Monday, January 27, 2014

“The Peace Equation” by Garris Elkins

People are standing at a crossroads.  They are standing at the intersections of life needing to make a decision about their future direction. In these significant moments we need to know God is directing our steps.

When I have faced these kinds of intersections, I learned something many years ago that has never failed me. I began looking for the doorway of peace.  The doorway of peace is opened when the peace of God settles on a particular direction and invites us forward.  This doorway opens for no apparent natural reason. The doorway of peace has come into view when I faced multiple options and when no options were yet visible. It was not easy to wait for this doorway to appear, but it has always proved to be the right direction once I stepped across its threshold.

Jesus said to his disciples in John 14: 27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

The peace Jesus described to his disciples is not a peace that comes because we can control our moods, feelings or circumstances. This is a gift from God that comes to help us make decisions about which path to take or what option to choose. Nothing in this world can give us this kind of peace because it comes from another realm - another Kingdom. This peace comes from eternity to form and inform our decision-making process in the here and now.

How do we receive the gift of this kind of peace?  Paul gives us insight into obtaining this peace in Philippians 4:6-7:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Paul said three things – praying, telling, and thanking – would precede the release of this peace. 

Paul first instruction was for us to pray. As we begin to pray worry is displaced. His second instruction infers that as a child of God we have been given permission to tell our Father what we want. “Delight yourselves in God and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Paul’s third instruction was to turn around and look at our history and thank God for all he has done.

Once we have done these three things something supernatural happens - “Then you will experience God’s peace”. Not before, but after we pray, tell and thank God – then the peace comes.

This is the math of heaven - an equation for peace.  Praying plus telling plus thanking equals the release of peace. I think this equation works because once we start doing the math we get our focus back on God and his goodness and not on the fork in the road before us that seems so intimidating.

Paul also wrote that, “His peace will guard your hearts and mind.” The peace of God, once it comes, acts as a sentry on the doorway of our heart and mind. Once his peace is in place the disturbing presence of darkness cannot enter and create internal turmoil and despair.

As we work this equation, and wait in faith for the peace of God to come, we are also protected in the wait. Waiting in a life-altering decision-making process protects us from making unhealthy snap decisions in a moment of fear or fatigue.  These kinds of fear and fatigue-based decisions can cause us to make our own way and end up in places void of destiny and calling.

As you stand before your personal crossroads speak the following verses into that spiritual intersection.  Announce your arrival and declare your faith in God who is about to show you the way forward when he opens the doorway of his peace.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives, though they stumble they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24 

“Guide my steps by your words so I will not be overcome by evil.”  Ps. 119:133

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  Proverbs 16:

1 comment:

  1. Good word. Peace can certainly be a weapon in troubled times. Peace is like resting in the Lord. I don't think the enemy can touch us when we are in that sweet spot :-)