From a perfectionist point of view peace is an envied position that is always just beyond the grasp, slightly out of reach. The constant striving and motion to get it right leaves little room for rest and when you do find rest with it comes distress. The whata, coulda, shoulda’s play round and round in your mind in a never ending stream of MP3’s set to shuffle and repeat.
I will be the first to admit that I struggle with peace. Can you tell?
I will admit when I do have peace I’m worried about the peace, worried about what I’m not doing or what I should be doing. I miss the value of just resting in what I’ve already accomplished and more so the blessing of what God is accomplishing through me.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His
From a saved position I am supposed to be at rest, ceasing from my works as God did from His because Christ Jesus paid it all. I don’t have to work for it, yet I find myself constantly striving, working it while I’m kicking against the work of the Holy Spirit as I go.
It’s the constant war of my mind against my soul and God is trying to get in the middle of it all and bring me peace, yet I resist, poor guy. (no pun or disrespect intended)
There are many, many things that I have overcome in my life with God’s help. I’m so thankful He is so patient or I would be worse than burnt toast. He has given me the ability to work through many misperceptions I have had in life in regards to my weight, looks, intelligence, my talents and on I could go. Oh how awesome it is to be free of those things.
Yet I stand here in the year of our Lord 2015 and I face a crisis like no other. A final frontier of the battle of my will and His truth. I have gone so long without peace in my life, setting standards so unattainable, heights so lofty that I don’t have the foggiest clue how to live at peace, peace with God, peace with man or peace with me.
I am so used to living under a set of rules, a code of laws meant to be enforced with no mercy, that I don’t know how to live outside the boundaries of decrees in the realm of grace. I am so used to list with check marks and balances that I don’t know how to lay my head down at night and rest knowing that I’m not bound by the checks but rather God’s unending mercy.
To have rest or to find rest seems like such an easy thing to do, to have, to achieve. To me, the perfectionist, the one who strives to maintain perfect order, overall balance in everything and has checks in the all the proper boxes, it is a nightmare of endless possibilities wrought with failures at every turn.
So what does the problem seem to be?
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
These are some of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible. These came straight from the heart of our Lord.
My heart responds with yes, Lord I am coming, yes, Lord I’m casting all my care on you, yes Lord I am learning of You because I see You and how much You love us.
Yet like a disobedient child I get up and go right back to my nail-biting, pacing the floor, pondering the whata, coulda, shoulda’s.
Ah!!! I see now, the problem is me.
I’m focused on me and not on Him. For such a tiny word “me” sure carries a punch.
Isn’t it so sad that a child of God can get so caught up with being perfect that she can’t rest because her Father is already perfect?
I want to blame the enemy, that old adversary roaring like a lion, I want to say it’s all the devils fault but that’s not right either.
I am my own worst enemy~
I want to say it’s the enemy giving me doubts but God’s word says in I Timothy 2: 8 that I am to pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and without doubting.
I want to say that it’s the enemies fault I have no rest but God’s word says in Hebrews 4:9 There is a rest that remains for us always.
I want to say that the enemy has bombarded my mind therefore it’s his fault but God’s word says in Isaiah 26:3 that my mind will be in perfect peace when it is stayed on God.
Ouch that one stung a bit, oh okay allot actually.
You see for everything I can say in my life that is wrong there is a verse for or an example of how to face it, defeat it and overcome it. God’s word is always true. True to form God is always there even when I doubt, even when I am afraid, even when I feel I have to be perfect.
My thought in life has always been that if I’m not being convicted about something then I’ve slipped and fallen and God’s coming to get me. I’ve had people use that against me in my life to gain advantage over me. How sad that others will use your weakness for their advantage.
So I have grown up and matured into this over sensitive, driven individual who has transferred all of that garbage, and yes that is what it is, garbage to God and I’ve spent my whole life trying to manipulate Him to act like me at best and feel sorry for me at the least. Instead of God molding me in His image I’m constantly trying to mold Him into mine.
What, does that surprise you for me to say that?
At the end of perfection stands pride and at the end of pride is idolatry.
You might not want to say it about yourself, but I will say it about me because that is what it is and I want to be free of it.
There is only one who is perfect and that is Jesus. There is only one who can and has reached the mark and that is Jesus. We at best can and should rest and say thank you. Say thank You Lord. I accept Your peace, I accept Your rest, thank You!
Gratitude lost starts a trickle of selfishness, that morphs into pride, which in turns blows up into idolatry.
I am learning to rest, I am learning to be at peace. It has been a struggle but the word says we would fight and war. I think we have the misconception that the only battle we will ever face is without and not within. This is a war, a fight of faith and sometimes that fight is against our selves. If we truly believe that Jesus paid it all we need to live like He’s the only one who did. We need to stop trying to be the victim, stop trying to play the martyr of our own lives or else He died for us in vain.
There is so much more to living than resisting and being anxious. So much more for us to do than to be living everyday caught up in ourselves. We are to live our lives for Jesus and the work He has called us to do. Only then will we find the rest we have been promised.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Now, there is the key to me having peace. I have to lay my understanding down in order for peace to work in me. Wait, what, you mean I can’t worry, I can’t strive for a little perfection, a little balance? I don’t believe I can, for in order for me to be at peace I’ve got to give it all to Jesus, the one who knows all things. I’ve got to rest in the promise that He made when He said I will never leave you nor forsake you. I must believe that Jesus is the only author and finisher of my faith and I don’t have anything I can add to it other than child like faith and trust.
Pray with me as I trust God to have all of my life, that I will be molded into His image rather than He into mine. If you feel like this spoke to you at all, take the challenge with me and let go and let God have it all~
Much Blessings to you all~
I’m hid with Christ!
This is a really good post to read if you are struggling with the Fathers love for you. I encourage you to go check it out.
Finally I have a dear, dear friend in need of funding to become a missionary and I would be so honored if you would take the time and learn about the exciting things God is doing in his life. It’s a miracle that at this point in his life God is calling him to go, yet we see God do that very thing so often. If you don’t know Bill I also encourage you to get to know him and catch him over at http://www.bills-musings.com/ Go check out his link below to find out his great missionary opportunities and then hop over to the blog and drop him a line of encouragement…