“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5, NKJV).
This verse tells us that there is a way to find out if we are “in the faith.” What is that way? “Test yourselves.” What is that test? We find the answer in another key Scripture:
Perfect peace. This is the litmus test for whether we are in a heart posture of faith. When our hearts are at rest, trusting the Father, we have His peace. When we slip from trust to fear, we temporarily lose His peace. The presence or absence of real peace within us is how we can tell if we are in faith. According to 2 Corinthians 13:5 (above), Holy Spirit wants us to do heart checks about this regularly. How? We lean in and quiet ourselves enough to take tabs on the state of our soul. We ask ourselves, Am I at peace right now?
If we find we are not at peace, there is no shame. There is no condemnation. Instead, there is grace upon grace to keep growing in trust. This just is part of the learning process. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit that He gradually develops in our character over a lifetime. Jesus takes responsibility for this. He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Over and over, He will coach us in returning to our rest in Him. Our part is to keep turning our hearts back towards Him as He beckons us.
When our heart check informs us that we have slipped out of a posture of peace, Holy Spirit simply, lovingly, invites us to slip back into it. He teaches us the way here:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7, NKJV).
How flabbergasting is this divine exchange! Imagine you were holding a plate of your very favorite treat, about to bite into its sumptuousness. Imagine someone came up to you and asked, “Would you trade me that delicious dessert for this plate of moldy mud?” You would think they were crazy, right?
And yet, God offers us an exchange like that. You give Him your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your heartbreak. He receives them into Himself and, in their place, gives you His perfect peace. Perfect peace that becomes like a first-class line of military defense protecting your thoughts and emotions.
Next time you test yourself and realize you have slipped out of peace, remember that. Daddy is lovingly waiting with arms stretched wide to you. He is ready to trade your mud for His sweet delicacies, your worries for His protection, and your anxiety for His perfect peace.
What has your journey further into God’s peace been like? If you could share one bit of advice about growing in His peace, what would it be?