the beach, or going on a hike and taking a nap under an oak tree (okay, that’s what I’d like to do)… anyway, it makes no difference what we do. Anything would be joyful, even work, because Jesus would be in control. This tastes like true surrender. This tastes like peace.

Believe in the truth of absolute surrender to God. He can make it real. And that’s where true peace lives.

 

Day 27                    Day 35 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 27 – A Wave of Love

This morning God opened my eyes to a truth I’ve long known, but it had faded within the cloud of the noise in my mind.

God created earth. He created light. He created the entire universe. And He created you and me. And this God who created all that exists seems to humble Himself enough to have His Spirit live within wretched little me! Why me? I’m such a messy place for Him to live. Look at all the crap He has to put up with, living within my clogged up and noisy mind, and with my broken and whinny soul. But He’s here!

This morning, the reality of the presence of God within me crashed over me as a wave of pure love. The actual infinite power of God is within me! Oh, I always know this (with my mind), but this morning I felt really aware of it – it is more than a thought, but an intense feeling.

Then my mind flashed upon this journey I’m on – to escape the stress of work and life, and to find true peace. And I thought about going to work today, WITH God who created all that exists!!! The wave of love and gratitude crashed over me again.

And the morning dread that usually churns within my belly as I get ready for work has been replaced with excited anticipation. What will God do today, through me, at work? Maybe He’ll keep me from throwing myself into the stress-pit. Or something bigger?

What might God do through you today? His Spirit lives within you too, if you believe Him and accept Him.

 

Day 26                    Day 28 →

 


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Chasing Humility and Peace – Day 26

Trying to escape stress, stress of life, mainly stress at work.

I run, but I stumble, and stress tackles me.

So I run to God, to Jesus’ Spirit within me.

Surrender to Jesus and His peace; that’s my soul’s desire.

Yet surrender requires humility, so now I’m running to that.

Then this morning, dark MONDAY morning… something new.

My mind fell into that old stress-pit of brooding over Monday.

Oh how I dread Monday’s.

But then God gave me that “something new,” a new thought.

And I started praying for people at work.

Everyone, especially those who push my buttons and set me ablaze in the stress-inferno.

Praying.

There’s peace in prayer.

There’s compassion in prayer, even for the button-pushers.

Monday doesn’t feel so bad now.

Monday can be exciting, and maybe fun.

For this Monday I go to work with God.

And we will pray for my co-workers.

While in the midst of that stress-pit of work, I’ll pray for the button-pushers.

Dear Jesus, thank you.

Let’s go pray Your grace upon everyone we meet.

And please help me show them Your love and humility.

 

Day 25                    Day 27 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 25

Chasing peace? I’m now wondering if I have it backwards. Maybe peace is chasing me. And some days I’m in such a hurry that peace doesn’t have a chance to catch up.

What is peace? Well, if you’ve been checking in on my journey, you know what I’ve found – that for me, peace is absolute surrender to the Spirit of Jesus living within me. He’s right here all the time. But now I’m thinking that I sometimes run from Him.

At work I chase after achievement and praise; often a step ahead of Jesus, and His peace. When I step out of Jesus’ reach, I fall back into the stress-pit. Oh, it happens almost every day.

Wait a minute! I think I know what’s going on. It’s my natural human pride that has me running ahead of Jesus, chasing achievement. It’s my pride that thinks I can successfully survive without surrendering to Jesus. It’s my pride that pushes me over the edge and back down into that stress-pit.

I’ve known for a long time that pride is like a plague that infects humanity. And I’ve known that humility is what I need in order to surrender to God. So on this journey to escape stress and find peace, I think it’s time to change my focus again. Now I’m going to chase humility.

Wish me luck, please.

 

Day 22                    Day 26 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 22

I wish I had more patience. I want to be at the end of this journey… NOW. I want true and un-interrupted peace… now. The past several days have been filled with sporadic peace and intense stress. I’m running, but I can’t always stay ahead the stress.

For example, take that tension-filled meeting at work yesterday…

I was doing just fine, with my mind focused on the Spirit of Jesus within me, sitting there with me in the midst of that chaos. I felt like I was holding up a shield to protect myself from the tension, a shield held in place by my surrender to Jesus. I figured as long as I kept my mind focused on my being surrendered to Him, I would be protected from the stress that filled the room. I was right of course. But I think my restless mind was feeling feisty.

Someone in the meeting said something that my “self” just couldn’t ignore, and I dived right into the middle of that stress-pit with everyone else. I just had to open my mouth, didn’t I?

You know, this surrender stuff really takes a lot of humility. I’ve got to stop thinking of my self and my precious opinion. I’m beginning to like the idea of keeping my mouth shut. What was it I read in the Bible… “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

Keeping a rope on my tongue – now that’s a good way to escape stress and find peace. Humility; that’s what I need. Humility will keep my tongue tied up. I just wish pride wasn’t such a basic part of my nature. Surrender… with surrender to the Spirit of Jesus, I believe He will fill me with His humility. Now that’s what I need.

