Eleven Words – A Devotion from Miriam

“…Noah…consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him.”

Genesis 6:9

I have been journaling in my time with the Lord for many years.  I love to go back and see how the Lord answered certain prayers or see how I’ve grown in my love for Him. In the fall of 2017 I   was struggling to be at peace because of some difficulties we were going through with regard to our finances and just a busy life. Our grandson, Audie, had decided to come five weeks early (on August 4th rather than September 9th), which happened to be three weeks before our youngest son’s wedding on August 26th. Life was a bit hectic and out of control (of my control, anyway).

As I look back in my journal I see many entries where I praised the Lord for being my peace. I know it was as much a reminder to myself that He is indeed my Peace.  It also seemed like everywhere I turned, I was either reading about God’s peace in His word, hearing a sermon on God’s peace, or visiting with friends and they would “happen” to share about God giving them peace through a difficult circumstance.

In fact, when One Purpose was in Moldova, God chose to speak to this American through a New Zealand pastor who was the guest at Doxa Deo Church while we were there.  The sermon was on experiencing God’s peace in difficult circumstances.  The pastor took us to Isaiah 26:3, which says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!”.  When I turned in my Bible to that passage, I had written in the margin, “Matthew 14:29-30 – Focus on Jesus”.  The Matthew passage is when Jesus told Peter to come to Him on the water. Peter was doing fine until he got his eyes off of Jesus and on the waves instead.

That seems to be my problem — getting my eyes off of Jesus and putting them on my circumstances.  Maybe you can relate. So, as I began 2018, it was with a desire to keep my eyes on Jesus and let His peace permeate my being no matter what is going on around me. I decided that I would read through the Bible this year and am doing so in The One Year Chronological Bible (NLT).  On day two I came to the story of “Noah and the Flood.” in Genesis 6:8-9 it says, “But Noah found favor with the Lord. This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him.”

At that moment everything came together for me.  All the months of focusing on God’s peace and seeking to keep my eyes on Jesus — it all came together in 11 words in Genesis 6:9. I can keep my eyes on Jesus and experience His peace when I consistently follow God’s will and enjoy a close relationship with Him…when I make it a priority to spend time daily with Him.

So, my challenge for you as you look at the remaining ten months of 2018, is to spend time with Jesus consistently and choose to follow His will for your life. It doesn’t mean your life will be perfect and without difficulties. What it means is in the midst of life — the good and the bad — He will be your peace, joy, strength, comfort, and so much more.

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