It's time to be honest with ourselves - our lives are busy. Experiencing God's peace does not happen as much as we'd like. We intentionally make our lives busy and our days so full of people and things that may or may not need to be a part of our journey that we, whether knowingly or not, to detract from the opportunities for authentic, spiritual peace to enter our lives. We need to reflect on our sense of awareness and the cultivation of a peaceful presence in our days if we hope to grow closer to Christ - an important part of our God-given purpose.
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Let's be honest - when was the last time that you were so distracted by the things around you that you completely missed something important?
For me, I would say it's a tie between the time I walked directly into a potato chip display at the grocery store because I was too busy answering a work email on my phone to watch where I was going (my apologies to Pringles), or the time I found myself blankly staring at the tiled wall of the shower with a proverbial tumbleweed bouncing through my mind as I tried to figure out whether or not I had already washed my hair. I was so busy thinking about the to-do list that I needed to accomplish later that evening that I was not at all present to the task at hand.
The truth, dear friends, is that we should be practicing far more intention on our daily lives, focusing our minds and our hearts on the will of our God, and considering what He desires of us. Experiencing God's peace should be of far more importance than it is. As His chosen followers, we have been instructed to:
"Set [our] minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth"Colossians 3:2 NIV
But we often lack this level of peace in our level of love of God. As contemporary Christians, it is our responsibility to contribute to the paradigm shift that needs to take place to bring our attention to the fact that God is with us in all times, and He desires for us to lead a simple, peaceful life.
But what, exactly, do we mean when we speak of "peace"? You might answer that peace is a state of absolute calm or tranquility, or that peace is the absence of war or conflict. And you're right. But experiencing God's peace extends far beyond our narrow mindset and includes an active connection with our faith lives as well. The type of peace that exists in the spiritual context is much simpler and can only be offered to us through our relationship with God.
EXPERIENCING GOD'S PEACE
The peace of Christ is dependent on our ability to place our needs, our dreams, and our very lives in His hands and trust in His ability to provide for us rather than relying solely on our own internal composition to problem-solve and get ahead. Jesus assured us that the love of God is full of peace when he taught:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."John 14:27
Those words instill in us the understanding that the simple peace of God is brought to us through the sacrifice of Christ, and cannot be influenced by the worries or anxieties of our minds. Experiencing God's peace is a gift of something far greater than any sense of serenity that we could hope to create for ourselves.
The simple peace of God is not something that can be seen but must be felt within us. We will not find overt expressions of God's peace starkly illustrated on a billboard before our eyes reminding us to, "Live simply," so we need to turn inward and realize that the tranquility that comes from knowing Christ dwells in our allowance of His presence. While we may not see visible indications of God's peace in our every move, we must lean on the understanding that His infinite knowledge will keep us moving forward with purpose, no matter how simply.
Experiencing God's peace and simplicity of God's care is beyond our control; we do not need to be involved in the management and blessing of His love. There is nothing any of us can do to interfere with the command that God holds, so our time is much better spent letting go of our need to be busy, and instead relying on His words of promise to us. God controls our peace, and our ability to grasp the concept of simplicity through our very belief in Him: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
THE ART OF SIMPLICITY
Of course, I am not recommending that we abandon all our responsibilities and forgo the busyness that is necessary in our lives to help us to thrive. But I am suggesting that we re-evaluate where our priorities lie, and if we feel that our lives have become too devoid of simplicity and peace, that we take small action steps toward de-cluttering our spiritual core - the part of us that knows God's answers do not lie in the rush, but rather, in the moments of stillness. We can encourage relaxation of mind, body, and spirit, and welcome a life of peace and genuine joy with the following practices:
When we identify the people and things that fill our souls with peace, we can begin to gain clarity and focus on what truly makes us happy. God's Word supports this practice:
"Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding."Proverbs 3:13
Consider the wisdom of your soul - it knows who you are and what you need to do to slow down and simplify the life you've built. Notice how you feel in different situations and around different people and respond to those feelings without judgment. Then, work on increasing the amount of time that you can commit to spending doing what you love with the people you love.
Answering all the emails in your inbox while you sit at the dinner table with your family is not going to mean anything to those people who mean the most in your life. While there are many responsibilities that are unavoidable, there is something to be said for committing to presence in whatever situation you find yourself. Understand that being busy does not make you any more successful or important than someone else who has already prioritized stillness - in fact, often, being busy serves no purpose other than to detract from the people and things that are physically near.
We must evaluate how we spend our days, and encourage ourselves to live simple, peaceful, and faith-filled lives; lives that not only allow us to thrive in our own pursuits, but in our relationship with God as well. We are to live a life of freedom and humility (Galatians 5:13), so ensuring that we are living a life that prioritizes the amount of time we spend in cultivation of our character and in the work, we do in service of God and of others is needed for a life of clear intention.
Use these completely free Psalm scripture memorization cards to reflect more on scripture and finding peace amid the busyness of our world. Just click on the picture below to download. Part of experiencing God's peace starts with reflecting and memorizing His Word!
GROW CLOSER TO CHRIST THE CHALLENGE
Our world is noisy, yet we've become so accustomed to the din of our environment that we have become immune to noticing how this constant chaos negatively impacts our spirits. We know that God speaks to us when we can find quiet stillness and focus our attention on Him, but how can we create and nourish that connection if we cannot find the silence?
Experiencing God's peace can start with creating a regular prayer and meditation practice. It is a wonderful way to get started in a pursuit of silence and will lead to a daily commitment of quiet. God is with us in every moment, waiting to wrap us in His warm embrace, and grant us the simplicity and peace that our busy lives so desperately need. How will you accept His care today and live with purpose, on purpose?
A Little More About Rebecca
Rebecca Flasz is an avid traveler, dream seeker, teacher, and lifestyle writer living and loving life between the mountains and the beach. In addition, she is a passionate free spirit who enjoys a good cup of tea, spending time with family, and being outdoors. She believes in sharing Christ with others through messages of love, kindness, and worth. You can read more of Rebecca's writing on her blog Sagebrush and Salt, or connect with her on Instagram.