Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think of the word peace as a passive experience. Peace happens when we aren’t worrying or struggling, right? But this verse says to let peace rule in our hearts.

Ruling requires managing problems, making hard decisions, and resolving conflicts. So how can peace rule when peace is a state of tranquility and rest while ruling requires watchfulness and decisive action? They seem counterintuitive to each other.

The little word “Let” at the beginning of the verse gives us a clue. We decide if we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts or if we let the worries of the world take charge. We choose the ruler of our hearts. Peace or Worry. Jesus or the world.

Peace may seem like a fragile idea, but only if we think of peace as the world’s peace. A quiet moment in a hammock by the lake. An hour of mental escape as we re-read our favorite book. A few minutes of silence when the kids are napping. All these are peaceful moments, but they can be broken easily by a ringing phone, an unexpected guest, or a restless child. 

The peace of Christ, however, is not fragile. If it was, it would not be able to rule our unruly hearts. The peace that Jesus promises is sustainable in chaos and undaunted by conflict. But we have to choose to let His peace rule. So how do we do that?

Pre-Decide

Let’s make the choice now instead of waiting for chaos to come knocking. To borrow a phrase from Pastor Craig Groeschel, we can “pre-decide” who will rule our hearts. Worry, anxiety, and fear will submit their applications for the job, but we can tell them that the position of Heart Ruler is already taken.

We decide ahead of time that we are going to allow God’s peace to rule in our hearts. This is easier said than done. I can decide something and then as soon as that first wave of the storm hits, I’m hitting the panic button.

We have to constantly remind ourselves to allow peace to rule and put a plan in place that we can implement when needed.

Set the Stage

We need to put in a few stop-gaps that will be props to remind us that the peace of Christ is our go to. Start by memorizing today’s verse and others about the peace that God promises. Add notes to your phone, computer, or desk so you see them throughout the day. 

You know your daily routine, so add reminders in obvious places to help you remember who rules. 

Be watchful

Other rulers will attempt to usurp the throne. We can stand guard and keep our eyes open for signs of insurrection. We may know our triggers and understand what situations make us stressed and vulnerable. This gives us the opportunity to invite God to lead us and ask Him to fill us with His peace in advance. 

Other times, a rogue wave hits that we didn’t see coming. If we’ve set the stage, stayed on watch, and follow through with the next steps, we’ll be more likely to successfully ride that wave and handle the situation with grace and peace.

Practice peace

We all get better with practice. We can practice noticing God’s peace in our daily walk and know what it feels like to let peace rule in our hearts. He promised that He would give us His peace, and Jesus is a promise keeper. His peace is always within reach and it’s always ready to take charge of our hearts.

Notice its absence 

Finally, notice when it’s gone. The absence of peace is the trigger that sends us back to God’s presence to seek Him. When we can recognize that another ruler is making a play for our hearts, we’ll be quick to sound the alarm and allow the rightful ruler to take His place. 

The Word would not tell us to let peace rule if it wasn’t a capable ruler. The peace that Jesus promised is powerful, wise, and kind. That’s the ruler our hearts need. So let’s decide today to allow the peace of Christ to be the ruler of our hearts.

Father, thank You for peace that is capable of ruling in our hearts. Help us to let Your peace reign. Show us how to live peace-filled lives no matter what our circumstance may be. When life becomes hectic, let Your peace take charge and lead us through. Thank You for who You are and for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,

Michelle

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