Archive for the ‘jesus’ Tag

B1   Leave a comment

We have all heard the sayings: “The best vitamin for making friends is, B1.”  And, “if you want to have friends, you must first show yourself friendly.”

These are true of course, but let’s take it a step further. As Christians we know that our Leader, our King, our very Example, lived His life solely for others. He was, and is, the ultimate friend, if you will.

Have you ever stopped to think about that? We all want friends. But do we ever turn to Christ’s life and realize He showed us the ultimate example on how to be the ultimate friend? (Thus gaining friends! Though that should not be our “goal,” per se.)

Consider this verse: “Greater love has no man, than to give his life for his friends.” John 15:13.  (And note 15:12 as well.)

We know that Yeshua gave His life for the WHOLE world! So that all could have a chance at eternal life. But what does that mean? Eternal life = life in His Family. This is ETERNAL FRIENDSHIP of the HIGHEST STANDARD!  And it is offered to the whole world! All have a chance to take part in Christ’s offer of friendship.

Christ’s whole life was a blessing for all! And His command to us is to love one another as He loved us. This is how we are to be known as His disciples.

John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So Yeshua, our Friend and Example lived His life as a blessing to others; Loving others; Putting others before Himself. He was a blessing to all! (Even to those whom disagree with Him and hated Him. Even to those that brought about His death.) We cannot argue that He first showed Himself friendly, and was indeed a blessing to others.

So what about us? Are we a blessing to others?

How would Christ behave today? Would He expect people to just flock to Him? Or would He seek out those He could serve, bless, and be an ultimate friend to?

If He were to walk into services (for example), He would be friend to all. He would find those that He could be a blessing to.

I remember a woman in the Church, once told me to be a blessing to others. That stuck with me. And so I often pray that God will help me to be a blessing to others. But recently, I was feeling rather down and discouraged, and another woman in the Church, saw my state, sat down with me, and proceeded to encourage me. She showed me Christ’s friendship! She was a blessing to me! And then she told me something else that I’ll never forget: Someone here may need you. Ask God to guide you to any person that may need you, that you might be able to help them in some way, and be a blessing for them.

THAT is BEING a blessing! That is Christ’s kind of friendship! Offering yourself to another. Serving another. Offering friendship, on any level, to another person. This is loving.

Each of us should start asking God to help us BE a blessing for others. And ask God to guide you to someone specifically that you could be a blessing for. Maybe it’s a simple, “How are you today?” Showing that someone cares and has concern for them. There are people out there (even in the Church) that would be delighted to have someone simply take notice and recognize their existence. Or maybe they just need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to listen to them. Maybe they have an issue that they don’t know what to do about. Maybe they are facing a conundrum of some sort, or need something done that you have the ability to help with.

For some, this may seem scary. One might think, “But I don’t know what to say!” Well, if we are putting it in God’s hands, and asking Him to guide us, then we need to trust Him that He will. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. Look at Moses. Do you think God didn’t know Moses had speech difficulties? Of course, and He had a way to deal with that. God knows you too. He knows your strengths and weaknesses.

Maybe you don’t have to strike up a converstaion. Maybe all another person needs is a hug, a smile, a handshake, or a simple pat on the back in passing by. Sometimes its the simpelest of gestures that mean more to another than we could know. So if we are asking God to guide us to be a blessing for someone, trust that God will handle it in the best way, for them and for you.

How will it change our own lives if we start seeking to be a blessing to others!?  Well, knowing that we are serving our Master in this way brings great joy!

Christ said, whatever we do to others, we do to Him! (Matt. 25:40)

And who knows what kind of difference YOU might make in another peron’s life. Offer Christ’s friendship to others, through you, and see what happens. You could make a big difference in someone else’s life! And great things will come to your life as well.

So let’s look to Yeshua’s example of frienship, and ask God to guide us in this. Let’s get out there a BE a blessing! B1! 

 

(A special thanks to Jacob and my mom for helping me edit this and add to this article. And to Anita for reaching out to me that day and showing me an example of being a blessing.)

Posted November 12, 2016 by buildupontherock in Food For Thought

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Spotlight On Luke 5:16   Leave a comment

Luke 5:16 – So He  (often) withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Our Brother…our example, would take time to get personal with The Father. He made time to get away from His daily tasks, routines, etc. to go and spend personal one on one time talking to, and praising, The Father. This activity wasn’t just for Himself of course. It was writtend down specifically as an example for us.

