The question that comes to my mind as I ponder these verses is this: How do you do it? How do you let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts? It is certainly one of those things that is easier said than done. So here are a few practical things that I gleam from this passage that might help you to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”
1) Identify what actually IS ruling and reigning in your heart. Is it worry that has usurped the throne? Fear? Anger? Hatred?Unforgiveness? Be honest with yourself. Take a personal inventory of what occupies and calls the shots in your life. What drives you to action or non-action as the case might be?
2) In order to know the peace of Christ you have to know Christ the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). If you do not yet know Him then now is a good time to change that. If you do know Him then perhaps you need to spend time getting to know Him better. This is where the first disciples found themselves in Mark 4:35-41. They thought they knew Him but then real life helped them understand that they really didn’t know Him well at all.
3) Romans 12:2 tells us , “Do not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The way that our minds are renewed is by the Word of God. We have allowed worldliness to set up shop where the Lord should rightfully reign – so it is no wonder that so many people have so little peace in their lives. When God’s Word RICHLY dwells in us then fear has no claim to the throne because God “has not given us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7). When God’s Word RICHLY dwells in us then worry has no claim to the throne because “the Lord is at hand” and we can make all our requests known to Him. (Philippians 4:5-6). When God’s Word RICHLY dwells in us then unforgiveness has no claim to the throne because we can “forgive one another as God in Christ forgave us.” (Ephesians 4:32).
4) If you want to experience peace then be reconciled to God. Typically we are not reconciled with God when we have done something that hurts the heart of God – when we have disobeyed His Word. If we will do EVERYTHING in the name of the Lord Jesus then we won’t have keep repairing a fractured relationship with our heavenly Father. If you need to reconcile with God then His Word tells us to confess, repent, and let the Spirit of God lead you to live a God-honoring life.
5) Three times in these three verses Paul exhorts us to be thankful. I’m thinking that might be a clue to experiencing peace in our hearts. If we are grateful for what we do have instead of whining about what we don’t have… peace! If we are grateful for the people God has put in our lives instead finding ways to resent or find fault… peace! If we are grateful for the cards we have been dealt in this life then we don’t have to languish in a life of entitlement and we can courageously take steps to move forward … peace!
May this brick help you to enjoy the peace that God offers all His children as it rules and reigns in your heart.