I want to share what God has given me as a way to stay IN HIM, the ultimate UPGRADE any of us could ever attain. I could blog everyday for the rest of my life and not touch on every UPGRADE we have in Him. The imperative in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” can sound daunting, but if you think of doing this one moment at a time, it builds towards receiving “all things”. We only need to be faithful to turn to Him in the moment we are in. That’s how He writes our story. As we “fix our eyes on Him” in each moment, He “is the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
One way to let Him write our story is to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace.” (Col. 3:15) He rarely lays out the whole plan for our day or for each season we find ourselves in. Instead, He gives us the ability in each situation to seek out His peace.
When He first started talking to me about this verse, I happened to read the note in my NIV Life Application Study Bible which stated the word “rule” in this verse is more like the rule of a referee not of a king. God then showed me in a humorous way how I was living life at that time. He said, “Melanie, when you played basketball, when the ball went out of court, the referee blew the whistle and stopped the game. When everyone got set back up, the referee gave the ball back, they threw the ball back in and started playing the game again. You live life more like this: the ball goes out of court, you frantically chase after the ball and keep trying to play the game out of bounds. You try to dribble the ball in the stands, putting yourself and others at risk of getting hurt. That is the equivalent of living the Christian life without peace. When you lose your peace, stop! Get re-calibrated to truth until you sense My peace again. Then, get back to the things I have called you to.” I could immediately see how I did this in my marriage, parenting, and finances. Many of us do that as well in our healing journeys. We let fear, pain, rejection, self-defense and many other emotions “call the shots” instead of seeking His peace and letting that peace decide how to proceed in the circumstances that rock our world. My husband looked up the Greek in this verse and discovered that the words “let” and “rule” are actually the same word in Greek and they mean “to determine, to decide, to umpire”. This is a good reminder for me as a parent of young adults and adolescents! I have been “letting” fear, irritation, and other emotions call the shots in moments when we are not in sync instead of stopping “the game”, getting the situations before the Lord, getting His thoughts on the matter (which always resets me to peace), then proceeding in this peace as I parent. I don’t regret the moments that I have fallen back into the old, however, as they served to remind me that His way is better!
So in living out this potential UPGRADE, first be aware of your attitudes and emotions. When they are outside the bounds of peace, STOP at your next available moment and take the issue before the Lord. One way to do this is by looking up important verses that have to do with that attitude or emotion (or its opposite) to see what His Word says about it. For example, if I’m feeling fear. I look up the verses on fear in my concordance or in an online Bible site like www.biblegateway.com. In this case, I didn’t have to look up the opposite emotion because the “fear of the Lord” came up in these references and gave me a clear idea of what God wanted for me instead. As I read about the fear of man and circumstances and it’s consequences, I cringed – no peace there! As I read about the fear of the Lord and its benefits, peace came. Ahhhhhh! I exchanged the fear of man for the fear of the Lord and determined that the peace that came with that exchange would “call the shots”!
Another emotional enemy of mine is insecurity. I looked up words like security, foundation, and strength to find what God had for me instead of insecurity and did another exchange, which again has led me to peace on many occasions. It’s ok to revisit these verses on the same issues or emotions that hit you time and time again. Because His Word is living and active, it goes deeper and deeper each time! If the enemy lies to you and you start feeling something is wrong with you because you are still struggling with the same thing, go to the verses that show you who you are in Christ even when you seem to be so imperfect. He knew He needed to provide an answer for that imperfection. Peace comes when you see how thoroughly he resolved that issue for you through His death on the cross.
Is it becoming more clear to you that it doesn’t matter what your struggle is? If each and every time you seek His provision for that struggle peace comes as you access all that He purchased for you to have! We are no longer slaves to any of the things that cause us to struggle, but because we are His children, EVERYTHING He has belongs to us. (Gal. 4:7). Our only part is to pursue His peace and “let” it “rule” in everything we face.