Friday, July 5, 2013
Peace In My Soul
Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Living in God's peace is vital to enjoying life. I believe that one of the keys to living with peace in your life is taking small steps toward peace every day. Here are a few tips you can use to develop a more peaceful lifestyle.
1. Be selective with how you spend your time. You may be trying to do too many things and end up doing none of them well. Hurrying is the flesh trying to do more than the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. Be led by the Spirit.
2. Be prepared to say "no" nicely. Sometimes we take on things we shouldn't because we're uncomfortable saying no. Ask God to give you the words to say no when you need to.
3. Resist the spirit of procrastination. God's Word tells us to exercise self-discipline. Do what you know you need to do now so you can fully enjoy your times of rest.
4. Eliminate key distractions. If you know you are prone to certain distractions, such as watching too much TV, spending too much time on the computer, spending too much time reading, etc. set some guidelines for yourself. Allot yourself a time limit or certain times of the day for these things. Though in small increments these things can bring you a measure of peace- in large doses they can be frustrating. TV shows get canceled or go on hiatus, internet services is interrupted by storms or you are in the juicy part of a book and every 5 minutes something else needs your attention. Arrange your time so that you can enjoy these things.
5. Set appropriate boundaries for interruptions. Life is full of interruptions, but you can learn to set boundaries that help you manage them in healthy ways, such as scheduling times when you are "off limits." Schedule time to give yourself a break. It can be used by a power nap or just relaxing in the tub. Make it clear that during the hour of such and such has been designated your "quiet time" and you would very much like to not be disturbed.
6. Modify your life. Ask God to show you out-of-the-box ways to save time and trouble. For instance, when I know that I won't have time to do the dishes on a certain day, I use paper plates and cups. I have a list of daily chores that I want to see accomplished before I go to bed and I stick with my list. Instead of trying to do every single piece of housework that needs to be done all in just one day I break it up into manageable bits spread out over the course of the week. This frees me up to spend time with my family and with God and still maintain a clean house that I wouldn't be embarrassed for 'drop in' company to see.
7. Pray and listen. If you can see that your plan is not producing peace, go back to God, pray for peace in the now, and for the wisdom to make changes that will benefit your life and the life of your family. We may be Christians but we are still human which makes us prone to go running off into left field doing things our way or the way we want the direction of our lives to go. Our way doesn't always line up with what God wants for us and when we start hitting bumps in the road then it's time to go back to the drawing board and ask God for a better way.
The bottom line is to make peace a priority, take practical steps toward it. They say that it takes 30 days of doing the same thing continually to make a habit that then becomes a natural part of your life. Start today in forming a habit of peace. You'll thank yourself later for it. Let God lead you every day into His perfect peace that passes all understanding.
Gently lead me into Your peace that passes all understanding. Show me the daily steps I can take to walk in Your peace for me. In this; both I and my family give thanks in advance. Help me to stick to this practice of peace until it becomes as natural to me as breathing air. It is in Your Holy Name that I ask for this and say Amen and Amen!