Most Christian are sincere about wanting to be in “God’s will.” We hear this prayed all the time. People think they are using the Bible in their decision making because they remember something about this passage:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NASB)
If you regularly follow my blog, then you know that I think we are an overly emotional culture. Even in the church, the theology of “if it feels right then it must be right” reigns. We rely on having a “sense of peace” in our heart as confirmation we are doing right and making a good decision.
Perhaps those who subscribe to such thinking have never read or forgotten Jeremiah 17:9.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Why would we place any confidence in a message the heart gives us? Why would a person believe that if they do not have this sense of peace then perhaps I’m not in God’s will?
Quoting Colossians 3:15 is often equated with using the Bible for decision making. However, there are a couple of things wrong with this as it’s a lame application of what this passage means.
The interpretation and application of the passage hangs on what is meant by “the peace of God.” I think the feelings based church culture we live in, which is a culture largely ignorant of theology or the principles of interpretation is responsible for the wide spread misuse of the verse. Nowhere in the context of this passage is it implied that this peace of God is related to making decisions. Instead, the word “peace” is in reference to the call of God to salvation.
Remember, that the unsaved person is at war with God-he is not in a neutral position. In salvation, it is God who takes the initiative to make peace. This peace then refers to the attitude of rest or security we have in God because we know now He has made peace with us.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1 (NASB)
Yet, so many people, continue to use the word “peace” as if God gives them a sense of it when making a decision- good or bad! I have been told by counselee’s they had a sense of peace while going out and getting drunk, carousing and being involved in debauchery. Biblically minded people know God did not give that sense of peace- the person gave it to themselves by justifying and rationalizing their behavior through the grip of their emotions.
Sensing “peace” is a bad plan for decision making and not found in Scripture.
Last but not least we must not rely on or seek supernatural signs to help us in making decisions or knowing the will of God in a decision. Seeing something on TV, reading a book, meeting someone from an exotic place does not constitute a supernatural event of revelation. If you are looking for supernatural signs you may as well just read your horoscope in addition to all the rest. It is Christianized hocus pocus to live that way and to make your decisions by such methods.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)
… as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 2 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV)
We do not need additional revelation. We do not need signs and wonders; we do not need supernatural events. We have the Word of God to lead us and the Holy Spirit working within us and through His Word to guide us and to aid us in making our decisions.