In this episode: 3 ways you can start practicing peace right now no matter what circumstance or season you are facing.
Key scriptures in this episode:
Today we are going to practice peace.
Posture is a short, audible fist bump to remind you God is with you in everything. Together, we’re going to be emboldened to take a daily Posture of perfect peace.
In Psalm 4:6-8, David writes, “many people say, who will show us better times?” I feel like a lot of people are asking that question right now. Then David writes, “let your face smile on us Lord, you have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvest of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone O Lord will keep me safe”. Peace is very different in the kingdom of God. It’s not elusive like the world’s peace. It doesn’t have to be conjured up. It doesn’t have to be contended for. It can’t be lost, it can’t be broken, it can’t be stolen from you, because in the kingdom peace is not a calming feeling or a calming environment, or a calming circumstance, our peace is a calming presence. Our peace is not circumstantial because our peace is a person. Jesus is our Prince of Peace and he never changes.
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5, he never leaves us nor forsakes us. The Bible also says that we are now one with Christ. You are in Christ. Ephesians 2 is a great place to read about that. And Christ is in you. Romans 8 is another great place to explore this truth. So you are one with peace himself. You are in union with peace, which means you always have peace in any circumstance. If you’re in a place right now where peace just doesn’t feel very real to you, or there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of it in your life, it’s not an access issue, meaning you have no access to this peace, and it’s not an availability issue, meaning there’s no peace available for you or there’s no peace available in this situation that you’re facing or peace has left you, it’s none of those things, but it could be an awareness issue. It could be that maybe you’re not aware that peace is right there with you right now.
This was my story. I always thought that peace was something outside of myself that I needed to try to grab and get into me and get into my head and heart. Like it was an external that I needed to make internal. I wasn’t aware that I was in union with the Prince of Peace and that peace was in me, and that peace could rise within me and then saturate my external circumstances. I didn’t realize that peace was with me and he was never leaving. I thought it was something that would come and go, depending on the circumstance or depending on what I was facing or feeling that day. But when I discovered this truth of being in relationship with peace himself, I started practicing peace. I started partnering with this peace, with this truth about peace. I started practicing becoming more aware of who my God is and who I am becoming in him in every circumstance. It’s what we’re encouraged to do in Colossians 3:15 which says, let the peace of Christ rule. Let, just let.
I’ve been practicing letting for years now. And my awareness, my habits, my response, my reflex of letting peace reign is becoming more and more permanent. And here is what is so awesome about practicing into permanency the truth of God’s word, there’s always upgrades, there’s always more territory to take. In just the past few weeks, there have been a couple hard circumstances that quite honestly would typically ’cause me major stress and anxiety, but instead I have walked into these circumstances in perfect peace and I have stayed in perfect peace in the midst of the circumstances. It’s amazing. It’s amazing the upgrades that I’ve been experiencing, even in just the last couple of weeks after years of practicing this it’s just more and more and more and more. And here’s what’s so cool, peace is a driver, peace is a driver, did you know that? I think sometimes we think of peace as just this gentle breeze that like comes and maybe sits on our shoulder if we’re still enough, but peace is a powerful force.
The presence of Jesus is an empowering force in our lives. He doesn’t just sit there, peace drives out panic and it drives us, it propels us forward even if the circumstance seems unmoving, we move, because we’re going from glory to glory and there is grace upon grace in the process of practicing that. So I thought I wanna share today three ways that I practice peace every day. And these are just three ways that I partner my awareness with the Prince of Peace. And I am having so many upgrades guys, I can’t even share it all with you right now, but these are three things that you can start doing today, today. So the first thing is I set my expectation. I expect peace in my life every day, every day, good days, bad days, every day, in tasks that I enjoy doing and things I really don’t enjoy doing and facing hard things and hearing bad news and dealing with conflict, I expect peace to rise within me and saturate the space and the people around me every time. And here’s what’s key, my expectation is not set on a particular outcome, it is set on my source, my father, God, In lack I know he is my provider, that’s my expectation.
