If you guys have read my last couple of weeks I haven’t posted a Sunday’s Sermon post this is because my Apostle is currently doing a series entitled, “Do You Know God.” I’ll tell you about it when she finishes or at least when I’ve done my own research to make sure I can completely comprehend it. It’s a lot.
So until I’m ready to talk about that I figured I would tell you guys about a book I’m currently reading…well, it’s more of a project. The book is entitled, “The Weekly Prayer Project.” It’s a challenge to journal, pray, reflect and connect with God and something I challenged myself to do as I wanted to commune with God more this year. This really got my attention as it is a weekly occurrence which I really liked because I get to reflect on it all week.
Maybe you all want a closer walk with God too. As you know this is the second week of the year (If you want me to cover the first week, let me know in the comments section) and the theme of the week is Don’t Worry. The scripture is Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Philippians 4:6-7
More than anything, my question is: Are we doing this, this way? I’m realizing that the Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) is an instruction manual and a Blueprint, follow it to the T and you are bound for greatness and if you decide to leave something out, then you get what you get.
For decades, we done what we’ve wanted, how we wanted, when we wanted. We taken parts of the Bible we liked, memorized them, followed only those parts, threw the other parts away, proclaimed that we still love God and His word and then have the nerve to expect Him to bless it. Not so!
For example this scripture listed above specifically states to not be anxious or worried. Until recently, I’ve never heard of so many people suffering with anxiety but the scripture states don’t be anxious about anything. Does it then mean that if we are, we are outside of the will of God? I can’t speak about anxiety because I know it’s very real for those who suffer with it. I personally don’t so I can’t say but I can speak on worry.
I grew up worrying so it was a habit I had. I grew up thinking that I would miss my destiny because I made mistakes so I would worry all the time. I didn’t know that once God forgives, He forgives and never holds it over your head. I didn’t have that growing up. If I did something wrong or if my dad did something for me, it was getting tossed up in my face; maybe not at that exact moment but definitely when it was convenient for him to bring it up. So I always was on guard and I figured if I had to react like that to my Earthly father then it most likely fit for my Heavenly Father. I thought my earthly father was supposed to teach me how to relate to my Heavenly Father unfortunately, he wasn’t a good representative. So for years, I wanted a relationship with God but didn’t know how to pursue it because I didn’t know how to make my relationship with my dad right. Thank God He’s not looking to throw everything you’ve ever done wrong in your face but I didn’t know that until I set aside my preconceived notions and stopped trying to make Him pay for my past experiences of what I thought a dad should be compared to what mine were and just honestly came to Him did I see that. Also the opposite of worry or to be anxious is to have complete faith, which you can only do when you trust and you can’t trust in the light of disappointment.
Next, it says… in everything (every circumstance or situation) by prayer and petition… Everything is not some things. It’s any, all, every single, all inclusive, nothing left out, all situations and circumstances…good or bad…all! Hopefully, that’s pretty clear. You are totally inclusive by going to God with everything in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. So let’s break those down…
Prayer-simply talking to God and reminding Him of what His word says about the issue.
Psalm 103:20-Praise the LORD, all you angels of his, who are mighty in strength, who fulfill his word, obeying the voice of his word. (It’s your voice with His word that the angels obey)
So I think we can gather that we should have a conversation with God about everything that happens that concerns us and commune (meaning find common unity) we do that by seeing what His word says about it. Once we agree, we make petitions requesting what the Word says verbatim, making our request humbly, seeking favor or mercy and then we follow it up with giving thanks for it being done in faith. If we aren’t doing this, there’s a problem. Trust me, I’m speaking to myself as I type this. I haven’t done this as often as I should and even when I have, when my petitions weren’t answered as desired or in my desired timing. I stopped asking but the next part states to continue to make your requests known to God. I would tell myself that if I kept asking it meant I didn’t have faith but that was wrong.
…And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In Hebrew, peace means Shalom and Shalom means that nothing is missing and nothing is broken but in Dictionary.com:
So basically as you continue to bring these issues before God, communing with Him and thanking Him, you in turn will come into agreement that you will no longer feel anxious or worried about these issues by choosing freedom, you instead experience tranquillity and/or serenity concerning these issues and let go of all hostility, distraction, annoyance, anxiety, obsession or antagonism that these issues brought to you before accepting the legally binding agreement. As you fulfill the terms of the agreement, you experience more and more freedom from these things so much so that you are unable to comprehend how free from the entanglements that you are. As long as you stay connected to Christ Jesus there is a guard over your hearts and minds.
These issues that bring all of these elements ultimately bring stress when we try to handle it in our own strength or when we believe the lie that says that God is tired of hearing from us. If you get nothing else from this CONSTANTLY bring EVERY issue to Him. He desires to hear from you and He wants to be the answer to your questions. If we don’t we become God to ourselves. We weren’t built to handle issues on our own. I think we know that, so we typically will call a trusted friend or family member and while it helps short term, they can’t or even talking it out can’t give us the peace that we need that moves us past trying to understand why these things happen. We find that once we hang up the phone, the issue remains and we have to fix it. Why not trust God enough to speak to Him about it?
There’s one more portion that I wanted to break down which is why does it say…hearts and minds…as if we have more than one. Now, maybe the author was talking to more than one person at the time but perhaps he was talking to one. This is my own theory but what if he was talking to us as double minded people, our minds change frequently and we all know that love and hate are but a thin line. So what if here again this is an all inclusive statement, stating that in every way, in every feeling and thought that there will be peace. What do you think about this theory?
How have you translated the scripture? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Lord, I thank you for allowing back into Your presence and I am asking you to direct my steps. This morning, I saw pictures of my sisters and how beautifully they are growing and it hurt that I haven’t been present but I know that that would mean that I would subject myself to harsh treatment and that I would be agreeing to be treated like the hired help opposed to a vital member of the family. Please give me direction and peace concerning this. Your Words states in Psalm 37:23 that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. I pray that you delight in the way in which I am handling this situation and if you aren’t delighted, I give you full permission to direct them in a different path. My emotions have been out of whack all day and I can feel depression and stress knocking at my door but I make a choice not to give in. I pray that you are pleased with me, thank you that I can come to you with my heartbreak and that I can trust You with it.
In Jesus’ Name,