It’s all about you. Know your ideal self. Validate yourself. Cut your ties with difficult people and let karma deal with them.
Google “how to find peace.” These are the answers you will find. The world will tell you the place to find peace is within yourself. Buddha says, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson states, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
I cannot imagine why this world is a mess, can you?! There is no shortage of articles attempting to inform us on how to find peace. No doubt this time of year, the time of year we set our New Years resolutions, people flood to Barnes & Nobles self-help department seeking the answer to filling the void. People everywhere are seeking fulfillment. The problem is, the majority of answers point in the wrong direction-inward instead of upward. Let me tell you, I’ve looked within myself and come up quite short.
We need the opposite of a self-help book. The Message version of Matthew 16:24-25 says,
“Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self.” Matthew 16:24-25 MSG (italics mine)
As I browse the titles of the self-help section, I can’t help but shake my head. So many authors and philosophers, all with the formula to happiness, all in one area of the bookstore. What would happen if we could read just one Book, God’s Word, diligently, daily, and truly sought to know It’s author intimately? What would our life look like then? Really, it takes the pressure off. We don’t need to come up with the right answers, we just need to read and obey them.
Tozer says it perfectly:
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” A.W. Tozer
We don’t have to feel bad about our limitations because it creates the need to seek the One who doesn’t have any. Your Creator can, and will, fill you to overflowing when you seek Him to find your peace and hope. Whatever else you try to seek may give you temporary satisfaction, but will come up short in the end.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
It’s pretty difficult to trust someone you don’t know. And according to Romans 15:13, you are filled with joy and peace when? As you trust in Him. So, get to know Him. Spend time in His presence. Read His Word (We are going to cover some helpful tips to help with this in the next couple weeks…) Pray and ask for Him to help you know what He wants for you. Listen. Trust. Get filled. Then…obey.
Ok, this is still the tricky part for me at times. The world tells us to take control of our lives. Without even meaning to, we fall into the trap of wanting to be in the driver’s seat without even consulting the maker and owner of the vehicle. Do you ever find yourself grabbing the steering wheel when you get nervous as if God was the careless teenager about to hit the parked car? Your life should look differently than those who are not a follower of Christ if you are genuinely seeking Him. Tony Evans states in his article, “To be in the world and not of the world means that the world, or worldliness-does not define your decisions, relationships, priorities, or even the cadence of how you flow. The King and His kingdom controls your methodology. Seek Him first.”
If you are tired of chasing after the world’s idea of fulfillment, learn from the example in Max Lucado’s picture book, You are Mine.
Believe me, the kiddos will enjoy the story and the illustrations, but the story was meant for us, “grown-ups.” Wemmicksville, where Punchinello and all the other wooden Wemmicks live, decide on various strategies and paths to happiness. Little Punchinello works hard to be “a good Wemmick” and keep up with the rest of the village. But in the end, he just falls flat, face-down on the floor. Luckily, he falls at the foot of Eli, His Creator. Eli speaks his name and says, “Looks like you’ve been carrying a big load.” Yikes. Haven’t we all?
Punchinello explains to Eli what he and the other Wemmicks have been doing to find happiness, and Eli takes him to the window to look out at them as they stumble about, elbowing each other to get ahead. “Do they look happy?” He asks. “Do you think I created Wemmicks to act that way?”
Eli puts His hand on Punchinello’s shoulder and explains that the reason he isn’t finding happiness is because he is trying to do things according to the village’s ways, which gave him momentary happiness, instead of putting his trust in his Maker, who created him for more. After spending time with his Maker, he finally sleeps well. Peace.
Give it up. Let it go. Surrender control. Seek Him before your own goals and motivations or what the world wants from you. Peace will be found as you trust in Him. And His promise is that you will overflow with hope, joy, and peace.
The message of Punchinello is the same for you, too:
You were created for more. Seek Him & you will find it.