Friday, December 09, 2016

God's peace—a guard and regulator

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Philippians 4:2-9

TO CHEW ON: "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7

If I were asked to choose a life verse or verses, today's focus passage would be it. I don't know how many times I've quoted Philippians 4:6,7 to settle myself and turn my sites from the thing that is making me anxious, to Jesus. As I commit that thing to Him with thanks for His answer (yes, before it comes) I can take a deep breath and let the "peace of God" replace frenetic, gnawing, debilitating worry in my spirit.

What are the mechanics of God's peace replacing anxiety? Two words give insight into how it works.

"... the peace of God ... will GUARD your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7.

[Guard - phoureo  is a military term that pictures a sentry standing guard as protection against the enemy - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1763.]

God's peace is that soldier that stands guard at the entry-way to our hearts and thus our minds.

A cross-reference to Philippians 4:7 in my Bible is Colossians 3:15: "And let the peace of God RULE in your hearts."

[Rule - brabeuo means to act as umpire, to direct, control, rule, regulate, arbitrate, decide, determine.]

A while ago ago at my church the speaker told the story of when he and his wife lived in their recreational vehicle for a time. One morning he was catching just a few more winks when his wife's voice from the shower cut into his dreams. "Ken! The hose has a hernia!"

"It'll be okay," he muttered, half-asleep.

"Please. Come here!" Now there was great urgency in her voice.

He got up to find the shower hose hissing and writhing about like an out-of-control snake, spewing water everywhere. He turned off the water and subdued the "snake." Then, before they used the shower again, he installed a regulator—a device that toned down the force of the water which came from the city water lines with too much power for the RVs plumbing.

"That's how God's peace works in our hearts," he said. He explained how the raw emotions generated by the news, politics, interactions with our spouse, our children, our neighbors, etc. are like that gush of city water. God's peace—brought by the knowledge that He is in control and we've committed everything to Him—regulates us so that we don't go thrashing about like that water hose, controlled by our reaction to circumstances.

So today, whenever something troubling comes along, let's let God's peace stand guard over our hearts and regulate our reactions.

Dear God, please help me to appropriate Your peace for every disturbing bit of news, circumstance, and interaction today. Amen. 

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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