I often find myself, and others, battling some level of anxiety. We use other words: stress, issues, worries, difficulties, storms, frustrations, and fears. In every instance, we are challenged with having peace. Peace and anxiety cannot dwell together or even share space.
Jesus, in John 14:27, offered his disciples peace. His peace He was giving to them. What a valuable gift to give! But, of course, He fully understood what was about to happen. The disciples were still under a self-imposed shroud of mystery. Jesus had attempted to reveal the truth, but they struggled. So now, as He faces His final hours, He gives them His peace.
Jesus does not give as the world gives. He does not give it with conditions. How many times do we barter with the world for gifts? Someone gives you a gift, and you feel compelled to return the favor. Worse, you invite people to your party because you expect a certain level of gifting to occur. No, Jesus does not give as the world gives; He gives freely.
He didn’t want the disciples to be troubled or fearful. Instead, He desired for them to have a sense of mental and emotional stability. Of course, Jesus wants you to have peace, but it is not a gift anyone except Him can genuinely give.
As a pastor or church leader, how can you lead from a position of peace? Ultimately, it stems from a personal, faith-based relationship with God because of what Jesus has done for us. Once that is secured, you have the opportunity for true peace. Yet, it can elude us still. So, how can we lead personally, in our families, or vocationally from a position of peace? Let’s use PEACE as an acrostic to consider this question.
When you discover your purpose from God for your existence, you will find the beginning of peace. God has wired each of us with a goal that drives our passion. God gives us peace when we are fully engaged in our purpose. Leading from peace means leaning into your purpose. Passion wanes and pleasure fails, but purpose drives us.
Just knowing what you’re supposed to do is not enough. It would be best if you had context. Where can I serve with this purpose in mind? How often are we stuck in dead-end jobs and relationships because we did not take the time to explore how our purpose lights a path for us.
Leading from peace means we don’t just know “why,” but we know the “what, where, and when” too. So, take your purpose out for a test drive and find the lane you’ve been longing for, designed for you. Through this exploration, you will gain insight that leads to peace. Now that you know your purpose and how to best engage it, we need to align the rest of our lives to experience the deep peace from which you lead others in the most excellent way.
We know when we don’t have alignment, and we know when we do. When your car is out of alignment, it pulls one way or the other. That reality will create unpleasant experiences for you, which lessen peace. The same is true for your life. If you are out of alignment, it wears on you and tears away the peace.
Are you in alignment? No? I get there, too, at times. Alignment is about understanding the values and roles God has given you to fulfill according to your purpose. When we align our values, roles, and schedules, we maximize the moment through the power of the Spirit. Getting everything in a line creates momentum. However, all of this is a choice.
There will come a time, like the guys in the upper room in John 14, when you must choose a course of action. Will you choose power or weakness? Will you select purpose or personal plans? And will you choose faith or fear? So much of life is a choice. What are you choosing right now? Knowledge is power, but leading from peace involves a choice. You must, in the words of a famous movie, choose wisely.
The final part of this process is a sense of joy. Now that you have discovered your purpose, explored your options, aligned your life, and chosen to move forward, you can enjoy your life. Imagine getting up each day with a sense of purpose and joy! Imagine driving to school or work and sensing what you were doing mattered and made a difference.
Leading from a position of peace is that enjoyable. Also, your family, staff, or team will begin to experience your joy! You will become a walking testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ as you fulfill your purpose with joy.
So, when you have a personal explosion, peace can remain. When you have a family explosion, peace can remain. When you have an organizational explosion, peace can remain.
We lose our peace because we don’t have it grounded in biblical principles. We lose peace when focusing on “me” more than “He.” But we find that peace when we flip the script. On this evening in the spring of the first century, the Son of God granted peace to His followers, and He hasn’t stopped yet.