You know, one thing that’s changed in me over these past 22 days is that whenever I feel stress invading my senses, my mind runs to Jesus. Sometimes I don’t run fast enough. But I like that I’m running in the right direction.

 

Day 18                    Day 25 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 18 – What the…?

That’s not what I expected.

I wanted to escape stress. Specifically, the stress-pit I tend to fall into everyday at work. And then God showed me a new way to look at this; to escape stress by chasing after peace. And then God showed me that I will catch true peace when I surrender my self to the Spirit of Jesus within me. I’ve been on this journey for 18 days now.

And now that I’m feeling a taste of surrender, Jesus is starting to fill me with Himself, and His Love! My selfish ways seem to be fading. And His Love is consuming and filling me with a compassion for everyone who does not feel His love themselves.

The Church. His Church. It’s hurting. It’s wounded. It’s aching to be filled with His love. But much of the church has wandered from the path of surrender. Much of the church has surrendered to manmade rules, and traditions, and concerns, and agendas – rather than surrendering to the Spirit of Jesus.

Oh, the church worships Jesus, but have they become Jesus? The true church, as Jesus designed it, is the collection of believers in whom His Spirit lives – we are His Temple, His Church.

Where will this go? Where is Jesus taking me? My journey to find peace is shaking up my life.

Dear Jesus, your Love is greater than life. My life is yours. Thank you. Now let’s go heal wounds… with Your Love.

 

Day 17                    Day 22 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 17

There’s always something to feel guilty about. Sucks. Yesterday, day 17 of my journey to find peace, I was haunted by a memory that filled me with guilt. I hate that feeling. But part of the misery of guilt is my feeling that I deserve to feel miserable. I’m so messed up.

But then I remembered this new path I’m on in this journey, my path to absolute surrender to Jesus. And as soon as I focused my mind on my surrender to Jesus, the misery of guilt disappeared. Now this was weird, because Jesus was one of the people I had hurt in my memory of guilt. But then it hit me…

Surrender to Jesus is freedom from guilt. Guilt is surrender to memories of the past. Instead of surrendering to the past, surrender to the Spirit of Jesus, within you. With Him there is no guilt; only love, and peace.

Surrender is so freeing.

 

Day 16                    Day 18 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 16

Chasing peace? I now think the truth is that peace is chasing me; always has been. Yesterday, day 16 of my journey to find peace, and peace found me. As I mentioned in my entry for Day 14, I just started re-reading Absolute Surrender, by Andrew Murray. And my eyes, and heart, are opening.

I now see that all along I may have been running away from peace. For my selfish and independent nature always led me away from the idea of surrender, even though my mind has told me for years that I want to surrender. Yet I now believe, with certainty, that true peace only comes from absolute surrender of my life and self to the Spirit of Jesus.

How am I so certain? Well, I surrendered yesterday, for a little while anyway. And I felt absolute peace in the midst of my chaotic world. Oh, my journey hasn’t ended – I don’t think it ever will. For surrender is not just something I can turn on, like a light switch. As I said, I’ve wanted to surrender for years, but I didn’t know how. I’m still not sure. But I think it has to do with love. So my journey continues.

But now that I’ve had a taste of my goal, I’m hungrier than ever.

Dear Jesus, today I surrender all that I am to you, and your love. For it’s your love that conquers my selfish and independent nature. I love you. CJ

 

Day 14                    Day 17 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 14

The past two days I felt more like I was chasing stress, than peace. And stress was easily caught.

I’ve been feeling dry, worn out, and helpless. It’s desolate in the bottom of this stress-pit. In my efforts to escape stress, I seem to be drawn back into it. Like there’s a slimy arm with tentacles clutching my leg and pulling me back into the pit whenever I climb out. I’m tired of surrendering to the monster in the stress-pit.

And then last night I remembered a book I’ve read several times. But it was many years ago. Absolute Surrender, by Andrew Murray. So this morning I read chapter 1. No more surrendering to the stress-pit. I choose to surrender to God and His Spirit within me… and the peace He promises me.

All that is me and everything I have is God’s. With that thought in my mind and hope in my heart, here I step into a new day of chasing peace.

 

Day 12                    Day 16 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 12

When you fall in love with someone, you think about them ALL the time. I remember when I fell in love with the young woman who eventually agreed to marry me – I don’t think she ever left my conscious thought. And her constant presence in my mind filled me with joy and excitement. I smiled a lot.

Day 12 on my journey to find peace – I’m a slow and stubborn learner. The truth of lasting peace has been right in front of me. Though it doesn’t feel real and complete to me yet, I feel I’ve known it all along. Peace comes from constantly thinking of Jesus. And the ability to keeping Jesus in my thoughts, and feeling the presence of His Spirit, comes from my love for Him. As my growing love for my wife filled me with joy, my growing love for Jesus fills me with peace.

Yet yesterday, day 12, was just okay. I did feel a few moments of deep peace. And the truth is becoming clearer to my stubborn mind. But now I’m about to step into another Monday. I dread Monday’s.

