Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. NIV
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… NIV
The word let, is a verb that must always be attached to another active word in order for it to make sense. “Let in, let out, let go,” etc. The meaning of it is, “to allow” something. In these two verses, we are instructed to allow something to happen in our lives. Let’s look closely at what these two things are.
Let’s start with the second instruction first. In Greek, the structure of a sentence is a little different than in English, so the word let is actually next to the word dwell. So it is, that we are to “let dwell” the word of Christ in us.
The word dwell literally means to “inhabit” or “live.” What Paul is telling us is that the word should be so ingrained in us, that it influences every aspect of our life. Every decision we make, every action we take, every word we speak, should be affected by the word of God. Now that is only possible if we study and learn the scriptures.
But remember, the verse says, “let dwell.” That means that even when we have learned the Bible well, we must “allow” that knowledge to permeate our lives. It is an act of our will. We can have all the knowledge we need but if we haven’t surrendered our will fully to Christ, it will not truly “dwell” in us. It won’t have the impact that it should have.
In verse 15, Paul says that the peace of Christ should be “allowed” to rule in our hearts. The Greek structure of the sentence is really helpful in getting the picture here. It puts it this way, “and the peace of God, let rule in your hearts.” There is no debate about whether the peace of God is available to rule in our hearts. When Jesus was speaking to His disciple just before His death, resurrection and ascension, He comforted them with these words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (John 14:27)
Jesus gives us a supernatural peace that is not dependent on our circumstances. It is available to us at any time. The only question is, will we let it rule our hearts? The word rule means “govern.” We can either allow His peace to govern or we can allow our emotions govern our hearts. It is our choice.
If you can follow the instructions of verse 16, then verse 15 becomes much less difficult. It is much easier to allow God’s peace to rule in our lives when we are letting His word dwell richly inside us. There is a definite correlation between knowing and believing what the Word of God teaches, and how much we allow His peace to rule our hearts.
If we know and believe the Word, we know how much God loves us and why we can trust Him with all the circumstances of our lives. That trust helps us to appropriate His peace. If you have been longing for peace to rule your heart, I encourage you to study His word, apply what you learn and trust Him in every area of your life. Paul puts it this way in Phil 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s “allow” the Lord to do this mighty work in our lives!
God bless you
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