1 Peter 3:
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
I think the most important thing we can do as Christians is to keep in constant communication with God and to also make a living every day habit of praying. Why? Because I think we underestimate how powerful prayer is when our heart and soul is aligned with good things–God things. 1 Peter 3 reminds us that if we’re doing good–we cannot be stopped..even if we suffer for it. It is important to keep a clear conscience before God. This is why we need to already be open and talking to Him. This is why we need to also be praying.
In a devotional I did called “Catalyst: Devotions For Leaders Who Love The Church” I found this prayer particularly wonderful:
Jesus thank you for your death, burial, and resurrection. Thank you that I have done nothing to earn your love, but that it is freely given. Jesus I confess that there are parts of my heart that cling to the chains of my past, and that I have knowingly and unknowingly held on to those chains. But Jesus I believe that through you I have been given new life, and so I lay these chains down. Lord, put to death the things of my dead life and begin to breathe freedom and security into my heart.
What a powerful prayer. Imagine if this is something you did more often–or daily. This way you remain oriented in God things and your shortcomings and struggles can be laid at the Cross–leaving room for Him to work it out. Think about prayers being physical balloons in your hands. You are holding the strings but God wants you to let them free. Once you let them float away from you, they ascend to Heaven–where they belong. Out of your hands–into His. It is then and only then that the Lord can put your concerns, or mistakes, or anxieties to death. His blessings can fall down into your open hands.
What can you do today to let go? To pray more and to open your hands for more of His blessings?
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