“Welcome!” We see it everywhere we enter, from front door mats and entrances to shops…to emails we open after we’ve signed up for something. We talked last post about peace being near. You may be saying, “I don’t feel at peace.” So, let’s dig into why…and how we can welcome and experience this peace.
“And the peace of God, Who is greater than every mind, will keep your hearts and your minds by Yeshua The Messiah.”
Philippians 4:7 ABPE
This verse says that Jesus, the Messiah, is not only near, but He guards (or keeps) our hearts (the main location for what we think and what drives us) and our minds (including all that transpires from what we think). We have the peace of God, assuring us of His protection. If you have accepted Jesus as the payment for your sins, His sacrifice makes you at peace with God the Father. Once you’ve done this, He’s with you! “Check.” You’ve done this? So, why, then, does peace still feel so far away or non-existent?
When was the last time you welcomed this peace to rule your thought life…to drive you? If you’ve already invited Him into your heart, He IS near! Think of it like inviting someone into your home. He’s in there, but have you welcomed Him into the areas you may be a bit more reluctant for Him to see…the dirty areas, the unkept areas, the hoarding piles, the things you “need to do, but just haven’t.”
In what areas of your life do you feel broken?
Do you feel fragmented and desire wholeness?
How do you even “invite” the Prince of Peace to rule over your brokenness or opposing thoughts…to guard you?
Let’s back up in Philippians 4, where we were a bit in the last post; it holds the prescription for wholeness and welcoming peace.
“Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad.”
Philippians 4:4 CEV
Always be glad because of the Lord! Experience and be glad for the approval and support (favor) the Lord God, the Ruler of the Universe, has freely given us, because He loves us and gave His Son for us. He owns this grace and is exercising His authority to give it to whom He pleases. He’s given it to YOU through His Son! That should be something, no matter what we’re going through, that we can be glad for! It was, obviously, important enough for Paul to repeat himself!
“Let your reasonableness be known to all men; the LORD [is] near;”
Philippians 4:5 ISV
Let your fairness and impartiality be experienced by everyone, since the LORD is near you and wanting His character, which includes these attributes, to be shown through you (if you want to dig a little more into this one, check out the last post, “Peace is Near”).
“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 requests known to God.“
Philippians 4:6 AB
Don’t be anxious about anything.The original Greek word for “anxious,” here, will resonate with you, if you’re feeling fragmented. It literally means being pulled in opposing directions, where you’re divided into parts. Can you relate? Have you been so concerned about something that you can’t sleep or are constantly thinking about it, your heart feels shattered because of it, yet you know you shouldn’t be anxious? Being anxious is the complete opposite of the wholeness of peace that God gives! That’s literally the meaning of “peace,” here; He ties, or joins, all the pieces together into a whole!
Pray about everything. We’re not supposed to be anxious about anything; in its place, we pray.
Let God know your requests…your needs that you feel deep within, the ones that are personal and feel urgent.
Communicate your wishes to Him and listen for His wishes that He communicates to you. Prayer, literally, means “exchange;” it’s not just one-sided!
Be thankful for everything. I can’t say this one is always as easy as letting God know how I’m feeling, yet it’s commanded of me. I often stop my kids after a rant they’ve had and ask, “What can we be thankful for in/about this?” I wish my kids would stop me after a rant and ask the same! If I asked that question before my rant, I can guarantee my perspective would be different! And this isn’t just a command when things are going well, and you’re having a good day. “In everything” doesn’t leave any thing or situation out!
Gladness + Fairness and Impartiality + Prayer (Instead of Anxiety) + Communication with God about Wishes and Needs + Thankfulness = Peace of God, Guarding Your Heart AND Mind
These responses welcome the character of Christ to infuse us…to spread through us (even those deep, dark areas of us, where we would rather keep the door shut and not permit entrance); these ways also allow Him to be seen in every part of us. Jesus IS the Prince of Peace! If you have accepted His gift of salvation, He IS your helmet to protect your mind (your thoughts and the results of them)! He IS your breastplate to protect your heart (your emotions and what drives you)!
I have much welcoming to do! How about you? Ah, but the reward of protection and peace is great!
Yesterday and today, I've been able to work a bit on the study, buttoning up another day! I'm officially more than half way! I have 6 weeks and 1 day of the study completed! Praising the LORD for that! Loved that this day focused on Christ's burial. Timely!