As Christians we are called to show forth the glory of God in our lives. We may want this and strive for this, but continually find ourselves so severely lacking. The hardest area seems to be in our attitudes. Even if we do what is right, so often we do it with the wrong attitude. The attitudes clearly manifest themselves and the attitudes quickly grab a hold of us. We are not to murmur yet how quickly we do. Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: We are called upon to go out of our way to help someone and we grudgingly give our help with a smile thinking we're doing this for Jesus. 1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. How do we overcome this fatal flaw? Abiding in the peace of God we have all the answers, all the victory and all the directions. Let's lay some ground work for a clearer understanding of this.

Well, actually the answer given in the scriptures is fairly easy to find, it's carrying it out that proves difficult. First, lets look at the answer.

Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mr 14:38)
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Ro 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Ro 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Ga 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Looking at these verses, we first see that the spirit has the right desire. The wrong attitudes follow the flesh. We can also see that the overcoming of the fleshly tilt is accomplished via battling. Prayer and carefulness. Jesus would not have enjoined them to watch and pray to be overcomers, if the watching and praying would not have accomplished this.
Next, we see that the spirit does that which is needed in our life. So here we have the direction that the spirit is the answer to our failing attitudes.
In Romans, we are told that the life we are called to live is done in the spirit, not the letter, which is a fancy way of saying, trying by our own effort. Romans continues in 8:13 to press the point. The Spirit has to do it. If He does, it will mean victory and life.
The lust of the flesh in this Galatians passage would include the attitudes of the flesh. To walk in the Spirit means to have the attitudes of the Spirit.
The capper to this little section, is the passage found in Ephesians. Strength, might, Spirit, inner man, a lot of powerful words with a lot of direction hidden here. Strength means the ability to overcome and might shows it is more than sufficient to meet the need. Spirit shows us where the power comes from, and inner man is referring to our own spirit. In the spirit of a Christian, the Holy Spirit abides. If we let the spirit lead us instead of our soul or body, we will overcome.
Now we need to go on to the actuality of this. We have quickly covered the technical information, doctrine in other words.

An Old Testament passage says is so clearly: Isa 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
When we are down and burnt out, we have the marching orders for regaining our foothold of victory. In the natural strength of man, we see that even the best, the youth, will eventually grow weary. The strength that comes from abiding with God is invincible. In "The Hiding Place", a story about two Christian sisters who hid Jews in WWII. They were caught and sent to a work camp. The Nazi's were cruel and the conditions were hideous. The one sister grew with bitterness and anger. The other sister, who died in the prison, had perfect peace. She was worked to death yet rejoiced in the glory of God in the sky above. She preached the gospel to the other women with her and was glad of such an opportunity. She knew the strength that no one else knew, she did not grow weary and she did not faint. Another verse from the Psalms says:
Ps 46:10a Be still, and know that I am God:
When we spend time with God, we are not merely doing some exercise. We are approaching the living God, and He will accomplish something.
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
This renewing takes place in our spirits. Our spirits are revived and lifted back up. We abide in the Spirit and we walk victoriously with right attitudes. So, now we have talked about walking in the Spirit and how we reestablish ourselves in that position. What does this have to do with peace, you may ask?

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Understanding that the desired attitudes and state of mind is a free gift, is crucial. We don't work it up, we don't create it. It is freely given to us. If we try to create it, we will totally miss it. It is fruit. Love for others is freely ours, joy in service is freely ours, peace is always there, freely, no biorhythm manipulating or special music to attain this peace. Having patience with a good attitude flows out naturally. Goodness, in any form that it manifests itself, is a normal fruit of abiding in the Spirit. Finally, it lists faith. We tend to think of faith as our part, but here we are told that it, too, is that which comes from the Spirit. Every good thing that comes from us has to come from God. There is no room for pride, no room for self- confidence, and no room for self-reliance.

1Th 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Joy and peace go hand in hand. Joy and peace and comfort, however, do not necessarily. We see in this first verse, that the people written to knew the joy of the Spirit, while suffering in physical ways. They were persecuted. Joy is not dependent on outside circumstances. People think of the joy of Christmas. Holiday feasting, gift giving, and family get togethers. This joy revolves around circumstance. If the Christmas season is in the midst of loneliness and poverty, there will be no joy. In fact, it will cast us into despair or desolation. The joy of the Spirit is rich in the midst of oppressive circumstances.

Ps 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Ps 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Ps 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
Ps 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
Ps 70:4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
Ps 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

Rejoicing comes as a natural expression of the attitude of joy. The first verse in this section has some unusual elements in it. Proper rejoicing and hence, joy, comes in the midst of the fear of God. We fear God because we truly see what we are like, have an inkling of what He is like, and realize that He does extend mercy. If He never extended mercy, we would see ourselves already condemned with no hope or reason for living, other than for ourselves. Because we can enter God's grace, we can rejoice.
Those who love God can rejoice because they are taken care of by God.
We see again and again the rejoicing nature of those who seek God. Christians should be a marked rejoicing people.
Let God be magnified, this should be heard continually from the redeemed! In the Spirit, a Christian should be a perpetually praising person -PPP!
Ah, in Ps. 97:12 we see the virtue of God's holiness. One of the things we praise God for is His holiness. What's more, the rejoicers are themselves called righteous. Those who can find God's peace, joy, and rejoicing, find it in approaching God on His grounds. Those who do not fear and tremble before Him, those who delight in living for themselves, and hence oppress others and despise God, will not be able to know the benefits of the fruit of the Spirit, which include joy and a rejoicing heart.
The two verses we have from the New Testament, tell us to continually rejoice. This attitude is one we are to seek. It is so very different from the world, that it may seem alien to us at first, but it is both healthy and right.

