Peace and power.
At first glance they seem like opposites; for a long time I believed they were mutually exclusive.
But true to form, God had yet another lesson for me to learn.
As a recovering stressaholic, I’ve been spending the majority of this year learning how to find peace in every situation. I’ve been intentional about creating a schedule and a life that fits my speed. I’ve implemented strategies, boundaries, and routines to ensure that my body is able to get the rest that it needs. And ultimately, I’ve done a lot of soul work to fully understand that my identity is not wrapped up into my achievements or lack thereof. I have finally grasped that I am a daughter of the King and absolutely nothing (and no one!) changes that, no matter how big my failures or how great my successes. This amazing grace has brought me a peace that surpasses head knowledge; my body gets it now, too, and as a result, has slowly begun to heal from the inside out.
In this healing process, God has graciously taught me what Paul talks about in Philippians 4:11-12 “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”
This is a beautiful place to be. A place I wish I had discovered long before 35 years passed me by. But I’ve struggled with what it means to be content, especially considering Paul’s next words…”For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
If we master the art of being content in this life, then why do we need strength and power? Why does God tell us that he gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline? (2Timothy 1:7)
Looking at Paul’s life gives the best answer. Yes, Paul needed God’s strength to endure prison and to survive when his “stomach was empty.” But he also harnessed the power of God while boldly using his gifts! Paul was a fiercely talented communicator. He was exceptionally gifted in the art of persuasion and his testimony is perhaps one of the most powerful in all of human history. Being content didn’t mean staying home and keeping that peace to himself. He took action!
His peace birthed his power.
This truth has rocked me to the core. For a time I believed that living a calm, stress-free life is what would give me peace, and that too many obligations, responsibilities and pursuits would strip that peace away. But Paul had it right. No matter what our situation, God’s grace, love, and salvation is unwavering. That is what gives us peace beyond human intellect or circumstance. And with gratitude-filled motivation, we follow Paul’s lead; we bravely use our God-given power to chase our dreams, live boldly and without fear, and to love others with reckless abandon.
Let your peace be your power, friends, and…
Live Life on Purpose,