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Sitting and hoping for food to appear is absolutely ridiculous.

Yet, you and I often do this exact thing when it comes to what we say we want to experience in our lives.

When things are extremely busy or I’m working on interesting projects, I forget about eating.

On days that are slower or involve more mundane or tedious tasks, I find myself thinking about food as lunch time approaches.

I can sit and hope that someone will bring me a treat, snack, lunch, or my favorite Starbucks coffee (Pumpkin Spice Latte). However, the truth is, if I want a snack, or a special coffee, or lunch, while I’m at work, I need to prepare and bring it, or go and get it.

Hope matters, we’ve got to have it, but we’ve got to hope in God for what we can’t do, not for what he’s enabled us to do.

He’s given us gifts and the power to receive the benefits of these gifts.

I remember the first time I experienced a Beth Moore Bible Study, and it dawned on me what a gift it was.

To have someone study the Bible for hours, pull together scriptures and interesting stories all to reveal profound truths and aha moments, is a huge gift. Especially as a busy mom who could barely find five minutes alone to read a scripture in the bathroom, let alone study the Bible. It may have taken me ten times as long, but I slowly devoured Beth’s gift one page at a time.

However, if we never open her Bible Study, read it, fill in the blanks, listen to the DVD’s, or allow God to speak to our hearts, it’s not of much use to us.

I wonder what gifts we have been given by God that we leave sitting on the table every day of the week? Maybe we’ve even hoped for the outcome these gifts bring, but we’ve not learned to utilize what’s been given to us.

We are drawn to “already done for you” presents or services that others offer. Let’s use them, not waste them.

Peace can be one of those gifts. We want peace. If we are a believer, God has given us peace. This is easy enough right?

Not always! If it were that easy every believer would have it all of the time.

God has given us the instructions, in His Word, on how to activate and let peace rule in our lives. In other words, He’s given us the steps to take, on how to use the gift He’s given us. We have to make up our mind to take the steps in order to receive the wanted results.

Here’s how to shut peace out of our lives:

  • If we repeat our problems all day long, I can promise you that peace won’t be found.
  • If we gripe about everything that is going wrong in our lives, peace will escape us.
  • If ALL of our prayers are telling God our problems over and over again and begging or demanding our deliverance, peace will be hard to come by.
  • If we take on the identity of our circumstances, failures, or shortcomings, peace will seem delusional.
  • If we allow overwhelm to take over each time our life shifts in the opposite direction as we hoped, peace will seem just out of our grasp once again.

Here’s how to create space for peace to flow:

  • If we shape our worries into faith filled prayers, with thanksgiving, peace will begin to invade our hearts (Philippians 4:6-7).
  • If we repeat God’s Word more than our words and speak into existence what is not, our mind will be transformed and peace will enter in.
  • If we determine in our hearts to believe God’s Word over the circumstances we see, peace will permeate our hearts.
  • If we feed our faith with Godly encouragement we will discover peace filling us up.
  • If we refuse to believe the lies of the enemy and the overwhelm he wants us to carry, the pathway will be open for peace to rush in.

All of these actions are decisions we make. One set is intentional and creates the open space for peace to come in.

The other are human defaults we often fall into that shut peace out.

We get to decide.

“And LET the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…And always be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

This doesn’t just happen with “peace” y’all. I bet you and I can think of lots of things we want to have or experience in our lives.

God desires to see us live out all the gifts He’s given you and I that we might walk in freedom here on earth into eternity.

He’s done the heavy lifting on the cross; He’s accomplished the ultimate “already done for you” gift and sent it our way. He’s conquered it all on our behalf.

It’s up to us now. Will we believe? Will we follow the activation instructions and utilize all we’ve been given? It’s right at our finger tips.

Believe me, this hits me right between the eyes too. I think if you and I could grasp the miracle that happens in us, through obedience to His Word, and the freedom that comes with His gifts at work in us, we’d jump a lot faster on doing what God says to do.

Maybe we would not get as stuck and stubborn in our own ways.

Obedience and faith are the keys that unlocks the gifts God has given us all.

If you are not a believer, than trying to obey these instructions is an absolute disaster.

When we are a believer, God enables us to do what he calls us to do, by His Spirit and power working in us, if we let Him.

So not only has he given us the “already done it for you” gift, He’s provided us the activation instructions, and the power to follow through with them. Now that is a beautiful gift.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13).

In this journey with you friend.

None of us get it right all of the time. We all need God every moment of every day.

Sometimes we may need a gentle nudge in the right direction and other times we may need a swift kick in the rear to get ourselves back on track. May this be which ever one of those that you need today. Insert a “smile” and “winking at you” emoji right here.

Either way, I’m cheering you on friend! You got this!

Joelle Povolni

P.S. If you have enjoyed this post, I think you’ll love, Let Peace Rule.

I gotcha covered friend. Believe me I need all of the help I can get too. Maybe we’ll get this thing mostly right one day. . . when we get to heaven.

Oh, by the way, God can give us His peace when we’re not cooperating and our lives feel like they are turned upside down-no doubt. God can do anything He wants and of course He’s able. Just saying. 🙂 But if we want to experience His peace on a regular basis, it sure helps to be willing to practice His ways, and not so much of our own. Just a piece of advise from this 44 year old who’s done it both ways.

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