Peace is flowing in God’s river … at His pace … —Dr. Lepora
Have you ever had a moment that you completely surrendered a decision or an act to God? In that moment you said, “God have your way. Have your way.” And you meant it when you said it. When we are able to totally surrender to God, there is a peace that comes over us that surpasses all of our possible understanding (Philippians 4:7). Oftentimes, we may not understand why we are so calm given the perceived severity of a situation. We may not understand why there are no tears falling even though what may be taking place or about to occur is very far from what we had originally planned. When we marry our own calendars, it places us in a painful bind when the days don’t fall the way that we would desire or people do not behave in ways that we would have predicted. There is a Jewish proverb that simply states, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that God is laughing at our plans or desires. In fact, I think that it is quite the contrary. God wants His children to be filled with joy. He wants your desires to be pleased. However, everything is within His order. When we lived with our parents, they wanted us to be happy. I am not so naïve as to say that there are no bad parents out there. However, most parents have one thing in common: they want joy for their children. Our parents are not higher, kinder or more caring than God. God wants joy for us. Yet, just like our parents, God will not force His gifts upon you if you do not want to live in His House and live by His Rules. Yes, God pours grace all over us. Yes, he gives us mercy and lets it rain like water. However, there are often consequences to disobedience: the action and inaction that contradict God’s desires and requests. He has blessed us with self-will and allows us to drive to our own destiny for the most part. Sometimes, God will take His children out of the race before He will let us destroy ourselves spiritually. The spirit is far more powerful, meaningful and important than the body. He will allow His children that He loves dearly to lose their bodies before He allows us to lose our spirits, which is our direct connection to Him. If you box or wrestle with God, you will get hurt. Jacob, God’s wonderful child, wrestled with Him and came out with a permanent limp (Genesis 32:23-30). That is not to say that God will not answer fervent prayers or provide undeserving forgiveness and favor. However, you need to be on God’s side, not against Him. Otherwise, you may not be able to predict the possible consequences. We can ask for many things in God’s name and He will deliver. However, our requests cannot be against His beautiful and perfect will. Once you know what His Perfect Will is or is not, do yourself a favor and acquiesce.
P.S. Answer these questions to give yourself some food for thought…
1. When have you had to wait for God to answer your prayers? How did you feel when you received the answer
2. How do you feel when God’s answer is No to a request that you have made?
3. How do you maintain faith in God’s Word while accepting His answer of No?
4. Why is it important to accept God’s answer of No versus changing it to our own answer of Yes?
There is one thing that everyone wants- and that is joy! We all say that we want to be happy, when what we really want is joy. Happiness is for the moment with the given situation. Joy is a state of mind, heart and being that we can carry with us anywhere to, and in any situation.
Have you ever wanted something or wanted to go somewhere really badly? You felt as if once I get ____ or go to ____, I will be so happy. I can’t wait until God gives me this new job or new car, etc… Only to find out that once you get it, it’s not what you expected that it would be or the direct happiness from it is short lived. Next we’re on to the next thing or goal that we desire. Complaining about the other thing that is slightly less annoying than the problem just solved.
Joy is different. Joy is in your belly. It is that appreciation and gratitude that resounds inside. It’s that steady contentment that never goes away no matter how much the people at work annoy you or whatever disappointments may come.
In order to get that real joy, authentic joy we have to look to God when living our lives. A relationship with God allows us to realize that there is someone who is taking care of us and has our back in any situation. A relationship with God will lead us to follow His direction and go after what is good for us.
A relationship with God gives us peace. Peace in knowing that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and have what we are supposed to have. Peace is a prerequisite to joy. We can have happy moments without peace, but we cannot have sustained joy without having peace in knowing that we are on a path that will have eternal meaning vs. a short lived celebration. Only God can provide authentic joy that lasts forever.
P.S. Before you make any more goals, pray to God to ensure that what you think is best for you truly is.