"Give me some peace and quiet"

As I was out walking one evening, a dog started barking as I passed his yard. I kept walking and didn't even look to see it. He was inside a fence. I didn't feel threatened, and I knew I wasn't trespassing or breaking any law that his barking would compel me to obey. The situation made me think of the constant clamor for our attention from what the Bible calls "the carnal mind." It would pester us to be afraid or to obey some supposed law it claims to have made. At these times I have said, or heard others say, "Just give me some peace and quiet!"

But we obtain peace and quiet only as we learn to recognize what has real authority over us. The First Commandment counsels us, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). When we place God first, when we let God command our attention, we increasingly see His control over all. Everything else falls into its proper place, and we find the peace and quiet that silence the argument that there is a mind apart from God. The Bible tells us, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10) and "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee" (Isa. 26:3).

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