Peaceful on Purpose!
If you are experiencing peace in any way it is probably because you paid the price by winning the war over self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors. You've taken the mask off and decided to be authentic, which is a journey not a destination. As I enjoy this time of reflection during our Memorial Day holiday I can’t help but be so very grateful for those on whose shoulders I stand, those who paid the price and continue to pay the price for our freedom in this country. But as a wise person once said, “Freedom ain’t free” freedom comes with the sacrifice of self and hopefully it is appreciated by those who encounter its benefits. One of the most intangible profits of freedom is our peace and for the purpose of this blog, I mean inner peace. Freedom from quiet, disturbance or tranquility is the definition of peace which seems to define the world in which we live today.
There are so many upheavals in the land that we have to find our places of peace on purpose. Peace is
not something that is reactively entered into but proactively and on purpose- in other words you have to labor to enter into this rest of mind and soul. I do believe that there can be a sense of strong inner peace available to us all if we simply tap the source. Jesus says, in John 14:27 (NLT), “I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart and the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” That is an amazing promise! Jesus is not interested in quenching our temporary thirsts but revealing our thirsty places and giving us permanent peace in our hearts and our lives. You mean there is a way to fill this gaping, vacuum sized hole in my soul that causes me to try and fill it with all sorts of things? Yes! This promise is for you and me all we need to do is receive it and make sure we hold tight to protect the results of our promise.
True peace comes from acknowledging that we truly are not in control of most things and definitely not
people. I hate to have to be the one to tell you but you really are not the master of your universe, sorry. We can though, by faith surrender any problem and accept that for any problem there is a principle to put in practice and a promise to obtain that will prosper our lives for better. The question is- "Will you work your faith?" As well are you willing to learn a new skill set to see a different set of results? Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. If your answer is yes to putting your faith in practice then you will receive the benefits of this wonderful promise which entails more than a feeling. This word peace that Jesus speaks of comes from the word “eirenee” meaning one, peace, quietness, rest and even to tie together into a whole; properly wholeness. Wow, isn’t that an amazing thought, to be whole and not fragmented or searching for someone or something to fill you? Instead He wants us to receive peace and be satisfied instead of unfulfilled and always searching. This peace I believe creates a two way river that flows out of your life and attracts other whole relationships that bless your life and this river also cascades down into the lives of those who need to experience God’s gift of peace. So what is the peace Jesus is offering? His peace offers the assurance that no matter what is going on around you or in you that there is a state of blessed quietness and repose of soul available to us, if this is the lifestyle we choose. This peace is absent of thoughts that are on fire with anxiety- which only ignore your believing heart and steer your soul and spirit into being so distracted and divided that you live from a place of propaganda and coping instead of a place of wholeness and harmony.
In deciding to work your faith, do your best to not allow people, places, things or experiences to steal your peace. Sometimes we won’t set a boundary or speak our truth because society equates this as “being mean”, it is not mean to set a boundary that improves your overall self-care, it is good. If you have lost your peace you can do something spiritual by praying and asking God for the courage to regain your peace and the understanding to keep yourself in a place of peace. If something is really troubling me I take it to prayer to release the burden and then renew my thinking in the area so that any old paradigms can be met with new revelation. When you have new revelation your perspective shifts from, “I’m stuck, I can’t or why is this happening?” to “How can I see this differently, how can pray about this or what new knowledge do I need to solve this?” Hearing new revelation leaves you
with a sense of expectation that things are going to change because you have attached your faith to a Word of God. When you purposefully shift your perspective from fear to faith you set yourself up to see manifestation of your true desire and God’s desire for you. During times unrest is good time to ask yourself if you have done everything you could to be a peacemaker and not a peace-stealer. Peace-makers can usually sense and see God’s direction in a situation but peace-stealers will only continue to see the predicament. In addition, practically, you can also take inventory of what is causing you the most upset, really get to the core of the disappointment and ask yourself questions like these to get to the bottom of the peace-less pit:
What really happened?
What should have happened? Why do I sense this unrest?
Why do I feel disappointed?
What would bring me total peace about this?
What was I thinking when I planned this or made this decision?
Am I blaming myself, situations or others? Am I looking for an excuse?
Do my expectations set me up for disappointment?
How could I adjust my expectations for next time?
Is there a lesson or a silver lining in this situation?
Safeguard your peace by being in touch with God, knowing your identity in Christ, being confident about whose you are and who you are and what you really want out of life and relationships.
