How to Hear God’s Voice – YWAM Asheville

How to Hear God’s Voice

Introduction

The Creator of the universe speaks to us! He chooses to communicate with His creation. What an amazing concept. And yet, how many of us frequently hear God’s voice? We hear about God being “personal” and “relational”. But how can that be true for us individually if we do not participate in communication with Him?

9 different ways to hear God’s voice 

There is no limit to the ways the Lord might choose to speak. He is infinitely creative and will use whatever He needs to convey His heart to us. He knows what we will notice, understand, and be captivated by. He knows the “language” we can comprehend best. This means that the way He speaks to you might be completely different from the way He speaks to me. 

I am going to share 9 ways that I personally hear God’s voice. Remember, there is no limit to the ways He communicates because there is no limit to Him! 

Scripture

Whether I am reading the Bible as part of a structured plan or devotional, during a lecture or sermon, or the Holy Spirit brings a unique verse to mind, Scripture is one of the top ways God speaks to me. Having a growing understanding and hunger for the Word of God will help you hear and discern God’s voice on a regular basis. 

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways

Peace

When I need to make a decision or do something difficult, I ask the Holy Spirit to give me peace as a guide. There is a distinct stillness and calm surrounding the action He is leading me to take. When there is a sense of confusion or unrest, I know that it is not the right choice, or time. 

Metaphors 

This may sound strange, but cleaning is spiritual to me. It’s true! As I clean the corners of my bathroom floor, the Lord reminds me of how thoroughly He washed me with His blood. As I care for my children, He tells me how He cares for me as a parent. As I prune my plants, He speaks about areas He is refining in my heart. The Bible is full of metaphors, figures of speech, and parables…figurative and creative images/verbiage that is communicating the heart of God.

Dreams

When I wake up from a dream that was a little more potent, colorful, or distinct than usual, I ask the Lord if it is Him speaking to me. I invite Him to interpret the dream, to expound on it, to bring clarity. Sometimes the Lord will give me a prophetic warning, guidance, or perspective through some really bizarre dreams. Not every dream is from Jesus. Hear me on that. But the ones that are from Him are amazing. 

Others

Here at YWAM Asheville, we operate as a discipleship community. This means that we live in a position of openness to the voice of God coming through each other. We practice regular times of praying for each other, blessing one another, and interceding on each other’s behalf. Sometimes the voice of God comes to me in the most perfect way through another person. Your spouse, friend, mentor, or a complete stranger…doesn’t matter, God can use them!

Creation 

How can you look at a roaring waterfall and not feel swept up into the uniqueness of the Creator? The majesty of the ocean, or a gentle breeze through autumn leaves. I remember, as a little girl, laying in the backyard looking at a piece of grass in my hands. I let my eyes focus on the tiny little vertical lines, and then looked up to the clouds…I could see the moon behind them. Such minute detail and simultaneously such expansive grandeur. This moment as a child convinced me of intelligent design. Nature reflects some aspect of who God is, and so meditating on it can lead me into a conversation with Him about who He is and what He’s like. 

Worship 

Times of worshipping God through music frequently become a time for God to pour truths over me. Almost every time I become stressed about something, or have allowed worry to enter my heart, the Lord will place me in a situation where I am listening to a song about His provision or sovereignty. He knows exactly what my heart needs to be reminded of. 

Emotion 

Sometimes the emotions we experience are intentionally meant to lead us on a treasure hunt with the Holy Spirit. Jesus will use my sensitivity to emotion as an invitation to follow a trail in my heart or in a certain situation. If I’m feeling anxious or jumpy, I should stop and ask the Lord to show me where that is coming from. Perhaps He will uncover an area of idolatry in my heart. If I am feeling abundantly heavy and burdened, maybe He will show me an injustice that He wants me to pray over. If I feel overflowing joy, He may say to me, “this is how you make me feel, Beloved.” 

Still Small Voice 

This is different for everyone. In my life, the still small voice of God is rarely audible. Rather it is a divine highlighting. He will whisper a word or name into my heart. He will place an image in my mind’s eye. He will draw my attention to something I hadn’t seen before. It’s like being with a dear friend that you know so well you don’t need words to communicate. Where He looks, I look also.

Final Takeaway

Now, you may think that all of these ways to hear God’s voice are simply your own thoughts. I would challenge you to ask yourself this question: who made my mind? Who knows me better than I know myself?

Answer: God.

Perhaps you simply can’t discern the difference between His voice and your own. As you press into the practice of hearing God’s voice, you will soon become familiar with the sounds of His communication to you in contrast to the sound of your own mind. He wants to speak. Let Him. 

YWAM is committed to teaching every missionary that comes to a Discipleship Training School (DTS) to hear the voice of God. It is a foundational value to who we are as an organization. If you yearn to hear God’s voice but aren’t sure where to start, consider joining our next YWAM DTS. Or if you have already done a DTS, sign up for a YWAM secondary school to continue to grow in this area. The Foundational Leadership Course at YWAM Asheville will give you further training on following the leadership of God’s voice and give you the tools to teach others to do the same.

The Purpose of Team Building and Why It’s Important

The Purpose of Team Building and Why It’s Important

 

Introduction

“Team building” is a term that gets used a lot in corporate settings, but what is its purpose? And why is it important? Ask any business owner, CEO, or manager…a business is only as strong and healthy as its people are, bottom to top. This means that the everyday worker’s wellbeing has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the whole enterprise. The head honcho of any organization cannot take their eye off the welfare of the person at the bottom of their corporate ladder, because it will affect the health of their whole operation. Ok, so that’s great in theory. But how is an organization, business, or team supposed to make that a reality? 

What is team building?

Team building is exactly what it sounds like: building a team. This can take many different forms, but it usually looks like participating in thoughtfully curated, fun activities designed to get team members out of their comfort zone, learning new things about each other, problem-solving together, communicating with one another, and exercising interpersonal skills.

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways

What is Team Building at YWAM Asheville? 

Here at YWAM Asheville team building is crucial. We are a discipleship community, dedicated to building one another up, leading one another to truth, creating together, and living life together. Our ability to work well as a team is central to our overall success. Team building is a frequent practice for us, especially as we have new faces join us with every new Discipleship Training School and secondary school. YWAM staff training includes interpersonal and cross cultural communication because the Lord has called us to function as a unified team, in the midst of diversity. In our YWAM DTS programs, students are led through team building activities that are meant to prepare them for international outreach. As a staff, we experience team building by spending quality time with each other, doing ministry together, and making space to value each other as individuals. We celebrate birthdays, attend kid’s performances, pitch in when someone moves, and have dinner together weekly. All of this is for the purpose of functioning as a team in a healthy and life-giving way. When we are taking care of each other well, we go so much further and accomplish so much more.

Top 7 Benefits of Team Building

I’m going to address these 7 benefits from the perspective of a YWAM missionary, but rest assured, they will apply to any corporate setting. 

1. Enhanced Performance

Personally, I am happy to work hard when I feel valued by my leaders and co-workers. When I know that my skills and creativity are needed and honored, I will work to the bone to get something done right and on time. However, when I feel overlooked and undervalued, I am tempted to clock out at the end of the day and sprint home, regardless if I got my work done or not. Because YWAM Asheville has created a culture of honoring and valuing each individual by consistently pursuing team building, I almost always view my job as joy and opportunity. If you are leading a company or organization, and your employees are doing the bare minimum task of them, you may want to look into investing money and time in team-building! 

3. Helpful Communication 

In a typical office setting, each employee has unique responsibilities and roles to meet that are vital to the success of the company. If one of your employees has an issue that requires the speciality of a different department, they are much more likely to comfortably and swiftly talk with someone from a different department if they have been introduced and interacted with each other previously. If your company has had intentional times of team building, there is already a basic level of relationship and respect to positively guide those conversations. Communication is key to the success of ANY multi-person operation. Conversations are inevitable. So, when those relationships have already been established, even if only through a silly ice-breaker game, there is a standing point of reference that has made corporate conversations easier to have. 

4. Improved Office Culture

If you have read up to this point, this one is probably pretty obvious to grasp. All the previous benefits mentioned contribute to an improved culture to work within. As employee performance, engagement, and communication improve, the overall atmosphere of the workplace will improve. Culture is created by setting standards and values that serve everyone, and then sticking to them. When team building is a standard that is maintained, office culture will steadily grow and evolve into workplace friendships and mutual trust between departments. 

5. Talent Attraction

When your company or organization is hosting a place for healthy employee relationships, you are creating a place people want to work! Word will travel and growth will happen. Talented professionals who are able to contribute to and enhance your corporate goals will want to join your team! All because they have either heard or witnessed that it’s an enriching work environment. Pretty simple! At a very heart level, all people (regardless of pedigree) want to be valued, honoured, seen, and respected. Team building is the first step in creating an environment that meets these universal human needs. 

6. Reputation and Reviews 

Similar to talent attraction, desirable client attraction will follow an improved office culture. It’s remarkable that you can literally trace your “dream” client, customer, student, or consumer back to intentionality with team building. When your services/product are met in quality by both employee and consumer experience, your reputation and reviews will help you grow in size, income, and/or impact. There’s no stopping you now! 

7. Vision Casting 

Finally, now that your company/organization is past “survival mentality”, your leadership is freed up to dream! When a team leader or manager is spending their time putting out fires or dealing with workplace conflict, there is no space to think about the future. If you are a leader, do yourself a favor: invest in team building. This will ensure your company’s ability to surpass day-to-day survival and move on to bigger and better exploits and ventures! 

Final Takeaway

As you can see….team building is the unsung hero of corporate success. Whether you’re an employee, manager, CEO, or somewhere in between, your position can be improved by implementing thoughtfully set aside times of cultivating relationships, making space for communication, and letting humans do what they do best: connect.

Managing Stress as a Christian – YWAM Asheville

 Managing Stress as a Christian 

The lives we lead today are fuller and faster than we’d like. Margin and rest are myths, and the concept of Sabbath is foreign to most. Can a modern believer manage, or even overcome, the inevitable result of such a busy lifestyle? Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to manage stress as a Christian. 

Causes of Stress 

Stress is the body and mind’s response to challenge, demand, or change. Everyone’s stress response looks different, and everyone gets stressed by different things. We most likely relate the word stress to negative things, like too much on the to-do list or not enough income…but we can get stressed by positive events also..a job promotion, new baby, house renovations…all of these things are “good” but are, indeed, stressors. The causes of stress are as unique as the person experiencing it, but the ways it affects our bodies are similar. When we are stressed, we typically experience elevated heart rate, blood pressure, racing thoughts, a shift in emotion, changed thoughts and beliefs, and sometimes even pain. 

Stress and Spirituality 

So, as a believer, what does stress mean to you? Does it mean that Christ isn’t enough, or that you aren’t really saved? Of course not. But because stress is a phenomenon that affects our entire person (mind, body, spirit), there must be a portion of it that is spiritual. Christianity is often misunderstood as a “fix it” religion…a fluffy, happy face, crutch that teaches that everything should be ok because “God is good”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus came not to fix the challenges of life, but to offer us life in abundance in the midst of it. 

God is not necessarily interested in removing difficulty from your life. He is, however, interested in making you like Jesus. The life of Christ was anything but stress-free. And yet, He is the one who offers us His easy-yoke and light burden. 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 

Stress is part of life. And so just like every other part of life, Christians must respond to it in a way that is different from the world. Therefore, rather than letting stress become a peace theft, let us believers work towards treating stress as an opportunity to elevate Jesus.

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways

8 Effective Techniques for Managing Stress

 

1. Fuel Your Physical 

What are you putting in your body? I’m not asking you to go on a diet, I’m suggesting you take a look at how you are hindering yourself. Listen to your body! The spirit is NOT this totally separate thing, floating above your body, detached from what you’re feeling physically. If you are addicted to sugar/alcohol/caffeine, it will affect sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it will prevent you from spending time in 

prayer/relationship/ministry/etc…That is only one example, but the point is that it’s all connected! Take care of your body so that when you are stressed, your physical health isn’t an added hindrance. 

2. Priorities and Perspective 

When our priorities and perspective are not in line with God’s, we are bound for trouble. What are you placing on the top shelf of your life? What do you give your most energy and attention to? How do you view the world? Take time to adjust these things so that you are walking in agreement with the Holy Spirit. For me, sometimes this is all it takes. A simple fix of perspective will change so much! In a YWAM Discipleship Training School, students are given life changing teaching on how to adjust their worldview and perspective to align with Biblical realities. It is nothing short of transformational! Ask God to reveal idolatry, unhealthy priorities, and areas where your perspective is broken.

3. Survey and Edit 

What are you watching, listening to, reading? What are you gazing upon? After the last 2 years, it’s become very obvious to me that when I am giving a bunch of my time and thoughts to the news and headlines, I will get stressed out by it. When I watch movies or shows that have explicit material, it will mess with my thought life. It’s not being ignorant or prude to say “no” to things that don’t lead you to life. It’s wisdom. So survey what you are allowing in your life, and edit out the things (sinful or not) that are just simply not serving your spirit fresh water. As you read this, you probably already know what those things are. 

4. Get in the Word 

As you edit things out of your life, you must replace them with Truth. The Word of God is not an optional, good idea in the life of the Christian. There’s just something about being in the Bible that enables us to handle the stresses of life better. It’s one of the Holy Spirit’s ways to speak to you and when you neglect it, you limit your own toolbox. Note; if you are in need of professional counseling or therapy, please seek those out. Don’t use Scripture as an excuse to avoid those things. YWAM schools are an excellent place to get a foundational understanding of scripture if you aren’t sure where to begin.

5. Serve

God designed our hearts to come alive when we are outside of ourselves. Somehow the troubles I am facing get so much smaller when I am focusing on helping someone else. True service to others is a quick way to get your spirit back on track. If you’re not sure where to start, look up a local homeless or women’s shelter, soup kitchen, or food pantry. Or ask your pastor about ways your church needs volunteer help. 

6. Create 

This isn’t just for artists. Getting your hands on some soil, bread dough, or a pen can be a wonderful way to alleviate long-term and chronic stress. Allow yourself to put your never ending tasks on pause, and create. Make dinner from scratch, pluck a new chord progression on your guitar, write a Haiku. This is another way to use the physical to impact the mental and spiritual.

7. Sabbath 

I can’t prove this, but I have a feeling the rising stress/depression/anxiety diagnoses we are seeing is due to the decline of people setting aside 24 hours a week for rest and play. The Lord was so kind and wise in setting this pattern and precedent for us, and we do ourselves a massive favor when we obey and abide by it. I have a more productive work week, better sleep, and lighter moods when I have been intentional with my Sabbath.

 

“You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship.”

― N.T. Wright

8. Worship  

As we look upon our Savior and renew our understanding of Him through praise, the unique difficulties we face change. We receive revelation, comfort, guidance, peace, and joy. You were made to worship. If you aren’t pouring out your oil of praise at the feet of Jesus, you will be doing it elsewhere. But it is only when we worship God that we are edified beyond measure in return. 

Conclusion 

As mentioned before, stress is part of life. It is inescapable. Let this be the last day that you treat it as an injustice, and begin to view it as an opportunity. Overcoming stress as a believer must be approached through a God-centered worldview. Christians have access to the Spirit of God, and thus have an eternally expansive tool kit to approach any situation with. If you have questions about the Holy Spirit or the Christian life, we’d like to invite you to our next YWAM DTS. At YWAM Asheville, we are passionate about seeing Christians equipped to live in the abundance God has provided. Join us! The only YWAM DTS requirements are a highschool diploma and a heart ready to say YES to God.

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways 

Why is it important to spend time with God?

At the core of Christianity, we believe that we have been given unbridled access to a personal relationship with God.

However, making time for God is a gift that we often neglect. If we want to get the most out of any relationship, we have to be intentional about setting aside time specifically for those we are in a relationship with. This is a time for communication, a time for enjoying God’s presence, listening for His voice, and sharing your heart with Him. 

Whether you are a new believer or have been following Jesus for a while, you’ve likely wondered how to spend time with God most effectively. So let’s take a look at 6 simple steps to spend time with God.

6 Simple Steps to Spend Time With God 

1. Remove Distraction 

When creating devotional times, the removal of distractions is a must. It will take time for your mind to create new rhythms and patterns. Until then, your brain will continually try to pull you into the habits you are trying to break. 

You know yourself best. What will pull you away? Technology, tasks, interactions with other people? Be proactive in addressing potential distractions. 

Put your phone on silent, leave it in the other room, use a print Bible rather than an app if you are prone to be distracted by your phone, and even consider leaving it in a different room. Maybe you create this space best when you are in nature. Step out your front door, leave your phone at home, and talk with God as you walk. Wherever you are, though, you have the power to create a space that is Holy, set aside, protected for a purpose. 

Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways

2. Build A Routine 

If you aren’t intentionally building a routine, your time with God will be a one-time event. Building routine means foreseeing things that will derail your plans, dealing with them, drawing boundaries, and protecting them. You will need no say to things. Routine requires sacrifice. Science shows that it generally takes upwards of 66 days to create a new habit. It’s not easy. But it is worth your while. 

Typically, it’s easier to have a set quiet time each day (preferably morning in my case, when most people in my household are still sleeping or having their own quiet time with God.) 

There is something so powerful about starting your day with God-think about it, how many of us have a morning ritual? For me, outside of my time with God, the whole process of making coffee has become a morning ritual that I really enjoy. I intentionally prepare my coffee in a way that takes more time – largely because I like to be able to ‘fine-tune’ the way in which it tastes, but also as a form of creativity; becoming more intimately involved in the process. 

Ritual requires creativity and creative expression is ultimately God-breathed. If I can find so much Joy in a morning coffee routine, how much more joy can be found in connecting and communicating with my Creator? 

A highly valuable aspect of doing a YWAM DTS is the structured schedule that you are expected to live by during school. Spending intentional time with God is a normal part of a day in DTS, and it will give you the tools you need to make it a lifelong practice.

3. Prioritize Scripture 

Spending time with God does not require the Bible every time. However, if you don’t have a basic understanding of God’s word, it can limit your relationship with Him. There are endless lessons for every area of life, applicable wisdom, and fresh ways to hear God’s voice in the pages of Scripture. God’s written word is the basis for ALL KNOWLEDGE of God-Scripture is important. God has chosen to speak to the global church through the Bible for thousands of years. If you are neglecting it, you are choosing to operate in a much smaller scope of faith. If structure helps you, find a Bible reading plan and stick with it! If you are driven by social activities, you could join a Bible study. Whatever it takes, get into the pages of Scripture.

Listening for God’s Voice & Responding 

The voice of God can be a scary term to some people. But the truth is, God is always speaking. He is always extending His heart to His people. This isn’t limited to hearing an audible voice; God speaks our language. He will speak to us in the manner that will have the most impact on us. God uses limitless avenues to talk. Some hear Him most

clearly through artwork, others through studying science, and still others through fitness. He is a creative communicator! 

When we hear the heart of God, through whatever way He has spoken to speak, it becomes our privilege to respond. 

The ways we can respond to God are nearly as limitless as the ways He communicates. However, our response to God will typically include one of the following; 

Confession & Repentance: Recognizing and turning from actions or behaviors that damage us or others 

Forgiveness: Receiving the endless grace that God bestows upon His children when we turn to Him 

Petitions: Sharing our needs, worries, and desires with God 

Adoration & Worship: Reflecting back to God our love and enjoyment of Him Communion: Friendship with God, simply being with Him 

There is no one way to pray. Your prayers can be your unique creation, and you can join with the saints by reciting centuries-old prayers found in resources like the Common Book of Prayer or reciting passages of Scripture, declaring the Truth found there. More often than not, we have a tendency to overcomplicate prayer, treating it as some stale, uninspiring recital of big words. Prayer shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it should be one of the most natural activities of our faith. Talking with God doesn’t have to be an individual activity either. Ideally, we should prioritize having our own time with God, but throughout Christian history, prayer has been a beautiful communal and corporate activity. So, take time to speak to God one on one, but make time to join in prayer with other believers as well; you will be an encouragement for each other. 

The YWAM Discipleship Training School class curriculum includes teaching on hearing God’s voice, prayer and intercession, and Bible overview. If you would like to receive these tools, sign up for the next DTS! Applying only takes a few minutes, and it’s totally free.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

4. Consistency 

This may seem redundant after discussing making a routine. But the art of consistency communicates something beyond personal discipline – it communicates long-suffering devotion. When we make something a consistent, unshakable part of our life, we communicate (to ourselves, the world, and to God) that it matters deeply to us. And additionally, when we stick to something, even when things get mundane, painful, or even boring, we solidify in our spirit that we are in a relationship with God for more than surface-level gratification. Something I have learned in my relationship with God is that

long-term obedience, despite my enjoyment levels, always comes with great reward. Valuable things COST. So when you hit a rut, don’t let that be a reason to end your routine with God. Maybe you change a few aspects of your routine, add variety…but consistently spending time with God will always benefit you. So press in. Don’t quit. If you use journaling as a part of your time with God, you will be able to look back and see the worth of pushing through the hard times and the ways God was speaking through those seasons. 

5. Discipleship 

Invite other people into your journey. Welcoming the voice and perspective of others can encourage you in ways you might miss otherwise. Friends and mentors can offer insight into our blind areas and hold us accountable. Though not immediately obvious, spending time with other believers is a way to spend time with God. He dwells in each of us. So, within the body of believers, as we interact with one another, we allow the presence of the Holy Spirit in others to impact us. When we are struggling through a difficult life season, addressing a sin pattern, or wrestling with a question, God can (and often does) use other humans to lead us. 

6. Honesty & Humility 

All that has been laid out above will mean little if it is not rooted in deep honesty and humility. In our journey to build a meaningful relationship with God, our pride and self-protection must be silenced. When we approach Jesus, He already sees all that we are and all that is in our hearts. We fool, and even wound, ourselves when we put on masks or take on a performance mentality in His presence. We are less likely to see things from His perspective if we are clinging to our own, and it will be much more difficult to trust His leading. Make a practice of releasing your fears, insecurities, plans, and offenses as you come to God.

Final Takeaway 

In conclusion, it’s fair to say that making time for God is not always easy, but it is always worth it. Whenever you choose to pursue Jesus, you are choosing to pursue life. If you’re ready for a deeper walk with Jesus, consider joining us for the next Discipleship Training Course. You’ll never be the same.

Leaving Everything Behind For Jesus

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Leaving Everything Behind For Jesus

Introduction

“Leaving everything behind for Jesus” is a catchy and somewhat dramatic way to say something that is in fact very real. When someone chooses to follow Jesus, it is an eternal and weighty decision. There are repercussions, some seen and others unseen. At Youth With A Mission (YWAM), we regularly see the ripples that are directly linked to one’s determination to make Jesus Lord of their life. Students who go through our Discipleship Training School (DTS) are often met with the beautiful gravity of what they have said “yes” to when they accepted Jesus. The choice to surrender your life to God is a step of trust in response to the invitation of the Gospel. Like any invitation, however, when you say “yes” to one thing, you must say “no” to another. 

It Begins With An Invitation 

The Gospel is exactly that. An invitation. It is an immeasurably gracious and stunning invitation. The concept of “being saved” is often seen as outdated and archaic. Our modern minds don’t quickly perceive what we must be saved from, and thus Christianity seems like an unnecessary burden. The post-truth worldview allows the conscience to be numbed, which hushes the realities of right and wrong. Today’s culture is defined by voices that do not see truth as fixed or finite. Rather, truth is seen as flexible and customizable. And yet, in the midst of the chaotic spiritual mess of our world, God rests supreme with open arms, unthreatened by our man made belief systems. The Gospel is not just an invitation to be saved from something, it is also an invitation to something unspeakably better! A life of abundance. 

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It Requires Sacrifice 

As mentioned earlier, accepting one invitation means rejecting another. We cannot be at 2 parties at the same time. When you receive the gift of salvation, you are called into a life that looks different. Part of being a Christian means dying with Christ, so that you can live in Him. Leaving everything behind for Jesus, practically, means counting all that the world has to offer as nothing in comparison to what you gain in Christ. Being a Christian means choosing to see the world through God’s eyes, not your own. It means seeing morality, ethics, relationships, money, and life itself through the lens of Scripture. Choosing Jesus requires sacrificing your freedom to live as you want, and instead surrendering to a lifestyle of obedience to the voice of God. Part of the training we offer in YWAM is in response to this reality. DTS students at YWAM Asheville spend an entire week learning the importance of letting Jesus be the Lord of each area of their lives. We cannot be a people that claim allegiance to a King if we are not surrendered to Him in every way. 

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It Cultivates Trust

In the process of following Jesus, we begin to see His faithfulness unfold in our lives. We see that He honors our sacrifices, and provides for our needs in personal and unique ways. Christianity is a lifelong journey, daily confronted with the option to trust ourselves and the world instead of trusting God. Every time we choose to trust God, we are given peace that surpasses understanding by the Holy Spirit. The Christian who lives a life of dependence on God’s voice will experience supernatural things. It is inevitable. And as you begin to take step after step, in faith, trust in God is cultivated even deeper. He is faithful to those who trust Him. 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10

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It is an Everyday Decision 

Each day we are met with new challenges, new excitements, new pains. As the years pass since we chose to leave everything behind for Jesus, the passion in our heart can grow cold. But the love that God has extended to us demonstrates commitment and long-suffering. God chooses us even in our darkest hour. He chooses us regardless of our unreservedness. Because He first loved us in this reckless and glorious way, we are called to live out that kind of love in response. Choosing Jesus isn’t easy. Choosing Jesus doesn’t always feel good. There are days, perhaps years, when choosing comfort, reason, or convenience is much more enticing. It is in this place that we must recall that it is God who can offer us life, TRUE LIFE. Maverick City says it well in their song Love Sick, “There’s no lovesick You won’t heal, and there’s no desperate You won’t fill….A heart that is desperate, only You satisfy it.”

The everyday choice of faith will lead you into a life of blessing, and a heart that is deeply satisfied in your Maker. At the end of your days, may you look back on your choice to follow Him and see that He was worthy of it all. 

If you are considering leaving everything behind for Jesus, we are here to tell you He is worth it! If you are ready to take your walk with Him to the next level, apply for the next DTS in just 3 minutes for free. He is a GOOD God and you are invited to spend 5 months focusing just on Him.

What Does The Bible Say About Peace?

What does the Bible say about Peace?

Peace is a highly sought after commodity, no matter where or who you are. However, it’s meaning varies greatly from one person to another. So what does the Bible say about peace? And how should a follower of Christ approach such an important aspect of life? 

The True Meaning of Peace

Scripture is pretty clear about the true meaning of peace. It is not found in anything the world can offer, or anything we can achieve in our own power. The collective opinion of the Bible is that the true meaning of peace is seeing and accepting God for who He really is, and living out of that reality. When we rightly see God and allow Him to be Lord, true peace will abound. When our view of God is rooted in truth, trust, and freedom, peace will flow. Inner peace comes from the Holy Spirit, and is a gift straight from the heart of God. 

Top 5 Attributes of Biblical Peace

1. Peace that comes from God is different

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. John 14:27 

The beauty about the peace God gives is that it is DIFFERENT to the temporary peace the world can give. We get a quick fix of inner serenity through a vacation, spa day, or other diversions. Maybe we have daily rituals to center ourselves or maybe we have habits that keep us distracted from our stress. Either way, peace that we get on our own terms is always subject to our situation and surroundings. As soon as something goes wrong, that calm is in jeopardy. But the peace that Jesus gives is different. Biblical peace is not tethered to physical circumstances. It is not bound by our ability to find inner balance or get our ducks in a row. It is a supernatural “knowing” that God is good, God is present, and God is enough..no matter what. 