So the question is… Do we withdraw at times to pray and talk to and praise God?  I don’t just mean at our daily prayer times either. But at other times.

Think of the power one can draw from this. Not to mention keeping God in the forefront of our minds. Building our relationship with, and keeping ourselves in line with our Father.

You see, prayer is not just “talking to God”… It’s praising God. Thanking God. Calling upon Him for involvment in every part of our life. It’s building a relationship with Him. It IS about keeping Him in the very front of our minds no matter what is going on around us. It’s a shield to our hearts and minds from the evil “prince of the power of the air” and his influences.

This is something we need to be doing. Every day! We need to take moments and praise God. Call up on Him for strength, even if we are feeling strong. OR just to say, “Thank you God,” Or “I love you God,”  and talk with Him. Even if only for a few mintues. Longer if possible of course.

This is truly something we all need to do, and do more. Myself included. He IS our SHIELD. Our FORTRESS. Our HIGHTOWER. Our STRENGTH. Our EVERYTHING. We need to maintain that constant link to that.

I know many have jobs. And it might be difficult to “find time” to do this. But I guarantee time can be made. Even if only in your mind while working. So many find time for various other breaks. Coffee, Facebook, emails, texts, etc. How much more important…VITAL…is it to take a “Prayer break”, to “text” God?

Christ took extra time out to seek this relationship with God. Are we doing the same?

 

 

Posted June 4, 2013 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies, Simply Put

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The Lord’s Prayer – A Closer Look – Part 4   Leave a comment

Continuing on from Part 3, I am taking a more in depth look at what is commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer” found in Matthew 6.

Verse 13

“And do not lead us into temptation…”

When I read this, my first thought is…”what?”  Wait, why would God lead us into temptation? WOULD God lead us into temptation? It doesn’t seem to fit with His M.O. (motus operandi). So…what does this mean, that we are to ask God, not to lead us into temptation?

Well, let’s see what we can find out…

First, we have verses that clearly tell us that God does not tempt us.

James 1:13 says this: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

So why then would we pray for Him to not lead us to temptation? Let us continue on in James 1 verse 14 and see if we can get more clarity…

James 1:14 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

This verse makes it clear that we are tempted due to the lust of our flesh (or pride of life, or lust of the eyes). This correlates with 1 John 2:16 which says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Clearly God does not tempt us. BUT… He does allow us to be tempted. He does not remove the temptation from our every path. He knows the paths we take, and He knows the obstacles and or temptations that lie upon the path we choose; that lie in wait for us, perhaps hidden from our view even, along the paths we choose to walk.

Picture it like a this: You have a winding mountainous road. On this road of twists and turns you have a person driving a car. What can that person see? They can only see what is immediately ahead of them, right? Let’s say that there comes a fork in the road. But on one of the choices of roads, only a mile or two away, a boulder has fallen on the road. Or perhaps an avalanche is taking place above, crashing down towards the road. The driver cannot see the hazard from his perspective can he? He doesn’t know that if he makes the wrong choice, it could possibly cost him his life; or at least put him some serious problems.

Now picture a plane in the sky above this mountain road. What can that pilot see? He can look down, and from his perspective see the whole road. He can see the safest routes. The best passes. He can see any obstacles or dangers that may lie ahead. Now if the driver of the car, could communicate with the pilot, He could ask the pilot to tell him which ways to go to avoid such potential threats; which roads are the choice roads. Which roads might he avoid potential hazards of any kind. He could ask the pilot to guide him through the mountains couldn’t he. He could rely on the pilot’s perspective and knowledge of the paths ahead.

It is exactly like that with God. He can see where our paths lead us; where our choices in life will take us. He can see any potential pitfalls, traps, temptations or troubles that might lay ahead. And He can also show us the best choices. Where it is the smoothest, safest, and most peaceful ahead. And so what does He tell us?

Proverbs 3:6. “In all your ways…”, in other words, in ALL of your choices, in all of your decisions, in everything we do in life, “acknowledge Him, and He SHALL direct your paths.”

He IS that pilot that sees our life, and all of our paths, and where our choices lead.  And so we are to ask Him, to lead us not, or rather, to help us to NOT CHOOSE the paths that will lead us to temptation. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the devil better than we know him too. And therefore He knows when the devil will jump in with temptations, and how we will be tempted, and by what means, and what will cause us to be tempted. He knows all of this. And so, we can seek God FIRST (Matthew 6:33) and acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He WILL guide our paths so that we can avoid such temptations.

