The Problem with the Safe Space
Take a moment and STOP. Clear your mind. Transport yourself to the safest, securest place in your mind. For these next few moments take yourself away to your safe space.
Are you there? Where did you go?
Almost every person in the world has their own private safe space. Whether if it is their bathrooms, closets, bedrooms, or cozy locations, we all need time to separate ourselves from the world and its clutter. What is a safe space? A safe space is a realm or secure location where we feel free from our insecurities, worries, and problems within ourselves or attacking us in society. The only problem: the safe space is temporary. The safe space has its limitations it may ease our consciences and anxious spirits for now, but it does not provide a definite solution to our difficult circumstances. As much as people escape to their happy places, find solace in meditation, or claim a verse over their lives, what evidence shows these practices making us better or more equipped people. It doesn’t.
Jesus’s Permanent Solution
How comforting is it to know! Jesus offers a permanent solution. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, take heart, the benefits I will describe are yours for the taking. Jesus did more then give the world eternal life. The abundant life is a prize to all Christians desiring to live their Christian lives to the fullest. Jesus says, “10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The definition of abundance is great plenty; an overflowing quantity; amply sufficiency in other words abundance means it is more than enough. The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He is a wonderful and selfless giver. Sparing His life to not only the children of Israel, God’s chosen people; Jesus died for all, so that all might get to know Him. Jesus came to give humanity “life,” eternal life by believing Him, but He also gave us more life, so we can live like Christ on Earth. In this abundant life Jesus presents the Christian with a set of skills and fruits we produce to show ourselves as imitators of Christ, give God glory, and to completely alter our lives.
One of the assets of the abundant life is producing spiritual fruit. A particular spiritual fruit is the fruit of peace. This is one of the most common and desirable fruits among the Christian community and in the world. Why? Well look at your life, I guarantee you not everything is perfect. There has to be something in your spirit causing your emotions to stir and twist and turn in an uneasy manner. You are anxious about something and eager to get rid of this anxiety. The night of Jesus’s betrayal, during the last supper He promised to His disciples and us the overwhelming power of the fruit of peace.
He says in John 14:24-28:
“25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,[e] ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”
Contrary to popular belief, peace does not mean freedom or absent of worries. The biblical definition of peace means “to be complete,” “made well,” “to be sound.” Peace in the Christian context does not mean we are not ever going to encounter problems or conflicts in our lives. This is not the Christian life nor is it life in general. The steps of life are plagued with adversities and trials of different kinds. Do not be surprised, the longer you walk alongside God, the greater the conflicts. The peace Jesus promises is a peace of sound mind and able body. We are at peace, because God knows the way of which we go.
Absent of trials does not equal peace. True peace is shown when we are tested. A Christian remaining God centered in spite of their rent not being paid, the diagnosis of cancer, or the death of a loved one—this is evidence of peace. It is knowing God will work everything out for our good and His glory.
Jesus promised us a peace that transcends all understanding but He never promised life would be easy.
Peace is not a emotion, it is not a warm fuzzy feeling, nor is it a sixth sense. Do not confuse feeling good with the peace of the Holy Spirit. For example, there are a lot of feelings in the world invoked by physical habits or emotional activities giving us release and a false sensation of peace. Sex is a wonderful example. How many times has a person engaged in sexual activity to receive the release they desired? It was not the act of sex itself (though it feels great) which prompted the overwhelming sense of peace, but the physical reaction of the brain releasing dopamine. Drugs, alcohol, escaping through music, anything giving a human this rush or high are all vehicles by which, a person utilizes to acquire peace.
What makes Jesus’ peace so amazing is that His peace empowers the Christian to persevere through the fire. While earthly advice prompts people to buy things to make them feel good, God desires maturity in His children. Going through the fire to Him is more important than having happy, but cowardly children. True peace has nothing to do with feelings, of anything the calming sensation many Christians feel is an aftermath of the Holy Spirit’s work. Peace is having a sound mind, a “well” spirit throughout the chaos in your life. When the world looks at the Christian, they should be impressed by our ability to handle the pressures and disappointments of life. Peace is not caving into our emotions; the moment a circumstance does not go in our favor. Peace is maintaining a sound mind as the Enemy tempts us to doubt God’s provision in our lives.
