Years ago, when I found out that God actually speaks to His people, I had this thought; “If I can learn to hear His voice and be led by His Spirit, I’ve got it made,” because I had already made up my mind that I was going to follow Him, and I believed that anything He would lead me to do would be the best thing for me regardless of how it may seem at the time. I still believe that.
What I have learned over the years, in my efforts to be sensitive to His voice and His leading, is that the primary way that God leads His people, aside from His written word, is with the inward witness of Peace. Not the inward voice, not the audible voice, no angelic messenger sent with a light show and a message from the Almighty, just a subtle witness, an impression, a feeling that something either seems right or seems wrong.
God still communicates with the inward voice, the audible voice, angelic visitations, dreams and visions, but that is not the norm, God leads us primarily through the Spirit of Peace. It is important to understand what Peace is and how it works so that we recognize when the Lord is trying to show us something. Jesus was trying to convey this to His disciples in John 14.
John 14 ~ 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Some would suggest that Peace, as mentioned in verse 27, is a separate subject than the previous verse where He talks about the Comforter, but it is not. Jesus is still on the same topic, and He is still answering Judas question about How He will manifest himself to believers and not the world. The answer is Peace.
Peace is the advantage that we have as Christians. It is the arbitrator of our decision-making process that works to lead us into the perfect will of God. It is the supernatural compass, the leader that is never wrong. It is the guide on the inside with a direct line to heaven, the connection to God’s thoughts and intents for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Learning to be led by Peace is like learning anything else, you must practice. There is an old saying, “repetition is the mother of skill”. The more you do it, the better you get at it, it is as simple as that.
I believe that learning to recognize the subtle unction of peace is the first step in the learning process. Peace does not manifest with boisterous announcements and an earthshaking demonstration, it is soft, quiet, and serene like a gentle breeze or still waters.
We are all used to being stimulated to our 5 physical senses. It is important to learn how to shut out all external voices and noises in order to open up, and tune into, your spiritual ears. It is hard to hear a whisper if people, and problems are screaming at you from every direction and over-stimulating all your senses.
Tuning in to the Holy Spirit’s leading is like tuning into a radio station, and the frequency of the Holy Spirit is Peace. We have to move the tuning dial of our spirit in such a way that the static of outside stimuli gets weaker and weaker (tuned out) and the inward witness of our spirit becomes clearer and clearer (tuned in). Once we discipline ourself to tune in to the Peace frequency, there are some other techniques that will help us be more accurate in being led by Peace.
Emotions are the strongest and loudest voice you will have to quiet in the battle for silence in your mind. Sometimes, no matter how much we try to tune out the world so we can hear our own heart, there are situations and circumstances that elevate our emotions to a level that make it very difficult to tune them out. In a situation like this there are a few practical things that we can do to help us be more accurate in our decisions. First is what I like to call the RAD technique. RAD stands for Reduce All Decisions to a yes or no answer.
No matter how detailed or complicated a decision is, even if it has a multitude of possible answers, break it down to a two answer question, a yes or no, this way or that way, or go ahead or wait questions. In reality, you may have to reduce it down to many two answer questions to get your answer, but this helps you focus your soul and spirit.
Once you have used the RAD technique and have identified all of your “two answer” questions, take each question and use another little trick I call TIP.
TIP stands for TOUCH IT with PEACE. Here is an example of how to TIP something.
Years ago I felt like God was dealing with me to sell my house. I could not get clear on the time I was supposed to sell it. This was my first home and it was a pretty big deal. I did not want to miss it on such a big decision and yet I was not clear if I was to sell it now or in the near future. Then the Lord said to “Touch it with Peace”. I had never heard that before but I knew what the Lord meant. I immediately took a FOR SALE sign and placed it in my front yard, went back in the house, got quiet, and listened on the inside.
Quickly I realized that I had an uncomfortable, scratchy feeling on the inside, a little buzzer, a check, a feeling that what I had just done seemed wrong. I knew that I had violated my peace. A half hour later I pulled the sign up and my struggles to be clear were over. I knew I was to wait.
On another occasion, I lost a receipt to a battery that I had bought for a boat. The battery was the wrong size and I had spent about an hour ransacking my house and garage trying to find it. I was getting frustrated and finally asked the Lord to help me. ( yeah, I know, should have done that first Ding Dong.) The Lord said “why don’t you do what you know to do?” I knew He was talking about relying on the Holy Spirit to lead me with Peace.
God cares about all the little things in your life and desires to get involved and help you. He is a gentleman however and will only get involved if asked.
So I was standing in the middle of my living room, looking up at the ceiling, and I just got real quiet and “tuned in” to my heart. There were three directions I could go from where I stood, out the front door, down the hallway, or through the kitchen. I hadn’t been out the front door so I could eliminate that without thinking, so I looked down the hall while listening to my heart. I got that subtle yucky feeling from staring at the hall so I turned to the kitchen and it seemed right. I stepped into the kitchen looking around at the opened drawers, the papers I had scattered on the counter, the dreaded trash can that I had pilfered through repeatedly, and that scratchy, yucky feeling was there again.
I stepped to the backdoor and looked out the window at the garage and had a witness that this was the right way. It didn’t make sense to me. I had been through the garage several times. And then I got a revelation about a passage in Philippians.
Philippians 4:7 ~ And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
You must learn to trust Peace pass the limits of your understanding.
So I slowly walked outside, looking around, trying to be sensitive, and when I took the second step into the garage I knew I was in the right place. It seemed right, it felt good, I had a witness in my heart, … but I still didn’t see the receipt. I stood there with arms crossed and carefully scanned every area. I looked up to heaven to inquire of the Lord and … RIGHT THERE!
I was standing by a 6 ft. step-ladder that I had opened in the middle of the room to change a light bulb. As I look up to heaven I saw the corner of the receipt hanging over the edge of the top step, just over my head and out of sight. Peace had led me to it.
I use this TIP technique often, especially when I misplace my keys or phone, and this is great practice when learning how to be led by Peace. Repetition is the mother of skill. the more you practice on things like keys, phones and receipts, the easier it will be when the pressure is on.
Peace is one of my favorite topics, and what I believe to be one of the most valuable things to learn about if you are to live a life of the Spirit. Here are some scriptures to meditate on to help you grow in Peace.
Colossians 3:15 ~ And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Philippians 4:5-7 ~ 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:13-15 ~ 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Isaiah 55:12 ~ For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.