“And do not lead us into temptation…”

The Lord’s Prayer – A Closer Look – Part 3   1 comment

Continuing on from Part 2, I am taking a more in depth look at what is commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer” found in Matthew 6.

Verse 12

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Most of us are familar with this term, but how many of us really understand what “forgive” means? Is it an action? Is it a choice? Is it a feeling? Is it a mental thing? ….. If your answer is all the above, you probably get it.

Forgivness is first a choice that we have to make.

Matthew 18

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?   Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.

It has to start with a choice. It is not a natural state for humans to forgive. Our natural instinct is to react in a way the makes us feel vindicated somehow. To seek out what we feel is justice or retribution. Do you see that the route there is pride? It is about self. When you boil it down, you come back to the way of love for self, vs love for others. And, sadly, our natural state is to love ourselves. But we have to resist that state, and so make active and often difficult choices that lead us away from the self. And so we have to choose to forgive. It is an attitude like God’s, one of mercy and longsuffering (patience), and love.

Once we have submitted to this course of action, depending upon the severity of the preceived, or actual transgression that we are chosing to forgive the transgressor of, we have may have to go before our King and ask for His help doing so. It’s hard to forgive sometimes, and so it can take a strength of character that we may not have at the current time. But God knows this, and He can give us this strength. That is why we have the scripture Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Our Father and our Savior are there and, and they are willing to give us their strength, the strength of the Christ Himself, in order to do the things they ask of us.

In my experience, this state of forgiveness doesn’t always happen overnight. Most often it takes time, and a lot of prayer, and more action. For me, in one particular incident that I recall, the action I had to take was to go to the person and talk with them. To come with a humble heart before them, and apologize for my part. (which took me a while to come to realize…again, much praying) Once that had occurred, it opened up a “gate”, and healing was allowed to begin. At that point, I realized that it no longer mattered to me what the person(s) had done to me. I had finally forgiven them. What they had done, what they had said, all the hurt it had brought upon me… no longer bothered me any more. In that moment it had gone and I had been set free of months of inner turmoil. I had not only grown, but I had forgiven and repaired a relationship. And I felt freedom.

This freedom I now felt was such a contrast to the inner pain and turmoil I was holding on to literally for months and months. Yes, how they made me feel was real; The hurt was real. But once I was able to forgive…through God’s help…(I could not do it on my own) all of that turmoil just evaporated.

In fact, I was asked if I would tell them anything that they had done that could apologize for themselves. And before this time, I had a list in my head. One that I reviewed sometimes almost daily…but at that moment, it did not really matter. Yeah, the stuff still hurt a bit, but what was important, what was freeing at that moment, and afterward, was the fact that God had brought me to the point of forgiving them. For me, forgiveness was freedom.

So if we can’t find the forgivness on our own, we need to get God involved.

When we forgive others, we are showing Godly character. We are reflecting His very nature. He is quick to forgive us when we seek to change our hearts and when we struggle to repent. This is His mercy on us. And He wants us to understand that.

So He states it thus; that we are asking Him to forgive us, as we forgive others. He puts that distinct stipulation in there. So we realize that we need to call upon Him for, not only forgiveness, but for help forgiving. We read that, and we can rightly ask the question… “If I don’t forgive others, will God forgive me?”

We know that, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”, Matthew 7:2. So would it not also be true that by how we forgive others, is how we too will be forgiven? Well, I can’t say for 100% certainty, but to me at least, this part of the Lord’s Prayer seems to indicate that.  So when we are asking God to forgive us, what needs to come in to our minds right away is, who do I need to forgive? And then we may need to call upon God for His character of forgiveness, and then make the choice and take action.

After all, we are reminded in Colossians 3:13 (NIV)  to, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

And let’s look at Christ’s own warning concerning forgiveness in Mark 11:25-26 – “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

That is a pretty strong and clear warning.

Also, if you compare the Matthew 6 prayer with the way Luke recorded it… “And forgive our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” We see that it certainly is expected of us. Forgiveness should be our way. So then, when we fall short of God’s character, which we all do, we can come before our Lord and Master, and before our King Of Kings, and ask forgiveness.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

The Lord’s Prayer – A Closer Look – Part 2   Leave a comment

Continuing on from Part 1, I am taking a more in depth look at what is commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer” found in Matthew 6.

