Peace

I’ve mentioned Stepping Heavenward (by Mrs. E. Prentiss) before, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good novel to read. Not only is it a good story, but it is also a good study book about humility, servitude, and contentedness. I was looking through it again the other day, and came across a section I had underlined. The preacher in the book had helpfully given the troubled main character a list called Four Steps That Lead to Peace. I think they’re really great, and so I’ve decided to elaborate a little on each one.
 

1. Be desirous of doing the will of another, rather than thine own.

Servitude

We ought to desire better for others rather than always looking out for our own interests. This world does not revolve around me, not everything has to benefit me, and really, the last thing on my mind should be “me.” In a generation that is all about ME, ME, ME, it may be hard to begin thinking of ourselves last and least, but this is the way God intended it to be. Even Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was selfless and humble, always putting others before Himself.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5) 

2. Choose always to have less, rather than more.

Satisfaction

The saying, “Less is more” is really a true statement. We shouldn’t desire to have things, always looking to attain more, more, more. God wants us to have everything we need (Matthew 6:28-32), but He also wants us to be grateful and content with the blessings He has given us. Paul had known both riches and poverty, and he said he had learned that no matter what happened to him, he could be content.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:11-13)

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Matthew 6:28-32)

So count your blessings, focus on being happy, and look heavenward! 

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

3. Seek always the lowest place, and to be inferior to every one.

Selflessness

This is probably one of the most unnatural characteristics to a human. It is completely normal to want what is best for ourselves, to take extra personal care for our well-being. But really, we oftentimes take this to the extreme. Yes, we should love ourselves; (we are made by a wonderful Creator!) but  the world today totally takes the “love yourself” idea way out of context. The world tells us to “do what makes you happy,” to “love yourself first, and everything else will fall into place.” But as imitators of Christ, we are dead to the world and to ourselves, and hidden in Christ. What people see in me should be a reflection of Him who lives in me. The world hated Him, and so of course they will hate us too if we’re living right. But being inferior shouldn’t scare us; it should motivate us to continue modeling ourselves after our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate example of humility and selflessness.

And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:7-11)

4. Wish always and pray, that the will of God may be wholly fulfilled in thee.

Submission

Remember Jesus’ humility? Even He, THE Son of God, always desired God’s will to be done above all else, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) 

It can be a hard thing to do, letting go of what we want, letting go of our worry, and letting God take care of things, but it brings true peace when we do wholly give Him the controls and begin to have faith in Him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We belong to God, and we should desire to do His will, to follow His plans, and trust in Him completely!

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.(Romans 12:1-2)

 

Have a blessed day!
~Courtney

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s