Living In The Presence Of Peace Part 1: Peace With Ourselves

Ok, so I got the idea to do a this post on peace after Andrew and I watched one of our favorite pastors preach a couple Sundays ago: Jimmy Evans. Pastor Evans is phenomenal! He preaches in a way that is so relatable and easy to grasp. We love him! Several of his books are on my to-read list, and they’re all available online through Amazon.

Picture courtesy of Gatewaypeople.com

A little background first: Right now, we are at a place in our lives where going to church and enjoying that fellowship with others can be a bit tricky. Some people thrive on getting up on Sundays, getting everyone dressed up and sitting in a crowd full of like-minded Christians. First of all… To each it’s own. Do what works for YOU — ALWAYS! But, that just doesn’t work for us right now. Do we enjoy doing that? Yes! But, right now we have a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old. So, when we take the gang to church, my husband and I end up focusing too much on our kiddos and not enough of the message. This drives us insane! We believe that it doesn’t matter how you receive message, so long as you’re getting you’re getting your said “dose” of it and sharing it with others. So, we’ve found an alternative that works for us. We either watch our local pastor online through Christian Fellowship Church or we tune into Gateway Church — a large church based out of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, with several satellite churches all over the state. They. Are. Amazing! If you’re in the same boat as us, seriously… check them out!

I digress… But, what he was saying resonated so closely with me that I just had to share it. But, as usual, he said so many insightful things, I am thinking I will need to do a multi-part blog on this. I want to start with some of the things he discussed about having peace with ourselves first, and then share some of the things he discussed about emulating our inner peace with others around us.

Pastor Evans has been talking about peace, and what it truly means to be at peace with yourself and God. I think many of believe we are at peace when actually, we aren’t. Now, I’m not pointing any fingers here. I’m just saying that’s exactly how I felt until I listened to his message. The bigger quotes are some of the main points he made. And then I will go a bit into how i interpreted them / related them to my own personal life…

“We were designed to in the thrive in presence of peace. God is peace. And, the devil cannot minister in the presence of God.”

Think about this. Do we or do we not feel our best when we are at peace? Of course we do! When we are in a place of fear, anxiety, worry, unrest, discontentment, discouragement, depression…etc., we’re not at peace. All of those feelings are a sign of the devil. Scary to think about, but it’s true. So, what do you do when you have these feelings creep in? Pray!

“Pray to transfer burden.”

God already knows your fears, worries…etc. But, bring them to him. Recognizing this will be like lifting the weight of the world off your shoulders. When I do this, I feel like I can truthfully breathe easier. Now, I am still very much a “work in progress” when it comes this. But, I am starting to become more aware of my feelings.

So, let’s do this together because remember, I’m still learning as well… When you start to worry about yourself, your children, marriage, life — all the things — Pray. When you’re fearful of the future, God’s plans, traveling, anything at all — Pray. When you feel like you’re stuck or just not content with where you are in life — Pray. When you’re discouraged because nothing on that to-do list got accomplished today — Pray. When you’re sad or depressed because you feel like the days with your little ones are slipping away — Pray. It can be that simple, if we just believe in the power of prayer.

“Make a list of your worries and call it a prayer list.”

When we worry day-in and day-out it can wear on us. Trust me. I know. I feel like I am the queen of worry + anxiousness. It’s something I have to work at each day. And some days, I still let those feelings get the best of me. But, when Pastor Evans said this, it was like he flipped a switch on inside me…

“The body has to live in peace to be healthy. Anxiety is not a condition. Anxiety is a choice. The Bible wouldn’t tell us not to be anxious if we couldn’t help it.” 

Go ahead and read that again… Mind-blowing isn’t it? But, it’s so true, right?! We choose to be anxious. It’s not just something that happens to us. Something inside us tells us to feel those horrible feelings. Stop choosing to to feel anxious. Put those feelings aside. Think happy thoughts. And pray! Did you know anxiety is the number one reason people visit the doctor’s office and are prescribed meds? That’s crazy! We need to stop creating our own madness people! In order for us to truly be healthy, we need to stop worrying and feeling anxious about the unknown, our kids, our health, the bills, our job — E V E R Y T H I N G — and trust in God’s plan. But, how do you know if you are truly at peace?

“If you don’t feel at peace keep praying! Fear is expecting the Devil to move. Peace is expecting God to move.”

Go ahead, read that again too! Isn’t Pastor Evans amazing?! Since hearing this message, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read this to myself. Stop letting the Devil in and start letting God take control. I know. It sounds so simple when you put it on paper. It’s hard. I get it. Again, I struggle with this every single day. I need to feel like I’m in control at all times — sounds like a “type A” to a fault, right? — But, the reality is, I can’t control everything. And honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to handle controlling everything. That’s why He’s in charge, not me!

So, take some time to think about these things as you move through each day this week. Being at peace with yourself is one of the most peaceful {how ironic} feelings we can feel. Take a deep breath, you got this! And, no, you are NEVER alone in these feelings. **hugs**

If you’re intrigued by all of this talk on peace, you can listen to Pastor Jimmy Evans’s message here.

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