COLOSSIANS 3:15 AMPLIFIED 15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
God has revealed His will to us in many areas through His written Word, the Bible. But there are many things the Bible does not specifically tell us, such as what person to marry, what job to do, or where to live. (While the Bible gives us some principles, it does not tell us individually and specifically what to do in these types of things.) But God has made provision to guide us in these areas of life also.
The peace of God is the umpire to determine our direction.
Understanding the “peace of God” (which I also identify as the “inner witness”) can sometimes seem difficult. Inexperienced believers can mistake feeling good or comfortable in their flesh for the inner witness. But, just like everything in life, we learn, even when we make a mistake.
While this may be open to misunderstanding and abuse, it’s what Scripture teaches. God desires a growing relationship with us, and obviously is not too concerned about us never making a mistake while we grow spiritually and learn by experience how to better discern the “inner witness.”
We are not talking about having “peace” in your flesh, but an “inner” peace deep within your spirit. It is not fleeting, but grows stronger the more we draw near to God by spending time focused on Him and His Word.
Normally, with the inner witness, thoughts will just come to you. But thoughts can come from sources other than God. We need a way to judge which thoughts are from God and which ones are not.
There are two criteria by which we can determine whether a thought is from God. The first is a knowledge of the written Word of God, the Bible. God will never lead us contrary to His written Word.
The second criteria is the inner witness.
ROMANS 2:15 NKJ 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
How can you determine the inner witness?
First, it is important to realize that it is not usually a voice, but a witness. Some words to define it are intuition, impression, idea, hunch, knowing, or peace.
The inner witness is something we learn to recognize better as we grow in our relationship with the Lord. It is best to learn on things that are not life-and-death issues. God is interested in every detail of our lives and will help us in everything. He will even lead us in things we would consider small things, such as locating misplaced objects.
The inner witness (along with Scripture) is also how God confirms the most important thing in this life: knowing we are a child of God.
ROMANS 8:16 NKJ 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
To be sensitive to the Lord’s leading, we must look to the Lord and spend time focused on Him. Prayer, praise, giving thanks, and acknowledging God in all our ways are part of it. The better we know the Lord, both through His Word, and through walking with Him, the easier it will be for us to discern the inner witness of the Spirit, and know God’s will for us.
We must walk in the light we have, and make our decisions prayerfully and humbly, always being ready to change and admit we were wrong.
God promises that if any of us lack wisdom, we can ask Him and He will give it to us (James 1:5).