A friend of mine was doing her Bible Study preparation last week. She was asked to name a person she saw as filled with peace and to ask that person how she had effectively applied the peace of God to her life. This friend named me and posed this thought provoking question to me. What follows is my answer.
Peace is a gift and a fruit of the Spirit. I can’t create or produce it. How do I receive and unwrap this sweet satisfying fruit?
Jesus said in John 15 that He is the Vine and we are the branches. He said that if we abide in Him and He in us, we will bear much fruit.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
Years ago I read Praying The Lord’s Prayer For Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L. Towns. I was deeply impressed by his words: Before you become a Christian you sit on the throne of your life. Like a king, you ruled your life and pleased yourself. The issue of Salvation is, Who will sit on the throne of your life? Will you sit on your heart’s throne, or will you let Christ be enthroned there? When you become a believer, you let Christ take control of your life. You say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ…” (Phil 1:21) … Then we must daily pray, “Thy will be done.” When we make that prayer daily, it is a conscious decision to let Christ direct our lives. That means that the Christian life is one big YES at the beginning, followed by a smaller yes every day.
Mr. Towns’ counsel led to my morning habit of putting Jesus on the throne of my life, as my King. This morning dedication has been followed by the confession that I cannot keep jesus on the throne for even a few minutes in the power of my flesh. That confession has been followed by a plea to The Holy Spirit to fill me, empower me, and show me what it will look like when Jesus rules and reigns in me.
My husband and I are currently reading THINK, ACT, BE LIKE JESUS by Randy Frazee. My morning prayer is reinforced by Mr. Frazee who says, “We stay off the throne of our lives, where God belongs, and live on the altar where we belong.”
This habitual morning prayer is my strategy to attempt to abide in Jesus and to live in His Kingdom. The days that I have known real peace have been the days that I didn’t cast Jesus off the throne and put me back on it. That hasn’t been easy because I am a control freak and like to believe the lie that I won’t feel anxious, if I can control everything. Sweet peace isn’t secured by my control but by my surrender to The King.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Over the years, as I have hidden more and more of God’s promises in my heart, my trust has grown. As my trust has grown, so has my peace grown.
In the New Testament Epistles (Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:20-32; and Colossians 3:1-17), there is a recurring theme. We are called to put off the old self and put on the new. We are called to put to death the flesh and to clothe ourselves with the virtues of Christ.
Two of the things that we are told to put off or put to death are anger and jealousy. Those two sins have tripped me up more times than I care to recall or can count. I think my peace has been in proportion to how successfully, with the Holy spirit”s power, I have said NO to anger and jealousy and YES to my King’s commands. Peace has followed my obedience.
For me the way to peace has been to live everyday with Jesus on the throne, to trust the promises of God, and to be diligent in saying NO my old, sinful nature and saying YES to my King.