Although I was born and raised in the state of Louisiana, I didn’t experience the Big Easy of New Orleans until I was an adult. As you would imagine, I was pretty well shocked out of my socks. One of my friends drove us there and made reservations at one of the restaurants in the French Quarter. As we sat down to order I had this powerful feeling come over me as if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only thing I could think of during dinner was, “I need to get out of here before this place burns down and my name is in the paper!” I was in the Big UN-Easy!
I survived New Orleans and have been back several times. However, I will never forget that uneasy feeling. I knew something was wrong and it was inside of me. I believe it is connected to Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (KJV) What I was feeling was the absence of the peace of Christ.
Colossians 3:15 is a very interesting text. The word used in the Greek language for “rule” is βραβεύω which is pronounced brab-yoo’-o. The word is used here and in Greek literature to describe one who arbitrates a dispute. The English use of this word is umpire. He is the one who arbitrates in a game to bring both teams to agreement. He makes them play within the rules.When a baseball player makes three strikes, he is out. The picture above is of Jeff Klinghoffer. I’ve never met him, but I’m sure he is a nice guy. However, when he calls you out, your out!
When a football player is running with the ball he may run all over the field. He can run backward, sideways, or in circles as long as he does not step out of bounds. Once he steps out of bounds the umpire blows the whistle and play stops. The game starts again from the place he stepped out of bounds.
The peace of God is our umpire. As long as you are in the will of God you will have His peace. You are free to roam about in His will, even to run in circles. However, the moment you step out of His will, the Holy Spirit blows the whistle and removes the peace. Believe me you will know when that peace is pulled. It is then you must return to the place in your life you stepped out of bounds and make things right with God. There may be a confession of sin. There may be a redirection of your lifestyle. This is one area of our spiritual life that God will let you know what to confess and what adjustments to make. He wants to restore the peace that passes understanding to your life. He wants to give you guidance. He wants to walk with you in peace. Sometimes we walk away from Him. Sometimes we step out of bounds or strike out and need the Holy Spirit to blow the whistle on our lifes.
Let the peace of God rule your heart. It is a good barometer for the soul. Peace lets you know if you are walking with Him in His will. The absence of peace lets us know we have some praying and seeking to do. Return to Him.
So, if you see me in a restaurant in New Orleans you will know I have sought His peace or I have been kidnapped and held hostage. It is no fun living out of bounds. Do the work needed to rest in His peace. Your umpire will let you know how you are doing.