Read Galatians 5:16-26.
What does it mean to live in peace? It means to no longer live in conflict with God.
The Apostle Paul uses the phrase, “walk by the Spirit.” (v. 16) The idea in the original language is to walk in cadence with the Spirit. Similar examples include:
–soldiers walking in cadence according to their drill instructor
–rowers rowing in cadence to their leader
–a marching band marching in cadence with their drum
In each instance, the individual sets aside their own wants and desires to go off on their own. The phrase tells us it is a step-by-step, moment-by-moment process. But our tendency is to not listen all that well and we convince ourselves we can do it on our own. That’s when we find ourselves living in conflict with the Spirit and the stress, anxiety, and loss of peace set in.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (NIV, Galatians 5:17)
When we are not at peace, somehow, somewhere, we have shut out the voice of the Spirit and chosen to go our own way. From a distance, it is easy to spot a marching band member out of step, but when it is ourselves, we are often blind to it. That’s why we need to take a moment before the Lord and ask him to show us how we have gone our own way instead of following his leading.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (NIV, Galatians 5:22-23)
The peace we look for in so many places and in so many ways actually comes from the Holy Spirit. It is a spiritual fruit. It is the result of walking in step with Him.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV, Galatians 5:24-25)
Why not take a moment right now and thank God for his Spirit, and allow him to shine a light on the areas where we are living in conflict with him? Hear his voice calling out the cadence–leading, guiding, directing. Experience the peace that comes from walking in step with his Spirit.