6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
“When I read this verse, I understand that God’s first answer to prayer is peace.” I heard this statement in a sermon from Pastor Alan Johnson of Rogers, AR First Church of the Nazarene. I will never forget, and it has provided a background for a core belief and foundation that has sustained me and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In the last 30 months or so, I have come to understand more and more what God’s peace is, why it is needed in the life of a Christian, and how its’ absence is an indication that we nee to do some serious self-evaluation.
I have come to learn that there is a fine line between foolishness and faith. The way to determine the difference is the absence or existence of God’s peace.
For example, learning about Extreme Nazarene Ministries in late July and two months later, moving my family to Arequipa, Peru, was viewed by some (possible many) as crazy, at least if you think of it through the eyes of the world. I sold my belongings, quit my job at Walmart Corporate Headquarters, left a comfortable environment with my family nearby, to go to a place I didn’t know, to work with people I didn’t know, and to do a job I was far from fully understanding. The differentiating factor between the two was the constant, assuring peace of God that gave us the faith needed to truly believe that God was calling us and that in our obedience, he would execute his divine plan for provision and purpose that we needed.
Anndee and I were talking the other day about whether we would want to change our blog name one day. The current name is “Follow the Peace.” She asked that because it is a recent theme for us, and maybe we would have a different theme that we want to highlight. I ademantly disagreed, insisting that is it only God’s peace that will continue to lead and sustain us as we move forward withe the next chapter of this fantastic adventure called life.
Is the Lord calling you do to something that seems crazy in the eyes of the world? I hope so. That means that he is calling you to do something that will require faith in and dependence upon him. When we obey, and force ourselves into that level of trust and dependence, the Lord can really begin to work in us and do “more than we could ever ask or imagine.”