By Kathi Pelton
One of the greatest works that the Lord has done in me was to usher me from a life of fear to a life of peace. Peace is like a gently flowing stream that brings refreshing to all of your senses— to your soul. The key to finding peace for me was letting go of control, letting go of unbelief and exchanging my fears for faith. I had to learn to trust God in the way that the Bible assures me that He can be trusted— even when things looked impossible.
Many of my readers have heard me say this but it’s worth repeating, “Where peace is established, warfare ceases.” The Lord spoke those words to me many years ago as He invited me into a journey with Him to overcome fear and receive His perfect peace. How true those words have proven to be.
When I was a young woman, fear would often initiate either frantic reactions that would lead me to trying to control the situation with my own devices or it would initiate flight which would take me to a place of isolation or denial. Neither were productive or healthy— and both denied trust in God and separated me from the peace of Christ that comes from trust in Him.
My journey into seeing peace established in my life was not an overnight process. It took time, deliberate effort and daily decisions not to allow fear to rule over my soul or my decisions. I had to receive the Holy Spirit’s help in moments of fear to renew my mind by walking through the steps that I needed to take in order to establish peace in my mind and heart. I had to stop allowing myself permission to act upon fear any longer— but rather to allow fear to be the gateway to establishing peace.
It would often take these steps to put fear under my feet and watch peace be established:
- A fearful situation would arise.
- I would immediately make the decision that I will not be ruled by fear. I would then invite Holy Spirit to come rule in my heart. (And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. Col. 3:15)
- I would remind myself of “Who God is” (faithful, true, loving, provider, etc) through scripture and reminders of His past acts of faithfulness to me and written in the scriptures.
- I would ask Holy Spirit to show me areas in my past where trust had been violated by those around me and then I would forgive those individuals, let go of offenses I had held onto and allow trust in God to fill those places in my soul.
- I would set my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2) and mediate on His Word (Joshua 1:8)– knowing that His truth brings prosperity and success.
- I would only act on things that came from his Spirit that carried peace and refused to take any actions that were initiated from fear or doubt.
I had to make new habits and commit to put the old habit of being ruled by fear under my feet and under the feet of Jesus. As I did this I began to see amazing breakthroughs in my life which gave me greater confidence in His love and faithfulness. Prior to this time, my confidence and even my “faith” was heavily compromised by the belief in negative outcomes and my ability to avoid them. As I began to exchange my feelings of fear (that led to manipulative behaviors) for confident hope and faith, trust and self-control— I not only received peace (that was beyond my comprehension) but I also saw answers and help come quickly.
Why? Because I remained on the “path of life” rather than changing my course that led me down a path of death and destruction, giving the enemy access to harass me.
Peace became a sharpened sword in my hand. I began to see how the constant sense of warfare ceased to impact my life. Even when negative circumstances come, I now have a spiritual habit that brings me peace, wisdom and guidance. The peace that surpasses all understanding now guards my heart and mind from situations that would otherwise provoke fear.
This has also been incredibly helpful as an intercessor. I do not approach prayer, even prayer for urgent matters, with fear based words or panicked pleading. I have learned that even in urgent situations, peace will keep me from warring out of fear. Peace has establish authority through faith. I may be in a spiritual battle but my posture remains in peace, trust and confidence in God’s power to deliver and save. There is great authority in peace and the enemy, who is a master at creating chaos, is repelled by it (peace is the best “pest repellent” that I have found!).
Peace is to fear as light is to darkness— it dispels it! It breaks the power of it and has authority over it. Peace is one of God’s greatest weapons for His people and it is key to living an abundant life of joy and overcoming.
“And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
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