Picking up where we left off then…

Verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

First of all, I think it is important to know that it says, “…THIS day…”. Not tomorrow or the next day. THIS day is what we are given. That is where the focus is. Tomorrow is not ours yet. Today is. If God gives us tomorrow, fine. But God tells us in Matt 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Tomorrow is not ours yet. So if we read this verse to really apply it to our lives, we ask, what we are going to do with THIS day. How am I going to live this day? What do I need this day?

When I read this verse, for me personally, it is a reminder of who my Provider is.  It is not simply the work of my hand, or how smart I am, or other abilities I have been given (also by God) that I live and have. I am reminded that it is my Father in heaven (see verse 9) that I am calling upon because it is HE who ultimately is my Provider. (In fact, one of His names is Provider. Jeahovah Jireh – I think translated is “The LORD Will Provide”) It is HE who provides for me. Yes, He both allows and expects us to work to provide for ourselves and our families (1 Tim. 5:8), but, if we are truly allowing Him to reign over our lives and guide all our paths (Prov. 3:6) , it is HE Who provides for us; how much we make ($ wise); who we work for; what work we do; and how much the work of our hands is blessed.

1 Chronicles 29:16 – O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.

It is good that we recognize that whatever we do, whatever we gain, it still comes from God. (It is He who gives us our abilities, gifts, and talents. It is He who provides raw material. It is He who makes the rain to fall and the sun to shine and who causes blessings and cursings, the seasons and causes the ground to yield it’s fruit and minerals.

Haggai 2:8 – ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.

So whatever we do, we can only do because of Him. And whatever we have, we can only have because HE provided it in the first place.

(Also of note… Realize that God is YOUR Father. You CAN ask Him for anything. Personally…when I pray and ask for God to provide for me and my family, I occasionally include this…”God, all of the silver and gold are yours… may I have some?” That may sound a little humorous…but have you ever asked your physical father or mother for some money? Sure! So? Why not ask the same of your Spiritual Father in heaven? He LOVES to give and knows how to give GOOD gifts and gives them abundantly! So why not ask Him?)

Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Yeshua.

Also Matthew 6:33 – “…and all these things shall be added to you.”

What things?

Matthew 6:25-33 – “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.”

So we see it is talking about our very life. Included in that is food, drink, and clothing. In these verses, God goes on to explain that He provides for all of the creation; the animals and even plant life. Our lives are of much more value to Him, so how much more so will He provide for us? He promises in verse 33 that He WILL take care of these things for us. (IF we are seeking Him first of course)

Proverbs 30:8 & 9 fits “hand in glove” with this request in prayer of asking God four our daily provisions and needs.

Prov 30:8-9 says, “…Give me neither poverty nor riches– Feed me with the food You prescribe for me; (9) Lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

I think that when coming to God daily for our daily needs to be fulfilled, we need to keep that scripture in mind. This helps keep us in the mind-set that God knows what is best for us.

So it is God that provides for us “our daily bread”. Our daily bread is a two fold term I believe. We understand it’s physical application: It is our food, and other physical life sustaining needs, such as shelter, clothing and water. But those who are truly submitting to God, and working on fulfilling Matthew 6:33 and Proverbs 3:6, know that there is a spiritual side to “our daily bread” as well.

Christ, at the Passover before His crucifixion,  gave His disciples bread and told them this was representative of His body. (Matt 26:26, Mark 14:22, 1 Cor 10:16 to name a few places where this can be found) So if we are asking the Father to give us this day our daily bread, in a spiritual light, what are we asking for? More of Christ in us, in our lives. We are asking for more of His character; more of HIS righteousness (not ours); more of His Holy Spirit.

Think about this as well… God gave the Israelite’s manna every day in the wilderness. Manna was sort of a bread type substance. But this “bread” was of perfect nutritional value. There was nothing unwholesome about it. It gave their bodies everything they needed nutritionally to sustain their physical life.   Now think about this…Christ is called “The Word”. (John 1:1-18) And the Holy Bible IS the word of God (of The Father & The Christ). The Christ, The WORD, likens Himself to Bread which we should eat of. The Holy Scripture is our spiritual “food”. So when we partake of the word of God, we are partaking also of The WORD of God. Does that make sense?

Following that train of thought then, God gave the Israelite’s manna (bread) in the wilderness on a DAILY basis…

So how often should we be partaking of Christ? Of reading His word?

