The word translated “rule” is an athletic term. It means to preside at the games. In the Greek games of Paul’s day, there were judges who rejected the contestants who were not qualified. Today we call them umpires or referees.
Paul is saying that the “peace” of Christ is the umpire of your heart. When we obey the will of God, we have peace within—Safe! When we disobey the will of God we lose our peace----Out! A word of warning right here: it is possible to have a false peace.
Jonah is an example. He disobeyed God and went in the opposite direction God had told him. But do you remember what he was doing in that ship in the middle of a terrible storm? SLEEPING. Evidently, he wasn’t too worried, was he?
You see, it is possible to do wrong and yet be at peace within; if your heart is conditioned to ignoring wrong. So peace in the heart ALONE is not always the peace of Christ. If we have real peace, then we will be at peace with others in the church.
We Christians are called to live in peace in one Body. If anyone is out of the will of God, he/she is certain to bring discord and disharmony in the church. When a person loses the peace of Christ, he begins to turn to the things of the world and to go off in directions that are out of the will of Christ.
He may try to escape, but he cannot escape himself. It is only when he confesses his sins, asks for God’s forgiveness, and does the will of God that he will experiences the peace of God.
Someone has said, “When there is peace in the heart, there is praise on the lips”. Are you experiencing the peace of Christ because you are living in the will of Christ?