“…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.” Peace that surpasses understanding, which smashes through our logic and drags us behind it as it blazes a trail into the land of faith. This is what Jesus, our Lord and the Prince of Peace desires to do in you and me today.
I’m not going to bother asking you if you think you need more peace in your life because I know you do. We all do. Certainly this isn’t a new thing, yet in August of the year 2020 there is an unusually strong need for peace. Indeed, our English word “peace” may not do this justice because we’re talking about the shalom of God: where his kingdom, his rule, his reign has come and put everything right. Now that is quite a thing to experience in one’s interior world.
If we want to be ministers of reconciliation to the world around us, if we want to be peacemakers in our own families, if we want to demonstrate the goodness of Jesus to the lost, it starts here. With peace — God’s shalom — coming in our own hearts, renewing our minds, and shining out from there. Like a wagon being hitched to a horse, we need to tie ourselves to God’s peace and let it pull us forward into the realm of faith.
The Process of Peace
Marvelously, God has laid out a process for finding this kind of peace. I quoted a small portion of a passage from the fourth chapter of Philippians at the start of this article. If we back up just a bit for more context, here’s what we get:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 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. — Philippians 4:4–7
Let’s make that a numbered list:
- Choose to be joyful, not based on circumstances but because of who God is and what he’s done. Examples: he chose to create love as something we can experience, he chose to give us taste buds that allow us to enjoy sugar, he created the color green, he gave us olfactory senses that can enjoy flowers, Jesus died for our sins, he sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, he predestined us to be like him, he will one day resurrect the entire cosmos and heaven will come to earth, et cetera.
- Be considerate and let other people see you as a considerate person. This means suffering yourself to be defrauded. It means putting everyone else’s needs above your own needs. It means forgiving constantly, praying blessing on those who make you mad, pursuing the Kingdom ideals of the Beatitudes.
- Remember that Jesus is going to return. Keep an eternal perspective as a conscious choice of your mind. Set your mind on things above, not on things of this earth. Jesus will return, and when he does he will bring the fullness of the Kingdom of God with him, resurrecting his people, the earth, and the cosmos into perfection. Not just back to Eden, but to a new and better age entirely.
- When you worry about things, let that be a mental trigger to give those worry-inducing things to God through prayer. Pray about everything, exchanging lies for truth, exchanging fear for love.
- Tell God what you need.
- Thank God for all he has done.
- Enjoy the peace that just filled you up to overflowing. Follow that peace wherever it leads.
A testimony about peace
Someone attended one of our events last year and sent a message to us about how his life was impacted. It struck me because God put him on a fast-track to peace. I share it here to spark your faith that finding peace is not about trying harder or straining into something. God meets us more than halfway. As soon as we take even the smallest step of obedience, he leaps into action and pours out his peace. Side note: even that act of obedience on our part is inspired by and empowered by God; he’s really the progenitor of all our good deeds. :-)
I am an elder and associate pastor of a non-denominational church and have had no experience with Pentecostal services, especially [speaking in] tongues and [being] “slain in the Spirit.” I was initially very guarded and wary of what I would experience [at the Global Awakening conference]. It was odd but I did discover a group of people who love Jesus and desire to fulfill the Greatest Commandment, Great Commission, and bear fruit for God’s Kingdom. I actually went down momentarily much to my surprise during the impartation service. I experienced the peace I was praying for and have been a changed man since then. I will be back and am so happy for what God did for my joy and peace while at the conference. — Testimony from recent conference attendee
I pray that God surprises you today with his peace and joy, the way he surprised that man at our conference. May God’s peace and goodness pursue and overtake you today; may it hunt you down and overwhelm your mind this week. Holy Spirit, I ask you to come and fill each one reading this, that even now they would remember who you are, what you’ve done, where you’re taking them, and that you would help us all to see what you are doing in, through, and around us. Make us like broadcast towers, announcing your goodness and peace into the pain of those around us. Amen.
P.S. We keep getting testimonies from people just like the pastor mentioned above. People who attended one of our conferences and found they were changed when they got back home. If you’re hungry for that kind of change in your life, pray about coming to an event. We are thrilled to have some actual in-person conferences coming up (especially Voice of the Apostles →) as well as online webcasts through globalondemand.tv. God is going to do something powerful in September and October, and you’re invited to be part of it. Check out Voice of the Apostles here or see all of our events here.
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This commment is unpublished.· 5 months agoJoseph, it’s Saturday morning, the 22nd, and I’m sitting in the worship for the ConnectUp conference. Seeing you on the platform reminded me of how profound I found this article. I’ve printed it out for future reference. Thank you for speaking the Father’s heart!Dennis O’Neill
This commment is unpublished.· 5 months agoLovely testimony from that pastor.Blessings of real humility!
This commment is unpublished.· 5 months agoThanx Joseph. A healthy reminder for me this morning. I have just been through some dark warfare beyond my understanding and the blog brought me back into perspective.On another note a few years ago I wanted to study with GA but could not sign up because of my financial position. Randy wrote back to me regarding my options but I had to say no. It was a disappointing moment because there is nothing like being in the thick of experiencing Gods love and affection, setting the lost free and finding personal growth amongst those who are pioneers in the apostolic and prophetic.I warm to reading your experiences and envy the depth of Gods love coming out of America. You are a blessed nation and ministry and I’m just encouraged that I can pray on your behalf for what God is doing.God is so adorable, lovable and fun to have around the house. 😇Thanx again for this post. Ian.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 months agoGods peace is my portion as I walk in the Spirit. As I daily receive His forgiveness and live Galatians 2:20 :"I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me., and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. The crucified life is the key to the christian life.