~by Randy Bushey
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7).
At Bethel we’ve completed our Bible teaching series on Spiritual Warfare.
Scenario: imagine the sense of helplessness when a soldier knows that he is about to deploy. He can identify the enemy. The battle objective has been explained in mind-numbing detail.
But, he doesn’t understand his own first step. How to get started?
What is he to do – specifically, individually – to begin to accomplish the task?
If, as a soldier of Christ, you are in that predicament, then this is for you.
You – and every authentic Christ-follower – are already in the battle. You have been since you received Christ.
And it’s a skirmish with stress. And angst. And negative pressure. And nervous tension.
Fear often results.
Almost nothing crushes faith like uncontrolled fear. And its ugly sister, anxiety.
Paul’s verses above offer foundationally practical advice for this frenetic 21st century spiritual battle.
And the Lord extends a simple – bulletproof! – promise to ward off anxiety and the threats posed by the enemy.
It can be reduced to this equation:
prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection.
Think about the simplicity of the promise: our lives are to be immersed in prayer. We are to be those who pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17). We’ve been challenged to …pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18).
Our prayers are to be offered – and our lives lived – in a context of daily thankfulness.
Don’t miss the promised result: we will experience God’s supernaturally transcendent peace; and as an added benefit we will be protected.
Prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection
The Lord promises protection for our minds. That often takes the shape of helping us to avoid deception or intellectual confusion. Understanding what is genuine and what is counterfeit.
And protection for our hearts – warding off discouragement.
Is there a single soldier of Christ today – or in any era – who doesn’t need to be reminded of, and to practice, this relevant, practical promise?
Takeaway: Lord, the requirements of this formula are easy to understand, but represent disciplines I find so hard to live out.
Please energize me by your Spirit to be prayerful and thankful. I want my life to be characterized by those occupations.
I desperately want to experience Your peace, Your protection for the battle I face today.
~graphic by Ty Wenzel, freeimages.com
…this blog edited from posts in January 2018 and March 2014.