“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
“…God has called us to live in peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15c NIV
As I read the passage for this post my mind went to 1 Corinthians 7. I have been teaching The Corinthian Letters this semester in the Institute of Biblical Studies and remembered it was there.
Here we have two passages that basically say the same thing. We are “called to peace” and we are “called to live in peace.” Our expectation of life together is one of peace, and the same expectation is to be in our relationships in our home.
The Corinthians passage is mainly overlooked in many Christian teachings on the home and marriage. The result of such teaching is always bondage for someone – and not peace. I do not need to write more here. It is enough for us to know that this expectation is given to us twice.
Peace, that evasive substance that seems to evade many of us often. Well, for one thing, not very many people know we are called to peace. Therefore, many of us live our lives stirring emotions of distress and manipulation. Such things abound among us – to our shame. So now we know — how do we apply this.
The first thing the Lord brings to mind is our time with Him. He is the source of our peace – always. Everything else is brief at best. Circumstances and other people cannot give us peace. Only the Lord can. As we fellowship intimately and deeply in Him, He is able to readjust our emotional placement into peace and with that comes a calmness and deliberateness. Such things develop deeply within us and we are then able to live in that essence – regardless of the actions and distresses of other people.
This peace of God is to rule. The word in the Greek means, “to act as an umpire, to rule, to arbitrate, to direct, control, rule.” In other words, this “peace of the Lord” is to be the deciding factor in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. This peace empowers and enables us to move through conflict and the ugliness of others in a calmness that overrules our flesh tendency to become upset and to react – matching others. When we choose what our flesh wants to do, we add to the flame of dissidence and give control of the situation to the other person. In our Jesus, this can be changed and empowered to bring peace to any situation.
As we have decisions to make, if we allow this peace to rule, we will be led in ways of truth and peace. There are many testimonies about God’s people not being at peace with an airline flight schedule, or timing of some other thing. When they heeded the peace nudge within (which comes sometimes as an uneasiness deep inside), things worked out much better than the other plan they had originally made. This is learning to let peace rule.
This is not letting fear rule. If I am afraid – that is not the way to make any decision. If, however, we have confidence in the care of our Lord, we can feel His “nudge” to re-do our plans and to walk in peace.
I have been working on a New Believer’s curriculum for my home church and had gotten the first part of the course finished and felt really good about it. My co-laborer in this had read them and approved the work. As I worked on the next lesson, nothing was not going well, and finally, I just threw it away. In my frustration, I talked with my co-worker and discovered that we both had the same overhanging feeling the lesson should be on another subject entirely. I urged her to write what was in her heart and develop the lesson. She did and it is wonderful. Some of our frustrations just need a breath of peace to bring them into clarity. He is able within us to work all things in peace.
Lord as we begin to allow your peace to rule in our lives, give us grace with ourselves for many of us have lived in conflict so long that we do not know how to receive your peace. Empower us in your peace as we choose our time with you daily and allow you to make deep changes in the way we think, feel, and live. You are our peace and we are so deeply thankful.