I actually took the photo that you see on this post. I remember when I took it. I was standing on the balcony of a cruse ship next to my husband and daughters as we departed a port – we were all mesmerized by the beauty of this particular sunset. In that moment, we were all there together, standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder – in silence. The beauty of God’s creation was peaceful and captivating. I long for that moment again.
Isn’t that the way we all feel about vacations? We look back and remember those moments? Revisit photos and wish we could be there again, feel that again? I was reminded of that feeling as I read my Joyce Meyer daily devotion a few days ago and the Lord began to show me again (for the hundredth time – I know when I get to heaven the first thing He’s going to tell me is that I’m very hard-headed) that He has designed it so that we can experience that feeling all the time. We just have to practice it…. here’s the devotion.
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 TV, set some guidelines for yourself.
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.
6. Modify your life. Ask God to show you out-of-the-box ways to save time and trouble. For instance, when I don’t have time to do the dishes, I use paper plates!
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.
The bottom line is to make peace a priority, take practical steps toward it, and let God lead you every day into His perfect peace that passes all understanding.
Many of these are much easier said than done for me, but hopefully you’ll be challenged in the same way am – to start practicing peace.
Practice makes perfect, right?
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7
Which area from the list above is the most difficult for you? For me, it’s saying NO!