How to Acquire Peace
If we are to acquire peace, we have three basic principles.
First principle, peace does not come from magic, it has to be produced and is a process. There are times when we pray to God surrendering the fear of unemployment to His capable hands, and God releases transcending peace into our hearts. This does happen for life is unpredictable. God will always be our salvation, from the hills is where our help cometh, and only our God Almighty sits upon the hill. At the same time, God has expectations. He expects for His children to become effective, mature believers of the faith. Evidence of maturity, is the presence and abundance of the spiritual fruits in the Christian’s life. To produce peace, we recognize it is all about the mindset. Developing a mindset where peace is free to breed in our spirits.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
A dark and sinful mind cannot produce the peace and comfort an anxious heart desires. You are what you think. And if you cannot control or destroy those images in your mind—then they will consume your spirit and take over your actions. Before we act many of us think, and weigh our actions mentally, “why,” because thoughts, no matter how tiny they are–are always preceding actions. Likewise, we kneel at the foot of God’s throne praying to our Father in Heaven for a peaceful, restful heart, yet we grow frustrated and heartbroken when we remain stressed. Yet God has answered our prayers. Listen, Beloved peace will never enter a heart if the mind is not trained to meditate on God. Peace comes when we understand God is the source of our life and is the ruler of all things. Peace does not come just because we request it, but when we surrender the rights of our thinking, our mind over to the Lord. Peace is of the Lord so therefore the “peace of the Lord,” cannot dwell or be produced in a non godly mind. Peace is not mad made. Peace cometh from the Lord, so please renew your mind with the Word of God—then the peace comes. God’s Word originates from the Lord God and hiding His Word in our hearts, seeps into our minds. So the question is Beloved: is your mind a place where “noble,” “lovely,” “pure” things can be found or is it a dark abyss full of anguish and ruin?
Secondly, keep your mind on godly things. Have you ever noticed the moment you begin entertaining your doubts: Will I ever get married? Will I be single forever? How will I provide for my family? The moment your peace starts slipping, little by little, until your heart is unstable and your spirit frazzled. Think about God. Don’t limit to only thinking about God during your quiet times—let Him invade other moments of thinking throughout your day. Think about about God while you are working alongside the nosey coworker, think about God as He puts it on your heart to pray for your unappreciative spouse. More than that find times in your day, to hide and pray.
I cannot count to you how many times I have prayed to God during my prep hour while I am at work. Or when I go to the bathroom and pray to the Lord God about how much I need His guidance and instruction as I teach my students. The moment we quit isolating God’s presence and control in our lives is the moment we unleash the heavenly power available to us.
Finally protect your PEACE. Do you want to know the greatest level of unbothered for a Christian to attain? Honestly, the highest level of peace, a Christian can conqueror is the story of Jesus falling asleep on the boat, while the storm was at it’s fiercest.
“35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”[d] 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
This is greatest level of peace, although Jesus is the Son of God. He trusted the will of His Father to carry Him and His disciples through the storm. Remember, Jesus came down to do the will of His Father, He submitted completely to the highs and lows of the Lord God’s plan. Seriously, how unbothered was Jesus as He was resting at the bottom of the boat. Although Jesus is the Son of God, He lived the perfect Christian life relying on the Lord God to bring Him through it.
Part of protecting our peace is to remove anything, which threatens our focus and concentration on our Savior. TV, social media, gossiping friends, back stabbing coworkers or slanderous neighbors, let us not participate in sinful activities damaging our spiritual growth.
Recall Satan, our enemy is a thief. He is always seeking an opportunity to take away our joy. Why give him the satisfaction? Believe your peace is worth protecting.
All in all, Beloved as the world grows worse and worse. Be careful as to not crawl up into a fetal position in your safe space. Isolation is an illusion and those spaces can collapse, but the Lord God is our impenetrable fortress. Rest assured as we place our faith in Him we will begin to produce the fruit of peace.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! I pray it was very encouraging!
Copyright © 2018 by A Meeting at the Well