HOW TO EAT AN ELEPHANT WEEK 5
Chuck Allen // @achuckallen // firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past four weeks we’ve been talking about how to stay the course, succeed wildly in the new year and likened that activity to how you eat an elephant…one bite at a time!
As we wrap that series up and head toward next week’s new series; Daring Faith, let’s be sure that we possess the one thing that is desperately required to eat the elephant, eliminate the elephant in the room and remain on point to succeed wildly. To do so, we have to know how to discover, live in and remain in the world’s greatest commodity – PEACE!
You’ve probably heard me say it a thousand times and will most likely hear it a few thousand times more: “Without Peace we Make Terrible Decisions and We Ruin Relationships”. End of story! Well, as Lee Corso would say on game day – Not so fast my friend! You actually CAN live in peace, but there is a tax you pay to do so.
Let’s get super basic here: To really find peace, let’s stop and
1. Understand that God is there.
Have you seen the bumper sticker that says, “Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace”? It’s the truth, without an acknowledgment that there is a God, we will not have peace. That’s why it’s called the “peace of God” or “God’s peace” in the Bible. If we are to find peace in our life the first step is acknowledging that there is a God. The Bible says in Psalm 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Abraham Lincoln echoed that when he said: “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heaven and say there is no God.”
2. Understand that God is Aware – He knows what is going on in your life.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” God didn’t create this world and then turn His back on it; And He knows us, and everything about us. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
3. Understand that God cares. It’s not enough that there is a God out there if He’s not aware of what’s going on in our life. And it’s not enough that there’s a God out there who’s aware of what’s happening in our life if He doesn’t care about what is happening in my life. “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:30-31
If we are going to have peace in our life it will only be when we realize that God not only knows what’s best for us but that He wants what’s best for us. And not only do we need to realize that, we also need to believe it and act upon it.
In a crazy, messed up world, the path to peace is truth. Jesus said that He is The Way, The Truth and The Life! This week, will you allow the realization of truth to bring you peace. Take a look at this simple equation:
Our Crazy Life + Simple truth of Jesus = Peace
Okay, Chuck…I’m with you, but my life is totally whacked out and I need a few very practical ways to discover, live and remain at peace! Cool, here you go:
- Stop Living in Fear
- Start Living in Hope
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
We need to stand up and believe, then declare the truth that we have the peace of Jesus, which is far better than what the world offers, and so my heart is not troubled or afraid.
- Stop living in scarcity
- Start living in abundance
2 Cor 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Through His poverty we might become rich”… It is God that has done the work for us. It is not by our own works. It is Grace that provides the riches. So you can love God who is “The Greatest Blessing” and the giver of all blessings. Keeping this in mind prevents the love of money and promotes the love of God.
He wants us to have an abundant life here and now. When you begin to understand the Grace of God that has been poured out on you – you get a changed attitude. You automatically become more grateful and more generous. You find yourself wanting to give more not out of necessity but out of a cheerful heart knowing that God supplies a fresh supply for you everyday through Grace. Live in the Abundance of His Love, His Grace, His Mercy and His Provision!
- Stop Living in solitude
- Start living in community
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever (John 14:16) Loneliness was the first thing that God named not good.
God had just finished creating all the living creatures that move along the ground. As He had at each stage of creation, God paused and evaluated His work. “And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25).
Only one more task remained.
Here was God’s only creation made in His image, God observed that there was still something missing. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'” (Genesis 2:18).
By God’s design we have an innate need to be loved and belong. Through our relationships with family, friends, groups and others, we form our sense of individuality and find our place in the mosaic of life. It’s when that need for affection and fellowship goes unfulfilled, that we become restless, unhappy…lonely.
That’s why we believe in relationships as a critical part of Sugar Hill Church’s DNA. God’s purpose is all about PEOPLE and if we are to be uniquely linked to God and His purpose be forged into our life’s purpose, then we are to be about people as well!
Church should be a welcome home experience, not a difficult place to find friendship, help, service, love and hope!
- Stop living in anxiety
- Start living in peace
Philippians 4:6–7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For most of us, we need to say out loud day after day after day — I’m not anxious about anything. Instead, I make my request known to God through prayer and thanksgiving. The peace of God guards my heart and my mind in ways that I can’t even understand.
Jesus makes a pointed and powerful statement in John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Determine to seek PEACE and find the peace of Jesus, which is far better than what the world offers, so that your heart is not troubled or afraid.
And finally – Matthew 6:31–33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
This week, when you are totally maxed out with work, money, marriage, with health, unmet expectations, children, aging parents, pressure and anxiety – SEEK PEACE – He isn’t hiding from you! Don’t allow worry, fear, doubt and anxiety keep you from succeeding wildly in 2016. Stay the course – find peace, live in peace and remain/abide in peace!
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His joy, hope, & peace will deliver you from crisis to hope – fear to strength- anxiety to joy. Because Jesus came to Be the Prince of Peace, The Lord of Lords and the King of Kings – But He came for you!Find lasting peace today…In Jesus alone, because He is more than enough!