“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
You have heard people say, “I don’t have peace about this?” “I am doing this because I have perfect peace, right?” Of course it must be asked what does “peace” have to do with the will of God. Does it have any thing to do with the will of God? Yes, it does!
According to Galatians 5:22 “peace” is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” The “rule” can be defined as “umpire.” It can be mean to arbitrate, to decide, or to umpire. But let the peace of God “umpire” in your life.
What does an “umpire” do? What is he for? Maybe then we can know what part the peace of God has to do with the will of God. Let the peace of God umpire! I have heard in these 48 years of ministry and working with different people. I have heard them say, “I don’t have peace about staying here!” This is not speaking about if you don’t have peace about where you are that you are supposed to leave. It also is not speaking about that every time you have peace about going somewhere you are supposed to go.
THE UMPIRE DOES NOT ACT UNLESS HE IS FORCED TO MAKE A DECISION
When it is an obvious call the umpire does not become an essential part of the play. When a ball player swings at a pitch and misses the ball everybody in the ballpark knows it is a strike. If some one hits a fly ball to the center fielder and he gets under the ball and catches it then it is obvious that the batter is out. If a ballplayer is on third base and the batter hits a single to the outfield and the runner on third runs toward home plate and crosses the plate it is obvious to everyone he has just scored a run for his team. Thus, the umpire is there for the unusual and not the usual call.
Normally, the peace of God has nothing to do with the wills of God. To stay is the obvious call. To leave should be the obvious call. We should not blame the peace of God for our selfish decisions!
However, there are plays that are hard to call. A batter hits a grounder to the short stop with a runner on first base. The short stop picks up the grounder and throws the ball to the second baseman, which in turn throws the ball to the first baseman for a double play. A split second occurs between the time the runners’ foot touches the first base bag and the first baseman catching the ball from the second baseman. The umpire watches carefully and listens carefully for the pop in the glove of the first baseman and then he calls the runner either safe or out! That is only on occasion! Most of the time it is a mere routine call. The umpire is there for the unusual call.
A young person graduates from Bible college. He is going to be a pastor and he must decide where he is going to serve? This is the unusual not the usual. Consequently he must decide! It is time to choose a wife and once again this is the unusual and not the usual. Here is a young couple looking for a house to make into a home. They must decide where shall they live. Can we afford to buy? Should we rent? Should we rent an apartment first? In cases like these where a decision must be made an umpire is needed. Somebody has to umpire because this is an unusual decision and not a usual decision. Thus, we must let the peace of God umpire in these cases.
God is not going to write in the sky, “Marry Hazel Snaggle Tooth!” We must let the peace of God umpire. Again, this is for the unusual and not the usual. I often tell young preachers who are about to graduate to let God know they will do anything God wants. Set a date and say to the Lord, “If you want me to take an established church then you know my phone number and I will wait for you to contact me.” I tell them if they do not know where to start a church then give God a date and if he does not contact you then let the peace of God umpire in your heart and pick any where in the world to go and start a church. If you go to the wrong spot and win souls God will forgive you! “Where in the world should I go?” Let the peace of God umpire! Which Bible college should I attend? This is not the usual decision! This is the unusual and you must let the peace of God umpire!
A pastor says to me, “I don’t have peace about staying in my church.” Hold it that is not what this verse is speaking of. No need for an umpire here because there is no decision to be made. Stay, until God promotes you! Become promotable! I do not have peace in my heart about pastoring is a dangerous vein of thought. If you are fired I would suggest you leave. Otherwise it would be best to stay!
I do not have to have peace to stay! Someone says, “I have a job but I don’t have peace about staying at this job.” You do not have to have peace about staying at your job. No need for an umpire. If you have lost your job and are looking for a job and have to choose between two jobs then turn to the umpire to make the call between the two openings. If you have no job and one is offered to you then take it. Better to have a job than no job.
A student says, “I don’t have peace about staying in college.” Hold it! You do not have to have peace about staying. There is not decision to make. There is no play to call. There is no controversy. There is no need for an umpire. The umpire is only used when it is not the obvious to decide.
QUALITIES THAT QUALIFY ONE TO HAVE THE UMPIRE OF PEACE
You are not qualified to let the peace of God umpire in your life until you have the things mentioned in Colossians 3:12-14. Once you have these qualities then you can let the peace of God become your umpire for the unusual decisions in your life.
A teen boy comes to church half the time, plays bad music, goes to movies, and is worldly. He comes to a dad and says, “I have peace that your daughter, Susie, is the one for me!” Wait a minute! Junior is not qualified to let the peace of God umpire this unusual decision in his and her life.
MERCY – This word can be defined as “compassion,” “to suffer,” “to suffer with,” or “hurt with those who hurt.”
KINDNESS – It is not speaking about talking to everyone on the street or helping little old ladies across the street. It can be defined as “serving” or “being a servant.” You are not qualified to let the peace of God umpire in your life unless you spend your life living for others. Selfish people have a hard time finding the wills of God because they have a hidden agenda that is wrapped around them. Selfish people cannot find the wills of God by the peace of God.
HUMBLENESS OF MIND – Feeling unworthy to make the decision. More people lose the wills of God in their lives because they say, “I just have peace about it” or “I don’t have peace about it.” Unless you qualify then your so-called peace is not qualified to umpire. A peace that comes from unselfishness, serving others, and thinking you are not capable of making the decision while throwing your self at the mercy of God and letting Him know it by saying, “Oh, God I’ve got to have your help” is qualifying your peace to be your umpire.
MEEKNESS – This word could be defined as “evenness.” Only if you have lost your own will in a matter can you find God’s will in that matter. The peace of God can umpire the unusual or the non-obvious matters of life. Unless you have these things the peace of God you say you have is not qualified to umpire in your decision. Milk use to have the cream at the top and now it is homogenized or “even.” Other words I do not look down on any one nor do I look up to any one. I look at everyone evenly!
LONGSUFFERING – This word could be defined as “suffering long.” When you carry a burden for others for a long time. God is longsuffering with us because he loves us. This is not an act of the selfish person but the unselfish person. You are not qualified to let your peace become your umpire unless you are longsuffering with others.
FORBEARANCE – This word can be defined as “bearing a burden or load ahead of time.” To accept and realize the humanity of those involved in your life is the act of forbearing. No need to be surprised at the humanity of those around us in life.
FORGIVENESS – This word is made up of two words that simply mean, “to send away from.” The Old Testament examples of two doves and two goats are the illustration of biblical forgiveness. One dove, that was innocent, was slain and its blood was placed on the second dove that was let go into the sky. One goat, that was innocent, was slain and its blood was placed on the second goat that was let go into the wilderness never to return again. The innocent must pay before the other is sent away! Jesus was innocent yet He paid for all of our sins and thus our sins can be sent away. We are to overcome evil with good according to the Scripture.
CHARITY – This can be defined as “love in action,” or “bond of perfectness.” On purpose God used the word “charity” instead of the word “love.” Charity is easily recognized as the act of giving something to one that needs it.
There is a way one can live so one can trust the peace of God to umpire the unusual. The peace of God makes a call on the unusual. The peace of God does not umpire all the time. The peace of God makes a call when it has too! The peace of God is not for staying or leaving it is to be used as an umpire for the unusual.