“Give us this day, our DAILY bread.”

To be continued….

The Lord’s Prayer – A Closer Look – Part 1   2 comments

I opened my bible today to read, and randomly came to Matthew 6. Reading through it I came to what is commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer”.

I, like most of us, have read this seemingly hundreds of times. But this time, something in my mind said…”Get more out of it”.  So I decided not to just, read it over again and move on…but to really try to look at it closer, more in depth…and perhaps even, if possible, in a way I have not looked at it before.

So I began to read it, and meditate on it… then another thought came to me… why not post it as I go through it. If it’s good for me…surely it might be beneficial to others as well. So hence, this blog.

I hope you can gain something from it too. 🙂

 

Matthew 6:31:9-13

“Our Father in heaven…. ”

This tells us that the Lord God, the Almighty, is our Father. We are to look at Him in that light. As our parent. As the Ultimate Parent in fact. (as we see by other verses throughout the Bible) He is, OUR Father.
And… it tells us where He is. He is in Heaven.
Think about this… what does that part mean to us? How can we relate to that?
Our own parents, the physical ones, are there, often ever present before us. We can see them, touch them, and hear them physically. But… there were times growing up that they weren’t specifically near us at times. Maybe we were at school. Or maybe our dad’s were at work or on a business trip…. But we knew they were at the same time…still “there” in a sense. Their law. Their rules. And… their love.
(Yes, I realize this is not the case across the board. Some grew up with out one or both parents, and or had very different situations…But I am speaking in a general, ideal sense.)
They were ever “present” with us. Though they were at times physically, not present, they ruled and loved from “afar”. Our parents, would basically always know where we were and what we were doing…for the most part.
But this is basically the same with our Father in Heaven. Yes, He is “afar”, and yet, His laws, and His love reach into our lives. The guide and touch us. AND, He always knows where we are and what we are doing.

“Your kingdom come.”

We need to have this great hope and desire ever in our hearts. Realizing that this physical life is not what it is all about. In fact…it is not even “REAL life”. It is a temporary creation, to give us understanding and the ability to grow. It’s a training camp, a school, if you will.
When we went to school…was it forever? No. There was a time before Kindergarten, that life existed without school. And…after high school or college, life continued on without school. So it was temporary. It was created so that we could learn and grow and be prepared for what is to come. Right?
That is what THIS physical life is for. Before the physical universe was created, all things were spirit. Of spirit and by spirit. God created physical matter to be temporary. And so we look forward to that time…the Kingdom, when the physical is done away with, and we get to have REAL, TRUE, EVERLASTING life.
So we look to the Kingdom. And we hope for it. We long for it. We desire for it. We keep it as our focus. (Matthew 6:33)

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

By who?
Well, who is it that knows His will? Who is it that is to be seeking His Kindgom and His righteousness? (Matt. 6:33) Oh! That’s us!
Yes, we can pray that God’s will is done throughout the earth by all of mankind…and YES, we are praying for that day, when all IS done according to His will in the life of every man woman and child. We are praying for a complete submission, by the whole world, to God and His way; His perfect will. We are looking to that time…But wait…there is more…!
You see…while that train of thought is good and right, it is sort of…”at a distance” if you will. “I am praying for this to occur…one day.” It’s at a distance.
But how about we bring it closer. Mattew 6:33 and Proverbs 3:6.
Reading those scriptures, we see that it is WE who are to be DOING God’s will…right now.
I can’t cause another guy to do God’s will. I cannot cause another nation to do God’s will. (Yes, I can teach it, but I cannot make another man do it)
But who can I affect so? Who do I have the power to change; to make submit his will to God’s will?
You already know the answer of course….Myself.
I can only change myself. You can only change yourself. So it is up to each of us, individually to be DOING, LIVING, SUBMITING TO, God’s will, on earth…the place we live…as it is so done in heaven.

I’ll stop here for now. This blog is already long enough, and I prefer, if possible, to keep these short. So, I’ll make this Part One, and then continue on from there.

Please feel free to comment! I love comments! Let me know if this is helpful to you at all. Or if you have been given more understanding that can be shared and added to this. Questions are also welcomed.

Thanks for reading!

 

Posted July 16, 2012 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies

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Anxious For Nothing   3 comments

Do you ever suffer from anxiety? Or even anxiety attacks?

