Some may think they’re neutral about God if they don’t have an opinion about him one way or the other. They aren’t outspoken atheists, after all. But prior to becoming a Christian, every person is at war with God. That is what the Bible teaches.
We read in the fifth chapter of Romans that we were the enemies of God before we were reconciled. And Romans also tells us, “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will” (8:7 NLT).
I distinctly remember the day I became a Christian. I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve also talked to many people who said they experienced the same thing.
Even as a 17-year-old, I felt like a burden had been lifted from me. What kind of a burden does a 17-year-old kid carry? In my case it was a pretty big one, I guess. It was the weight of my sin, the weight of my guilt. When that weight was taken off me, I suddenly had a peace in my heart that I had never known before.
The Bible calls this the peace that passes all human understanding. It isn’t contingent on circumstances; it’s independent of them. In fact, sometimes you’ll notice this peace even more in the midst of very difficult circumstances.
For example, I have visited people in hospital rooms who are receiving treatment for cancer, and they have ministered to me more than I have ministered to them.
They’ve said things like, “Greg, I sense such peace in my heart that God is in control. … I’m just rejoicing in the Lord.”
Meanwhile, I’m standing there in awe. I’m in awe of their faith, but I’m even more in awe of the fact that God gives us what we need when we need it.
You cannot experience the peace of God, however, until you first have peace with God. And his terms of surrender are simple: You give in. You simply say, “OK, you win. I lose.”
In this instance, losing is winning. When you lose you win, because when you get to the end of yourself you get to the beginning of God.
The Bible tells the story of Jacob, a conniving, dishonest guy who made a mess of his life. But one day the Lord came down and engaged him in a wrestling match. Jacob literally wrestled with God. He fought with all his might, yet he could not overcome the Lord.
Eventually, the worn-out Jacob gave in. He said, in effect, “All right, Lord, I give in. Now, I’m not going to let you go until you bless me.”
So the Lord blessed him and changed his name from Jacob to Israel.
Jacob went from wrestling to nestling. He went from fighting to trusting. And that is what we all need to do.
Stop fighting with God. Stop running from God. Then he will give you the peace, the tranquility that comes from a relieved conscience. He will give you the peace that passes all human understanding.
You can have that today, but you need to do it God’s way and not on your own.
Drugs never will give you this peace. Alcohol never will give you this peace. Possessions never will give you this peace. There is no relationship with anyone, as wonderful as they may be, that will give you this peace.
Philosophy will not give you this peace. Even religion will not give you this peace. Only God can give it to you.
You can find it in your life by saying, “Lord, I’m tired of fighting with you. I’m tired of running from you. I want to know you. I want to be your friend.”
This friendship with God is what brings personal peace. The Bible says, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT).
What did we do to deserve all of this? The simple answer is nothing.
We can have a friendship with God because Jesus made it possible. He already has made a way for us. He has already paid the price on the cross for us and rose from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life and knocks. And he says that if you will hear his voice and open the door, then he will come in.
Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin? Do you have the confidence that comes from knowing that God has forgiven your sin, from knowing that you will go to Heaven when you die? Or, is your heart and mind filled with turmoil and friction and anxiety and fear and apprehension?
To replace this with the peace of God, you must first meet God’s conditions.
What are they? First, admit you’re a sinner. Then turn from that sin. Repent of it. And then ask Jesus Christ to come into your life to be your Savior and Lord. Believe in him and enter into this friendship with God.
Christians have the hope of Heaven one day. We have the hope of a reunion with loved ones who have gone to Heaven before us.
Do you have peace with God? This peace can be yours right now. But first, you’ll have to end your war with God.
Originally published at WND: https://www.wnd.com/2019/08/are-you-at-war-with-god/
Learn more about pastor Greg Laurie: https://harvest.org/about-greg-laurie/
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