The Holy Spirit offers a means of letting us know the will of God. He guides us through His peace. Philippians 4:7 says:
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace – a state of mutual harmony between people or groups; cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension; freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, obsession
Keep – to hold or retain in one’s possession
The Greek word that is translated “keep” is “phroureo.” It is used in the New Testament in a literal sense of a military guard stationed at the gates of a city to prevent invasion or to keep the inhabitants from fleeing in fear and being captured and killed by the enemy.
“Phroureo” is also used to describe the activity of the Holy Spirit in watching over and guarding believers to preserve them so that they may attain the blessings by doing the will of the Father. That is how it is being used in this verse. It is a “spiritual warfare” kind of word.
Before I became a Christian, I would describe my inner condition as fearful (or full of fear). I was generally scared of almost everything. People, finances, family, and my future. I was afraid of what was, what ifs, what could be. I was never at peace and had no idea what peace was like. I knew others who did not live that way, but I felt this was who I was meant to be and I needed to just come to terms with it.
Some people are bound by spirits of fear and will not be at peace until they are free. Deliverance from spirits of fear seems necessary for some to be able to really know the peace of God. I was one of those. The day I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, was delivered of fear, and baptized in the Holy Spirit, everything changed instantly. At 46 years old, I was at perfect peace for the first time in my life, and it did surpass all of my understanding. I could not even explain peace, but I knew it immediately. It was a brand-new experience for me.
Within a few years of experiencing peace, I became somewhat adjusted and familiar with the peace of God, so I didn’t think a lot about it unless it disappeared. I don’t mean that I necessarily became over-anxious again. I just became aware that I was not feeling the peace of God at that moment. When that happened, I would stop what I was doing and pay serious attention to the Lord who would then show me what to do or what not to do. The guiding and the peace always hinged on the attention I gave.
Over the years, there have been quite a few decisions that I made as the Holy Spirit “guarded” me with His peace. For that reason, I truly have come to trust His peace. I wish I could say I have always stopped in my tracks and given my full attention when my peace disappeared. I can’t say that at all…but I can say that I have always regretted not heeding the peace of God. Thankfully, we can learn from mistakes and forgiveness is real. Thank you so much, Jesus!