Many of you are familiar with the following verse; most, if not all of you know it by heart, or could quote it almost word for word, either because sometime in the past you purposely memorized it, or because you learned it from hearing it quoted so much from the pulpit, youth leaders, devotional booklets and whatnot. But I'd like to challenge you all to look at Philippians 4:6-7 in a new light this morning! It says,
"Be careful for nothing; but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (emphasis mine =D)
The word careful can be read (translated) as "anxious". So, through this verse, God is telling us to be anxious for absolutely nothing! Instead, when we are tempted to or begin to be worried, troubled, anxious, or scared, He wants us to turn to Him, tell Him our problems and ask His complete aid.
What struck me this morning, and what I hope you will carry with you today, is that what this verse tells us to do, to "be careful for nothing" and to "let our requests be made known into God", is NOT a suggestion. It is NOT an option. No! It is a COMMAND!!! It is an ORDER!!! It doesn't say, "Be careful for just a teeny-tiny bit, and leave the REST up to God." It doesn't say to "be anxious for nothing except for a specific, special issue, and obsess over that one all you want." NO! Warrior of the King, it commands us to "be careful for NOTHING!" and to in EVERY circumstance let your requests be made known into God with prayer and thanksgiving".
But the sweetest part of this verse is the PROMISE our God gives us! A promise of help and blessing comes with the command to obey! For God tells us through verse 7 that IF we are anxious for nothing and cast all our care upon and bring all our requests to HIM, that "the PEACE OF GOD, which passeth all understanding SHALL" (means it WILL; not "it might"! But it WILL) keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." !!!
The command to be anxious for nothing comes with the GUARANTEE that if we do, Jesus will keep our hearts! Keep them still. Keep them calm. Keep you resting in Him and in His perfect timing. Keep as in 'protect' and 'gaurd' from enemy intrusion. According to 'Family Bible Notes', the word originally denotes "as a military watch"!! (I didn't even know that as I wrote the first part of this post!!) See how GOOD our GOD is?!?!?! As an enlisted daughter of the King of kings, you have no need of fear as you go forth daily to fight the enemy, for your Mighty Commander keeps a militaristic watch and guard over you!!! You are PRECIOUS to Him, dear one!! He loves you, and wants to help you and calm your every fear and supply your every need! He WANTS to show Himself mighty in your apparent weakness!!! But He cannot do it if you don't bring these troubles and fears and desires and needs to Him!!! (Not to say that God is limited in what He can and cannot do because of anything we do or don't do. That's not what I'm saying =D) What I AM saying though is that you CAN have peace, peace that cannot be explained or fathomed, through Jesus Christ!
Are you weary today, dear sister? Are you struggling with fears, anxiety, possibly depression and/ or discouragement? Or are you or your family in sincere need of something? Do you long and desire to have a Godly romance with an earthly prince? I encourage you today to heed the command of the Master, and to be careful for nothing. Come boldly before the throne of Grace in prayer. Thank and praise the Lord for the things, the blessings you DO have and then spill out your heartache, your fears, your anxiety, your desires to the King who cares! Cast all your care upon Him, for He careth for you!! For He PROMISES hat His peace shall keep your hear and mind safe from the enemy, through Jesus Christ!!
I hope and pray that you have a peaceful and wonderful day, dear sisters! Cast your burden on the Lord, for He is strong enough to carry any load!!!!!
I just wanted to take a moment to share with you a thought provoking question my Heavenly Father gave me the other day via my wise earthly father that challenged and encouraged me. (It was one of those two-by-four thoughts that leave you saying to yourself, “wow… needed that…”) I hope and pray that it encourages you as well!
The other day I was in a flustered, frustrated mood, as I hurriedly got ready to leave for work. Daddy had to drop me off about an hour and a half early, and I had planned to use that time to use the Internet, but because I had gotten in bed so late, I had the hardest time getting up and had had no decent time to do my devotions. I had haphazardly glanced over the passage of Scripture designated to read that day, but it wasn’t an in-depth quiet time, one-on-one with my Jesus. So I told my dad that I planned on using the extra hour for my devotions instead of the internet, because I hadn’t had time to do them at home, but I had to do them. He understood, and I went out to the car and waited for him there. He came out a few moments later, and as he climbed into his work van he posed the question:
“You have to do your devotions, or you get to do them?”
