I’m a huge fan of peace. I think we all are. There is nothing like the feeling of being at peace.
I think it is because we were made for peace. Before the Fall, there was perfect peace in the presence of God. Nothing in chaos, nothing broken, nothing to make Adam and Eve feel unsure or untethered, anxious or ill at ease. And because we were created to be in the presence of God, we were created for peace. And even now, after the garden, we are offered perfect peace from our Heavenly Father, through Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We were made for peace.
And now, as we clearly see the world in chaos around us, it is wholly significant that we claim the peace that we were made for. In our spirits first, and then in our homes.
Because I believe you can have a crying baby, a whining toddler, a dog barking at the delivery person, a timer going off somewhere for whatever it was that needed a timer, toys littered over the floor and still have a home that is at peace. And while it is true that there is a peacefulness that comes from stillness and silence, let us not limit the God of Peace to our circumstances or our environments. Peacefulness is not found at a beachside resort or spa. It is not found in a good-smelling candle or a bubble bath. It isn’t only found in quiet or clean homes. Peacefulness is a fruit of the Spirit that we position ourselves to receive from Him.
For a while in my life, I didn’t live like I was made for peace. I lived like I was made for achievement and the approval of people. It is a very untethering experience that robbed me of a lot of inner peace. My inner posture would be shaken and distorted based on recent successes or failures, and then how other people viewed those things and what they thought about me because of what I had done. And when I discovered that those were the things I was trying to use to somehow manifest this in my life and that those were the wrong things, I found a lot of freedom.
Now, whenever I need to claim the peace of the Lord in my life, or my day, or even in a moment, I see myself walking in the eye of a tornado, with whatever circumstances life brings swirling around me. And I can choose to be swept away into the wind and chaos, or I can stay centered in who Christ says He is and what His Word speaks into my life. I choose to stay in the peaceful eye of the storm.
And I don’t think we can truly live at peace until we realize why we are not. We can all choose things to try that were never meant to be the source of peace in our lives. Maybe it’s success and achievement like me, maybe it’s gaining knowledge or noterity, maybe it’s in how generous you are or how well-behaved your kids are at school. I don’t know what that is for you, but when you find out, you can stop giving so much authority to things in your life that don’t have the authority to bring you peace. Only Christ has that.
And once you accept this amazing and all-encompassing gift of peace that Christ offers, and you walk in that peace, the peace of your home will be an overflow of the peace that exudes from your Spirit.
And I do think that there are some practical ways that we can nurture an environment in our home that cultivates peace. Now, I want to have a sidebar for a second with those of you who have been walking with the Lord for a while, or maybe you have been in Christian circles for a while. You probably know these verses, and maybe have heard these things. Maybe once when all was wrong in the world, and you were in pain, someone told you to just think about Jesus and everything would be well. And that hurt. Because they didn’t listen first or didn’t seem to feel any empathy for your pain and washed it away with a passive comment. And now these things feel cliche to you.
So to you, I want to say this. Don’t let someone’s careless delivery of truth make you forget that this is TRUE. The word does promise that if we make the deliberate and active choice to turn our thoughts to the things of the Lord, we will experience peace. And maybe in that same hurt or another one, someone told you to just be thankful for what you have, and you won’t ever feel anxious or you won’t have the same longings you have now.
But that is NOT what the word says, the word says that in postures of thankfulness and prayer, our hearts and minds are GUARDED (protected, kept, hemmed in) by peace. So, while we are experiencing hurt or longing, in the midst of it and despite it, we are protected by peace. These practices are simple and complex all at the same time. So, try them out, and see what God does as you position yourself to receive His peace.
Claim and Pray for Peace Over Your Home and Household.
Declare aloud on a regular basis that your home is a home of peace. Remind yourselves of the peace the Lord gives. Wake up and say, “Lord, I accept the peace you offer, and I claim it in my home.” Ask God to make your home free of chaos, and pray that at mealtimes as a family. Bring your kids into the discussion. Ask them questions about what things make them anxious and why, and then ask them what they think the peace of Christ could do in their circumstances.
Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” As we practice thankfulness, and as we rejoice and pray, the peace of God will be present in our lives. Grateful hearts overflow with peace.
Fix Your Thoughts on the Lord.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on” So, let us take that seriously and watch God be true to His word (because He will be). Fix your thoughts on the Lord, and watch your trust grow and your sense of peace become stronger because of that.
Peace be with you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Are you looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Pontius: email@example.com
Debra Kirby: firstname.lastname@example.org