“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:2)
Fear is not the only thief that can rob us from having God’s peace. Worry and anxiety can also fill our thoughts and leave no room for the peace of God.
We worry and become anxious over situations in our life when we’re unsure that things are going to work out for our benefit. We ponder all of the possibilities and fear the worst.
It’s not a matter of believing whether God can hear our prayer and give us what we ask, but it’s a matter of being unsure whether it’s His will to do it.
Having faith in God’s will is the second key to opening the gate and releasing the flood of God’s peace to be manifested in our life.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
We must not forget that we didn’t choose God but that He chose and called us. We must not forget that we love Him because He first loved us.
Worry and anxiety grip our hearts when we lose our intimacy with God. Lack of fellowship and communion with Him causes us to lose sight of His will for our lives.
God has a purpose for our lives. He called us because we are unique and He has a plan and a will for us.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…” (1Thess. 4:3)
The word “sanctification” simply means “to be set apart”. In the Greek it means “the state of purity.”
In other words, He has called us out of the darkness of the world and has “set us apart” so that He may work in our lives until He brings us into this purity or “perfection”.
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)
God will not allow anything to interfere with His will being done in our lives to make us pure. No matter what arises in our lives to try and hinder us and pull us down, God will work everything out and overcome it so that in the end our lives will only be better.
It’s God who will work all things together for our good in order that He may purify us and bring us into perfection.
One example of this Biblical truth is the Old Testament story of Jacob and Joseph in Genesis chapters thirty seven through forty five.
Jacob had twelve sons but he favored Joseph above the rest. God had revealed to Joseph through his dreams that one day he would rule over the rest of his family.
Because of their father’s favoritism and Joseph’s dreams, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was brought into Egypt.
Joseph was bought by an officer of Pharaoh named Potiphar and was placed over his household. After a period of time, Joseph was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and was placed in prison.
Joseph was given charge over all the prisoners and his gift for interpreting dreams became known. Joseph remained in prison for two years before his ability to interpret dreams was made known to Pharaoh.
God gave Pharaoh two dreams in one night that dealt with the future of Egypt. When Pharaoh’s magicians couldn’t give the interpretation of the dreams, they called for Joseph.
God revealed that there was going to be seven years of plenty throughout Egypt and then seven years of terrible famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh that he should build storage cities for grain and store up against the famine.
Pharaoh saw the wisdom and favor of God in Joseph and appointed him to oversee it. Joseph was made second to Pharaoh and ruled over all of Egypt. During the famine, all who needed food had to appear before Joseph.
From the time that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery until the time that Pharaoh placed him as a ruler over Egypt, Joseph never lost his trust in God or his faith that God would fulfill His promises.
No matter what befell him that seemed contrary to the will of God for his life, he never became anxious or worried. Joseph never lost his peace.
Jacob, on the other hand, was a different story.
Joseph’s brothers had lied to their father and convinced Jacob that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts in the wilderness.
As the famine became severe, Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and he sent his oldest sons there to buy grain. When they arrived in Egypt, they were brought before Joseph, but the years had changed Joseph and his brothers didn’t recognize him.
Joseph decided to test his brothers, so he kept his brother Simeon as ransom and told them not to return again until they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.
Jacob refused to let them return back to Egypt with Benjamin. Eventually the famine became so severe they were faced with starvation, and that’s when Jacob resigned himself to the situation and made the statement:
“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.” (Gen. 42:36)
Jacob had come to a place where all he could see were the troubles and circumstances that were around him. He had forgotten the promises made by God to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.
Jacob had forgotten the will of God for his life. He forgot that God had promised Abraham that through him and his children their descendants would become as the stars in the sky for multitude. He had forgotten they were to become the nation and the people of God.
All Jacob believed now was that “all these things are against me” and they were at the mercy of a cruel and ruthless Egyptian ruler.
While Joseph never lost his peace through all of his tribulations and continued to have faith in God’s will for his life, Jacob had forgotten the will of God for him and his family and had allowed his heart to be filled with fear, despair, and anxiety.
The brothers took Benjamin and returned to Egypt. Once there, Joseph revealed himself, forgiving and convincing them that God had allowed all of these things to happen in order that they might be preserved and delivered from the famine.
They returned home to get Jacob and brought him, their households, and all their possessions back to Egypt where they grew and became a mighty nation.
Even when it seems that things are working against us instead of for us, God’s love and will never changes (Rom. 11:29), His thoughts about us cannot be numbered (Psalm 139:17), and they are always for our good and not for evil (Rom. 8:28).
So often we wonder if the specific choices we make are in agreement with the will of God for our life. We want God to speak audibly or show us a sign that we are making the right decision.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)
The word “will” in this scripture literally means “purpose” or “decree” in the Greek. The decree of God is His written Word. If the choices we make are not contrary to the written Word of God, then we are in agreement with His will.
If our choices do not compromise the will of God for our “sanctification” but rather continue to lead us closer to Him in the direction of “holiness” and “purity”, then we are making choices according to His will.
And finally, if the choices we make give us peace in our hearts, then we are doing the will of God.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit…” (Rom. 8:16)
Satan can appear as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14) He can even attempt to imitate God’s voice and try to deceive us. He can cause visions, dreams, and signs. He is called the “tempter” and can try to tempt us to go against the will of God for our lives.
But he cannot imitate the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)
No matter what problems arise that seem to contradict the promises and blessings of God, we must continue to have faith in His love and in His will if we are to walk in His peace.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Heb. 12:14)
God loves us so much, that if in an honest and true heart we are about to make a decision contrary to God’s will, He is well able to stop us and show us the right way. He is God. Trust in Him.
All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices