I go back and forth about which topics to post and which to not post. I know I’m not alone. First, let me say that I am encouraged that conversations are now happening publicly and openly between believers and non-believers about faith in Jesus. To fathom this moment years ago was next to impossible for many of those who have gone before us. Now, it’s almost unimaginable not to be able to freely express our belief through many mediums that have given us voice and courage to say what we probably couldn’t put into words in times before. We have the mass of resources available to us at our finger tips to thank for opportunities to learn more, and not just accept something because we hear it.
In fact, I’ve almost never seen so many people speak up so sincerely about where they stand in faith, and it moves me because it’s now more evident where individuals stand, so we’re no longer left guessing. In the same breath, I’m also very paralyzed at times to join in on the many conversations that are happening because of how we as believers have taken the very faith we profess and divided it among us so much, to the point that these conversations have birthed debates that have been the breeding ground of strife, division and pride. It’s also discouraging to watch people from two stances disagree about a God Who makes Himself plain and has denounced to be the creator of chaos and confusion.
But what do we do as believers when we watch these conversations play out right before our eyes? What decision do you make when you’re going between giving your two cents and staying silent? Is one decision more empowering than the other?
Let me first invite you to choose peace. Not YOUR peace. GOD’S. So I don’t confuse you, here’s how you’ll know what comes from God.
Peace is a characteristic of God (Romans 15:33, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Ephesians 2:14). Peace is God’s very nature. In case you were wondering what credibility God had to give peace, we can rest assured He’s most credible because peace is His very nature. If we’re looking for peace from anyone, it ought to be from the very Source and producer of peace, which is God Himself. It’s important for us to acknowledge this as it ties into our trust and tendency to receive peace from God.
Peace is not birthed in our logic and human ability (Philippians 4:7). It transcends, goes beyond, and surpasses our understanding. It’s not something that can be fathomed, understood or measured. Consider God to be the creator of the peace that comes from Him. Because it is created and cultivated by Him, its effects on us are supernatural (beyond our physical means), and complete (able to accomplish its task to full).
Peace is supernatural, and is perfectly capable of keeping and guarding our hearts and minds IN CHRIST. It is absolutely qualified to bring back to our remembrance the things of God in Christ, as to be a reminder to us of Jesus as our Mediator and Defender, and of God’s covenant to us as a result of Christ’s finished work on the cross. As a result, we can know that God’s peace does not come from the world (John 14:27). We can rest assured before we acknowledge and engage in conversation with those who may or may not have a true understanding of God and Christ.
Peace remains as a result of our focus on God through Christ, which shows where our trust lies (Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 119:165). When we set our affections on God, and all things Godly, we shift our focus from anything that is chaotic, confusing, and troublesome. Pease works at best in us when we are focused on God and everything that is true, and of good report.
Peace is a work of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6, Galatians 5:22). Understand that the peace we operate in does not come from the world. Our regenerate spirit comes with a load of gifts, and peace is one.
Peace is not anxious and unsettled (Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7), and peace promotes unity and oneness (2 Corinthians 13:11, Romans 12:18, Romans 14:19, Proverbs 16:7, Mark 9:50).
Secondly, I want to invite you to resolve in your heart that the responsibility of persuasion and transformation does not belong to us. It is healthy to present our biblical knowledge of God with others, both believers and non-believers. Our interactions become harmful to the mission when we become manipulative, as if to force our faith on others, leaving little room for the Holy Spirit to do His perfect work in the lives of others. (Zechariah 4:6, Habakkuk 2, and 1 Corinthians 3:6).
Third, I want to invite you to get a gauge of every person’s spirit you encounter and see their soul first to know how people are influenced, whether it be godly or ungodly. Every spirit influence does not have the intention to hear and receive the Gospel. In fact, all spirits not like God have the intention to deter your mission as believers, and those spirits run through the earth in people. Although that does not stop us as believers from sharing it, it changes our approach and presentation, and it helps us to opportunity in wisdom and by the Spirit of God and not emotionally. We’re not to water down the Gospel, but when we are listeners and subject to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we are led to opportunities that will win souls and be fruitful, and we’ll know it. Every engagement with people won’t end broken, but a spirit-led interaction is the breeding ground for manifestation and edification for both the hearer and the messenger. God’s word always works, and it works best when we’re positioned to operate by the Spirit of God, and not be our own efforts. So, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit before you share God’s words. He truly does need to give you the words to say because He’ll give you words that will softened hardened hearts.
Last, I want to invite you to say what God says in the times when the Holy Spirit is leading you to speak. So many opinions without much reference to Scripture within its context. You can do this by studying God’s Word, in prayer and through community with like-minded believers. How do we know when we are lead to speak? Luke 21: 14-15 says, “Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer. For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.” Luke 12: 11-12 says, “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.” In other words, let the Holy Spirit be your guide.
In this season, there is much discretion to be had. My advice: Be careful! While we love to engage in conversation for the sake of our passions, let us not be led to fulfill opportunities we are passionate about with an unknowledgeable zeal, which in return becomes unfruitful and ineffective. Be led by God’s Spirit in everything you say and do.