‘Living on Purpose’: Connecting with God brings spiritual peace
Editor's note: "Living on Purpose" is a Kentucky-based religious column provided free to the Bartlett Express. We are testing it out as a possible new online-only weekly opinion column. Let us know what you think in the comments. We also welcome local columns on similarly universal topics; send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The author introduces his writing with the following description: "With so much negativity in the world, my focus is to blend everyday-life stories with spiritual encouragement. The columns are not overly religious but are intended to be interesting, open-minded and thought-provoking. I am not attempting to promote a certain religion, church agenda or political party; I am an independent community chaplain trying to provide a universal message of hope and peace that everyone can relate to."
I realize there are many people who are genuinely concerned for our nation. We knew all along that whoever won the election, there would be a large amount of strife, worry and disappointment, but we pray and hope that, over time, we will agree to press forward and keep our focus on God. We are never going to agree about everything, but we can at least put forth an effort to work together and be unified on the issues we feel the same about.
Another point we can agree on is that whatever any of the candidates had in mind to bring America to greatness may not necessarily be what God considers important. Being pleasing in God’s sight is much more than insurance plans, military strength, trade agreements or foreign affairs, and let us not forget becoming wealthy, which seems to be the pillar of the materialistic American dream.
God’s way should be our highest priority as His Word declares that He is much more concerned with the condition of our heart than the condition of our infrastructure. The world's system is driven by politics, but God’s kingdom is always emphasizing and concerned about our personal relationship with Him.
This is a story that was told years ago, by an elderly evangelist. "I have spent time in many different places in the forty years of my ministry as a traveling revival preacher. On one occasion, I lived in the home of a woman who had seven children, and though she had a large home to care for and attended to her husband's family business in her spare time, I never saw her disturbed once. There was always the fragrance of Christ about her life, and I marveled at it. While staying with them during a week-long conference, one morning around five o'clock I noticed a faint light filtering in past the door, so I opened it very quietly and saw this woman kneeling by her piano. I quietly closed the door. The next morning the same thing and every morning after that. So, I asked her, 'What time do you rise to seek the Lord?' to which she replied, 'Oh that is not my decision. I made a choice long ago that when He wanted to have fellowship with me I was available. There are times when He calls me at five or at six, and on occasion, He will call about two o'clock, I think just to test me.' Always she would get up, go to her piano stool and worship her Lord. I asked, 'how long do you stay?' and she said, “Oh that is up to Him. When He tells me to go back to bed, I go back. If He doesn't want me to sleep, I simply stay up.' This humble saint made a conscious decision to go beyond the disappointments and frustrations, beyond the discouragements and all the little things that try to steal our happiness. She had a passion to walk in a spiritual awareness with God as a constant way of life and realized when our will is submitted to Him, there comes a freedom and joy of living in His presence."
When we decide to make this connection with God on a daily basis, we can sing, “it is well with our soul,” because we are no longer living our life — we are living His. Yes, there is a way we can live in optimistic contentment if we will give Him our burdens and allow His promises to be activated within our life. This includes releasing unforgiveness and resentment that can infect our mind and make us sick in our spirit.
When we embrace the power of His Word and become determined to sincerely trust Christ and invite Him to sit on the throne of our conscience, we can enjoy an exciting, positive and victorious life. Even when the world around us seems to be falling apart, we can rest in perfect peace because we know that God is in total control.
“Casting all your fears, worries and anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7.
Written by Dr. Billy Holland. He lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more, visit billyhollandministries.com.