And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. - Colossians 3:15
What rules in your heart presently?
Jeremiah 17:9 says," The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
One minute our heart is brave and in control and sailing through life effortlessly. The next minute, we hear some bad news and become anxious, or we get a letter in the mail and become angry, or get confronted by a calamity, and we fear.
Immediately upon these changes, our heart tacks without control (yachting term for changing direction). We are literally rebounding off all these emotions.
We are informed that the reins help guide the heart. Yet, we need something to rule over it to bring peace in times of turmoil.
We can have a fearful heart! We go through life thinking we are followers of Christ, but when trouble strikes, we believe the worst, not the best. We say things like, "not again" or "what now" or "I knew this would happen" as if we are inviting destruction. We think we live a life of peace until a slight breeze comes and knocks our sails, then we instantly become as fearful as Jonah inside the whale.
We can be anxious for many things, and live much of our life in a state of on-off anxiety. Anxiety is brought on by a lack of trust. The origin of that lack of assurance can depend on many things. We have all grown up differently, and our state of heart often depends on our rearing and life experiences, and who or what affected us.
We can and must overcome that lack of confidence in God. No trouble in our lives is greater that the living God who made us.
Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts brings calmness and sanity back to our world. It stops the tacking and eliminates anxiety and fear, as we trust that all will be fine in the end regardless of the journey and outcome.
With this peace, we have to rationalise what we are hoping. God said He would never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes though, and contrary to what we might hope, our world doesn't return to the way it was. It moves on to the next scene. In that change, we need God's peace to have the rule over the disquiet and uncertainty that inevitably comes.
To gain this peace, we find we need to give up many of our set dreams and desires for the future. We don't even know if we have a future, nor do we know when the Lord takes us home. We cannot predict the next minute, but we need peace and trust through it all.
Peace, like the fruit of the Spirit, needs to be exercised to grow and be of benefit. If it sits there in its infantile state, never increasing as we grow, when we need to peace to reign or rule during a large storm it isn't sufficient to do that.
The Lord is asking us to allow the peace of God to RULE over our lives. (Rule in Strong's G1018 To be an umpire, to decide, to determine, to govern).
When we have peace governing our lives, like a governor, we can rest assured that, regardless of the issue, the Lord is in control. That is all we need to know. We don't need to know how He will bring the result about, as that is curiosity and another anxiety.
What level of peace ruled Stephen, the martyr, in his final dilemma?
Do you think that came naturally? Scripture doesn't say, but I believe Stephen exercised that peace many, many times in his life. When his closing verbal crusade came, he drew on his experience. He wasn't screaming out in a state of panic, saying "please don't kill me I have a family" or "I'm sorry for what I said, please let me go" or "Ok, I won't repeat it."
He didn't let anxiety, Pharisees or fear rule the state of his heart. He let God's peace rule, and went to his death in ultimate peace, saying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Similarly, We are not to let anything other than God's peace rule. Fear and anxiety produce more fear and anxiety. God's peace allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us in peace through the confusion and noise.
Today's Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that your peace can rule my heart. I have been anxious about many things in life. Sometimes I have had peace and other times I have been quite bewildered and fearful. Please help me to allow your peace to come into my turmoil and cover it like a blanket on a cold night, changing concern and fear of the unknown into trust and obedience.