Did you know the Bible has remedy for this? That’s right. God addresses this, because after all, He KNOWS how our bodies and minds function more than any psychologist or psychiatrist does. They can only deal with emotion and try to manipulate our “feelings” about things, or throw some poison drug at us that masks over the problem. (and does more harm than good)

But God, in His awesome wisdom actually KNOWS how to deal with the spirit of man. Something those people with the PHD’s know little to nothing about, let alone, how to deal with it.

The answer is found in Philippians 4. Specifically in verses 6-7 (but 8-9 is also very beneficial to reversing a stressful or anxious or worried mind)

Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Let’s go over these two verses to really get the understanding and help we need.

Verse 6 starts out: “Be anxious for nothing”.  Or, “Worry”, for nothing. Okay, this does not sound like a suggestion to me. This is stated as a command. In other words… DO NOT be anxious. This is not God’s way. We understand that our language often carries different meanings. There is the anxious that involves stress, and worry, but then there is the anxiousness that is more of the “looking forward to something with anticipation. Yes, we are to look forward to the Kingdom. We anxiously await it.  It is the other definition, the primary, negative meaning of anxious that God is speaking on here.

So just to clarify:

Definition: Anxious

–adjective

1. full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous: Her parents were anxious about her poor health.

2. earnestly desirous; eager (usually followed by an infinitive orfor ): anxious to please; anxious for our happiness.

3. attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness: anxiousforebodings.

It is the 1st and 3rd definitions we are dealing with here when we are explaining the verse in Philippians 4.

So when it says, do not be anxious, we know what the verse is referring to.

God does NOT want us being anxious. Do you think He is ever anxious in this way? Was Jesus? Even knowing what He would have to endure, I submit that He was never anxious about it. We have Matthew 6:34 where Jesus instructs: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worry, anxiety, stress, these are all in the same boat. And they are NOT of God’s character. God’s character is that of peace.  (as we will see in scripture in a moment) You cannot have peace and anxiety.

Note: Stress and anxiety and worry are all VERY harmful to our bodies and our minds.  And our Creator knows this. So He, in His utmost wisdom, creates laws/commands/instructions to protect us. Just like with clean and unclean foods. He knows what is actually harmful to us and so in His loves tells us as a loving parent to avoid such things.

So what do we do instead? Continue on in Philippians 4 verses 6-7 to see:

“…but in everything by prayer and supplication”.    The answer is simple!  PRAY!

Simple enough indeed! He says, instead of being anxious, PRAY.  “Don’t do this… do this instead.” And the word supplication, by the way, means petition or request.  God wants us to ask Him for our needs and desires. We see this several times in scripture,

(Particularly pertinent to this verse is Psalm 3:4)

Psalm 3:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

(Fears = worries, stress, anxiety etc.)

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Luke 11:9 “So I say to you: [Instruction] Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

So we can CLEARLY see that God wants, (instructs even) us to come to Him and ASK for His help, deliverance, guidance, our needs, our desires, etc.

So, don’t worry…pray.

But wait…there’s more!

“…with THANKSGIVING let your request be made known to God..”

We have two things here. One, we again see Him telling us to make our request to Him. But just as important is the HOW… with THANKSGIVING! Thankfulness!

Wait…what? Well that is certainly a foreign concept to us. Being thankful BEFORE we have even been granted our request! That probably seems quite strange. But again, this is more instruction…not suggestion.

God wants us to be thankful even before our petition is fulfilled. He wants us to ask Him, being thankful to Him for the answers we have not yet received, but KNOW that we WILL receive.

Did you get all that?

The next time you pray try this: Try thanking God as if your prayer has already been answered! Just remember, the answer may not be exactly what WE think it should be, but it WILL be what is best for us, and it WILL be answered.

Also, be thankful for the mere (but AWESOME) fact that you are actually ALLOWED to TALK to the VERY CREATOR! WOW!
Not to mention, you are allowed to ASK Him for something! Double WOW! And He WANTS us to ask!  Shall I say…TRIPLE WOW!!! Really…think about that for a minute. Let that sink in! The great I AM, the Creator of all there is, was, and will be; the most supreme power; the top most expert in all things, wants US, — mere limited sacks of flesh and blood, creatures who are here one minute, gone the next, who are so limited we cant even go one DAY without sin;– He wants US to ask Him for things. And not only ask, but EXPECT Him to answer. Again…wow!!!!

So He tells us to make our request to Him in thankfulness. Let’s look at some more scriptures. We have already read several that show us that He WILL answer. I recommend going back above to that last list of scriptures and reading them again with this in mind. He WILL answer.

