When I first woke up this morning, I saw these two things:
It’s easy to think that peace rules in our hearts when things are easy. But what about when the hard times come?
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 NLT
I want to focus for a second on the items I put in bold above, because that is what jumped out to me in bold, highlight, and underline (spirituality speaking) as something that I need to be especially aware of this morning.
The word “let” is a command for us to obey, to do this — but ot doesn’t imply action and labor ands great effort tho get there, but a passive surrender.
The words “the peace that comes from Christ” tell us that this peace does not come from our situation, our circumstances, our feelings, other people — but it comes from Christ.
The words “rule in your hearts” again, doesn’t speak to striving or great effort on our part, but surrendering up this “throne” that our ego sits upon in our hearts to be ruled by something other than ego/self. This place as ruler of our hearts is never a good place for ego to rule.
A person ruled in their heart by ego/self lives a very different life example than a person who lets the peace that comes from Christ rule in their life. They do not “live in peace” with others — they complete, judge, accuse, oppose, divide, grumble, blame and hate others.
And many of us can probably think of times when we have not let peace rule in our hearts.
NOTE: If your mind keeps trying to point out others that this is “really about” while you are reading it — that is evidence of a lack of peace ruling in your heart and ego trying to get back up there on the throne to protect its rule and shift your attention elsewhere — convincing you that it is better to live at war with others rather than give up the throne.
Again, I will say…
And many of us can probably think of times when we have not let peace rule in our hearts. So our question should be at this point, “I see the disease. I see the sin. I see what needs to change, but how do I change?”
More active effort and coping mechanisms arent the answer. The key to the answer is in “always be thankful”. And someone is going to say, “But that isn’t solving the problem! You’re just pointing out something about me that is true when I don’t have peace. You are just driving me in circles and we are getting nowhere!” Again, that is your ego talking. It is the problem, but it wants to be the one to “do something” to “fix the problem” to insure its claim of being worthy to remain as the bratty, demanding dictator upon the throne of your life. It doesn’t want you thankful and peaceful with Christ upon the throne of your heart.
So it might sound easy to let peace rule and to be thankful when things are easy — but that actually isn’t the case. When things are easy, you might not realize who is actually on the throne. The failures and pitfalls of horrible dictators can easily be overlooked when things are easy — but let things get hard and things become more visible. So hard times help reveal more clearly what is really at work.
For one who knows Jesus and walks in The Way — they have seen the impact of sin when we seek to rule on the throne of our own hearts — they have heard of Jesus Christ, who walked in a very different way and taught us to believe and follow in The Way and have found hope in Him that they could not find in themselves — they have believed and confessed that God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ (something this humble, suffering servant claimed and gave evidence to prove) — they believe that He was wrongly accused, crucified, died, entombed, and that He was raised both bodily and spiritually to life — and that through faith and restoring our relationship with peace as ruler upon the throne of our hearts we are raised from death into life as well.
And through this peace we have in Christ Jesus, we can be thankful to God, even in the hard times.
If you aren’t feeling at peace, have you “let” — have you “surrendered” — have you tried laying it at the foot of the cross, at the nail pierced feet of Jesus? He has done what He has done in order for you to have this peace — freely, undeserved.
Will you let self die today, for another to rule upon your heart?
Peace be with you, friend.