Crucial to enjoying the freedom to dream and imagine with God is living in the peace of God. It is very difficult to focus on what is seemingly impossible, and to imagine in such a way that leads to inventing and creating when your heart is ruled by anxiety.
In Colossians 3:15 Christ offers shalom, shalom is the Old Testament, Hebrew word meaning peace. Peace goes beyond the idea of the absence of anxiety and worry and carries the promise of wholeness, soundness, tranquility, fullness, rest, completeness, well being, the absence of agitation.
Anxiety is the enemy of peace. They cannot co-exist, they drive one another out. In the United Kingdom more working days are lost a year because of sickness caused by anxiety, than any other cause. When you imagine the worst about any situation and circumstance you invite anxiety in.
As a catalyst and encouragement for inviting Christ’s peace to rule you need to have a visceral reaction against the fruit of anxiety. You need to feel the hatred of anxiety in your bones. Anxiety leads to toxic, foggy, chaotic, incorrect, confused, dysfunctional thinking. Resulting in tension, diminished clarity, restlessness, and physical tightness. Often to cope with the effects of anxiety people retreat, digress, and withdraw from community, resulting in them not being fully present. When anxiety is triggered many embrace forms of numbing to soothe the pain caused by anxiety. Numbing can look like overwork, excessive intake of alchohol, over eating etc. This numbing though only results in false peace, and temporary rest.
You can tell who is ruling your outlook on a particular situation, whether it’s peace or anxiety by looking at the fruit it produces. Fruit testifies to who is governing, ruling, and exercising authority. When Christ is invited to rule, the peace He enjoys becomes yours. You cannot enjoy the peace that Christ enjoys without Him ruling each and every situation you face. There is No experience of Heaven’s peace without His rule.
God’s government is freedom. He will not force His rule, and authority upon you. He waits for you to give Him permission. Sometimes people say “it’s not working”. But instead of accusing God, a better question is ask yourself have you let Him exercise authority in that particular area? He wants to rule, to protect, create safety and empower and enable us to live out Kingdom freedom, but first you must invite Him to do so.
To fully engage with Christ means moment by moment trusting, yielding, and surrender. Cooperating with His peace. Inviting Christ to be the umpire of your thought life, empowering Him to settle with finality all the issues, concerns, questions controversy that impacts your mind. Practically It means when you hear news that has the potential to cause and create anxiety you need to breath, and to pause, not just to react and articulate anxiety. Then ask clarifying questions of the person bringing the news. Ascertain if it is a real threat or not. Even if the bad news is true it is wise to then ask yourself how helpful in the past has freaking out been? Remember that anxiety cuts you off from thinking with strategic clarity.