Before we ask Christ to be our Savior, the Bible says that we are enemies of God. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior“ (Colossians 1:21). That language may seem a little strong for you. You may have never thought of yourself as His enemy.
War with God can be of two types. Some people have an open hostility, or rebellion, toward God. They don’t want anything to do with Him. They are adamant in wanting God to stay out of their face and out of their lives. But most of us show more of a passive indifference to Him. We wouldn’t deny God’s existence, but neither do we give much thought to Him as we go through life. That was me. When I was young, I went to church, but I never thought about God or considered Him except on Sunday. I think people in this category have the attitude, “I won’t bother God until I have a serious problem. Then I’ll ask Him to fix it.”
Whether we are openly hostile or passively indifferent, what’s the solution? As in any war, there won’t be peace until one side surrenders. The Bible says that we must surrender to Him. This surrender takes place when we ask Jesus to forgive us and live in us. It is at that moment that we have peace WITH God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The Good News is that, in spite of being His enemy, God’s love moved Him to draw me to Himself. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners [enemies], Christ died for us.”
As God’s children, there’s yet another peace that He wants us to experience. That is the peace OF God. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Peace WITH God deals with our guilt, while the peace OF God deals with freedom from worry. Guilt and worry are two heavy weights on our shoulders. God wants to free us from both. It comes down to surrendering our wills and expectations to Him, acknowledging that He is good and is working in our lives. If you haven’t yet invited Christ into your life, I hope you will soon. If you have, continue to turn things over to Him, and experience His peace.