Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.Colossians 3:15(NASB)
Peace WITH God is our permanent possession when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, but the peace OF God is conditional upon a believer being in a relationship with the Lord Jesus - as we abide in Christ, trust His Word, depend on His guidance, die to self and live for Him.
Isaiah explained to Israel: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusts in Thee. Paul teaches the Philippian Christians that IF they are anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make their requests known to God with a thankful heart - THEN the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace WITH God is never removed from the man or woman who has trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.. but once we are saved by grace through faith.. the inner perfect peace OF God which rules our hearts and minds is dependent on us maintaining a right relationship with God. This is achieved through humble praise, reverent prayer, grateful thanks and a submissive heart that has faith in God's Word and trusts that God will keep His word - in all things.
Peace WITH God is the eternal birthright and unchangeable privilege of all true believers but the peace OF God depends on the choices a Christian make in the ups and downs of our everyday lives. God's peace within becomes a wonderful internal barometer of our closeness to our heavenly Father and our abiding in Christ.
Yes, the promised peace of Christ is an accurate indicator of ones standing with the Lord and is a guide as to whether or not we are abiding in Christ and resting in His love. The spiritual man or woman who is walking in spirit and truth will know a peace in their heart which passes understanding.. even in the midst of great trials and difficulties.. while the one who is out of fellowship and walking in fleshly carnality will have inner turmoil of spirit and disease of the soul.
It is a daily and often moment by moment choice to permit the peace of Christ to rule in our heart. He promised us His peace and it is already ours.. and as long as we steadily look to Him and away from ourselves, His peace becomes an abiding reality. His inner peace is something to which all believers are called, both individually and corporately and should become a reality in the lives of all who are called by His name.. for each is given particular gifts and a unique ministry that is designed to give mutual encouragement to one another in our service to the Lord.
But the peace of God can too often be hindered when a heart is devoid of thanksgiving and praise. A grateful heart that is filled with heavenly thanks and praise to God, is a heart that is ready and prepared to have the peace of Christ stream into their inner being and flow out to others - as a testimony of praise to our heavenly Father.
May we with one accord let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts day by day and moment by moment.. for it is to this that the body in Christ has been called - and let us in all things be thankful.
Heavenly Father, I pray that the peace of God may rule in my heart with thanksgiving and praise, and if there is anything in my life that is preventing Your peace from guarding my heart today, I pray that You would show me. May I honour You in all I say and do and I pray that I may grow more like the Lord Jesus in my dealings with my brothers and sisters in Christ, so that Your peace may guard my heart and the peace of Christ may flow through me to others - This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.