He looked at me with a knowing smile. I shot him back a “oh come on Dad!” smile back, but on the way to work, I had time to ponder that question.
I get to do my devotions~ I own my own Bible (…actually, I own several…)~ I get to read that Bible every day~ I get to spend time with the Almighty Creator of the universe…every day ~ I get to talk to a King—the King of kings—every day~ I get to spend time, listening to the God of all, without fear that He could strike me dead at His random fancy~ I have the privilege of spending time with Him, my Captain, my Prince!
And here’s the awesome part: the King of all kings, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End—he wants me to spend time with me! He wants me to tell Him everything, to hear me! He looks forward to those quiet moments I spend in His Word and in prayer! He isn’t angry with me or ready to smite me dead when I miss that time with Him, although it grieves Him to be sure! L No! He loves me! And the same is true for you, dear sister!
He loves you and me so much! He has given us all the privileges that I mentioned above! We don’t have to hide under our bed to read that Bible! We don’t have to constantly live in fear of being imprisoned or killed in order to read it, as so many of our brothers and sisters on foreign soil do! L
But neither to we need to live in mortal dread that if we don’t spend time with Him in a perfect manner, at an exact time, or in an exact pattern, that he will be angry at us. I often fear that I’m going to offend God; that if I don’t do something right, He will shut me off from Himself… won’t listen to my prayers, or won’t answer them… that He’ll punish me… that He becomes angry. L I know that this thought process is wrong (again, there’s that annoying “head knowledge” thing!!), but it’s my fleshly inclination to do so!!! (And even as I write that, I realize that that is no excuse to continue doing it! lol) But what I mean by that is, that it comes naturally! And it is so normal, that I don’t immediately recognize it, and even if I do, it still feels more right to me. Perhaps I’m not alone in feeling this way? J Last evening on the way home from work, my dad asked me what was on my mind because he could tell something was bothering me. That’s the way Jesus is. He wants to know your fears, confusion, even your outrage. He also wants to know your joys and praise! As I explained to my dad what had been troubling me, in a calm, gentle fashion, he reassured me of what really was true as opposed to I was feeling. He encouraged me. Strengthened me. Took a load off of my mind.
And that is also what Jesus does!! He doesn’t only allow you, a sinner, to spend time with Him and in His ultimate, holy presence; he invites you to spend time with Him! (Song of Solomon 2:13) (Song of Solomon 7:11) (Psalms 45:10) (Proverbs 9:6) (Jeremiah 33:3) (Matthew 11:28-30) In a calm, gentle fashion, He will reassure you of what is really true (John 17:17) (Romans 3:4) (2nd Corinthians 1:18) as opposed to what you are feeling, as you read His Word~~ His Love Letter to you! He will encourage you and guide you! He will strengthen you! (Psalms 138:3) He will take the load off of your mind! Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” You have obtained favor in the sight of God (the same way Esther and Mary of Nazareth!) through salvation. But unlike Ester, “we do not have to fear approaching the King of Heaven. Our God is pictured as a King who invites His people to come before Him with our petitions. We come boldly before God’s throne, not with the sense of having to overcome fear, but rather boldly with the sense that God will answer out prayers! …Our God never tires of being “bothered” with out requests. He desires that we plead our cause and petitions before Him. Best of all, He never rejects our prayers!” (Taken from “Navigating Through the Bible” devotionals that our youth pastor makes up every month; emphasis mine)
I’m not sure if this will encourage any of you, but I hope and pray that it does. I wrote a very similar post, but was either Provedentially hindered or hindered by the enemy, from posting it, so in rewriting it, it has taken a turn. :)
Remember, spending time with the Lord each day is an honor, a sacred privilege. Don’t feel tied down to it (either by duress or guilt!), look forward to it…He does!!
What a privilege to come into God's presence,
Just to linger with the one who set me free.
As I lift my eyes and see His awesome glory,
I remember who He is and bow the knee.
In His hand He holds the power of creation.
With His voice He spoke and all things came to be.
Yet He hears each simple prayer I bring before Him
When I humbly seek His face and bow the knee.
Bow the knee! Bow the knee!
He is king of all the ages
Bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him
All adore Him
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.
(Bow the Knee; Majesty Music)