Why does it feel like knowing the true path to peace doesn’t help me get there? I sometimes feel like there’s a battle going on inside me, especially on Monday’s. Something wants to keep my soul in chaos and my stomach in knots. Why? Maybe that’s where I need to go next on my journey. What do you think?

 

Day 11                    Day 14 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 11

Jesus… He in me, and I in Him. (John 14:20) What’s it mean? The He in me part I can visualize. I can see in my minds eye the Spirit of Jesus actually here within my body, sharing space with my soul, keeping constant company with my spirit.

Yet I’ve tended to ignore the I in Him part, maybe because I don’t understand it. But for some reason, I thought about it yesterday morning as I was getting ready to continue my journey chasing peace.

Maybe I in Him means that I’m a part of Jesus’ life, like He is a part of my life. I’m surrounded by Jesus – He’s everywhere, inside and out. I like this. It feels good to me, and right. And hey, Jesus is in you, and you are in Jesus – what does this mean to you?

Well, with Jesus in me, and I in Him, I stepped back onto the path of my journey to peace. Day 11 was a good day.

 

Day 10                    Day 12 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 10

If you read my Day-9 entry, you’ll see that I crashed. One of my “tricks” for escaping stress and finding peace wasn’t working. I’d been telling myself that all my tasks at work are meaningless – all the stuff that tightens my chest and fills me with stress. What’s more meaningful are my relationships with my co-workers. This new way of thinking had been helping me, for a while.

Yet the stress-machines at work sure haven’t been feeling meaningless lately. They’ve been exerting their ever-present power over me. And then yesterday, Day 10 of my journey, I was thinking about this meaningless idea as I drove home from another day in the stress-pit. And oh so glad it was Friday.

Anyway, it occurred to me that I don’t really believe that all those work tasks are meaningless. I’d been trying to lie to myself.

Look, it’s simple. All my tasks and all the tasks that my co-workers do, help contribute to the success of our little company. And everyone there is relying on that success for a paycheck. Enough said. I can’t dodge the meaning of people’s livelihoods.

I’m confusing myself. But maybe I’m getting closer; closer to an answer. Forget the tricks. Forget trying to con myself. There’s only one path to the peace I’m seeking… Jesus.

 

←Day 9                    Day 11 →

 


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Chasing Peace – Day 9

“Having fun with Jesus.” That was my focus yesterday, Day 9 of my journey to escape stress and find peace. As often as my feeble mind would think of it, I’d look inside myself and ask Jesus what we could do next that would be fun. Yes, I even found fun at work, and it always involved interactions with other people.

But then in the afternoon, I crashed, and fell headfirst into the stress-pit. I found myself staring at my work to-do list; the list where new things are added faster than old things are crossed off. That list seemed to grab hold of my chest and squeeze. The tension I’d been running from had caught up with me, and tackled me. It sucked.

I’d been telling myself while on this journey that all the stuff on my to-do list is meaningless. My idea was to try and take away the power the list has over me. But it wasn’t working. For something so meaningless, it sure killed any peace I had been feeling. The fun was gone.

Oh Jesus, please help me. Pull me out of this pit I’ve dug and fill me with your peace; the peace that goes far beyond my ability to understand. I’m helpless. I know I can’t do this without you. But this knowledge isn’t helping me right now. I need something more. Please.

 

Day 8                    Day 10 

 


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Escaping Stress… Chasing Peace – Day 8

I’ve tried this kind of thing before – I’m always looking for another method to feel closer to Jesus and fill my life with peace. Whatever new trick I try, it usually soon fades from my mind and I fall back to my robotic and habitual ways of slogging my way through life.

But this time is different. I’ve never written a daily blog post about my experience. It’s helping me stay focused and on track, keeping me from losing sight of my goal. And I have a hope that this journal of my journey will help some of you who read about it.

Anyway, yesterday – day 8 of my journey in search of lasting peace – was a very good day. If you read Day 7’s entry, you’ll see that I started off in a goofy mood – always a good way to start any day. Since I often take things in life too seriously, it helps to swing to the opposite end of the spectrum.

But the best part about yesterday, as always, was the feeling of the presence of Jesus. As I went about the day, I frequently looked inside to His Spirit within, and I thanked Him for being with me. I realize now that a big part of yesterday was my feeling of gratitude.

And I frequently chatted with Jesus about what was going on at work. We talked mostly about my co-workers. And since I wanted to hold onto my sense of goofiness, we plotted little jokes and funny things to say. We had fun helping others lighten up yesterday. For those with a sense of humor, it was easy. But for the more serious people, like the managers, many of them were not in the mood for silliness. Yet my hope is that the peace they saw in me somehow gave them a taste of peace for themselves.

One unexpected outcome of me focusing more on Jesus than the stress-machines at work is that I’ve been more productive at work. I think I’ve known this all along, but stress reduces my productivity.

Please consider joining me on this journey. Or rather, step off on your own personal journey in search of lasting peace. Have you done this already? How’s it going? What’s working for you? Please share with others… it helps us all. Thanks.

 

←Day 7                    Day 9 →