I used to pray for peace, now I practice it. Here’s how…
Today, we are going to take a “Posture of Peace” by practicing 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 Romans 8:6 it says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace.” So, I’m going to tell on myself in this episode, I hope that’s okay. I’ve shared my story here before, about how years ago I was in the choke hold of anxiety and panic. And in that season, I was feeling so hopeless and really so afraid that I would be battling with this anxiety and panic the rest of my life. And I used to pray these prayers out of desperation, and there were prayers for peace to come to me, for me to have more peace, for me to be more peaceful. And I was kind of expecting through those prayers, like an instant resolve to all of my problems, worries, and fears like, that I would just instantly feel more peaceful and peace would just wash over me and wash over my circumstances. And when it didn’t happen that way, when it didn’t come instantly, I would just get more hopeless. And I would start to think these lies, like prayer didn’t really work and God didn’t really care. And I didn’t really have what it took to get better, to get stronger, to walk in the truth of my identity in Christ. And it was in that crazy season that I came across these two beautifully disruptive promises in God’s word.
The first is, was in John 16:33, when Jesus said, I have told you these things so that, in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world. And then in John 14:27, when Jesus said, my peace I give to you. And those two promises kind of prompted me to pray a very unholy sounding prayer that when something like Jesus, if you gave me your peace, where the heck did it go? And I felt Him in my spirit say, I’m right here. And it was then that I began to understand the truth. That peace is not a calming feeling. He is a calming presence, a presence that promised He would never leave me nor forsake me. A presence that the Bible says now dwells within me. So instead of praying for peace to show up in my life, instead of praying for something that was already true, I started practicing peace, practicing the presence of peace in my life.
We practice the presence of God by believing He is present. So when anxiety shows up, I practice keeping my mind set on the truth. I remind myself that I have peace because He is always present. And then I partner with the presence of my Prince of peace by asking this one simple question, what would peace do right now? Meaning, if I’m living in peace, not having to face any of the anxiety and panic right now, what would I be doing? What would I be doing in peace? Some of my go-tos have become, thanksgiving, worship, and laughter. And I have that those three things are some of the greatest disruptors to anxious or panicky thoughts. But you know, I’ve been practicing this for a while now, right? Because it’s been a few years that I’ve been practicing this. So it’s starting to get even more fun because practice makes permanent. So peace has become my norm these days. I still practice peace. I still practice the presence of it peace, but what used to feel like contending and struggling and fighting for peace and fighting to believe the truth, now feels like restful resistance. So can I give you a recent example of what this looks like in my life?
I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant. So my sleep hasn’t been as sound in this season. I’m usually up in the middle of the night at some point, and sometimes it’s hard to fall back to sleep and that is so frustrating. And at times it can, I can just feel my thoughts start to spin, right? Like 3:00 AM and anxiety tries to creep in, tries to show up and have me thinking about all I have to do the next day. And if I’m even going to have the energy to do all the things I need to do. And then it has me thinking about this conversation I had with this person and this relational issue I’ve got over here and I’m sure you know how it goes, but I’ve been practicing peace for a long time. So I know to instantly ask that question. What would peace do right now? Well, forget the time of night, forget the anxiety, trying to take over my thoughts. If I’m at peace, what would I be doing? I really enjoy reading novels. So you know what I do at 3:00 AM when I can’t sleep? I read enjoyable books. Sometimes I make tea ’cause I enjoy tea and I’m not needing to contend or shout at the devil or pray my anxiety away because my mind has been set. It’s been made up that the truth is the truth and the truth is that peace is always present. So in that place of total trust and restful resistance to any temptation, to be anxious or stressed out or worried, I get to just soak in the presence of my Prince of peace.
It’s been a really beautiful guys, even at 3:00 AM. You know, you won’t always feel it at first, but you can always believe it. And I have found that my feelings follow my belief. So today or tonight, whenever you are watching this, I want to encourage you to try this, “practice peace.”