Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The other day I spent a good solid ten minutes looking for a paper I knew I had just had my hands on. I looked in drawers, in other stacks of papers, in folders…nothing. It was driving me crazy! I had just laid eyes on it and now I couldn’t find it anywhere! Finally, I looked right in front of me and there it was, where it was supposed to be all along. I couldn’t find it because I was looking in all the wrong places. In the same way, I think sometimes we struggle to find peace because we’re looking in the wrong place. Peace is not an emotion; it is a deep spiritual experience. This distinction is important because if we’re looking for an emotion, we may miss it if we’re expecting peace to be the absence of anxiety or stress. God’s peace occurs in our spirit or “gut”. When we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, we can experience a deep sense of peace in our spirit even while feeling some anxiety or stress about the situation we’re facing. That’s because God’s peace is not the same thing as feeling comfortable. When I moved to Nashville years ago, it was a huge change for me and I certainly had some heart-pounding “what am I doing???” moments! But beneath that always, was a deep and solid sense of peace in my gut that this was what I was supposed to be doing. I think sometimes we have the process backwards. We wait to feel comfortable before we allow ourselves to walk forward in faith. But in truth, God’s peace starts in our spirit, changes our state of mind (if we allow it to change our thinking) and our emotions follow. To me, this is so key because if we wait for an emotional feeling of peace, we may never take that step of faith to do the thing God is asking us to do. By contrast, if we tune into what is going on in our spirit, even if we feel anxious or afraid, we are more able to have the boldness we need to move forward because we know that gut-level sense of peace is God’s way of saying “YES, this is where I want you to go”. And if we have a deep belief that God can be trusted, then we are able to move forward into the unknown because we know He’s already gone ahead of us and prepared the way. If you’ve never experienced the deep, spiritual type of peace I’m talking about, ask Him to help you tune in to His Spirit! I encourage you to get alone with God, not just once but again and again. Ask Him in those times to begin stirring up your spirit so you can get in tune with Him and where He is leading you. God’s peace is like a spiritual GPS, letting us know the right and wrong way to turn. If the enemy can rob us of our peace, guess what? He can more easily lead us down the wrong path and away from our destiny. Seek Jesus today. Receive the peace He gives today. Allow Him to lead you to all He has for you today and be blessed!