God’s Will/My Will: Anxious vs Non-Anxious Presence: Cutting off the head of the Monster of our Day
Philippians 4:4-9, Romans 11:33-12:2
Boulder Faithful at Crestview Church,
I’ve been reflecting on Philippians 4:4-9 this week. It came to mind early in this week’s message prep and has stuck with me throughout. “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” I’ve noticed the roads are becoming an ‘impatient’ place to drive these days. “The Lord is near.” I’ve noticed in conversations that any reference to ‘The Lord’ is scarce. “Do not be anxious about anything.” Now there’s a whopper of a statement. Really? Paul has no clue what I deal with every day. “Rather, in everything, in a spirit of thanksgiving, bring your requests before God in prayer.” OK, that sounds inviting – I’ll give it a try, test God in this, and see what happens. After all, gratitude focuses the attitude in good and pleasing ways.
I’ve always been a realist. What you see is what you get and what you see is how it is. It comes from my upbringing as the son of an immigrant raised mother. I believe I was also born with that disposition, it’s how God made me. So one of my gifts (or curses) to the world and the people around me is I can see the real and achievable possibilities of everyday life. I can deal with what is, make a decision, and move forward. What’s practical and ‘can be done’ is quickly picked out of a list of ‘to do’s’, or picked out of a myriad of possibilities or ideas, and what is achievable and can be accomplished is acted upon. Combine this with another truth that I move forward at faster speeds than the average bear… and you’ve got a recipe, a high probability for conflicting and competing interests with God’s word and God’s will outlined in Philippians 4…
What happens when what’s needed and most important to be done seems unachievable? Would I choose the easy and achievable to the lack of what’s most important and most needed? And what if I don’t feel like being grateful?
Everyday we are faced with situations, scenarios and circumstances that we often cannot control. However, we do have something important that is within our control or within our grasp of control.
Enough about me, what about you? Everyday we are faced with situations, scenarios and circumstances that we often cannot control. However, we do have something important that is within our control or within our grasp of control. Our response. And this brings me back to some central questions. Who is it that controls my heart and mind? What animates my daily decisions, directions, and responses to life’s hurdles and waves, trials and trails?
When it comes to anxieties and fears, what is to be our response? What direction should we take with them? How can we discern God’s will? How might our will be getting in the way? Can you identify something our culture is anxious and fearful about? Something you are personally anxious and fearful about?
This Sunday, we address this need once again. We will identify some of our anxieties and fears and take a look at a way forward, a way through, a better way. In preparation, review once again these two texts of Romans 12:33-12:2 and Philippians 4:4-9. Pick out a phrase and meditate on it coming into Sunday worship.
See you Sunday,