Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts, deciding with finality all questions that arise in your minds...
- Colossians 3:15 AMP
Last summer, I began experiencing some health problems that made it necessary for me to limit some of my activities, even with my doctor's care and prayer. My husband, Joe, and I already had a vacation planned with our oldest son and his wife. This trip involved a lengthy car ride, as well as a couple of nights in a hotel far from home. Even though I had misgivings about this trip, I pushed them aside as I thought about how disappointed my family would be if I told them I couldn't go. I prayed that the Lord would enable me to make this trip without any problems, and I asked my loved ones and fellow prayer warriors to keep me covered in prayer. Even so, within the first few hours of our departure, I got very sick, and I spent the rest of the day and night in bed in my hotel room. The next morning, as soon as I was able to travel, we headed back home, sorely disappointed that our trip had to be cut short.
After a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I realized that the Lord had given me plenty of warnings in advance that I should have canceled that trip, no matter how it might have disappointed my loved ones. Taking that trip was not a wise thing to do, and all the faith and prayer in the world were not going to change that. It was a painful, but very valuable, lesson for me. It made me realize that stepping out in faith is a wonderful thing--and something that God often asks and expects us to do. But it's also wonderful in His sight when we use godly wisdom, and when we recognize that we don't have peace about doing something we have prayed and sought God about. The Bible says, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15 NKJV) The Amplified translation puts it this way--"Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts, deciding with finality all questions that arise in your minds . . . " In my heart, I KNEW that going on that trip was not a good idea, but I did it anyway, and I suffered the consequences. (And so did my loved ones.) The fact is, that when we don't have peace in our hearts about doing something, there's usually a good reason for it. It's true that the Lord will often ask us to step out in faith and do something that makes us fearful and anxious. But even during those times, we should have an inner peace that says--"Yes, this feels right. I do believe this is what God wants me to do." And the Lord's presence and power will be there to enable and sustain us.
I've seen well-meaning Christians make horrendous mistakes they could have avoided if they had just used some godly wisdom. Somehow, they've gotten the notion that whenever God asks them to step out in faith, He's always going to lead them to do something that is irrational or unreasonable. They seem to have forgotten that the Bible says: "Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7 NIV) The Living Bible puts it this way--"Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And with your wisdom, develop common sense and good judgment." (Proverbs 4:7 TLB) When we act in faith, God doesn't expect us to bypass our intellect. He will still expect us to seek Him for godly wisdom and discernment in everything we do. That's why Scripture says: "If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it." (James 1:5 TLB) The next time you're faced with a decision to make, I hope you'll rely on God's peace--as well as His wisdom--to guide you. For it's in the paths of peace that you'll find His very best blessings!
Prayer: Lord, whenever I need to make a decision, remind me to turn to You for godly wisdom and guidance. When I sense an absence of peace about a certain course of action, remind me to pause and wait for further instructions from You. Thank You, Lord, that as I follow Your peace, Your blessings will follow me!
- J. M. Farro