Pause For The Peace

Friday, April 5, 2019

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

My Journey for Peace In Life and Leadership

At a youth conference many years ago, one of the speakers was Mark Gorman, and the main thrust of his talk was the importance of the peace of God when making decisions. At the time I remember laughing about his illustration that involved learning how to wiggle his ears. The parallel was that wiggling his ears is like peace with God. He couldn't teach you how to wiggle your ears but once you learnt it, you can always go back to it, and he couldn't effectively describe or lead you to peace with God but once you have felt it you always know how it feels.

For those who might wonder if they know the peace of God, his example was the salvation prayer. At the moment when you prayed, accepted forgiveness and started your relationship with God there is a peace that comes, because you are now at peace with God. I think it is a fair example and for me was something I could grasp and relate to.

His outworking of the principle was that if you are not sure if a decision is the right one, then take a step towards it and if you lose the peace, then take a step back.

This principle of peace with God has been a part of most major decisions for many years, and many smaller decisions. When deciding between University and Bible College after High School I took a step towards university and lost the peace, so went to Bible College. We just celebrated our 14th anniversary, but when we were just friends I took a step towards the possibility of our relationship being more and the peace remained, and so I continued to move in that direction. When considering whether to remain at the church we were serving and leading in, I took a step towards staying for at least another year and lost the peace, so we went through the process of transition.

Those were some of the more major decisions, but even things like writing a sermon, I would often take a step in a certain direction and it would not sit right with me. Other leadership and ministry decisions have been more intuitive but based on the same principle, that if I lose the peace then take a step back from that direction.


Why Pause For The Peace

Life will push us to be busier, people will want us to make decisions quicker, fear can cause us to rush a decision or freeze in case it is wrong, our past experiences will cause us to have default reactions in certain scenarios. When we pause and make sure we have the peace, then we are making room for the Holy Spirit to interact with us and our decisions. The Holy Spirit is our Guide and Counsellor, he has been sent to lead us into all truth, and we need to maintain senstivity to him and his leading. Effectiveness and influence are not going to increase because you read the latest book or blog, or from the latest podcast or conference. It comes from leading out of an active relationship with God, allowing him to lead and guide you.

Don't get me wrong, I read books, I read blogs, I listen to podcasts, I watch videos, I go to conferences and some of them have influenced me for the better. The problem is that sometimes they have negatively influenced me, when I have heard and acted without the pause. When we put the pause into the process, we let the good idea that worked in someone else's arena be sifted and washed, assessed and if there is merit for us then the Holy Spirit can help us find it and apply it.


Pausing In Our Leadership

For us to implement this type of system in our lives, I believe we need to:

  • create the space to sit and allow decisions to percolate for a time
  • put a deadline on the decision because indecision is a decision, and indecision breeds frustration and stagnation
  • try things, but with an open heart, hand and mind - if we step towards it and lose the peace then we need to be humble enough to acknowledge that it was not the right decision


I sincerely hope this is of some assistance as you lead yourself, your team and your ministry. If you have any comments or would like to add anything, please put them below. 
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