Here are some more: (some are repeats with emphasis on God’s promised response)

Psalm 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 37:4  Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Isaiah 30:19  O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

Matthew 7:8  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 18:19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

Matthew  21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

(Remember of course. God ONLY gives you what is good for you. Like a loving parent would. What we ask must be according to His will. But again, we can TRUST that He will answer ‘no’ if it is something that is harmful or something that would not be what is best for us. Sometimes we cannot see the harm, because we do not see things as clearly as He does. But if what we ask for IS good for us, then we CAN expect it. He WILL answer and we WILL receive what we are asking for, and at the best time for us to receive it. Which may not be when we think it is, but it will be when it actually IS the best time.)

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Ah, here again we see that we are to believe we have received it, even before we have actually received it. This requires Faith. Ask for that too! 🙂  So this is why we are to ask in thankfulness. Can you see, too, how this would change your mind, your thought patterns, and therefore your attitude and feelings of anxiety? This changes the attitude to that of hope, and joy and peace.

God is so awesome!  Just in the following of His instructions here, begins the answer to our request for help from anxiety. Truly amazing!

Luke 11:9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

John 14:13  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, [ie. According to His will; what is truly best] so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

John 15:7  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

John 15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

John 16:23 … I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

(Hmm… Could it be that when we are feeling anxious, wisdom would be a very good thing to ask for? I believe so.)

1 John 3:22 …and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

(Ah, another proof that we ARE to obey God’s commandments.)

And finally:

1 John 5:14  This is the CONFIDENCE we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

This is to be our CONFIDENCE! We are to KNOW it. Have FAITH in it. “BANK ON IT”, if you will.

If we ask according to His will, and we can see what His will is about anxiety from scripture, we can KNOW that He will deliver us. He does not want us to worry. Not stress. Not be anxious. This IS His will for us to not be so. Therefore, He WILL deliver us if we ask.

And then what happens?

Continue on in verse 7 of Philippians 4.

Phil 4:7 …”and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

There you go. The peace of God. Not the anxiety of God. Not the stress of God. Not the worry of God. No, these things do not exist in God. He has peace. In fact it is so great, that it surpasses all understanding!  How great is that? “I don’t know?” Well, It surpasses my understanding! 🙂  Right? Right!

AND, it GUARDS our hearts and minds! This – IS – A – PROMISE!!!  Not a general rule of thumb. Not a possibility. This is a FACT. It is what it is. It does what it does. Like gravity. It just is. God says HIS peace WILL GUARD our hearts and our minds. But… like wearing a bullet proof vest… we have to put it on in order for it to work. How do we put His peace on? Through Jesus.

I can do ALL things…how? Through JESUS CHRIST, that’s how.  Find that in the same chapter. Philippians 4:13.

So there we have it. What do you do if the devil tries to get at you through anxiety, worry, and or stress? We do the following: 1) Go to God realizing this is NOT His way; 2) Ask for His deliverance; and 3) EXPECT, with THANKFULNESS, His deliverance.

The PEACE which is the antithesis of anxiety, worry, and stress, WILL come, and it will come from Him.

And here is some extra help:

Verse 8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, [usually a lot of what we are nervous or anxious about isn’t as big as we make it, or often not even real. But even it if is true, does God want us to worry over it?] whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things.
9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of PEACE will be with you.

So there is another help. If our thoughts are on things we are worrying, stressing, or being anxious over….stop! Change your thoughts. God tells us what to think on. These things here in Philippians 4:8 & 9. THESE are what will bring God’s peace to our hearts and minds. So dwell on those things. Use that “bullet proof” vest.

I’ll leave you with a final note of help: There is a song that my children have. It is a kid’s song, but it has helped both my wife and I remember.  Just one line form it in particular: “Oh, what do we think about, things so great; found in Philippians, 4:8”

May God bless you with His peace!

Addition 6/13/12 – Here is a quote I heard and thought fitting… “Worry is like a rocking chair… It will give you something to do, but you’re not going to go anywhere.”
It’s so true! What does worry produce? Is it productive? Or does it lead to fear? (and improper fear can bring us to a grinding halt in life) So why do it? Especially when God tells us not to. God knows that worry is counterproductive, that it get’s us no where good. So stop “rocking back and forth”. Get forward momentum by doing it God’s way. (see above)