Last week I received an unusual request.
Not unusual concerning the subject, but unusual because the person who asked wanted to know detailed steps to having peace in her life.
Sometimes the requests I get are kind of like the desire to lose weight. We all want to lose weight, we just don’t want to have to change our eating habits.
This person wanted to know how to change her habits.
This is the way I responded.
1. The first step to having peace is getting to know God intimately. You may have seen the cliched bumper sticker: “No God, no peace; know God, know peace.” It’s a simplistic cliché, but it expresses truth.
Peace comes from God. Two verses make that very clear.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3, KJV). This is an amazing and beautiful verse. The Hebrew language can’t literally say “perfect peace,” so the prophet said, “God keeps us in peace, peace.”
God is the author and giver of peace. To receive it we must spend time with Him. Remember, the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives is “love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22).
Therefore, peace relates to our connection with God.
Having peace means having a life-changing relationship with God.
My daily routine calls me to get in touch with God early in the day. I try to spend time with God, getting to know Him. That comes primarily through spending time in Scripture, both reading and meditating.
It also requires spending time in prayer. My prayer time is more about knowing God then making requests or even intercession. Intercession, of course, is important, but it cannot take the place of simply spending time with God and getting to know His heart.
When we have done so, we are ready to receive the peace of God in our hearts.
2. Having peace means being in right relationship with others. I may be the only one who experiences this, but I only have peace in my life when the relationships with the people around me are right before God. Therefore, I want to pray through decisions, and I want to make sure that my heart is right with God so that my actions are right with others.
If your actions are not right with others, it’s a clear indication your heart’s not right with God.
Therefore, I have to correct wrong relationships. This calls for confession, repentance, and seeking forgiveness.
These are all very difficult, but they are essential in order to have peace in your heart.
3. Having peace with God means that God is all-sufficient in your life. This calls for a different way to look at life. It involves changing our thinking process, and it reminds us that we are His creation and we exist for Him.
But, a life lived before and with the all-sufficient God will be a life of peace. How did Paul learn to be content? Paul learned God’s grace is sufficient for all he needed.
In practical terms the all-sufficiency of God means we turn our desires and wants over to Him, recognizing that He is all we need.
I recognize that I haven’t given 10 quick and easy steps that call for no change in your life.
Peace in our hearts and peace with God does not come without sacrifice.
Let me encourage you to begin taking the sacrificial steps so that you can experience the peace God wants you to have.
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