Girlfriends in God - Mar. 17, 2009

March 17, 2009 
Let Peace Rule 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Colossians 3:15a (NIV) “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”

Friend to Friend 
Peace seems to be on everyone’s mind, which is nothing new.  It seems to me that we have been chasing peace since time began.  We want a peaceful world, a peaceful home, a peaceful workplace – a peaceful life.  I know people who would give everything they have for a few minutes of peace.  Peace cannot be found in a treaty or negotiation.  Peace is an inside job and can only be found in one place – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  When we know Him, we can experience and know peace. 

Peace is the condition of wholeness and the sense of well-being that comes from knowing God and being made right in His eyes.  Peace is completely dependent upon His presence in us and His gift of eternal life.  We come into this world with an ache in our soul, a longing in our heart and a deep sense of being lost.  When we find God, we find home. Peace immediately takes up residence in our hearts and we are eternally “found.”

When our son, Jered, was a little boy, he and his dad often went for a walk after dinner while I put Danna to bed.  One night, Dan decided to test Jered’s sense of direction. “How far are we from home, Son?” Dan asked. Jered answered, “Dad, I don’t know.” Dan then asked, “Well, where are you?”  Again, Jered answered, “I don’t know.”  Dan laughed, “Sounds to me like you are lost, Son.” Jered looked up at his father, grinned and said, “Nope, I can’t be lost. I’m with you.”  With God, we experience peace. 

However, understanding peace does not always guarantee the presence of peace.  I am often guilty of filling my days with so many appointments, tasks, meetings, and activities that peace disintegrates before noon.  Paul encourages us to “let the peace of Christ rule” in our hearts.  The word, “rule,” is an athletic term meaning “to preside at the games and distribute the prizes.” Sounds like a day at the office to me!

In the Greek games, there were judges who rejected the contestants that were not qualified and disqualified those who broke the rules. Today, we would call them “umpires” and the playing field of peace would be our hearts. “Heart” refers to “the center of one’s being.” Peace begins its reign in the center of our being; it then works its way out into every nook and cranny of life - if we allow peace to rule.  

Admittedly, there are times when an umpire seems like a good idea because many of us relish a good fight.  We say we want peace, but not at the price of giving up control or surrendering personal agendas. We must stand firm in our resolve to pursue harmony and peace, even if it means giving up rights and yielding control.

Relationships must be committed to peace.  It is difficult to wage war with someone who has laid down their weapons in an act of surrender.  Ah, there’s that dreaded word again - surrender. Surrender is the heartbeat of peace.  The choice to surrender initiates the process of allowing peace to rule.  I guess you could say that the peace of God is our “umpire,” and in every situation stands ready to make the calls that will lead us to rest in and trust Him, but first comes the choice to “let” peace rule.  The work of peace is always unleashed by our choice, our invitation. 

Let’s Pray 
Father, I praise You today because You are my peace.  Your presence in my life ushers in true peace and lets my soul rest.  Forgive me when I cram my days with urgent things that are not always the important things.  Help me discern Your plan for my life each day so that I can walk in peace. 

In Jesus’ name, 

Now It’s Your Turn 
How would you define the concept of peace in your life?  Is your heart and mind filled with chaos and stress instead of peace?  Identify the source of stress in your life and make any adjustments necessary to bring that area under control.  Write out your own “Peace Treaty” with God and share it with a friend.  When you feel as if your life is spinning out of control, remember to rest in Him.

More From The Girlfriends 
How is the peace level in your life?  I know that we live in uncertain times and can often fall prey to worry, doubt and fear.  We don’t understand what is happening or why.  Solutions seem scarce while problems multiply.  What should we do?  Stop!  Take a deep breath and remember who you are, and whose you are.  You are a child of the King, friend, and He is fully aware of your circumstances.  Where you are is no surprise to Him.  God often allows His children to be cast into a fiery furnace, but His hand is always on the thermostat.  Stand firm in your faith and choose peace. 

Do you need encouragement?  Maybe it’s time for a refresher course in peace.  Check out this Special CD Set and hear two powerful messages, “Strength for the Storm” and “I Have a Hope,” that will encourage you and help you lead a more peaceful life.  Remember, your greatest source of peace is God’s Word. 

Need help studying the bible and learning how to apply it?  Join me in my online Bible study, Light for the Journey.

Need prayer?  We have a team of women who delight in praying for your needs. E-mail your prayer requests today!

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Tuesday, 17 March 2009.