Peace of Responsibility (1/3) (6)
Prepared by God’s Love House
Book name: series of principles in spiritual life (6)
How to obtain inner peace (1- peace of responsibility).
Prepared by: servant of God’s Love House for expatriate student
Edition: first edition 2014
Messiah is the king of peace, and God of peace, and Lord of Peace. First thing that makes us lose our peace is a concern and worrying. But Messiah came to lift our tiredness and comfort our concerns.. He promised that all our matters – even the simple- really matter to him, even our heads’ hair.
With the speed of life and lots of responsibilities, we enter without our awareness in a circle or worry and concerns. Lots of advices “don’t worry, tighten yourself, don’t care …” but the importance is the practical steps.
In this brief, you’ll find one practical step, if you want to have peace and liberate yourself from concerns and worries. Try it so Lord can relieve you. Also, take care from Chemosh and his distractions.
This series is practical steps- cumulative- on the spiritual road. To make full use please read it in order and practice its practical steps in your daily life regularly.try and you’ll find yourself –with the grace of Messiah- deepness and gradual growth in your spiritual life.
Lord Jesus liberates us from concern and worry and gives us his true peace with intercession of our mother Virgin Mary and prayers of our canonized father his holiness Pope Tawadros the 2nd and glory to our God forever and ever Amen.
In that morning, I headed to my father and on my way, I felt some sort of instability. I started thinking about the cause but I couldn’t find a clear thing, and while thoughts were spinning in my head, I found myself in front of my father in the place where we meet. And here my father welcome me and asked me why do I look concerned today.
I said: I don’t know a clear reason my father, but inside myself is worry and unrest.
He said: did we talk before about inner peace, my son?
I said: No, my father, but you promised me before and today I am in need of that.
He said: today, we’ll talk about inner peace. Before we talk about inner peace, what are news about Single and Good Morning, my son?
I said: Single! Interrupted. Some days I recall and others I forget. However, Good Morning is going well.
Even after a while, but make sure that since you are continuously studious God must respond to you, and you will see growth in his love and feel him. And Single is one of important indicators for spiritual growth. Whenever Single increases this indicated that you are growing in your spiritual life and when it decreases it indicates a stepping back in spiritual life. However, be aware that everything is step by step and you’ll not have moustache and beard all of a sudden. And what are the news about Controlling Angles and a verse before sleep?
I said: Controlling Angles I am forgetting, but what is a verse before sleep?
He said: Controlling Angles is that you repent day by day and trust in acceptance and forgiveness day by day. This gives you strength and happiness continuously. Try to remember it, and if you forgot a day don’t forget on the next. And if you forgot two days don’t forget on the third. As for verse, it is to sanctify you’re your mind and dreams and you frequently say a verse till you sleep.
The last thing you read or say is what you think and dream about. Saint John Saba, the spiritual elder, said “blessed who slept and your holy name on his lips as devils cannot approach him”.
I said: exactly my father. Pray for me so I commit, but what it is meant by inner peace?!
He said: the Holy Bible says about Lord Jesus that (King of peace, president of peace, Lord of peace, who gives peace, God of peace).
I said: all of this!
I said: Yes my son. Peace is the media where all virtues grow, like air that all creature live in. imagine if air was poisoned. Can a human being, an animal, or a plant live in?
I said: of course not.
He said: it’s like this my son. If there is no peace in heart, you’ll not know to pray but you’ll be confused, and you’ll not tolerate people but you’ll be nervous, and you won’t have faith and quietness. Also in financial matters, they say “no development without peace. When there is war there are no new projects, no schools, no roads, but all the energy of the country is directed towards war and weapons.
There must be peace, inner peace and not an appearance and a form.
I said: what does that mean?
He said: it could be the human outside look is great quietly angelic, and full peace, and inside is a volcano, tiredness, sadness and concerns!! One time one of the fathers told us this story about inner peace.
