“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
“rule in your hearts”
To “rule” is an athletic term meaning to act as an umpire. This umpire presided over the Olympic and Isthmian games in ancient Greece. He discerned the athlete’s qualifications to take part in the games. He determined whether the winner violated any rules during the contest. The umpire enforced the rules and awarded the prizes.
The Christian is to let the peace of Christ arbitrate or decide all matters in his heart. The peace of Christ should direct, control, or rule in our hearts. This peace gives us correct judgment and decisions when we let God’s rule govern our lives. If we let Christ’s peace rule and govern, it will produce peace in our hearts.
Baseball players are fully aware of that man in black standing behind the catcher. He rules the game; he calls the plays and presides over the competition. He calls balls and strikes. He knows where the strike zone is. God wants our hearts to act as an umpire.
The umpire is the human spirit filled with the word of Christ making it Christ-centered. The human spirit that feeds upon the Word of God calls the balls and strikes of the believer’s life. This allows the believer to operate with discernment. When a believer operates with discernment, he has the peace of Christ.
The peace of Christ derived from the Word of God arbitrates or decides all matters in the heart of the believer from the viewpoint of Christ-centeredness.
One of the outstanding sins of the Christian is worry. We worry needlessly. Fear does no good. We know we should not worry; we understand it will not help the situation, yet we persist in worry. Some of us worry about everything: big, medium, or small. We apparently enjoy it. Why pray when you can worry? We worry about things that will never happen. We fear that they might occur. Some of us worry about things that never happened! We try to justify our worry by rationalizing that “Everyone does it.”
There is a divine remedy for worry found in Philippians 4:6,7. Prayer is a fringe benefit of having the “peace of Christ.” We can let the peace of Christ referee in our hearts. Who is in charge of the game? Who orders our hearts? The referee of the peace of Christ.
Every time we worry, we doubt God. That is a sin. God wants to free us from carking and corroding care. He wants us to understand from the Word of God the provision God made for us in Christ.