I Am Because You Are
Updated: Aug 4, 2019
Definition: Peace- Quietness, rest, peace of mind; to tie together essential parts; the gift of God’s wholeness”.
“I am not enough”, This permeating phrase is so frequently repeated within the four walls of my counseling office. Unfortunately, this sense of inadequacy and internal instability is all too common in our society today. I would dare to assume that even those of us who claim to have Christ struggle in seasons with this same mindset. I know I do.
We each search for this sense of wholeness:
Some through self-promotion and popularity,
Some by filling their lives with friends and photos;
Others pursue perfection and self-sufficiency,
While some meditate or self-medicate.
Whether young or old, single or married, rich or poor, popular or private, male or female, we all desire a sense of security for our souls. Stressed, struggling, and oftentimes sleep deprived, our culture craves the concept of completeness at any cost.
Here is the question: What are you chasing to make you whole?
Do more. Be better. Try harder. These themes often perpetuate our unrest. As a doer, feeler, and perfecter, I often face the internal stress of meeting my own expectations.
But I have come to this internal resolve:
“I am not enough but Jesus is.”
Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “ But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He, Himself is our peace.”
“He Himself is our peace.” This changes everything.
Peace in this context is not simply a feeling of calmness, although that is the product of peace at work within us. Peace is, by its biblical definition, “the gift of God’s wholeness.”
What Christ did on the cross was sufficient for our soul's salvation. His payment for our penalty has provided us personal security. He is our perfecter, our victor, and our soul’s steadfast anchor.
It is this truth that calms our minds and stills our striving spirits.
Even as I work through this study, I find myself becoming more aware of my need for this wholeness-giving peace that the Spirit willing sows in the surrendered soul.
In Psalm 34, David instructs those who desire a good life to “Seek peace and pursue it (v.14)”
And in Ephesians 3:17-19 Paul describes the source of this wholeness we are to seek, saying, "...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (ESV)."
Truth#1- Peace is Possible
Remember the story of Jesus at the well, when the woman asks, “Where is this living water?”
Jesus' response within this powerful analogy saying,..” whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:11-15).
The woman responded saying, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty…”
Christ’s love is the living water by which peace is produced so that we may be filled with the fullness of God!
Jesus also tells us about the possibility of this peace in Luke 11:9-10 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened…
Paul also reminds us in Philippians 4 to, “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (v6-7).
Here is a simple step: Ask for the wholeness you seek!
Pray for the peace to see your sufficiency is in Christ. Beg God to fill you with His fullness when you are afraid, and keep going back to place your problems at His feet.
Truth #2 - Peace is Powerful
What would life look like if we did not fear the future? What would be different if we walked in the truth of Christ’s power?
Jesus reminds us of this in John 16:33, when he says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Here again, we are reminded where our wholeness is found. If you look at the surrounding passages of this message, you will find that Jesus is referencing the passage in John 14 and 15 which we have previously studied ( love & joy).
He told us about these things so that we may have “wholeness”. Having the ability to remain steadfast as we rest in the confidence of Christ’s power.
Here is a simple step: Place your plans in Christ’s hands.
This may look different for each of us but I know for me, placing my plans into Christ’s hands looks a lot like letting go of control, releasing my expectations, and resting in the truth of Christ’s power and purpose for my life.
Truth #3- Peace is Ever-Present
Ever wonder why some days you feel full, confident, and content while other days leave you feeling more lonely than ever? Me too. It is so hard to maintain a peaceful perspective when life is so inconsistent.
On days like these, I often take time to pause and identify the sources of stress because I want a peace that is not dependent on feelings that waiver.
Jesus reminds us of the difference of such peace saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (v.14:27).
This passage reminds us to seek an imperishable peace. Unlike the empty promises of possessions and people, the Holy Spirit (God’s presence) waits to be wanted and is ever-present.
Here is a simple step: Pause in Christ's presence.
When the world is waging wars within your heart and confusion seeks to steal your strength, pause in Christ’s ever-presence peace. Remind your soul of the Savior’s love that is more than enough.
Truth #4- Peace is a Practice
As I have begun to seek the wholeness Christ offers me in a relationship with Him, I have become aware of how easily I forget to position myself in the path of peace.
Colossians 3:15 says, “...let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”
I love this way of perspective. As I practice pursuing peace by placing my plans into the power of Christ's hands and take time to pause in the presence of the Prince of peace, I will experience the fullness of this Spiritual fruit.
Here is a simple step: Soak up the Son.
If we desire the peace of Christ to rule our hearts and transform our lives, we must simply learn to sit with the Son. By making daily choices to position ourselves before the source of our security, we will quickly begin to see the growth that can take place in a fruit-filled soul.
My prayer is that I would begin to surrender my searching for fullness in futile formulas and choose to be rooted and grounded in the peace of God’s presence, which fills my soul and makes me whole.