As Christians, we spend years making choices based on the voices we hear believing them to be from God. Unfortunately, more often than anyone of us cares to admit we end up listening to voices that do nothing more but cause misery, grief, and heartache while constantly robbing us of our joy. After countless starts and stops, we realize that the voices we heard ended up just being from our own mind. Does God really make it that difficult for us to find Him, to find peace, or understand Him or to know when we are hearing His voice?
Of course not but you may be under attack from the devil having an area of your life that you have not yet surrendered completely to God. However, it is God’s intent and desire for you to have peace His peace. God’s peace is the inner sense of contentment and quietness, regardless of life’s circumstances. It is steadfast confidence in our ever-faithful, immutable heavenly Father the presence of joy in the midst of unhappiness. The prophet Isaiah wrote, for you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace (Isaiah 55:12). God’s best for our lives is that we will be led forth in peace and joy. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not going to allow these circumstances to rob my joy?” In making this declaration, they are being aligning themselves biblically – peace and joy are available to us when we are born again. The only way that you will walk in unrest as a mature believer is if you allow circumstances or the devil to rob you of your joy.
Our walk with the Lord is hard. There are some, who find that it is so difficult that they want to give up and go back to the pleasures of the sinful life. God’s salvation may be free, but discipleship is costly. The gifts of the Spirit may also be freely given, but they are not cheap. In some ways, it is easier to be in the world. But Jesus said, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). We cannot look back. Our preparation for God’s eternal purpose is as rigorous spiritually, as an Olympic athlete’s training is, naturally – even more so, because the outcome of our training has eternal ramifications. Although, being a disciple of Jesus is not easy we must press on in this walk with Christ – we must learn to hear His voice and obey His commands. True peace does not merely dull our pain. A person who has genuine, godly peace can endure an avalanche of hardship and difficulty and still enjoy an inner peace that surpasses all human understanding. Why? Because it does not come from pleasant circumstances, nice events, or good things others may do for us that may fade or be taken away.
If we were to go forth in peace without great trials, we would have no great victories. The Lord reveals Himself in the difficulties of life as our Deliverer, our Sufficiency, and our Lord. The psalmist tells us, many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers [us] out of them all (Psalm 34:19). There are times, when we are seeking the will of God and we reach the point of decision that we experience supernatural peace. This is an important aspect of discerning between good and evil, following our own path or the deception of the devil, and it comes because of use (Hebrews 5:14). The peace of God is one of the key indicators of God’s guidance. Colossians 3:15 tells us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. The peace of God is like a compass for our souls, leading us in the direction that the Holy Spirit intends for our lives. We can take great comfort in knowing that the sovereign God is so involved in our lives that He would supply us with this internal compass as we seek to do His will.
The promise of peace carries with it a condition – to trust in God. Once again, we come back to the necessity of living a lifestyle of faith. Paul wrote to the Romans, for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6). A carnally minded person is one who is self-interested, self-indulgent, and self-sufficient. There is no peace in the selfish life. The spiritually minded person puts God in the center of their life. They are interested in doing the will of Christ. They are motivated by the Lord to minister to others. They recognize that they are nothing outside of Christ – He is their sufficiency. It is from this attitude of surrender to the lordship and headship of Jesus Christ that peace comes into our lives. Only then will we experience His joy and peace and only then will we be the effective ministers of reconciliation that He wants us to be. Effective in the way the world needs us to be.