Living In Peace With Oneself
Delivered by ASE Joseph Olorunnisola, November 5, 2006.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord” Heb 12:14.
Your values are the determinant of the shape of your life. If you value something in a relationship, you will not tolerate anything that destroys that ‘value’ and you will make sure that it is present and growing. These ‘values’ assume the form of an identity and character in every individual. What you value happens to your relationship and what you don’t value is absent. The greatest value of most people is money, position in life, comfort or happiness. I am not advocating misery and I hate pain, but I do know that the people who always want to be selfishly happy and high-up and who pursue it above everything else are some of the most miserable people in the world.
The most valuable parting gift of our Lord Jesus Christ to the disciples and believers is ‘Peace’. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. When peace is absent in the life of a believer the heart is troubled, there is a physical, emotional and spiritual crisis within the system of the individual and the scope for an expression of love is lost. Wherever peace is absent, the environment becomes like the wave of the sea that knows no rest. It is a state of distability of the mind. It is impossible to live in peace with other people if you are not at peace with yourself.
Four agents of destruction are often responsible for the loss of peace in the life of individuals:
Pride: A feeling of superiority over others. Looking down on others with disdain, scorn and haughty contempt. When you are driven by pride and arrogance, you end up having emotional distress, crisis and anger within yourself, and against your environment, particularly when you are not recognized or placed in the center of events or when you encounter rebuff and rejection. This destructive virus emanating from a sense of superiority in knowledge, position, riches, righteousness, physical build or beauty etc has brought kings down from their throne, reduced powerful people to puppets and rendered beauty to a thing of despise. In fact, it seems the greatest sin before God for which Satan forfeited his glory for everlasting damnation and perdition. “Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly, but the proud he knoweth afar off” Psm 138:6. Whatever transcendent endowment you have is a heavenly gift that is expected to be used in humility for the glory of the giver.
When you are proud, you deny the giver of the honor that is due to Him, for your personal self-aggrandizement and imminent downfall. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before fall.” Prov. 16:18 “Only by pride cometh contention (Prov 13:10) Those who are truly great are those extraordinary people who see themselves as nothing but the world sees them as everything. Despite all their extraordinary gifts, their lives are peaceful, simple, graceful and unassuming. Through humility and faith, Moses refused to be called a prince of Pharaoh, but rather the son of a slave. Heb 11:24. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the master crafter of human beings and Head of all the heavenly hosts reduced Himself not only to a servant but to a sacrificial Lamb for the world. Paul, the apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ admonishes in Phil 2:5-9 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God refused to make Himself equal to God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death.
If our pride brings us into difficulty, we have a choice. Either we can become hardened by our circumstances or humbled by them. If we are humbled we will gain God’s perspective and quickly discover that He is guiding us to spiritual victory. If we are hardened, we become disillusioned and run the chance of becoming bitter and spiritually short sighted. All pride has its beginning in Satan, and rebellion is the evidence of its presence. It is the most destructive spiritual virus. It separates you from God’s love. Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord, he shall not be unpunished, Prov 16:5.
Non-contentment/covetousness: You sacrifice your peace and engulf yourself in self inflicted crisis, physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually when you are not content with what you have. Remember that every human being is unique and the boundary of each person has been pre-established by God. Ecc. 9:11, Matt 6:25-34. When your focus is ever shifting to the graduating vanities of life, and when other people’s possessions now become the propeller of your ambition, you will never experience enduring peace. Your life will become a bundle of debts, crime, lying, embarrassment and restlessness. If your pre-determined glory is that of the star, why do you aim at the moon or the sun? Why not try and be the brightest star? Remember Him that says “Thou shall not covet”. Be content and you will know peace.
Untruthfulness: The act of lying is more damaging than the things that are being lied about. Our most valuable possession is integrity, but when a man’s life is shrouded in lies, his mnemonic power and mental processing unit become a restless pendulum. An untruthful person will always be in crisis of how to make good his/her lies and defend his/her deceptive ways. A number of people lie to please people, to satisfy circumstances and to look good on every issue, but their lives are never at peace because of the cyclone of falsehood hunting them and the perpetual fear of their lies being discovered. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death’ Prov. 21:6. The righteous shall be brave like the lion. Stop lying; lies make you good only temporarily buy thereafter cast you into and enduring indignation. Your peace of mind is more precious than looking good.
Faithlessness: Inner turmoil and outward agitation result when the lives of Christians are based on feelings instead of spiritual principles. When our desires and needs are not being fulfilled, we must look at our circumstances from God’s point of view. As we practice having this perspective; irritation, anger and the reflex to place blame will be replaced by inner quietness, peace and confidence. Is it really possible to face serious trials and still have God’s peace? Yes, but not in our own strength. The secret is learning to bring God’s power into our weakness. Our inner peace is sacrificed when our mind-set is on wants rather than needs, when our timeframe is immediacy rather than God’s time and when we trust on our limited power to resolve issues rather than the Supreme overriding power of God. With your power, terminal disease cannot be cured, but with unflinching faith, trust and prayer…God is able. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phi. 4:13. Cast all your worries and anxieties on Christ and relax. He is able to establish your joy. He will never put you to shame
You are warned!!!
I thank you all for listening.
ASE Joseph Olorunnisola November 5, 2006.
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