“I have peace about my decision.” Have you ever heard this statement? We often treat peace is a sign of God’s approval and blessing. Sometimes this statement is used in regards to a decision they are making and sometimes it is used in regards to a circumstance in their life. Honestly, in either case, God can give you peace when you are walking in his will, but I put before you that Satan can imitate anything that God can do. Therefore, we ought to not trust our feelings, even a peaceful one. Let me illustrate this with two men in the Bible.
First, there is Jonah. You know the story; Jonah runs from God, boards a ship, gets swallowed by a fish, gets vomited out of a fish, and then goes to give God’s message to the Ninevites. Second, there is Jesus, God Incarnate. He came to earth and brought salvation through his death, burial, and resurrection. Both of these men had times of peace and times of turmoil, but let’s look at a similar situation in each of their lives.
For this we turn to Jonah 1:5 and Matthew 8:24. There are several similarities in these two accounts. First, both Jesus and Jonah were on boats with seasoned seamen. Second, they were both asleep. Finally, they were both asleep during a storm that caused the seasoned seamen to worry. In both of these situations, Jesus and Jonah seem to be at peace with their situation. In fact, Scripture tells us Jonah was “fast asleep.”
Here’s the problem. In the middle of the storm, both men were peacefully sleeping. Jesus was walking in obedience to God, but Jonah was not. However, Jonah was still at peace enough to be “fast asleep.” Peace is not always a sign of obedience and God’s approval. So, if we can’t trust our feeling of peace, then what do we trust?
First, we look to Scripture. We must see if our decision is in line with what God has told us in the Bible. This is not a one-time visit for guidance. We must immerse ourselves in daily pursuit of God’s voice through his Word. Second, we look to the council of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We allow them to challenge our thoughts and hone our understanding with their experience. Fellowship with one another is a great gift. However, I give you one warning, never consult man before consulting God.
Don’t use your feelings and don’t assume that your feelings are a sign from God. Use Scripture and fellowship with other believers to help guide you.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 9/1/16.