“If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.”

-Thomas Watson

2. Peace is connected to trust

You will keep in perfect peace 

all who trust in you, 

all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isa 26:3

When we cling to our understanding of things, unwilling to allow God’s perspective to shine through, we quickly run into problems. The human mind is simply not meant to see all that God can see. And our hearts tend to get us into trouble, also. Because we are finite, imperfect, and broken – our abilities and strategies will always fall short. 

But, if we are able to step outside of ourselves and acknowledge the grandeur of the King’s throne…bow to the authority He holds, and trust the verdicts He declares..then we can enter the path of peace. Even when what our eyes see, what our minds perceive, and what our hearts feel don’t seem to line up with His word – there is peace beyond comprehension when we choose to trust His ways above our own. 

3. Peace is found in obedience 

Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. Ps 119:165 

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. Isa 32:17 

God gives us instruction and wisdom for OUR GOOD and the good of others. Thedo’s and don’ts” of our faith often get misconstrued as a formula to achieve salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth! Obedience to God is NOT a way to attain His love…it is a response to His love. The heart that knows God’s character is liberated to obey the words of God because it is at peace with God. That heart trusts that God has our best interest in mind will quickly follow when He gives instruction. 

When you trust that God is who He says He is, you can take great peace in a life of obedience to Him.

4. Peace is important in relationships

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Rom 14:19 

So much of the Bible talks about how to be in good standing with one another. A key factor in many of these verses is seeking out peace with those that are different from us. Peace between other people is a reflection of the peace we have found with God, thus, we are told to do all that we can to maintain healthy relationships. Keeping a cool head, letting love overshadow pride, sacrificially preferring another…these are all Biblical principles that lead to relational peace. Unity within the church is very close to the heart of God. So much so that Jesus tells us that the world will recognize that we are Jesus followers by our LOVE for one another. If you find you are unable to be at peace with someone else, first consider your peace with God. Are you surrendered to Him as Lord in every area of life? Are you trusting Him? Are you living in obedience? If any of these things are off balance, they could be standing in the way of your peace with others. 

YWAM values creating a “culture of honor”, which seeks to create peace within relationships by communicating with integrity and humility. At YWAM Asheville we have a saying, “no daylight between us.” This means that we want to walk together so closely, in such inseparable unity, that there is not enough space between us for daylight to get through. Whenever there has been a misunderstanding or grievance between 2 or more of us, we are sure to address it as soon as possible so that reconciliation and healing can begin, allowing peace to cover our team.

5. Peace surpasses understanding

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7 

The peace we are given through Jesus is mysterious. It goes beyond logic. As mentioned before, it is not determined by what our surroundings look like. In Acts 7 we are able to read about the very first Christian who is killed for their faith. Stephen was about to be stoned to death because of his public declaration of Jesus, and yet his eyes were fixed on heaven, full of awe and wonder. In the moment Stephen’s life was about to be taken from him, he was full of peace. A peace that saw Jesus on the throne. A peace that saw God for who He really is. A peace that wasn’t attached to his physical safety or comfort. 

This is my very favorite aspect of Biblical peace. It gives the believer a glimpse into eternity and allows the heart to take up residence in the Kingdom as opposed to earth. 

More Bible Verses About Peace

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Rom 14:17

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Cor 14:33 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” 2 Thess 3:16 

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isa 12:2 

Final Takeaway 

As you can see, the Bible has a lot to say about peace. I think it’s fair to say that Biblical peace is something we can always use more of, and the beauty of it is that there is always more to be had! Youth With A Mission training programs and schools are wonderful places to grow in understanding these 5 attributes. In a YWAM DTS, you will learn to better hear the voice of God, so that you can know Him, understand His nature & character, and obey His leading. You will get a closer look at how God desires relationships to function, and how to cultivate peace in your interactions with others. Students are taken through an overview of the whole Bible, which will give you peace about the authoritative and trustworthy Word of God. On outreach, you will see the peace of God wash over people as you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. YWAM offers an ideal setting to make peace a part of your daily life, as you learn to know God and make Him known, with a community of Christians around you.