The oven beeps alerting me that it is pre-heated to 425 degrees. I open the oven door and place a full cookie sheet of raw cookie dough inside, twelve cookies in all. The enticing smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven makes my mouth water. The aroma fills the entire kitchen and the moment my husband opens the door to the house, after a long day at work, he says “smells good, what are you baking?”. I can barely get them out of the oven and onto a cooling rack before a couple of the freshly baked goodies have already disappeared. They taste as good as they smell and nothing better than a warm, gooey chocolate cookie with a cold glass of milk or cup of coffee.
In a matter of seconds, all our senses can be awakened – smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste. The baking of cookies has alerted all of them from the buzzer going off when the cookies are done to snatching up a hot cookie and placing it your mouth before anyone catches you. What if we stopped depending on one of our senses or if one of them was suddenly taken from us? What if touch was no longer available? We could seriously burn our hands when taking the cookies out of the oven if we lost the sense of touch. Or what if we lost smell? Then my husband may have never known that something was baking in the oven when he came home and could have missed out on enjoying them later. All the senses have vital roles they play. But what if there is another sense that we have been missing all these years?
What would it look like if we added “peace” to our senses? If we let peace guide us just as we let our other five senses lead us?
In John 14:27 we read, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” When Christ ascended to heaven, he left with us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was meant to be our comforter and our guide. “Peace I leave with you” was a common saying during the time. But only one person had the ability to give us peace – Christ. He uses the common saying and it catches their attention – “Peace I leave with you” and in case they missed it the first time it is said, he assures them that not only does he leave them with peace but he is giving it to them –“my peace I give to you”. He is not taking it back – it is our gift. It is not the same peace that others offered – it is “my peace” he tells us. What is different about this peace? Strong’s definition tells us that this word “peace” means God’s gift of wholeness! We are not functioning to our full capacity till we are functioning with peace as our compass.
I’ve become accustomed to allowing peace to guide me. As I enter, into new situations, and decisions, I pray for God to guide me – lead me in the right direction. I can recognize the Holy Spirit, Peace, guiding me as I move forward with decisions. That gut wrenching feeling that you can’t quite figure out – that is peace guiding you. Is it leading you in that direction or away from it? Let Peace be your compass.
Six years ago, my husband and I felt a stirring that something was about to change. We prayed and believed that God was calling us to move to Dallas. After speaking further with mentors and taking a time of fasting, we both felt peace about the decision to move. We started the process and began applying for jobs in Dallas. The excitement of moving to a new city together, being near family and helping with a church plant accelerated and motivated us forward; however, we soon learned that making the decision to move may have been the easiest part of the process. As we began applying for jobs, I found a job rather quickly, which led me to Dallas prior to my husband. My husband was very qualified with work experience and a master’s degree but finding a job in Dallas seemed impossible. Interview after interview and still no job. Fast forward three months, living in Dallas with my family while Sean was still living three hours away in Austin. Those three months felt like an eternity. During that time, we had several things go wrong. Things that could make a person question if they truly heard from God. Every time one of those circumstances and barriers appeared, we went back to our compass. Where was our compass pointing? Was it still pointing to Christ? Did we still feel a deep inner peace leading us in that direction? We continued to have peace at the heart of all those questions and answered “yes”. Answering “yes” and being reminded of God’s peace guiding us, continued to bring peace every step of the way throughout the move to Dallas. It gave us peace when our car broke own. It gave us peace when our items were stolen out of our storage unit. It gave us peace when another job interview didn’t lead to a job. It gave us peace as we waited for God’s promises to come to fruition. John 16:3 (ESV) says “When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” This scripture is a great reminder that we are not on this path alone. Instead of looking at the circumstances surrounding us, we kept our eyes focused on the Cross, our compass – our guide, and did not feel overwhelmed by the things going on around us. We kept our eyes focused on Him, and peace continued to guide us rather than the things that were going array. Peace was our compass and Christ was our north.
The 9th Century church would sing this hymn and I think it eloquently describes it best:
“Come Holy Ghost,
Our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire.
Enable with perpetual light,
The dullness of our blinded sight.” Hymn #503
Will you join with me today in repeating this hymn and inviting the Holy Spirit to be our Compass, Peace, Comforter and Guide? Awaken your sense of Peace and recalibrate your compass to point to the cross – to Christ and let Peace guide the way.