In vulnerable places and spaces, I know he’s my protection, that’s my expectation. In illness I know he’s my healer. In grief I know he’s my comforter. I already know the outcome because I know the Lord. And so instead of fixating on what I believe the journey to the outcome should be or what it should look like, like this needs to happen, that needs to happen, and that better happen, I’m gonna be really angry with God, I release myself from that pressure, I release him from that accusation, and I set my gaze on him alone, because he, not the outcome, is worthy of my trust. In the journey, in the middle of a circumstance, in the middle of the pain, the disappointment, the grief, he is worthy of my attention, my focus, my trust, my attitude. So I’m placing my expectation on him, and I expect and trust that peace will rise within me every time. And it’s all founded on this truth, he loves me. He loves me because he loves me because he loves me, and he loves you too. And so my expectation is founded, it’s rest upon, I know that he loves me, I know that he’s for me, and I know that he will keep his word.
The second thing I do is I live in denial. Now, let me just say, there is an accusation out there that the enemy uses to target those of us who live by faith. And that accusation is you live in denial, you’re making this up, you’re not in touch with reality, you’re not being realistic, you’re not paying attention. When you choose to trust God, when you choose to take him at his word to believe what he has said, you’re gonna live in denial of some things, you’re gonna live in denial of hopelessness. You don’t have to ignore the facts, you don’t have to ignore the diagnosis, the bad news, the grief, the conflict, absolutely not, I’m not talking about living in denial of those things, but what I’m talking about is when you live by his word, you will see the facts that you’re facing very differently. You’ll respond to them very differently. You have the facts but the facts don’t have you, you’re not subject to them. They don’t have the final say over your life. Not because you said, not because I said, but because he said. And when we deny hopelessness in our circumstance and situation, we agree with what he said.
Now, I know that this is easier in short-term circumstances, but what about those long circumstances? What about those circumstances that have lasted months or even years? The lie of the long battle or the lie of the recurring battle, says there’s no hope because it’s always going to be this way. But the enemy’s intentions, hold no weight against the purposes of God. And his primary purpose is found in Genesis 1:26, it’s to make you and me in his image and likeness, and as he is, so are we in this world, 1 John 4:17. So it won’t always be this way because you won’t always be this way, you’re changing, you’re transforming, you’re becoming more aware of who he is in you and who you are in him. There are circumstances that I have been dealing with for years and it’s hard and it’s painful. But in these years I have become more aware of the truth and there is an unshakableness that has formed within me that wasn’t there at the start. I am walking in my true identity like never before, and the long battle has not depleted me because he has been my strength. Even though the circumstance is still there, it already isn’t what it was at the start because my eyes have opened and I’m seeing it differently and I’m walking in it differently, and you can walk in your circumstances differently too.
Now the third thing I do is I give thanks, I really live thanks. Now, before you roll your eyes and bounce away and go to the next video, please hear me. This is not about pretending that you’re fine and trying to cover your pain with platitudes. What I’m talking about is wholehearted, targeted thanksgiving based in the truth of who our God is, not in what we may be feeling or not feeling. Now I have been scared, I have been in some terrifying, tormenting situations. And I know that some of you watching right now are in some very scary situations right now. Some of you that are watching are in life-threatening situations, and I know what that is like. So I do not play light here, what I am sharing with you is not a theory to me, it’s the truth, and it’s a truth that has been tested and proven over and over again. I have not found a more powerful disruptor to fear and torment than thanksgiving. Something shifts in the spiritual realm when the people of God give thanks. Thanksgiving not only sharpens your awareness and aligns you with the truth, but it completely disrupts the plans of the enemy, it disrupts and disengages discouragement in our life, it disempowers fear, it drowns out torment, and it engages our hearts in the victory of Jesus. It makes us participants, it’s something that is released that makes us partakers of that divine nature. So give thanks for what is true today. And what is true is that he is with you, he is for you and you belong to him.
I wanna encourage you that the proof of his presence, the proof of peace is not found in what you may currently be feeling. The proof is found in his word and it’s found in what he has promised. And he has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and he’s promised to be our Prince of Peace. He’s given us his peace. So I wanna encourage you this week to practice peace and do these three things wholeheartedly, set your expectation, live in denial of hopelessness, and live out things. Now, there is no reason to get legalistic with this, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So, don’t use this as something to beat yourself up about, don’t be upset if you have to, you know, if you’ve let go of the practice and then you have to pick it back up again and start again, that’s okay, it’s practice, this is about being invited into living in a greater awareness of what is already yours in Jesus. You already have peace. You’re becoming more and more aware of that peace each and every day. Place your attention on the right thing. This is not about perfect performance, it’s about patient practice. And I’m here to tell you, I am living proof that practicing peace will make it permanent in your life.