This is a continuation of the Shoveletter Series on the Will of God dealing with a long-standing principle based off Colossians 3:15 about using the peace of Christ to guide us into making decisions. It comes from an email I received from the previous Shoveletter.
Please hurry up and finish your cliffhanging devotional. and please continue to discuss decision making and peace, not just interpersonal relationships. Heather
Yes, I will definitely deal more with the decision-making process, as I knew I was begging the question. But first, let me remind you of what Paul really said to the Colossians.
According to what Paul wrote, here was our problem:
alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds Colossians 1:21
dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh Colossians 2:13
According to what Paul wrote, here is what Jesus did:
reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross Colossians 1:20
reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach Colossians 1:22
you have been made complete Colossians 2:10
He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions Colossians 2:13
canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 1:14
Let's see ... hostilities removed, debts canceled, all things reconciled, fully forgiven, made alive, presented holy and blameless. Sounds like PEACE to me! How about to you?
You know, something tells me that you don't disagree with this, but chances are that you might feel a little disturbed about what I have written. If so, it's a natural reaction that's called "displacement". What that means is that your reactions are not directly related with what I have written, but with the stuff that has been pushed out of the way by what I've written. The truth of the matter is that I am not bringing up anything new. I'm only stirring up your own unresolved questions. The real issue that's begging for attention is what to do with the other stuff that doesn't seem to fit anymore. Do you find another place for it ... or chuck it out?
Why, oh, why do we trust feelings of peace? Haven't we learned anything from our experiences in this world? I enjoy peaceful feelings as much as anybody, but I have learned the painful lesson that I cannot trust them. Now, was Paul teaching us to learn to distinguish the feelings of the Spirit from the feelings of the world? Was he then asking us to trust those feelings of peace we get from the Spirit? Is this what it means to be "led by the Spirit"? It may be the popular teaching, but if Paul TAUGHT it where did he WRITE it? I read his letters and I see someone who would never establish a practice of making decisions based on a relative sense of "peace". Instead, he constantly insisted on basing all things on what Christ had ALREADY accomplished. Feelings are not evil, but the simple fact is that those who pursue feelings are riding an emotional roller-coaster.
I really do know some of what is going through your head right now. Some of you are thinking that I have removed the "leading of the Holy Spirit" right out of the equation, aren't you? But let me ask you a question: are you holding on to an ideal of "leading" that is way below your original expectations? Before you answer too quickly you might want to consider one little bit of info: the leading of the Holy Spirit is a 24-7 deal. That's right all day, every day.
For all who ARE BEING led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14
Yeah, it blew my whole pathetic off-again-on-again concept of leading, too. Don't let this discourage you one bit, though, for it is declaring a reality that should cause you to shout for joy! If you are born of God, the Spirit is right now, at this moment, leading you ... and He doesn't take coffee breaks.
Yep, I'm going to do it again more to come ... >> Continued in the Shoveletter, The Will of God