God’s Key to Peace in My Life

     I am sure that you have never been short, impatient or frustrated with another person or situation! What is surprising to me is that even when my walk with the Lord is humming along there are interruptions that can pull me off track.

     Our peace in life is ultimately determined by where we place our trust. Obviously if I place my trust in God I have peace. More specifically, it is more than just repeating the mantra to myself; “I trust God; I trust God; I trust God!” but is a trust that grows by living out God’s truth and hearing the Holy Spirit’s counsel. The result is that my perspective and disposition in life changes from one of trusting in myself to trusting the Lord.

     Let’s look at an example. Let’s say I have a looming deadline that is significant. Life does not usually allow me to focus on that one task exclusively. All of us have any number of responsibilities, plates that we need to keep spinning. It is often in the midst of our crazy lives that the building pressure results in inappropriate responses to another. The absence of peace is a symptom of a life that is out of balance.

     Jesus actually taught about this struggle. His point was to live differently than those who do not know God. First, we need to focus on our priorities in life. Matthew 6:33 says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus is encouraging us to adopt a Biblical value system that focuses on what God tells us is best for us. The context of this passage contrasts the “spinning of plates” (craziness of the culture) to God honoring priorities that result in peace. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).

     My inappropriate response to the slow driver in front of me is a red flag that there is an imbalance in my life. It could be that I am adding too much to my schedule or is the result of laziness requiring me to rush to an appointment. It could be a sinful desire in my heart to put my priorities before the more important needs of another. This imbalance reveals itself in my shortness, frustration and impatience.

     One issue in our lives today is often a lack of margins. We use the word “margin” when describing the empty space around the edge of a page. In our case the lack of margin could be the lack of blank space in our schedule and in our lives. Creating margin is much harder than we think. It is always easier to add, but we must realize it comes at a cost. Now this is not saying that your life will not be busy, it is saying your life needs to be a controlled busy. Most importantly a busy that you control base on Biblical priorities.

     The biggest challenge of living a controlled, busy life is learning to say “no” so we can say “yes” to our priorities. “No” defines the boundaries of “yes” in our lives. We don’t tell little children, “Yes you can touch this and this and this.” We say, “No, you cannot touch that, but everything else is a yes.” “no” is outer limits of “yes.” By saying “no’s” you create margin in your life to say “yes” to more important priorities!

     Let me leave you with three rules for creating margin. First, make your relationship with the Lord your highest priority. Second, if your life is over-programed, graciously cut out at least one low priority responsibility immediately. And third, going forward only let a new commitment replace an existing commitment.

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

Leave a reply