And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
If there is one thing we can learn from hardship or worry, it is that they can steal our peace. When we endure hardship or experience fear, we, often look for encouragement from someone else or in improving circumstances. We attempt to reach a mental place of peace instead of allowing the spiritual peace God has given us to rule in our hearts. His peace is not the peace we receive from circumstances improving or having good feelings. The perfect peace that is God’s gift to us carries us through any hardship without fear if we choose to draw upon it (Isaiah 26:3, 1 John 4:18).
The Amplified Bible Classic Edition expands Colossians 3:15 in this way: “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”
In sports, an umpire is a person who knows all the rules of the game and settles disputes. The peace of God is our umpire who knows all the rules and settles all disputes as to what the will of God is for our lives. We have to learn to listen to what the spiritual peace of God is trying to tell us. We need to give it priority in our lives and follow what it tells us. We cannot find God’s spiritual peace in our lives trying to reason out His game plan with our carnal minds. The only way to life and peace is to be spiritually minded (Romans 8:6).
God’s peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is something that every born-again believer possesses. His peace continually attempts to “umpire” and guide us, but many times we just don’t listen. We go against the peace of God instead of letting it rule in our hearts, and we act according to our game plan. Later, when tragedy comes as the result of a bad decision, we acknowledge the unease we initially had in our hearts. That unease was the peace of God trying to rule in our hearts, but we were too determined to play by our rules instead of His.
There are some things we can do to help the peace of God rule in our hearts and “umpire” us.
We should contemplate all our options. Wrong decisions are made when all options are not considered in prayer. And we can’t let doubt rule out what might be God’s possibilities. As we visualize the result of each different option, we should perceive a greater peace when we consider the option the Lord wishes for us. This does not mean there will be total peace with any choice. Since we are not always spiritually minded, it is not unusual for us to have some questioning and unrest. But just as an umpire has to make a call, we need to be courageous enough to follow the decision that gives us the most peace.
A ship has to be moving for its rudder to give it direction. That ship doesn’t have to be at full speed for its rudder to work, but that ship still has to move to receive direction. We, also, must move and step out in faith before the peace of God gives us direction. Sometimes we will make a mistake. But when we make a wrong decision trying to follow the peace of God in our hearts, the Lord will certainly bless it more than indecisiveness and indecision (Romans 14:23, Proverbs 16:3).
God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). God’s peace is the spiritual state of mind in which we are always called to live. When we allow His peace to rule our hearts, it settles the questions that arise in our minds. When we step out in faith following God's peace, He will guard our thoughts. Praising God for His spiritual peace no matter what our circumstances will guard our hearts and acknowledge His spiritual priority in our lives.
Hardship? Worry? Fear? God calls us to allow His peace to rule in our hearts. He calls us to be one with Him. The natural mind is to yield to the spiritual. He calls to have a thankful attitude.
Let the peace of God direct your thoughts, deciding and settling with finality all your questions. A naturally minded man will only know fear. Fear is death to his faith. A spiritually minded man will know life and peace (Romans 8:6). We have God’s power to be spiritually minded. We have received the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), but it is our choice to exercise by faith the peace that is ours in Christ.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher