By Jim Stultz
It was low tide out in the flats of Charlotte Harbor. I had taken a friend’s boat out to fish for sea trout. After a delightful time of fishing I was trying to return but got a little lost and couldn’t find the channel. The water was getting very shallow and I was worried that I was going to get stuck in the sand. Then off in the distance I spied those familiar red and green markers. Those delightful poles mark the channel for boaters trying to make it back to their port. When I moved into the channel I was overwhelmed with peace as I made my way back to shore.
Life can get pretty treacherous for those of us who know the Lord. We may experience the loss of family members or have to deal with debilitating pain. We can suffer family problems, financial problems, or physical problems. Sometimes the water we are trying to navigate gets a little shallow, doesn’t it? This is the precise time we need to sail into God’s channel of peace. Philippians 4:7 describes this peace: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If you have ever experienced God’s marvelous peace, you will want to stay in it continuously. But how can we? How can we steer ourselves into this wonderful channel of God’s peace?
I believe Paul shows us several markers we need to line up to stay in the channel of God’s peace. First of all we need to have the right praying. Philippians 4:6 tells us to worry about nothing but pray about everything. As we cast those heavy burdens on the Lord in prayer, He exchanges them with His peace. A second marker is right thinking. Verse 8 gives a list of virtuous thoughts to dwell on. As we fill our minds with these, they will crowd out the evil peace-robbing thoughts. Finally we need to have the right living. Verse 9 says, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Right praying, right thinking, and right living will help all Christ followers to stay in the channel of God’s peace.