When I think of having an inner peace my brain somehow flicks over to a scene from Kung Fu Panda. In it Master Shifu is trying to meditate to gain inner peace and keeps becoming irritated by his latest, and seemingly least capable, pupil.
“Inner Peace…. Inner Peace…. Inner Peace…”
The scene always makes me laugh.
Inner peace, or a peace that goes all the way through us into our very cores, is something I think that we all wish we had. Life is stressful and sometimes it seems to take just one comment from someone to throw off our inner selves.
One comment between us feeling like we have out hearts and selves together, and coming completely apart.
Life doesn’t sail along like on a gondola. Generally speaking life seems to blow up in our faces, regularly. “Peaceful times” can seem few and far between, and they don’t last.
I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. Lamentations 3:17
How often do we feel like this is the place of our existence? The place in which we live?
But this isn’t the place in which we are called to live is it?
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
We are called to bear fruit in our lives, and one of these fruits is peace. We are called to be people who have peace! Not just to be peaceful, but to live as if peace is a part of us, growing out of us, and overflowing into other peoples lives.
But how do we live like this? How do we actively pursue peace?
Meditate? Drink more tea?
Did you know that the Bible actually tells us how we can have peace? That it gives very, very clear instructions? Take a look at Philippians Four.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9
Do you see it?
Let me boil it down:
Peace is found in the pursuit of Christ! Trusting Him with our lives completely, and pursuing and focusing on Him and what is of Him.
What does this mean? Do I mean that we’re supposed to become some type of religious nut that refuses to listen or watch anything that isn’t Christian?
But let me ask you a question:
What is stealing your peace?
Is it worry? Is it conflict? Is it our own need to be in charge of our lives? Our own need to be in charge of what we think and feel?
What is bothering you? Is it unforgivness? Take it and leave it at the cross! Forgive and let go!
“But I don’t want to!” You say. And I can understand that, but you’re going to have to understand that you can’t have things your way and God’s way at the same time. At least you can’t until He’s so changed you that your way is His way anyway.
If you listen and watch things that are full of anger and division and deprivation, why do you think it won’t take away your peace? No I’m not saying that you can’t have media that isn’t God centric, but the center of your life must BE God centric.
I’ve been talking about how the fruit of the spirit are all actions, and overwhelmingly the action that brings them is simply this: To let go of every right you think you have to have things your way, to set your eyes on Jesus, and pursue Him with every fiber of your being! This is completely true for peace!
After all, Christ is the Prince of Peace.
If you want love, pursue He that IS Love!
If you want peace, pursue He that IS Peace!
I feel like I’m getting repetitive, but the thing is, most of God’s truths boil down to the simple pursuit of Christ.
And letting go of ourselves in the process.
The thing is, we can’t handle this life by ourselves, we can’t handle our struggles, our challenges, our hurts and wounds. We need our Healer, our Deliverer, our Victor, our Defender. He is all of these things for us and more!
I don’t know about you but I’m the kind of person who has a hard time asking for help. I have a hard time asking for anything at all! I feel like I should be able to do it alone. I see people who seem to have their lives handled and feel guilty that I seem to fall so short.
But God has NEVER asked us to “do it alone.”
He’s asking, crying, pleading with us to let Him take away all our troubles, He wants to exchange it all for His peace.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Just come to Him, friend, come to Him who is peace. Let go.
~Joy Aletheia Stevens