. . . and the God of peace will be with you.
The Struggle for Control
Obedience seemed like such a yucky concept to us as children. It felt like we were always being told what to do. It didn’t seem like there was much of a reward in exchange for not getting to do what we wanted. Our flesh took offense at the idea of not being autonomous. We didn’t like to obey the directions and heeding of someone other than ourselves. We foolishly believed our own ways to be the very best and most fruitful for our flourishing.
For some of us, the authority figures in our lives didn’t demonstrate the value of obedience by leading their families well; for others, our human nature rubbed against the concept of submission to authority in all the wrong ways.
Wired for His Ways
But there’s something to be said about obedience as a whole: God the Creator designed a world where His creation would thrive as they lived their lives in submission to His will. Chapter 4 of Philippians demonstrates the fullness of life everlasting that can be ours for the taking. Despite our circumstances, His peace can be ours as we surrender ourselves to Him and His higher ways.
In verse 9, Paul tells the church: “Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” It’s through obedience to the Lord, as modeled by the apostle, that His peace becomes our own. This is how His presence makes its way into the brokenness of the world around us. This is how He reminds us of our greater hope. It’s through submission to His ways that we find peace. And this peace can be ours, even in the midst of the chaos that so often surrounds and so easily ensnares us.
For The Pursuit of Peace
Peace feels like a pipe dream for so many of us as we’re stumbling through seasons we’d rather be cartwheeling through. Yet the God who is in control remains near to His beloved children. He beckons us in and reminds us to cling to the good He’s already prepared for us to take part in.
By dwelling on the worthy and worthwhile things of the Lord, we are able to “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” as Paul had written to the church in Corinth only a few years prior to this correspondence to the Philippians. So lean into His presence. Remember that true flourishing results from minds tethered to His ways—the best ways—resulting in the peace that will surpass all understanding and circumstance.
Consider the areas in your life where you are most in need of peace. Where does this chaos stem from? Take these things to the Lord. Remind yourself that the loving God over creation is sovereign over the least controllable parts of your life. Then, thank Him for His nearness to us in the midst of our greatest needs. Ask Him to guide you in the best ways to share these truths with those around you.