Peace! An amazing and necessary reality for life in Christ, yet it can often feel too idealistic or out of reach so we simply don’t give it much thought! I wrote a blog “His Peace Will Accompany Us Through the Push” on December 7, 2011 about God taking us deeper into revelation about His peace as He transitions us through the push to uncover His mysteries! As more things attack our thoughts and emotions causing unrest, concern, fear, and anxiety, the more I realize how much peace we miss out on every day, and the more passionate I become to unveil His mysteries and live in His peace! We need His peace to take hold of us instead of trying to take hold of it! Catch that one little verb “let”! That’s the secret! We need to let peace take hold of us! Sure, we can try to experience peace by reducing stress or avoiding conflict but the only way we will have true Godly peace is to let it rule!
Colossians 3:12-15 “Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
We put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and love! We put up with each other and we are to put off un-forgiveness along with complaining! But we let the peace of God rule in our hearts! Putting and letting – two very different things! Putting means to place, move, make, set, cause, or move something or someone into a particular place or position. Letting is about “not” preventing something from happening, allowing something to happen, or giving permission for somebody to do something. Putting is an action on our part while letting is allowing action be done for us on our part! In other words, we are active and we activate our faith in God as He acts! God provides it all. Our part is to put on, put up, put off, or let!
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” What is this “peace of God” we are supposed to “let” rule? It is as much a place as it is a quality! It is the kingdom of God! Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” A kingdom is a realm or area of activity in which one particular thing, people, or person dominates. Animals dominate the animal kingdom, plants in the plant kingdom, and a king or queen in a monarchy. In ancient times, nearly every country was known as “The kingdom of…”, meaning every country or territory was ruled by those particular people. We call them governments now.
God also has a kingdom, where He is king, and He has established rule in His kingdom; righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! That is definitely a kingdom we want ruling our hearts!
We already established we are not to seek, put on, put up, or put off peace, and now we know peace is the kingdom of God, so how do we let the kingdom of God rule in our hearts? We don’t! We let His peace rule but we seek His kingdom. And when we find His kingdom, we let peace rule! Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” We are to seek God’s realm of activity and live in right standing with Him, not seek after other things in life we often spend all our time doing! We find His kingdom as we read, study, and let the Word of God penetrate deep in our hearts, soaking in His living Word, not reading it as a boring textbook. We find His kingdom as we fellowship with Holy Spirit; pray, praise, worship, and meditate on Him! We find His kingdom when we fellowship with the body of Christ, serving and being His body here on earth! We find His kingdom as we agree to live in Jesus Christ, under His rule and authority as Lord!
So, when we seek and find the kingdom of God, we let what rules His kingdom rule in our hearts! His kingdom consists of righteousness, peace, and joy and they rule! So let His kingdom come and let His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven! Let righteousness, peace, and joy come and let His will to be Lord of our lives be done on earth as it is Heaven!
When we choose to live in submission and fellowship in any kingdom, we choose to live under the rule of that kingdom! It is the same for the kingdom of God. We can choose to live in His kingdom and let peace rule our hearts, or we can choose to live in His kingdom and let other things rule our hearts, but then, that isn’t really living in His kingdom is it? The point is we choose what rules! When we choose to let the peace of God rule, it prevails and governs in every situation, every trial, ever matter in life! It is literally the ruler, deciding all differences and everything that rises up to cause discord or uproar in our lives.
There is something else about this peace ruling in our hearts! We were called to it! “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” When we were called into relationship with Jesus Christ, we were called to one body. We were called to peace with God as a privilege; and we were called to peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ as a duty or responsibility. We can’t live together in a kingdom if we refuse to honor and respect the rule of that kingdom. In the kingdom of God the rule is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In order to be at peace, to let it reign and rule in our hearts, we have only to be thankful! Now that shouldn’t be too hard should it? Thank You Jesus! Thank You Father! Thank You Holy Spirit! Thank You for being You! Thank You for Your Word of Truth! Thank You for the fellowship we have with You! Thank You for Your kingdom!
When we let other things rule our hearts, it is difficult to be thankful because we are not at peace! The things we let rule put their friends in positions of authority as well. For example, if we let anxiety rule, it invites worry, concern, nervousness, and apprehension to join the party, and our hearts get all messed up! If we let fear rule, it welcomes doubt, dread, panic, terror, and other phobias into our hearts. We might “know” what God’s Word says, but when we let other feelings rule instead of letting His peace rule, we have made God’s absolute truth a mere platitude.
Now we might feel quite helpless at times because we don’t think we consciously “let” these other emotions rule in our hearts, and the truth is we all fall short in this area at times, but the key is not to stay short or to stay down. When we fall, while we are down there on our faces, we ought to spend some time looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! He will show us why we fell, and as we acknowledge our part in falling short, as we repent and look up to Him, He picks us up and sets our feet on solid ground.
He leads us in seeking His Kingdom, but we must consciously refuse to “let” all these other things rule in our hearts by seeking after the things of this world, even if they seem good. Everything pertaining to life and godliness has been provided and we find them in His kingdom. (2 Peter 1:3) So all we need to do is seek first the kingdom of God and we find everything else because it is then that we are letting the peace of God, His kingdom, rule in our hearts!
When we live in His kingdom there is a “No vacancy” sign over our hearts, because His peace rules! There is no room for ungodly rulers in our hearts when we do what comes naturally in the kingdom of God – think on Godly things! Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
The God of peace is with every believer, every follower of Christ, every child of the Most High who does the things they have learned, received, heard and saw! His peace isn’t a sweet “thought” out in spiritual la-la land. It is real, authentic, tangible, and meant to literally rule our hearts, driving away every other ruler who attempts to overthrow the kingdom! Our heart is the center of all physical and spiritual life, the seat of our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, emotions, and endeavors. Imagine life with God’s peace ruling EVERYTHING from the center of our being! Now do more than imagine it! Let the peace of God rule in your heart!
God said we will need to push this year! He is leading the way! We just need to be in Him and be willing to push with Him! Pushing with the Prince of Peace – Living with the God of Peace – Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts! It can’t get any better than this!