I said: what it is, my father?
He said: the father said when he was at faculty that he was going to many trips. And in one of the trips he went to Lebanon, and they had a brother named “Salama”, who was a servant and deacon, polite and spiritual; beside that he was funny.
Everyone liked him, and they were climbing the mountains and watching pine tree and green stuff after that they descend and stay in the hotel. This father and Salama and another person were in triple bedroom, and before sleeping they sit down, make conversations, laugh then pray and sleep.
This father tells that it is not even a quarter an hour passes and when find Salama blow forcefully while sleeping “ Oh, Ooh”, then we head to him and wake him up, and tell him “what’s going on Salama are you sick? Shall we call a doctor for you?! He says “No, no I’m fine, fine”.
This happened more than once then the father sat down with him and told him “Salam you make people laugh all day and at night you terrify us there must be something”. Salama told him “No, no there is nothing”.
The father replied, “We are bothered my brother what’s going on?”. Salama said to him “Surely there is something. Do you think that I am happy or enjoying because I make people laugh? I am tired and torn from inside. Pray for me pray for me, so that may the Lord has mercy on me”.
I said: this story explained a big mystery that I faced with myself and people!! Indeed inner peace is not by appearances and how do we look, but my father how do I have inner peace?
He said: there are three kinds of inner peace:
First: peace of morning
I said: and what does peace of morning mean?
He said: peace of morning is “peace of responsibility”. When someone wakes up the morning and takes concern away, and says I have school or difficult lecture and I have an important exam, or problems with the manager at work, and problems with the children and expenses. And from the morning one bears concern and chagrin, and the book says “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25).
You see someone of 20 years and because of worry and concern he looks like as if he/she is 70 years old. Whilst, the book also says “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22). And “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28).
One time Lord Jesus was sitting with his disciples, and (I think) they were burdened and their eyes moving right and left from anxiety. He told them why you look concerned!! Look up? Look. Then he asked them what do you see? They said birds.
He told them that these birds don’t farm and don’t harvest and they don’t have stores and your father. Your father!! Feeds them. How you are better than many birds?! Even the hair of your heads counted one by one and here my father pointed to his head and said that even his light hair is counted.
I said: and is my head’s hair counted as well?!
He said (with a smile): of course, yes it’s true it’s a little dense and will tire the angels but I it is counted one by one.
An old lady went from the village to the city to sell some crops. She used the train that passes between the villages and after she was on board, the people told her “madam put down the container and rest. You are now on board of the train” she said, “on board of the train”.
They said, “madam since you are on board, the train transports you and the container as well”. She said “thanks to it, maybe it won’t come again”. And they couldn’t ever try to convince her to put the container down.
I said: father, did this story, in fact, happened?
He said: yes my son, and it happens every day when we get concerns. Messiah bore us with all our responsibilities, all our problems, with all our tiredness. It is mentioned in the book of Exodus “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4) and in Deuteronomy “and in the wilderness.
There are saw how the Lord your God carried his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” (Deuteronomy 1:31). One of the brothers told me when I mentioned this story to him, that it resembles the Christian in his concern. The one who bears his/her concern and doesn’t want to get it rid of it.
One time a little bird on the tree with her mother the big bird and they saw someone walking with sad-looking face and concerned. The little bird told her mom “what’s wrong with him? He looks sad!” she replied, “it looks he has lots of troubles”. The little bird said “wondering, he doesn’t have a kind God to solve his problems like our God!!” She said, “it looks he doesn’t my daughter”.
We became a mock even birds mocks us!! Indeed, let’s look to the birds of the sky having happiness, joy, and flapping their wings, and they don’t have money at the bank, and no friends to rely on, and no certificates to brag with. They just trust in a God that told us- not them- you are my sons and loved ones and pupil of my eye, and even the hair of your head matters to me, and after all that we get worries!!
I said: and does “peace of responsibility” mean that I don’t do anything, and leave “on God” “and I sleep and relax till success comes to me” as youth say?!
He said: of course not, who created your brain?
I said: of course it’s God.
He said: use your brain and your gifts and capabilities, and put your brain in a fridge, and every day you say “Oh, brain beautiful brain nice still healthy” and don`t sleep with laziness and relaxed and waste your time, but be trustworthy as much as your gifts and capabilities. But when you are concerned remember God’s words “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mathew 6:34)
There is a verse for Saint Augustine that explains how to make a balance easily.
I said: and what is it my father?
He said: “do all the work as if it depends on you and belief all the faith as if everything relies on God”.
Do all efforts to complete what is required from you and don’t be lazy, and do everything faithfully for the sake of Jesus (as we mentioned before). We study not for the score or grade, and we don’t work for salary – as much as their money- but we study and work because Jesus said work and be faithful, and the score and all the needs are his responsibility. And when worries and concerns occupy you be sure that the situation is totally within God’s hands, and he is faithful in his responsibilities.
I said: nice words my father. Birds, train but I need practical steps as I used to see from your father. What are the practical steps that I have to follow to gain peace of responsibility, when I get concerns what shall I do?!
He said: I won’t tell one, two, three but I tell you one step in one phrase but it’s a practical one. If you implemented it then ask for the result. And if you forgot and neglect it then you take the full responsibility alone.
I said: and what is it my father?
He said: its one verse Pope Shenouda said
“convert every thought to a pray”
When you get thought with worry and concern convert it to pray.
Instead of saying “I have an exam! Hard subject and not remembering anything” even if you studied something you forget.
Say like this “Lord be with me during my exam, Lord help me, give wisdom, knowledge and peace”
Instead of complaining from high prices, trouble at work and at home and future. Our blood pressure gets high and we get diabetes early, and our troubles as they are.
It’s like when they say “put his concern in himself” or “put his concern in his tummy”. If concern stops at the heart it will bring high blood pressure, in the stomach, it will bring an ulcer, in the pancreas, it will bring diabetes, in the bowel, it will bring irritable bowel syndrome, in the brain, it will bring stroke and paralysis.
And instead of all diseases and tiresome, it’s better for us to say “Lord I hand you my life and the future of my children and my troubles with the manager. Don’t leave us, Lord we’re your children to whom we go, you are our father and you can solve all the problems.”
Turn worrisome to prayer, and be sure that when you pray God listens to you. He loves you; you are his son.
God loves you more than your love to yourself.
In Romans (8:32), a very strong verse.
I said: and what’s this verse my father?
He said: the verse says “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
When you get concerned tell yourself strongly “who died for me my sake how come he doesn’t give me success or protect me from any evil. Whether there was a problem or to solve a problem”. After all of this and who gets concerns is called?
I said (with a smile): forgive me, my father, he must be fool. But what’s the reason for this foolishness that we have?
He said: the main reason, and it’s our problem nowadays, is the we don’t read the Holy Bible regularly. Our spiritual life is weak and we don’t know our capabilities that were gifted to us from God and we live in poverty. In Upper Egypt they say:
He is not a face of grace but a face of poverty
I said: father, you always focus on mentioning Lord’ name in everything whether in prayers or the Hoy Bible?
He said: exactly my son. This is the secret for Saints’ strength. God’s grace is given to the humbles. When you ask God to solve your problems and concerns you are announcing that you are poor and “The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:40).
And also, when you rely on God’s promises in the Holy Bible he gives you a faith built not only on your changeable feelings, and not on our acts that have lots of evil and dirt, but on God’s fixed word and this we’ll take it in details when we talk about conflict with God.
The Bible said “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) and also “and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.” (Psalm 50:15).
When you call him you’ll get quietness and peace instead of confusion and concern. And so in every hardship, in every problem, in every worry ask Messiah and you’ll find peace and quietness and here Satan starts to stay away from you and says “instead of fighting him let me leave him pray, leaving is a better thing”.
