What are you preoccupied by these days?
When I think of the word occupied, I think of a neon flashing light saying there’s no vacancy here. This suite, this seat, this space is taken.
Occupied means full.
Preoccupied means to be already occupied (brilliant, I know😉). To be already full. I’ve been praying for this lately. Praying to be preoccupied.
You see, I want my inmost being to be pre-occupied by peace so when anxiety comes, there is no suite, no seat, no space in which it can take hold. I am already full. It will need to be turned away at the door.
I want my heart to be previously-occupied territory, under the rule of peace.
I’m aware that for this to happen, for peace to take its place, I may need a literal peace-full transfer of power. Especially if fear or anxiety have set up shop.
The apostle Paul talks about this in his letter to the church in Philippi. He tells his friends to not be anxious, but rather to pray. When they do, he says, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Eugene Peterson, in The Message translation, put it this way:
“It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worryat the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (Message)
Now that is a peace-FULL transfer of power! Peace pushing panic to the peripheries. It’s not a hostile takeover, as much as a holy one, and I am here for it!
“Let peace rule in your hearts,” Paul told the Colossians (3:15-17). “The inner calm of one who walks daily with Him.”
I want to be pre-occupied by peace so when anxiety comes knocking there is no room at the Inn – no settling space for it to rule or rest or build a nest. No seat or suite for a long-term stay. I want to be occupied territory, under the rule and reign of the peace of Christ.
“I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler,” God says to his people through the prophet Isaiah (60:17). Bring it on, I say to God. Pre-occupy me.
- What pre-occupies you?
- Are you in need of a peace-full transfer of power?
- Buy an “occupied” sign and hang it on a door in your home as a reminder that you are pre-occupied by peace.
- Pray for displaced people groups each day this week. Here is an older resource but still a good guide for you.
- Our song of the week is: Prince of Peace by Hillsong United.
- Prince of Peace, pre-occupy me!