This takes us at long last to the goal for which so many seem to strive, but never find.

As you look at these verses on peace, read them realizing they aren't just pithy sayings of hope, but meat of reality.

Ps 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Joh 14:27 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.
Ro 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Its quality:

Ro 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Col 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.
2Th 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

There is a quality of life that God intends for us to have. He has a goal for us that is absolutely possible. He wouldn't tell us about a state of peace and joy that was only for a select few. He has made the way possible, and provides all that is needed to get there. All that is called for, is that we approach Him on His terms.
Looking now at the first verse. Psalm 119 is about those who love God's Word. A verse from that Psalm promises peace to those who love God's standards. If we do not really love what God's Word says, then we can not expect to find His peace, or any real peace for that matter.
In Isaiah we find an excellent verse on peace. First, we can see that it is God Himself who keeps us in peace. No self-effort at attaining a state of mind. We also see that which we looked at at the beginning of this study. As we wait upon the Lord and be still before God, we will come into this peace. We can have peace because we know God is faithful. We have nothing to become disturbed about with Him watching over us.
We see in John, that the peace we have in Christ is beyond the type of peace the world can ever know.
In Romans, we are told in the Spirit we will abide in peace. Worry comes from the flesh and brings only destruction.
In the remaining verses, I want us to look at the quality of this peace. Out of these five verses we can pull out the following:

* Peace, joy, and righteousness go together. You cannot expect to find peace and joy without righteousness. Like Jesus said to the woman at the well, John 4:23 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." In the Spirit, we will find peace and joy. He will not countenance error. All vain and profane babbling will increase to more ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16). In Isaiah we find a verse that relates truth and righteousness as almost synonymous. Isaiah 48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.

* The peace that overcomes everything in this world. We can have peace when all our circumstances would demand sorrow and distress. The world cannot understand such peace. Our hearts and minds show stability. Christ will keep us in this peace, in our spirits, as we abide in Him. This peace will then maintain our emotions and our sanity. The world will wonder how we endure the suffering they see in our lives, and yet, we live on in both sanity and peace.

* To have this peace is up to us. We must choose it and allow it. Thanksgiving will also be present with this peace. Here is that praising, rejoicing heart.

* Jesus will sustain this peace and no matter what situation we fall into, He will give that peace to us.

* In the Spirit, we find the outline of power, love, and a sound mind.. These spell out peace. The state of mind maintained is one of rest and stability.

The spirit is a part of us that has a full-range capacity of emotions. We can see just a few of them in the following verses:

Mr 8:12a And he sighed deeply in his spirit,
Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Joh 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

From this, we can see that there are times when joy and peace may not be the prevailing characteristics we find, when abiding in the Spirit.
An example of this can be noticeable around Halloween. I want you to look at the following verse again:

Col 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. (I Cor. ch. 12)

I found a survey conducted by Focus on the Family and answered by those that visit their web-site, which would be predominantly Christians. The survey said:

How will your household celebrate Halloween this year?

Enjoy costumes and candy 28.89%
Turn it into a fall festival 29.05%
Observe it as Reformation Day 3.75%
Ignore it for lack of interest 8.51%
Avoid it because it is evil 29.80%
Total Entries as of 10/31/99: 13589

The verse in Colossians ties peace back to the body. If the majority of the body is celebrating Halloween in one form or another, as this survey indicates, then there would be a grieving of the Holy Spirit. (For further discussion of Halloween see my article entitled, "Halloween.") This sense of the consciousness of the body would be picked up in the Spirit. On Halloween there would then be a prevailing sense of burden instead of peace.

As I said earlier, while abiding in the peace of God we have all the answers, all the victory and all the directions. Many things in our daily lives will pull at us to take us away from this stabilizing peace. With all that is in our society today, there is much pulling us to become too broad, when we so desperately need to seek to grow deep. In this deeper relationship with God, the tap root will hit an ever flowing stream of living water that will meet all our needs. Also, we must learn that in growing deep we will not need to extend so broadly. We will be content without having to have many toys and many things to constantly occupy us. God will Himself satisfy us. The waiting upon God itself, called for in the Psalms, means to stop what we are doing (playing games, watching TV, fishing, playing in a hundred and one ways) and be still before Him. If you don't know how to commune with God, you will not be able to secure the peace and joy He wants for you. If you lack this knowledge, then isn't it worth it to invest some time growing deeper for once? If you truly hunger, you will be filled (Matthew 5:6).

Copy right November 1999 Darrell Farkas

Please Rate this Page
1 - Poor
5 - Excellent


3 + 4 =
(to prove you're a real human, not a spammer)

Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

Return To Library