In every matter pray and express your yearning but at the end say:
Lord, what you see for me it’ll be better.
Lord taught us that. In the Garden of Gethsemane he said “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
And frankly this is the hardest point in Christian life.
I said: and what’s it, my father?
He said: that is to hand over all matters to God and submit your will completely to him.
I said: I think it isn’t difficult. I like to hand over all matters and submit completely to him.
He said: it’s easy to say but genuineness appears at hard times. For example, “when you want to ask a specific lady for engagement” do you have the readiness to say what do you see for me my Lord whether I’ll continue the way or not. “if you are looking to immigrate” do you have the willing to say I immigrate or I don’t immigrate you decide for me the correct way Lord. And so on”.
Someone is looking to get into a specific university” “one is going to enter the army” … do you have the readiness to say Lord what you see for me?! Here is the actual test for submission. And it’s not just words.
I said: how?
He said: there must be fruits for it. To show peace and no worry. It’s not someone telling that he has submission and remain in worrisome and fear and doesn’t know how to sleep!.
I said: it looks that the matter is difficult. But how do apply it practically?
He said: as we said express your interest but at the end say “what you see for me my Lord”.
I said: but if anxiety continued fighting me, what would I do?
He said: of course, anxiety and fear will continue fighting you, and you’ll not feel peace with just one pray.
I said(with surprise): and what would I do?
He said: convert all your thoughts into praying and continue.
Insist in your calling better that you die from anxiety.
The best thing that gets relief is to trust:
*that God loves you more than what you love yourself.
*and even God is mighty and can do everything.
*and also he is generous and not mean.
After all of this why you would have fear or anxiety!!
I said: is one point is enough my father to get peace at the time of concern and worry, I want other practices?
He said: our problem my son these days is that we hear a lot and we do nothing. The benefit is not by plenty of preach or plenty of exercises by work and practice and this is not enough!!
I said: and what is enough my father?!
He said: continuity and perseverance. In planting pine they use machines to irrigate lands, to transport water from channel to field. To keep plants growing machine must keep working and when it stops working for a long period plants fade and die.
Similar to this, spiritual steps that we talk about is a cumulative curriculum, its benefit is that it is simple and practical and also cumulative. At the start, you take the position with happiness and seriousness then slowly languish and get forgotten. You feel happy with Good Morning and Single and slowly and get forgotten. And so other simple matters?
I said: indeed this happens but what is the solution?!
He said: the important is a continuation and if we became lazy we go back and if we forgot we return and remember. Since you tried matters and saw its results by yourself work hard and come back and never be hopeless. And if you don’t practice continuously and every time we take something new and you don’t add it on the old you’ll not continue growing in your spiritual life.
Lord Jesus said “Stand firm, and you will win life.” (Luke21:19) “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15). Many times we heard preaches but how many of these do you recall now?!
I said: Aaa..aaa Oh! I don’t remember now. If I remember I remember titles only.
That’s why I hope you remember and work regularly (Single- Comparisons- Good Morning- Bullying Spirituality- For sake of Jesus – Sanctification of the Subconscious- ..)
And these are simple matters in its form but if you maintain them then you whole day is pray and every moment is a relation between you and Lord Jesus, and Satan wouldn’t find an entrance to worry you.
I said: these matters I Love. I tried them and tasted their meaning and the meaning of the relation with Jesus but there are some days I forget or feel lazy.
He said: as we mentioned before that you’ll not have a moustache or beard all of a sudden. The important is that you don’t leave the road completely. In the road you may get tired, fell, but never give up.
There is no meaning for life with a continuous and genuine relation with Messiah as a father and friend.
And before I leave you I warn you of Chemosh.
I said: and what’s Chemosh my father?
He said: it’s one of the gods of the Palestinians. And it was a huge hollow statue made of copper. Like a human with outstretched hands. An intense fire was lit at its bottom until copper is glowing. After that, they present sacrifices to him which were of young children.
