Some time ago, a person I know made a major decision that eventually led to the breakup of his family. I spoke with this person about the wrong thinking that was controlling his actions. His reply was one of the more typical Christian responses “Well, I’ve prayed about it, and I have peace about it.” I was slightly unnerved by his reply. I could not understand how a mature believer could claim, that as an answer to prayers for wisdom needed in a broken situation, the Lord had supplied “peace” toward a course of action that was in direct contradiction to the Scriptures, the very will of God, I was dumbfounded.
In Psalm 143:10, David prayed a prayer that must be the desire of every Christian. David prayed this. “Lord, teach me to do Thy will.” That’s very basic, I think, to the life of a believer. Because being a Christian is the affirmation of the Lordship of Christ. Being a Christian and confessing the same is the initial act of intentional submission to the control and the leadership of Christ. Therefore, doing the will of God would certainly demonstrate that kind of a submission.
The Lord intends for believers to enjoy peace in many areas He even provides His Peace for us. Christ, through his death and resurrection, removes God’s enmity with us—we have peace with God – Romans 5:1 and in Philippians 4:7 we have the Peace of God guarding us. Only Christ has the perfect servant’s heart. No greater model for obedience to the will of God could ever be pointed to other than Christ Himself. From the very beginning in His incarnation, He made it clear that He was come to do the will of Him that sent Him. When that will lead Him to the agony of the anticipation of the cross as He in the garden poured out in prayer to the Father the feeling of His soul. Even at that crisis moment, His commitment to carry out the will of God was evident, in His words, “Not My will but Thine be done.” Doing he will of God from the heart, as Paul expresses in Ephesians 6:6 is fundamental to the Christian’s life.
Maybe it’s me, but it does not seem uncommon these days to meet believers who claim to have peace about their decisions that eventually result in them being placed in harm’s way. It is also not uncommon that fewer and fewer people seem to have peace about sharing their faith boldly at the risk of social ostracism. I have shared in conversations with people who claimed “peace” about supporting family and friends in various endeavors, and even life altering decisions. Nevertheless, they do not have peace about inviting or encouraging those same people, or others to attend worship services, or small groups, or to serve, or even challenge their decisions to participate in whatever it is that is taking them away or detouring from the will of God.
The book of John chapter 7 indicates that for one who is a believer there will be a desire to know the Father’s will. Paul operated by the will of God. In Romans 1:10 he says, “Making a request if by any means now at length, I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.” In other words, everything in his life was framed within the context of the will of God. At the end of the book of Romans, in 15:32, he said, “In order that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God.” These were not mere words to Paul; it was a way of life to him.
We impose the notion of “God’s peace” and God’s will on our desires (even when they contradict Scripture) because they will lead to the absence of pain. God’s will, in contrast, may involve harder paths that may demand suffering and endurance. Take a moment to remind yourself that whenever you are in pain, you want to be free from suffering, and that desire will always affect how you “hear” the voice of God. Some of the essential things needed for the free-from-anxiety-peace of Philippians 4:7 are truthfulness, and the abilities to both commend the decision to others and offer praise to the Lord for the decision: “Whatever is true… whatever is commendable… if there is anything worthy of praise… and the God of peace will be with you” Philippians 4:8-9. If we do not hold our decisions to these standards, we are not being honest with ourselves or anyone else about having peace or acting in the will of God.
It is the distinguishing mark, of a believer. Modeled by Christ, if we say we abide in Christ, 1 John 2:6, we ought to walk as He walked. And He walked in absolute submission to the will of God. – Is that your desire? –
It should be if you call yourself a Christian, a Follower, a Child of God, a Believer.