If peace of mind is a gift from God, and essential to living a purpose driven life, and all we have to do is accept it, or rather choose it, why don’t we all simply choose peace? Isn’t it a “no brainer”? Why would we not want to receive it? Rick Warren says, “We can’t have the peace of God until we make peace with God.” Are you waiting to receive the peace of God but won’t let go of that one question of, “But why God?” Why didn’t You do this thing for me? Why did this person have to die? Why won’t that person give me an explanation for their life? I’ll receive Your gift of peace, but only after you give me some straight answers to my questions. These kinds of questions are all wrapped up in the disguise of pride and jealousy. The gift of peace is sitting right there in front of us and yet we choose the wrong box every time we allow ourselves to pick up pride or jealousy and all of the questions that come with them. (Actually, in most instances, pride and jealousy are creatively wrapped up in the same package.) Is it possible to effectively walk in God’s purpose for our lives, know and understand our purpose, and continue to leave the unopened gift of peace sitting there in front of us?
I believe the answer is no. With that said, I choose peace. If receiving God’s gift of peace is the first step to discovering (or recognizing) my purpose, and understanding it, then I want peace. The prayer for peace had been a constant prayer of mine long before Michael died. I longed for peace on a daily basis. I knew it was the skeleton that held my little family unit together. Was the peace always there? No, but it was an intentional effort on our part to try to keep the peace. Having a household that is inhabited by the peace of God can, in and of itself, be the only witness that some people need in order to experience the love of Christ in action. I discovered something else interesting about walking with God’s gift of peace and purpose. It can make other people mad! When they can’t understand your peace, or the decisions you make based on your peace, it can stir up all kinds of ugliness. Isn’t that a peculiar thing? Often times, I think it is the freedom that makes them mad. When we are driven by our purpose and seeking peace with each step we take, we are freed up from the bondage that this world tries to impose through fear, material things, or the approval of what other people will think. When we seek God’s peace and live our lives with the purpose God put inside of us, we are not going to please everyone. In his discussion about what drives our lives, Rick Warren states, “One key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life.” I don’t want to put aside peace, and in so doing, dilute my purpose, in order to make someone else feel better about my life, my decisions, and the direction God is taking me.
Peace and purpose go hand in hand. Do you have peace in your life? If you can say yes, then you are probably successfully living and being driven by your purpose. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” It does not happen on its own. As we must consecrate each day and welcome God’s will into our lives, each day we must do as it says in I Peter 3:11, “…seek peace and pursue it.” Daily we must keep our purpose firm, “…eyes straight ahead, eyelids right before us”.