I said (with surprise): of children!!
He said: Yes. They take innocent young children and put them in between the hands of the statue and burn right away.
I said: and fathers and mothers don’t they hear the cries of their children?
He said: the priests of Chemosh knock the drums intensely (dub dub dub..) so that no one listen to the voice and sympathize. And this is how Satan deals with us?
I said: how my father?
He said: Satan come to church and you are in the mass and tells you “you have to study, you have important appointments, troubles at work, and troubles of your children, what’s today’s food, why deacons are not organized” and such many thoughts to confuse and distract you.
I said: indeed he does this with me a lot. What do I do?
He said: don’t try to negotiate and fight with him because he’ll take you from topic to topic and you won’t be able to get rid of.
I said: and do I do?
He said: expose him right away to God. Say “Lord Satan is fighting me by thinking in food in … and I am attending the mass. Lord let me think in you and focus in prayer” when you expose him, he’ll run away immediately but if you enter in a fight with him he’ll distract you more.
There was a little simple quiet child at first year elementary school and beside him a fierce child. The fierce child asked the quiet one to take the pen and throw it at the back of the teacher who was writing on the board.
The quiet child took the pen and headed towards the teacher but he remembered that at home they told him not to do anything without taking permission from teacher first, so the child asked the teacher “teacher teacher, teacher teacher this boy asked me to throw the pen on your back, can I do that?!” the teacher replied “no my dear, this is flaw and wrong” (because he knows he is simple child) and looked angrily at the nasty boy, and the nasty boy shouted “I didn’t say anything I didn’t say anything”.
The nasty boy couldn’t stay quiet but told the quiet boy “go to the boy who is sitting at the first row and hit him on his head and come back”. The quiet boy went there but he remembered that he has to ask the teacher, so he said “teacher teacher, this boy is asking me to hit that boy on his head, can I do that? The teacher replied “No my dear, this is your friend and brother this is wrong”.
And here my father directed the question to me: would the nasty boy ask him to do something else?
I said (with a smile): of course not.
He said: this is also you when Satan fights you with distraction and confusion. Right away expose him to God “Lord Jesus Lord Jesus the thoughts are telling me … Help me Lord and let me focus on praying or studying”. Please take care of all practical matters that we agree on so you can ask for a result and find growth in your spiritual life and our words won’t just preach and stories.
I said: with grace of Messiah I’ll take care, I’ll take care.
He said: next time we’ll talk about an important topic and it is the Doorstep to Christianity, and Peace of Sunset and here my father stood up.
*we have a yearn from heart to see books with low prices or free for our youth and children (Lord puts this yearning also in the heart of all shepherds and those in charge – we want to see in our church a interest in publishing free books or with low cost):
**to reach all churches in villages, towns and cities.
**it is written in an easy and simple style and to encourage readers.
**it has practical matters that make youth take their own responsibility. And it gives them the right to ask for perceivable and life-changing results.
We ask for your prayers and encouragement to continue publishing this series to reach all hands. (till now 70 parts are ready for publishing).
“Lord, remember this work and bless it and use it for you’re the glory of your name”
Jesus is King of peace, God of peace and Lord of peace.
The first thing to make us lose our peace is concern and worry, but Jesus came to bear our tiredness and relieve us from our concerns.
He promised us that all our matters – even the simple- are important to him, even the hair of our heads.
And with the speed of life and lots of responsibilities, we enter in a circle of worry and concern.
Many advices “don’t fear, tighten yourself, don’t care … “
Importantly are the practical steps.
In this brief, you’ll find one practical step try so that Lord relieves you from concern and worry. And also, beware of Chemosh and his distraction.
In this series, we’ll talk about controlling thoughts and repetitive fall and inner peace and how to get rid of feeling guilty and the dead mouse and indicators of real Christian.