I have taught on this subject a couple of times, and it seems that whenever I do, there are misunderstandings and misconceptions about what I really think. I’ve even heard people say, “but you said…,” or, “that’s because you believe…,” when I really don’t say or believe those things.
If nothing else, it tells me that this is a difficult concept to sort through.
So I thought another person’s input might help. This one comes from the perspective of a person who attends a church (and leads worship) where they still believe in the exercise of the “sign gifts.” I say that not as a criticism, but to show that you can still believe in the working of the Holy Spirit and draw these same conclusions. These conclusions are just plain biblical, I don’t belive and teach them because I don’t believe the Holy Spirit works in certain ways.
Well here is his very short description and explanation, which I thought would be helpful for you all to read (click on the link to read the whole thing).
“I know I’m making the right decision, because I have peace.”
But what exactly do we mean when we say, “I’ve got a peace about…”? I think we mean that we feel peace about a particular decision or circumstance, which makes us confident that God has our back. We feel comfortable accepting a particular job, or entering a relationship, or purchasing a house because we have peace.
But is a sense of peace a sign that we’ve made the right decision? The answer is…maybe.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Notice where the peace comes from. It comes from fixing our minds on God and placing our trust in God.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding comes from letting our requests be made known to God. The peace isn’t a divine guarantee that we’ve done the right thing. Rather, it’s the result of trusting in the God who cares for us.
I really like that…”The peace of God…the result of trusting in the God who cares for us.” That leaves room for the obvious experience of making a wise, biblically informed decision, but still being a little uptight. That ‘tension’ is a worry or anxiety that comes when we aren’t trusting God enough.
And…it also provides an explanation for how it is that at other times we DO have peace. It is because we have stayed our minds of the person and the promises of God, and so can continue forward with confidence knowing that whatever happens God is caring for us and ordering our steps.