Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Some of the times when my peace is tested the most can be family get-togethers. There is often one person in the family circle that is highly opinionated and rubs others up the wrong way.
I recall a time when back in Sydney for the C3 Presence Conference. On our last night, we got together with some of Mary’s family and extended relatives and guess what? It didn’t take too long for the opinionated person to start airing their views.
I was sitting back and pretending to ignore the conversation that was escalating into an argument. There were some crazy, sweeping statements being made about all sorts of things from corrupted politicians to corrupted businesses. And then this person started accusing even the church and pastors of also being corrupt and that’s when I could feel my peace slip, slip, slipping away and being replaced with annoyance and anger.
I gritted my teeth and refused to enter into the provocative conversation.
However, this person did get to me. I should have known better. They made an assumption about my son and I took the devil’s bait and I came back very strongly at this person. But the truth is, I allowed them to get to me and to rob me of my peace.
The Bible promises the believer that they shall have the protection of the peace of God. It is a peace that transcends human understanding and it guards our hearts and minds against the offenses, accusations, and insults of the enemy that often come through people and circumstances.
Now the way this peace guards and protects you is through you believing, declaring and being conscious (i.e. reminding yourself) of what God’s Word says about you or your situation in life.
The truth is, that opinionated person was simply stating their views and I took the enemy's bait and allowed my “flesh” to respond, rather than my “spirit”.
But here is the key to practice…
Train yourself to let offenses “bounce” off you and not be drawn into arguments and contentions. Don’t even flinch. When you do, this will become your new norm and after just a little while it will become your new “permanent”. No longer will you be internally stressing and stewing over what someone else has said or done (or not done) – you will be at peace in your heart and mind.
When you live this way, declaring regularly God’s peace rests upon your heart and mind, you no longer feel the need to retaliate. Rather, the Lord your God becomes the One who fights all your battles for you.