By Pastor John Mark Skiles, Impact Life Church
The amazing question to start this story off is this, “Can I walk in peace when there is so much scary chaos that is happening in our world right now?” The answer to this question is, “Yes, you can.” I don’t presume to be a minister who is a name it and claim it, one of those people who just tells you all you need to do is pray and it will be gone, or just pray it away and never touch it again. While I love having the kind of Faith that you can believe anything like the Bible says in John 14:14, “Ask anything in my name, and I will give it to you,” I’ll do it. I love having a God who loves me like that, one who would do anything for me, who died for me. So, I do believe the Scripture that says that you can be healed, and you can be Saved, and you can experience life change in a moment! I’ve actually experienced all of that in my life! So, I’m an overcomer by my testimony and what God has done in my life, and all that he has delivered me from.
I’m also reminded of the verse in Psalms 37:4 that says, “If we delight ourselves in God, He will give us the desires of our heart.” This does not mean he just wants to give us the first thing that pops into our heads, like a house on the beach (and you’re blessed if you have one) or a brand new car, or that thing that you have always wanted. I believe that when Scripture says He will give us the desires of our heart, these are the desires that are connected to His desires. He loves to bless and give good gifts unto His children is what our Bible says, but those are gifts as sons and daughters of God. When we align our life with Christ and when we use our gifts, and our houses, and our cars, and all that we have to do the work of the Kingdom — that is where the blessings come, and my interpretation to be that God will give us those desires in our heart, when they are the same as His!! See how that works? I love that! He will help you fulfill your dreams and become more than you ever thought just by aligning your life with His, and asking, “Lord what is my purpose in this life?” God will always reveal an amazing plan in your heart and in your life! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “God knows the plans He has for us, and wants to prosper us.” I pray that you are all being fulfilled in God’s calling for your life!
Something I feel like is one of our major callings in this life is to walk in peace, and be a peace carrier. What is a peace carrier? I’m so glad you asked — someone who, when they walk into a room, others sort of flock to them because they carry a presence of Christ which is a Presence of peace, and love. Have you ever known any such type of person? I strive to be a carrier of peace in this world that we live in. I feel like as children of God we are all called to be like Jesus, and bring peace, especially right now in our world when I feel the messages of peace and hope are so important to those around us! Use your social media, your phones, cards — whatever you have available to you to let people know — I am going to trust God and that brings me peace. Instead of sharing scary things on your social media, share something that brings hope and is uplifting.
The word says in Romans 15:13, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
If I know that God is my source and my hope, and will fill me to overflowing, that should allow me to lay my head down at night and rest a little bit easier!! God is looking out for you! He will never leave you, nor forsake you! He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother! So just realize that peace is not coming from you….it’s coming from Christ who is in you! Having said that, no one can steal your peace unless you allow them to. Be a carrier of peace, bring joy to peoples’ life, pray for them, help people on this journey we all call life! In the middle of all of the stress and trauma that comes with what is happening in our world with the COVID-19 virus, just say this out loud wherever you are…. “I am going to trust God, He’s got me.” Declare and decree that you are a child of God. Here are some things that my wife Sula, and I, along with our children do to keep peace and help us fight fear, in our home during this time:
#1 Turn worship music on. Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Worship restores God’s heart to your dwelling! Psalms 31:19: “Lord you have stored up so many good things for us, like a treasure chest heaped up and spilling over with blessings, all for those who worship and honor You!”
#2 Declare & speak Psalm 91 over your family, friends, church, city, and finances. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and He will protect you from false accusations and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm. Take time and pray this together, and also over others, and even catch this…..over the entire region. Be what I call a watchman on the wall, one who will pray for our city! Let’s do it friends! Anybody besides me believe that God hears our prayers?
#3 Take back your authority: II Timothy: God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power, love, and sound mind. Ephesians 1:19-23: I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church, the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself. My friends take back your authority in your homes over spiritual matters. Do not let the enemy have your homes, your thoughts, nothing!! “No weapon formed against you shall prosper!” You’re going to win! I promise. Believe in God! Have Faith!
#4 Go outside! Have fun as a family (quality quarantine time). Is it possible? Yes! Walk, run, dance, play, dream! Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Just remind yourself to choose peace! It’s not what’s happening around me, it’s who is in me, Jesus.