I started writing this post last weekend while away on a business trip. I let it sit there for a few days, just praying over it and really questioning if Father was speaking to me or if I had just obsessed on an extremely familiar topic within Christendom.
Then, I had a good brother come out and visit me a couple of nights ago. We’ve been in relationship with this brother and his family for years now. It has been incredible to see him grow in his faith, calling and destiny! He came to me in order to confess and repent of…………..worry! Father has recently been dealing with him about operating from a fear basis rather than a faith basis. It came to the point where he had to own up to the fact that he was bound by worry and experiencing its impacts on his personal faith, family relationships and his daily walk.
We were able to spend a couple of hours together in conversation, reading the Word and in prayer. My brother and I boiled it down to the simple form of either believing Father or not believing Father. By the end, we had both confessed and repented of choosing to worry rather than trust an awesome Heavenly Father, who has time and time again told us and proven to us that…….”Hey, I’ve got this!”
In my conversations with believers, most who have been believers for a looooooong time, you would be surprised how many live a life with consistent worry. They may not come out and ‘fess up to it, but, if you really listen, you can see past what they’re representing and get to the basis of their reality.
Rather than operating in faith and obedience, which we will get to a bit later, their selected mode of operation is actually fear and desperation of potentially being sick, wanting or in bondage. Worry, anxiousness and fear are not merely occasional acquaintances. They are constant companions which deeply impact a believer’s function. I am here to say that believers choosing to live at that level are living way below the standard that Father has for His Children.
Let me point you to Paul’s words found in Philippians 4 so that we can get where I’m wanting to go.
Stop perpetually worrying about even one thing, but in everything, by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion, and by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, let your requests with thanksgiving for the things asked for be made known in the presence of God, and the peace of God which surpasses all power of comprehension, shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Wuest Expanded Translation)
Okay, there’s so much locked up Paul’s words that I couldn’t exhaust it all if I tried. So, if you will allow my preference, I will just highlight a couple of things and add commments.
What Paul is laying down smacks of a believer functioning in maturity. There’s no way around it.
Along with the apparent command of “(you) stop perpetually worrying about even one thing”, Paul is intimating that there seems to be a matter of the believer making a CHOICE to not operate in the perpetual worry mode and choosing, rather, to engage in faith mode.
Instead of choosing to worry about “even one thing”, the suggested course of action is to offer true worship and devotion to Father “in EVERYTHING”. Now, here is where maturity comes into play.
First, the believer must recognize and assume the responsibility of governing his/her choice in the matters set before them and setting their heart/mind/spirit in governing everything in and through prayer/worship.
Secondly, a believer’s understanding of what “worship” truly is must be conformed to accurate New Testament function and not what a religious church system has made it out to be. I will leave that alone for now. If you’d like a full treatment on the subject, allow me to point you to the scholarly work of my brother, Dr. Stephen Crosby. You can order a hard copy or download the book in a few minutes. http://www.stevecrosby.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=worship
Contained in making the appropriate decision to “worship” rather than “worry”, the believer has the ability to ask their Father for their needs. As a matter of fact, Paul tells us that in doing so, we actually have Father’s presence as the environment in which we dwell and make our petitions known.
Imagine that, won’t ya!?!?!?!? No guitar being played. No note on the piano being struck. No repeating of a worship song lyric over and over and over and over and over…….begging God to pour out His Presence, pleading for Him to come down or flood us with His glory. Just a Father’s child, choosing to exercise his privilege in co-laboring with Father and asking for pertinent needs to be met and………BOOM!………Father is present!
That’s because He Lives in you, silly! He never leaves nor forsakes you, regardless of apparent circumstances. According to Paul, we live, move and have our very being IN HIM! So, Father is the environment in which a believer/son is designed to exist. Again, removing inaccurate teaching and mental strongholds and having a mature understanding is required.
And what is the result of a believer understanding what Paul is saying and choosing to function accordingly? Oh, a crazy little thing that most believers no nothing about called…….Peace!
Yeah, it was (still is at times, I ain’t gonna lie) a hard pill for me to swallow, too! Peace isn’t reserved merely to be evoked in times of calamity or great trial. In Father’s economy, peace is determined to be a constant state of existence for His Children; the norm and not the exception!
Check this out. Peace is actually a proactive force able to rise up and guard your heart and mind. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit designed for the believer to exist in and partake of in their daily life. Peace, not just for eternity but also in the nasty-here-and-now, should be the base of operation of every believer regardless of whether they are seemingly being abased or abounding.
Quite often, I get asked why I sign off on this blog, in other writings and in personal conversations with, “Keep your peace!” What I am telling you here is the reason why I do so. Didn’t Jesus say he left us “peace” and that we should not permit our hearts to be troubled? Yes, I know He did. You’ve been given peace and it is a shame if you allow the adversary steal it from you. Learn to keep your peace! Learn to “worship”……not “worry”!
I will leave it there for now and pick up this train of thought in following posts.
Until then,…………keep your peace!