For years I have always believed that when we make decisions to do something, having peace of mind is the litmis test of God's leading. However, as I have journeyed with Jesus these past 38 years, I have come to the conclusion - that thought may not be entirely accurate.
Certainly, God promises His peace to us. Both the peace with God (Romans 5) and the peace of God (Phil. 4:6-7). We want to send people on their way with God's peace. Jesus would say that when leaving his disciples and they perhaps wondered about their situation, he would say "my peace be with you." (John 14:27)
So.. don't get me wrong, I am all about peace. However, I also believe there are times that God calls us to do something that is outside the box of our comfort zone, perhaps what some might call an "open door of opportunity" and our flesh has great fear and we need to receive encouragement to follow through.
In the Old Testament, Joshua was called to lead the people Israel into a new land. A new leader heading in a direction they had never journeyed before. God says to them, "Be bold, banish fear and doubt for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go." (Joshua 1:9).
In the New Testament even Jesus, in the garden of Gesthemane, looking ahead to the cross, prayed earnestly, in agony and asking God to "if possible" remove this cup from Him - yet He submitted Himself to the Father's will. (Luke 22:39-46).
This morning, (and this is what led to my blog), I was reading how the Apostle Paul had a door of opportunity opened to him by the Lord, yet due to circumstances that surrounded Paul, he confessed he had no peace in his heart, and thereby turned away from that opportunity the Lord had given him. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
I have no judgment upon Paul, because I know how much our Lord loves us and Graces us and how mightily He used Paul. However, even Paul turned away something that the Lord had seemingly put before Him.
The life of a Christ follower is not always easy (I also read the next two chapters of 2 Corinthians), and I think that many over the centuries had a vision from God yet turned away due to the circumstances that surrounded them.
My thoughts then today are - hang in there, persist, be bold and strong, know that Go is with you and will never leave you and forsake you and fulfill that vision that He has given you!