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As believers, all of us have some type of ministry—whether large or small. Fear of failure is an indication of striving for self. It will lead to struggling with self-efforts to open doors that assure success.

There is also the danger of striving for self in our personal lives. The attitude indicated by the expressions "my family," "my life," "my possessions," "my desires" indicates that individually we have not died to self.

Those who have truly died to self will obey the Word of God regardless of the degree to which it conflicts with their lives. They will possess an attitude of prompt and joyful obedience.

Quick to Respond
For example, when faced with fleshly desires, the truly obedient believer will be quick to respond to the scriptural admonition expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(Rom. 12:1)

Take Up Your Cross
Believers who have died to self will also rejoice at obeying Christ's injunction found in Luke 9:23, "...If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." They will gladly take up their cross and follow Him for they know that by so doing, they will find His peace.

Love the Word
Loving the Word of the Lord is the third way in which believers may cultivate the fruit of peace in their individual lives. The Psalmist says of his God: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (Ps. 119:165). To love the Word of the Lord is to love the Lord Himself—and vice versa.

In John 14:21, Jesus gave us an indicator by which we can measure the degree of our love for Him: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me...."

Therefore, love of the Lord is not indicated by memorizing Scripture verses, constantly studying the Bible, preaching the Gospel to others, or hungering after Bible teaching. Love of the Lord is indicated by keeping His words.

We believers may hear the Word of the Lord, receive it, and learn it, but we will not receive peace until we have learned to keep it:
O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.
(Isa. 48:17-18)
The child of God is promised peace in his house (1 Kings 22:17), peace in the land (Lev. 26:6), peace in the grave (2 Kings 22:20), peace in prosperity (1 Sam. 25:6), peace in the end (Ps. 37:37), peace in his mind (Phil. 4:7), peace in his soul (Ps. 55:18), peace in his heart (Phil. 4:7), peace in abundance (Ps. 72), peace in his borders (Ps. 147:4), peace in his children (Isa. 54:13), and peace throughout eternity (1 Kings 2:33).

The child of God lives in peace (2 Cor. 13:11); and as he lives, he lies down in peace (Ps. 4:8), sleeps in peace (Ps. 4:8), sows in peace (James 3:18), follows in peace (Heb. 12:14), comes in peace (Gen. 28:21), departs in peace (James 2:16), seeks peace (1 Peter 3:11), and preaches peace (Acts 10:36).

He experiences perfect peace (Isa. 26:3), great peace (Ps. 119:165), multiplied peace (2 Peter 1:2), peace within (Ps. 122:8), peace with his enemies (Prov. 16:7), peace with his brethren (1 Thess. 5:13), peace with his God (Num. 25:12), and peace beyond understanding (Phil. 4:7)—all of which are made possible by the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)!

Source: A Call For Character by Greg Zoschak
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Greg Zoschak
Web site: Greg Zoschak
Greg Zoschak's lifelong ambition was to become a professional football player, and became born again through the influence of his high school coach. Years later, Greg began to feel a call to the ministry, but football kept tugging at him as well. A motorcycle accident later on forced him to discontinue his pursuit of football; at that time, his ambitions began to change and pull him toward God.

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