Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Let the Peace of God Rule in Your Heart... And Be Thankful."

I love when God gives Howell and me the same word at the same time. I know it’s a moment to listen up—He wants us to hear this!

Several weeks ago, the Lord put Colossians 3:15 on my heart: “Let the peace of God rule in your heart…. And be thankful.”

My sister had given me a chalk board decoration for Christmas, and it sat without a message on my fireplace for quite some time. She told me she would write on it whatever I wanted.

When God put that verse on my heart as a word for me this season, I asked my sister to work her chalk magic and put it on the board for me.

That same weekend, the Lord put the same verse on Howell’s heart. We hadn’t talked about it—and I hadn’t told him what I had told Michalea. (He probably didn’t even notice the blank board had left the fireplace. :))

I came home from being out of town, and he had written on our little message board (where we write notes to each other—yeah, I know, we’re cute and cheesy :)).

I walked into the kitchen to see, “Let the peace of God rule in your heart.”

I asked him about it, and he said the Lord gave him that verse at men’s retreat, and He reminded him of it this weekend while I was gone.

I laughed out loud.

My new—and pretty—board came home last week, and every morning, as I sit in my chair and drink coffee and talk to Jesus, I get to be reminded of His words:

“Let the peace of God rule in your heart…”

…. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed with work.
….When you feel anxious about your writing projects.
….When you feel insecure in your friendships.
….When you feel easily annoyed or frustrated or moody.
….When you feel discouraged.
…. When you feel not enough.
…. When …. Always.

Always. Forever.

Walk in peace.

Peace is not only a fruit of the spirit—a by-product of Him when He’s moving in me—but it’s also His kingdom.

Romans 14:17 says that His kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy. When I say, Lord, let you kingdom come today, I am opening the doors for His peace to rule in my heart.

In this moment. In every moment.

When something rules or reigns, it means it has the ultimate authority or power. The peace of God should govern us, control us, lead us, dominate us, manage us, dictate us.

But we are Americans—and we like our freedom! We don’t like those kinds of verbs (unless, of course, we’re in the position of power).

Letting God’s peace rule, reign, control our hearts isn’t really a suggestion, though; it’s a command.

Col 3:15 holds another command—and I love how short and simple it is: “…And be thankful.”

Again, this isn’t suggested; it’s commanded.

I’ve blogged about gratitude many, many times because it’s a word that has become central to my relationship with God. When I lose my thankful heart, my alignment gets out of whack really fast.

When I forget to be thankful, I become entitled—thinking not only that God owes me but also that He’s forgotten me or that He’s holding out on me.

Sooner or later, that attitude will trickle down into my relationships, too—probably starting with my own marriage.

And before I know it, there’s not only no gratitude in my heart; there’s no peace there either.

A thankful heart invites the peace of God to dictate our lives—our feelings, our thoughts, our decisions, our attitude, our words.

These two go together: Let the peace of God rule in your heart…and be thankful.

If you’re not experiencing peace today, I encourage you to spend time thanking God for what He has done for you.

I’m taking my own personal challenge to do this, and for the month of May, I want Thursdays to focus on areas of thankfulness.

Dear friends, care to join me? Let’s see how God’s peace can rule in our hearts when we are thankful. 

No comments: