Col. 3:15-16 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
What does the word rule mean, noun or verb? As a noun it means a prescribed guide for conduct or action; a standard of judgment. As a verb, it means to exert control, direction or influence on someone. We must allow the peace of God to guide our conduct and actions; we must permit this peace to control, direct, and influence our decisions. This means that we can trust the peace of God to guide us in all of our decisions and activities. As we pray for guidance, this peace surpasses our understanding and reason and guards our hearts (Phil. 4: 6-7). Whenever we are faced with the choice of following either our reasoning or the peace within us, the peace of God must be our guide.
The next verse gives us the means for establishing these rules in our hearts; we also must permit the Word of Christ to dwell in our heart in abundance. This does not happen automatically; but here we have an easy and pleasant way to allow this Word to penetrate our heart and stay in our thoughts. Using music – whether it be songs we learn or melodies we make up – we can give the Word an opportunity to fill our thoughts and be available to us at the moment that we need to make even the smallest decision.
Both the peace and the melodies are to be a shared experience: one body; one another. Each part of the body of believers has something that another part needs. This is one of the most important functions of our meeting together: the mutual building up of the body, strengthening the weaker parts. Considering this, it becomes more obvious that “church music” – however we want to label it – has a much more important function than just attracting people to our meetings, and even more than just expressing our worship to God. (Biblically, worship should be expressed in other forms as well.)
Let us keep this in mind as we choose what background music to have in our minds as we go through the day. Our Father wants to guide every step we take, and He has given us the means to know His will in every moment.