You and I need not be anxious about anything.
Will we choose this path of peace? Are we truly able to make this choice?
As we head into a new year and set our hearts afresh to read His Word and to know His truth, may we determine to read with the purpose of TRULY believing and obeying, so that we may stand strong when the storms come. It’s those who hear and act upon the word, who will stand and not be shaken (Luke 6:46,47).
And the Word gives this clear instruction to obey: “..do not be anxious about anything,..”
How is that possible? BY PRAYER.
Making our requests known to God with thanksgiving (rather than being anxious about all the many details of life) will guard our heart and our mind in Christ Jesus with the peace of God (Philippians 4:6, 7).
The Greek word for “guard” in this scripture is actually “a military term picturing soldiers standing on guard duty and refers to the guarding of the city gate from within as a control on all who went out… The heart is the center of each person, from which thoughts and affection flow.“1
We may think of this peace of God as guarding what enters our heart and mind or what goes on there, but the idea here is actually a guard on what goes out, what erupts from our heart and mind. Ponder that. Can’t we all readily recognize how we have been influenced (and have possibly influenced those around us) by eruptions of unbelief that, because of our lack of prayer, we’ve not controlled?
The solution to our anxiety is “everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This is in stark contrast to the default of everything by worry, which is so easy to fall into. Worry strangely gives us a false sense of control, making us feel like we are DOING something about the situation. But living in a habitual constant state of worry and being anxious is not only being disobedient to the Word, but is also forfeiting the peace that we are promised.
How often do we indulge ourselves in anxiety and worry and the what if’s, when the Word instructs us to not be anxious and to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)? May we choose to obey the Word, to be “an effectual doer” and not “a forgetful hearer” (James 1:25).
Let’s resolve (decide firmly on a course of action):
I will not be anxious, I will trust, I will believe, and I will obey:
I will PRAY about everything, and give thanks, “…that which ought never to be absent from any of our devotions- namely, the grateful acknowledgment of past mercies, as distinguished from the earnest seeking of future.”1
One closing thought from Oswald Chambers:
“We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God. Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.” My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, Devotion for July 4.
Spend some time with the Lord, ask, hear His answers, allow Him to speak to your heart, and write it down:
-Lord, where I have given into the default of anxiety and worry? Remind me to pray in my moments of anxiety. I confess that I too often fall into this sin, and I name it for what it is, as it stands in opposition to the instruction of Your Word. And I repent.
-Remind me, even in this moment, of all that I need to practice thankfulness for. You are such a good Father working miracles all around me all the time. Open my eyes to see.
-I resolve that when I begin to feel worried or anxious, I WILL PRAY. I will talk to You about it, the One Who has solutions, and I will do so with thanksgiving, reminding myself of all Your faithfulness and Your great ability to do anything and everything.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
“…but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).
Lord, raise up an army of praying BELIEVERS!
1Rogers, Cleon L. The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament. 1998 Zodervan
Just imagine with me how this world would be affected if we continually, habitually, immediately prayed about all the rising concerns. We would ALL pray more! And MORE would be accomplished in the Name of Jesus as a result!
Let’s rise up and start a prayer movement, how bout it!
Blessings to you all,