I have been seeing Philippians 4:6 everywhere I look since that day that we prayed about whether to sign a 6 month lease in Mascoutah, and the Lord spoke the words “Philippians 4:6” to me. That was specific revelation to me; it was a word of wisdom, which is one of the gifts of the Spirit.
Now He just keeps reminding me of that word of wisdom almost every day! I read an article in the Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine for Dec. 2010 by Marty Copeland about falling in love with Christmas… Again. Smack dab in the middle of the article was the verse Philippians 4:6. She chose to quote from the Amplified version:
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
She applied it to the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the financial pressure of buying gifts for everyone on your list. She even mentioned the stress of trying to figure out the best gifts for each person on your list.
All of that can certainly be stressful, if we let it. So can not knowing where you’re going to live for the next month or year or how much money you’re going to have to spend on hotel rooms before you finally find a house to rent or whether you’re going to spend Christmas in two hotel rooms with ten kids!
It CAN be stressful, if you allow it to be. The key is to not allow it to be stressful. I am learning to be content in all situations. I have been through some stressful, make that traumatizing, situations in the last 5 years or more. But God has given me peace in the midst of the storms. Recently, the situations we’ve faced haven’t been as drastic as the ones we faced back in 2004 and 2005 (actually most of the 2000’s), but I have had more trouble keeping my peace through them.
I have allowed the stress to overcome my peace. I don’t know why I did that, but I’m grateful that God started wooing me back to seek His face. As He did that, I heard Him calling me, and I answered Him. I started intentionally seeking His face. I found worship songs that took me into His presence and played them over and over again. I read from my notebook that the Lord told me to keep during our Journey of Fire. It is full of verses that God highlighted to me and told me to write down, so that I could read them over and over again and draw strength from them. They have helped me to regain my peace as we go through the current storms and trials. I got into my Bible, and the Lord spoke to me through the old, familiar verses and some that were new to me.
I have learned that I can’t rest on my laurels. I successfully kept my peace through the ordeal of living by faith with no income for 5 years and losing our home, so I thought I had the “faith thing” down. But I found out that I have to stick with it. I have to keep doing the things I did then to keep my faith so strong that anxiety cannot overcome my peace.
One thing that eats at my faith and steals my peace is hearing negative words, especially spoken by those closest to me. When I’m in close contact with someone who doubts and fears, it is very difficult to stay full of faith and free of anxiety.
So remember, you are affecting the people around you. Stay in faith yourself, or you will be tearing down someone else’s faith. Watch your words. Speak the Word and what God has told you. If you don’t have a sure word from the Lord, spend time with Him. Seek His face. Ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him for specific direction.
Then when He tells you what to do, obey Him with no fear or doubt. Sometimes He lets you wait a while with no real clear direction. Just wait on Him. Spend time with Him. That’s what He’s really after anyway. He loves you and wants you to spend time with Him. Can you believe it? The Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with you. It’s true. Look at the great lengths He went to to establish a relationship with you so that you could come into His Kingdom and into His presence. Don’t let Jesus’ sacrifice be wasted because you don’t understand what He procured for you. Find out all that salvation, your personal salvation, entails. It might be more than you think.
This post is included in Women Living Well Wednesdays.