Philippians 4:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your 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.
Lately, I have found myself getting anxious about many things. Getting exasperated with situations that would go contrary to what I’d hoped. I’d get frustrated because of people whose actions caused me distress and systems that endeavor to keep one under duress. I’d be crushed even by goals which seem stagnant and hopelessly unfulfilled. I have, according to this world every reason to be angry, sad, frustrated,… whatever negative reaction is expected. But according to God, I am not entitled to those responses because He has instructed me not to respond in that predictable manner. His Word says I am to be anxious for nothing. Period.
What I find interesting is how the scripture says the peace of God will guard my heart and mind. Why guard? Why not encourage? I’m saying I’m under pressure and am not happy, and you’re telling me peace will guard me?? It seems like a defensive action. But I’m on this battlefield wanting to progress and I would think you could give me some serious offensive action rather than just guarding my heart and mind!! Seriously…smh.
Guarding refers to protecting me from something antagonistic though…so why is God’s peace there to guard my heart and mind when i have so much to be anxious about?
Perhaps the defensive is actually all that is needed. God’s foolishness is still always wiser than man’s greatest wisdom. The battle is the Lord’s says the Word so perhaps He is the one who will fight for me. The reason He has to guard me when I’m anxious is probably so I don’t react negatively to the onslaught of frustration while He deals with it. He wants me to be still and know He is God. If I react out of my frustration and break past the guards meant to protect me because I’m troubled and unstable, I will put myself directly in the line of fire and expose myself to the very fiends seeking to find and destroy me beyond the hedge of God’s presence. That was the reason for the onslaught. To make me move away from what should guard me so I’ll be vulnerable. But when I belong to God and have committed everything including my anxieties and battles to Him, He expects me to relinquish control; that usually means sitting and shutting up while He works. It means I don’t interfere or fight for myself in my own inept way which throws out my entire case cos in my upheaval, I’ll ruin all the evidence and contaminate the crime scene He’s about to nail the enemy on.
If the peace of God doesn’t guard my heart and mind, I have experienced the most negative, angry, hateful, hurt-based impulsive reactions out of duress. They occur from within me and irrevocably destroy certain things. I may lash out. Justifiably from my circumstances; yes. Permissible, but not beneficial, as the apostle Paul says in the Word.
Guard me Holy Spirit with the peace that passes understanding. The peace that keeps me still when I should be freaking out. When I should be upset, irate, hurt, irritated, overwhelmed and erupt with volcanic proportions of unbridled fire at the rubbish around me, please keep me still. Keep me broken, contrite, still…keep me listening to the sound of your breath past my ears as I hide in your embrace while the world around me falls apart and you fly me above the chaos. Let all I hear be your instructions and let your words be so weighty to me that I hearken to your voice and come out saved because I followed you Word for word. I didn’t turn to the right or left without your instruction like a blind person being given deliberate and precise instruction to navigate through a freeway of racing cars.
When my heart is overwhelmed, please lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
I pray with thanksgiving because of your love and goodness towards me at all times. I depend on you entirely, I praise you even from the places of my anxiety. My sacrifice, and it is a sacrifice to die to self, carries weight because it is genuine and pierces through the darkness of my stress to rise to you as a sweet-smelling offering of COSTLY worship. You will guard me, fight my battles and then deliver me. And when you have done it all, my testimony and thanksgiving will not be missed. It can’t. Like the woman who poured her perfume on your feet and wiped it with her hair before you went to the cross for her and everyone else’s souls, the fragrance of my worship will fill the room of your presence even before the battle is conclusively won in my favor.
You said you would keep me under the shadow of your wings. I believe you. So be it. I stand in awe of You and will eagerly await the moment You tell me to come out of the cave where I’m hidden to see what has transpired on my behalf.