You will recognize peace-stealers when they show up because they show up in the shadows to diminish your God given right to peace, they show up to masterfully manipulate you by trying to gain access to you to deplete you, peace-stealing involves trying to slowly over time wear you out emotionally so you forget your identity and your core values. In terms of people, some will show up in your life to agitate you, hate on you or even try to control you from the background because they are unsatisfied in their life. They are the ones that refuse to go the Source of Peace or do their own souls work so they are led by bitterness that causes them to try to eradicate your peace because misery truly does love company. When they see you are not willing to bite they will either peacefully bow out and respect that you are making some changes in your life, proactively make some positive changes in their own life to remain in contact or they will leave because peace for them is staying in their beloved comfort zone. Either way pray for them and give them time to decide whether or not they will put up or fold and lose the relationship. Sometimes peace-stealers come through generational habits and bondages or sometimes through a person’s longing for love and fulfillment. Peace-stealers can come from a person’s lack of wisdom in their decision making process or out and out rebellion against the knowledge and understanding that brings them greater clarity and holistic prosperity. These are tough ones because they require cutting ties with old thought patterns and habits and doing the work of creating healthy new life systems both spiritually and practically. Further, an attitude of peace-stealing says, “I have to control everything or it won’t happen for me” instead of saying, I will labor to enter into God’s rest, follow his principles for my life and receive the benefits of my inheritance!
So how do you safeguard yourself against peace-stealers?
Acknowledge your life has been upset in some way by toxic behaviors you have identified in your life and be willing to interrupt their condescending cycle.
Admit that you need help-others may be able to see what you cannot where the situation is concerned.
Relinquish your right to have to see your answers come in conventional ways-do your best to get rid of limiting beliefs when it concerns a possible solution to a problem.
Safeguard through prayer, meditation and keeping your mind filled with God’s Word-this is the way you will foster and become successful.
Lastly, but not exhaustively rest in the fact that if God gave you his best in Jesus Christ he will stop at nothing to assure that you live the abundant life his Son died for you to have.
I had a specific financial situation that would steal my peace every single time it came time to pay the bill. I would fret about talking with the person or put off dealing with the situation. Even though I was doing everything humanly possible that I could to walk in integrity, pay the bill on time and offer solutions to the problem, it kept haunting me. I prayed, I renewed my thinking, I paid the bill but I hadn’t set a new outline for what would meet my need-I was fretting because the I felt the other parties needs were being met but mine were not and wanted so badly to pay it all off, on time, every-time. My problem- I was not speaking up to say, “While this time payment may work for you it does not work for me and as a matter of fact it puts tremendous strain on my finances and my household” and this is causing me astronomical anxiety! When I spoke out to ask for different solutions, possible adjustment of payment dates and told how this was affecting my family- the unrest lifted and I felt a sense of hope and possibility. Also in my favor, the young woman I spoke with said, “I will speak to the owner on your behalf to see if they would be open to possibility of moving this date for you.” Now, I believed God to pay this in full because I know God’s will is debt freedom for his children but I was willing to be open to however God’s wisdom would solve the equation. God's blessings are designd to make us truly rich and adds no sorrow with, niether does toiling increase it (Proverbs 10:22 Amp)! I thanked the young woman, hung up the phone and praised God for giving me the courage to confront the situation and opening a door that would work in my favor.
You see God knows how to deal with the human heart but he has bequeathed to us the dominion in the
earth! It was not God’s will for me to be anxious but instead confront and conquer to experience his peace and blessing.
The results of keeping a peace-filled life versus a peace-stealing life are-
Increased creativity and productivity
Better synergy in teams or family environment
Clarity of thought
Deeper spiritual walk and sensitivity to God’s voice
A greater sense of inner peace
The ability to serve others and sow into their lives
Better decision making; making decisions that are faith-based instead of fear based
Peace is not some happy feeling that comes and goes based on situations, it’s a well thought out, planned decision to receive the promise of God and live from a place of wholeness, harmony and benefit for your life, your family and even your business. It is not pretending that everything is fine when it is not instead it is acknowledging the difficultly and putting it under the power of your faith to see the divine outcome that will testify of God’s greatness. Your peace must be protected from the attack of the enemy of our soul and situations that come to distract us from oneness with God and oneness within ourselves. The Word instructs us to quench every fiery dart shot our way with the shield of faith so remember to put your armor on daily to discern a lie and run with the truth. God desires you to be his distribution center of wealth both spiritual and natural so do your very best to stay in a place of repose to live a life designed with pleasant and precious riches (Proverbs 24:4 NIV) but also and more importantly fulfill the call to invest in and improve the lives of others.