Growing up in the Christian world I felt like I was taught that peace in your heart was an automatic result of daily quiet time, church attendance, serving in the local church and being a good person.
I have learned that though Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and that when you receive Him as Savior you have access to His peace, you also must pursue and receive His peace continually.
Peace doesn’t mean the absence of trouble. Peace means that even during life the heart is hidden with Christ in God, (Colossians 3:1-4) untouched, undisturbed by the world around it. Peace is resting in the One who calms the storm within. Only when we let Him calm the storm within can He begin to calm the storm around us.
There are practical ways we can work with God to enter His peace.
All the practices listed below do not automatically bring peace, instead they are designed to focus your attention on the Lord who is your peace. Ultimately you can not bring yourself peace by your own efforts – instead you receive peace as you seek Him.
- Quiet Time: Scheduled time with God. This might be the quiet hour before everyone else in the house is awake. It might be your lunch break with a journal and a Bible. It might be your drive to work with the radio off. (Related Post: Planning a life with margin)
- Taking Your Thoughts Captive: The battle is in the mind. While you try to spend time in quiet it is likely that your mind will wander to other things. If you want pause for a moment to jot down that thing that came into your mind but then purposefully refocus your thoughts back to the Lord. It takes time to discipline the mind and is a lifelong journey. It is like building muscle when you work out at the gym – it does get stronger over time, so don’t lament if you struggle in this area. (Related Post: The Battle of the Mind when developing a Quiet Heart)
- Seeking Him in Nature or through exercise: Going for a walk, or a jog is a great way to clear your mind and connect with the Lord. Some of my best times with Him have been while I was jogging, meditating on His Word and He gave me a bit of revelation or inspiration. Also sitting beside a stream or at a scenic spot can draw your heart into deeper fellowship with Him.
- Purposefully Cultivating a Life Free from Hurry: John Ortberg frequently tells the story of how he went to Christian leader Dallas Willard for advice in ministry. Willard’s main advice for Ortberg to stay on track spiritually was to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from his life. Hurry stands in the way of relationship with people and relationship with God. Hurry focuses our mind on what is next, rather than focusing on the present presence of God with us now. Being free from hurry does not mean you aren’t time conscious. It doesn’t mean that you arrive late to every meeting. Instead it means that you purposefully plan a life of margin. You don’t say yes to every engagement. You don’t pick up the phone while you are spending time with your spouse. Instead you purposefully value people and God. (Related Post: The reasons you let busyness run your life)
Life Coach Moment:
If you haven’t spent much time practicing a peaceful heart you can’t change everything all in one day, so pick one of these four to focus on this week.
Plan how you will build that into your week.
Quiet Time: Think about the space in your day. When are you most focused? Are you a morning person or someone who is more alert in the evening? Focus on finding a time that will work for you.
Taking your thoughts captive: Begin paying attention to what you are thinking and re-frame the negative thoughts to reflect God’s truth.
Seeking God through nature or exercise: Think of a place nearby that calms your heart. Remember not to make it too far away or else you will never take the time to go there.
Cultivate a life free from hurry: When the phone rings or you receive a text message, pause for a moment before answering. If you are in the middle of a conversation, consider ignoring your phone until you have finished.
Renew your mind in truth:
Meditate on Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.”
Everything you do flows out of the condition of your heart. If you are anxious or worried, you will be more likely to snap at someone you love. If you are afraid you will hold back from moving forward.
Self-talk:I choose to change my life in pursuit of God’s peace. Click To Tweet
Read Colossians 3:1-4
What are the realities of heaven?
God’s promises, provision, protection and love.
When our hearts/ minds are focused on the reality of His kingdom, the importance of what we see without natural eyes fades away.
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