Seeking Peace

by Rhonda, April 09, 2022

Isaiah 1:19  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land

Peace is the result of a lifestyle obedient to Christ.

I've been rolling that thought over in my mind this week.  I remember when I was a teenager, growing up in a small town.  My Dad, being a talented mechanic, had painted and restored a Mustang he found for $400.  When he was finished with it, my $400 car got quite a bit of attention at my small high school.  I remember zipping around town in my new car, feeling like I had the world by the tail.  I was sixteen, thought I knew it all, and I had an awesome car to boot.  

I was sitting at the stop light in my Mustang one day, and a strange thought entered my mind.  What if you started living the way Christ wanted you to?  I immediately shook the thought out of my mind.  I'll be a good Christian someday when I get older, I reasoned to myself.  But right now is my time to be free and have fun.

Its funny how nearly thirty years later, I still remember that conversation with the Holy Spirit in my car.  I didn't know it was the Holy Spirit at the time, but now of course, I can recognize God's prodding a bit better.  Isn't interesting how we view obedience to Christ as limiting?  We think by choosing Him, we somehow give up our freedom?  Our peace?

The problem with the teenage girl at the stoplight is she was struggling.  She was either completely egotistical or on the floor in despair.  There wasn't much peace happening in a life of such extremes, and she was always grappling to understand her pain.  But, she wasn't willing to follow the calling of God on her heart.  

I'm glad I eventually made the decision to listen.  I've had plenty of humbling moments since then, and I can honestly say the one thing I've learned is saying yes to God doesn't mean I'm losing my freedom.  My freedom is lost when I take ultimate free reign to do whatever I want.  If thirty years has taught me anything, it has taught me that I am rather incapable of running my own life.

I'll give you a humorous example.  About ten years ago, my anxiety was on fire and I was looking for anything to give me some relief.  My job was overwhelming, I was drowning in Mom guilt on a daily basis, and I was honestly just exhausted.  I felt like a failure because I couldn't keep up with everything.  One thing that brought me peace was spending a few minutes in the evenings with our Mastiffs.  I decided since I enjoyed our dogs so much that in my spare time (none) I would start a large dog rescue.  I researched the land I would purchase, made plans on the debt I would need to obtain, and sketched the kennels.

I prayed to the Lord to help me make this happen.  But, I could never quite get my plan to come together.  Instead, I kept hearing sermons on living a simple life, and I read verses that reinforced the "less is more" message.  One night, after some lengthy time in prayer, I was deeply convicted that God's calling on my life was not centered around dog rescue.  (Please note I have great admiration for those who run dog rescues, but it would have been a ridiculous endeavor for me at the time). 

I am so glad I did not obtain a bunch of debt and overwhelm myself by needing to care for fifty dogs when I could barely keep up with my current life.  Sometimes I have to chuckle at myself.  I can come up with some pretty hairbrained ideas.  But, God's plans for my life are always the right plans.  I was seeking peace in the wrong place.  Instead of buying some land, building a dog kennel, and overwhelming myself with more responsibility, I needed to turn to the Lord and find my peace in his promises to me.  His plan was much simpler than mine.

His plan for me wasn't immediate, though.  It required my obedience to Him.  I had to get some help.  I sought counseling, and I committed to going every week even though I didn't feel like I had the time.  I went on medication for about a year.  I studied His word daily, looking for all passages that pertained to my situation.  As I gained strength, I took control of my schedule.  One piece at a time, He simplified my life as He led me out of a very difficult season.

God's word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path.  Jesus illustrates His relationship to His followers by example of a loving shepherd to sheep.  Sheep don't have the pressure of having to lead, having to make all of the decisions, or having to map out the route ahead.  Their job is to trust and follow where they're led.  Even when they're led through rough terrain, the shepherd cares for them, binding up their wounds and leading them to stable ground.  The only thing that's asked of the sheep is to follow, and the shepherd leads them to safety.  Well-developed trust brings God's peace.

Obedience to God requires setting aside our stubborn wills to listen to His calling.  I've found with God I almost always have to let go of something old to pursue something new.  Leaving behind old ways is hard, and we're often tempted to revisit them in times of stress, but separating ourselves from our old ways frees us to move into something new with God.  

The price of being stubborn and foolish is often the loss of our peace.  It isn't worth it, not when our Savior has something new and exciting in store for us.

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment