Guard And Take Hold of Your Peace
And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
The only distinguishing feature you have of God’s presence is through that of peace.
The hustle and grind of life, work, and your business can become a source of stress, pain, worry, and distraction. You can work hard and still have peace and enjoyment. Ultimately, when you discover you’ve lost your peace and you’re unable to rest, it’s a sign that you’ve wandered out of God’s presence.
This can be from actions that have grieved the Holy Spirit and caused the distance from God’s presence or it can be that you’ve gone into “do it yourself” mode and are struggling and striving to complete your purpose or work all on your own without listening to the guidance and direction of God.
It can be difficult to remember that God knows more about our life and work, than we do. Taking time to seek His presence continually is a way to ensure that we remain in His peace, presence, and rest. Regardless of what we see, do, or experience in our day to day circumstances.
Not only am I a functioning perfectionist, I have a strong work ethic and love to achieve and accomplish things. Throughout my life this has led to countless times of burnout, frustration, and confusion. From the outside looking in others see the “great” things I’ve accomplished, but might fail to see at what cost. That combined with the drive that what I achieved wasn’t or isn’t enough… I found that this leads to losing passion and joy for things you once loved and life in general.
That’s when a simple and yet profound Biblical principle came to my attention.
There was evening and there was morning (Genesis 1:5)…
I kept waiting for the joy to come… As according to scripture; comes in the morning right (Psalm 30:5)?
But what comes before morning? Evening.
What do we do in the evening (conceptually for those who aren’t overworking like I was…)? REST.
Rest is not only a sign of remaining in God’s presence, it’s required to obtain satisfaction in what we do while maintaining sustainability to continue the work we do.
Rest is the Prerequisite to Effective Work
The Sabbath, the day of resting, was the beginning of the week for humans. Although it was after the conclusion of God’s creation of earth, for mankind it was the first day. Rest came before work. In our society you need to work hard before you’ve “earned” the ability to rest. From a Biblical perspective that’s backwards.
Like grace and the love of God, it isn’t something we earn. Rest is the prerequisite to your work. Being well rested physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fosters the best environment and energy for hard work and proficiency.
Think of nature… Your horse which is often seen as nature in its finest form. Do you think your horse has to strive, struggle, and work hard to be a horse? How about the grass in the field does it struggle to grow and be the grass it was created to be?
How much does your horse have to make an effort to make themselves a horse? How much does the grass work and strive to grow and mature?
Where does your growth, increase, and harvest come from?
I can tell you for me, my natural inclination is to say ME, my hard work, my achievement. In my heart I know it comes from God. Yet, this is something I must continually remind myself of when I am working on a project or goal in my business, when I’m applying for a job, gunning for a promotion at work, being a mother, and even when I have visions or intentions of what I wish to be able to do with my horses.
Going out in nature you find peace and rest, and yet there is much at work all around you. The more that you rest the more creative, motivated, inspired, and efficient you will be in your life and in your work.
Internal Peace is Possible Amidst an External Storm
Selah, the pause (rest) between the notes. Can you imagine what your favorite song would sound like with no pause between the notes? It would likely sound quite different to what you enjoy of it with the proper rest and pause in place.
Rest is the calm, quiet buffer you need to process, clear, cleanse, and re-calibrate. Your ability to rest directly affects your health, your relationships, your work, and even your horsemanship. If you’re living without peace and rest, it’s time to reflect and adjust.
You can have internal peace amidst an external storm. Your greatest asset is holding and maintaining your peace. Peace will repel fear. Fear will repel peace.
Think of a pair of magnets… have you ever tried to flip the magnets around? They repel each other strongly. You can’t even push them together. The polarity will not attach or attract to each other.
Horses are a great reflection of peace. They also are great at assisting you when you’re not at peace. Ever notice how your horse avoids you or behaves differently when you’re frustrated, upset, and have no peace?
Spending time in God’s word and seeking His presence and peace is an important habit that will serve your life well. I believe spending time in the presence of horses is another way to feel and experience a sense of what peace in your heart and life can feel like.
When you feel afraid, unsettled, or anxiety it’s a sign and invitation to seek, foster, and guard your peace. Align and seek the presence of God.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Most of us have been surrounding and grew up in a society of performance based and driven success. Along with a sense and system based upon urgency, fear, and lack mentality built into every aspect of our lives.
From a place of peace you can show up out of desire, love, and a place of wholeness. There will be times you don’t feel peaceful, and you might doubt that you “have” peace. But John 14:27 reminds us that Jesus has given us peace. Walking in peace is a choice, living in fear is a choice as well.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] John 14:27
No matter what area you struggle with finding peace, you can choose to release control and power of it over to God.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Philippians 4:6-7
Create space and time in your schedule to rest, connect with God, and to connect with your horse. You must make rest and peace a priority, it won’t happen on its own. Peaceful people are that way because they choose peace. My hope for you today, is that you will CHOOSE peace, the Peace that transcends all understanding.