Too often I find myself: holding back | staying in the safe zone | & justifying why I don’t take the next steps…
I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anyone else out there that has or is dealing with the same thing?!? I think some of the reasons I deal with these issues seem complicated but the answer to them is REALLY simple.
Have you ever thought about WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN’T SCARED?
What would you do? Would you decide to take that trip | finally write your book | would you try that thing you have been putting off | or choose to take the steps you know you should, to become the person you know you can be?!?
This past month, I had a conversation with my family that was kind of scary to me… I have always felt strong & sure about where I was headed – even when I wasn’t so sure about where exactly that was. I felt like internally I KNEW that God would work out what I couldn’t. But somehow this conversation created so many fears inside of me… Fears of uncertainty, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, & fear of being fearful! (haha 🙂 that can sound funny, but fear can also be debilitating. Especially when it holds you back from doing (or continuing to do) the big things you want to do. From tackling those important projects, tasks, & changes that you know, in your heart, must be done.
I also was thinking back to another conversation I had with a friend the other month about trusting God, & I started to remind myself of the same advice I gave her… SOMETIMES WE HAVE THE GREATEST ADVICE, WE JUST NEED TO USE IT FOR OURSELVES! All of us, no matter how experienced or accomplished we may be, have fears that can hold us back. It’s part of our shared humanity. But the quality of your life &, ultimately, your destiny will be determined by whether you’re willing to continue to face those fears & move through them, not stay in them.
1. FOLLOW PEACE.
When you don’t know what to do, the best thing that you can do is FOLLOW WHERE YOU HAVE PEACE. This means that when you are unsure of the direction you should go or even a choice you should make, you must think to yourself… Do I have peace? Peace will precede any decision you should make or direction you should take. I have found that if I do not have peace, most of the time I need to wait. I need to seek God & know that the peace of God should rule my heart & mind!
Here are some verses I found that may help you know what the Bible says about Peace:
Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
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 heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer & supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; & the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts & minds through Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all who labor & are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, & learn from me, for I am gentle & lowly in heart, & you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, & my burden is light.”
Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. & be thankful.”
Romans 8:6 – “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life & peace.”
None of us like discomfort. Think about your own life… When you have decisions to make – do you go with the flow, or do you pray for wisdom & weigh your decisions on the Word of God? This is important to think about because every decision you make affects everything around us. The choices we make today will change the future of our legacy & the generations to come. This is why it is so vital to seek God’s Word for guidance.
Peace is a good sign that you are on the right path, but waiting for peace is not the only thing you should do…
The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you, but it is your choice to follow. I encourage you to trust that you can hear from God & you can trust Him, Even when you do not listen, God is speaking to you…
People ask me, how can I hear God’s voice? – This scripture can help you to know how:
& let the peace, which comes from Christ rule in your hearts deciding & settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds…
A key indicator that you are hearing from God, is that you have fruit like peace & joy. When you are not hearing from God, you will have feelings like: confusion & frustration. God will never lead you to a place of stress & no joy, we do that all by ourselves. A simple way to find peace, is to first ask yourself: Am I involving God? What does the Word say I should do?
I have found that in my life, God’s Word sounds a lot like common sense.
We make following God way more complicated than it actually is... Doing the right thing & even the smart thing is not complicated, it is just sometimes difficult. But without great trials, we wouldn’t have great victories… God is our help, deliverer & all we need. If you are serious about following with God, you will involve him & when you involve him – He will teach you, guide you, & comfort you.
God is always working in our lives but we get to choose to invite Him into all things. & while involving God doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect, we can grow stronger because no matter what we are NEVER ALONE. The fruit of the Spirit includes peace & joy – we should expect to experience God’s peace in our lives. If you are not walking in & living with peace, it is important to know that peace is a gift we have been given & it is our choice to receive that gift.
Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.
The promise of peace carries with it a condition – to trust in God. There is no peace when you live a selfish life. & when God is at the center of your life. The peace of God is like a compass for us, it helps to lead us in the direction that the Holy Spirit wants for our lives. & instead of anxiety, anger, or depression – the peace of God becomes our normal state.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
When you are following God’s plan for your life, you must be aware of a lack of peace in something. The absence of God’s peace can come in the form of anxiety, stress, anger, or confusion, & is a strong indicator or warning that we are stepping out of the will of God. When you follow God, you don’t leave your problems behind – It can take years of working through issues in your life until you are living in the peace of God & experiencing it on a daily basis. God’s desire is for you to STAY IN PEACE!
For the kingdom of God is righteousness & peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The peace this verse talks about – happens when we live knowing that the kingdom of God is here & now, & is to still come. God is not done… He has more beyond what we can see or even imagine! HE HAS GOOD PLANNED EVEN IN WHAT LOOKS LIKE THE WORST SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCE.
EXAMPLES OF LIVING IN PEACE:
- Peace is why Paul & Silas could sing praises to God in jail (Acts 16:25).
- Peace is why the apostles praised the Lord after being beaten by the teachers of the law, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame in God’s name (Acts 5:40-41).
- Peace is why Stephen could praise the God of heaven as he was being stoned for being a witness for God (Acts 7:55-60).
- Peace is why Peter wrote, But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:13).
- Peace is why the Paul, on the night before he was killed could write, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
The enemy has a goal: that our lives would be led by fear instead of peace & faith. He wants us to stay in discouragement & hopes that we destroy everything God has for us.
There are four words that can stop fear from ruling your life, heart, or mind. You much choose to use them & proclaim them in your situations. The enemy’s plan to use fear will not even have a chance when you live by & according to these four words: I trust you, God.
It is pretty cool when you realize that fear has no power or response to the fact, that God is greater than fear. We have a choice. You can choose to trust God, or let fear win… But you cannot do both. You cannot have faith & peace & be operating in fear at the same time.
I want to encourage you today to choose faith & the peace of God over fear. Remind yourself of the fact – you can trust God. Thank you so much for reading, & allowing me to speak into your life & situation today, as I am striving to do so in my own.
There is a PART 2 coming to this post… I look forward to sharing it with you soon. I would also love to hear from you & know if this helped or encouraged you in any way.