Hearing God's Voice in a Chaotic World: Choosing Peace

by John Paul Jackson

Unless you're a hermit who hasn't left your cave in 10 years, you're probably much aware that times are shaky right now. If you don't have anything drastic immediately affecting your own life, all you have to do is flip on the news and see what's happening in other people's lives.

This raises a very important question. How do you find and keep your peace when all the world seems to be falling down around you?

Some helpful person will probably tell you to "find your center." Others advise, "You just need to let it all go," and then they demonstrate the correct way to breathe. In, out, in, out just relax.

Obviously, breathing techniques and other stress relievers can help when you're worried, but they're only a temporary fix. You don't want just to alleviate the symptoms; you want to heal the disease. Worry will eat the marrow right out of your bones, which is one reason Jesus specifically told us not to do it. The huge, drawn-out, detailed command is found in Matthew 6. I know it's heavy duty, but practice some of those breathing techniques and try to understand it:

"Don't worry."

Just don't. Stress, anxiety, fear they all fall into the worry category, and worry is what makes it nearly impossible for you to hear God's voice. It's like putting in spiritual earplugs that keep you deaf to and unaffected by the thing that should affect you the most.

Hearing God's voice is like being rescued from drowning. It's like being called into the boss' office and unexpectedly given a substantial raise. In a moment, it seems that all your dreams have been realized, and you know in your heart that no matter what happens, you will live happily ever after, because God is good and He is in control. Living in peace allows us to experience this, and more. It helps us hear His voice.

On the other hand, when we are afraid, angry, depressed or any other opposite of the fruit of the Spirit, we allow the enemy to stick his earplugs in our ears, and we lose track of who God is, who we are and what in the world we're doing here. Worry breaks our compass, and as long as we listen to the whispers sniveling voices in our heads that try to make us afraid we are lost.

Only when our ears are open will we be able to fully relax in God's arms, comforted by His presence and confident in who He is. Only when we're not worried will we be able to hear Him clearly. And when we're hearing Him clearly, our destinies become visible, and we have hope once again.

In summation, true peace requires true trust. Peace is a deep, living, breathing, all-encompassing trust in God's goodness and His ability to carry you, no matter the circumstances. You can't have peace without trust, and in order to trust somebody, you have to genuinely know that person. Desperate times call for desperate relationship i.e., in this chaotic world we live in, you and I must have such a relationship with our Father that we can sit back and say, "Yes, God is good to His very core, and I can allow myself . . . to rest."

Finally, one great thing about peace is that it isn't a faraway, euphoric state only the enlightened can achieve. Most of the time, being peaceful is as simple as learning the correct way to breathe. In, out, in, out just relax. And remember to whom you belong.