One can see that the Book of Philippians was first written as a letter to a mature audience. There is so much that reaches down into your core and pulls out what shouldn’t be there and exposes it. This is the healthy thing to do – deal with our swampy mess we haven’t even noticed since our first cry out to God. Each layer is exposed as God reveals our sinfulness.
Often people want to avoid such a thing, but taking things to God is what frees us from such things. What you think you have hidden away will always surface at some point whether it be by the world or by God. But when God allows it to be exposed, we should pay attention. God handles things with a gentle hand when we address it right away.
This morning I read from Philippians 4 NIV. Verses 4 through 7 is what first struck me:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.
Recognizing our sin is always difficult; it causes us to feel terrible……. until we present our requests to God. When we wholeheartedly present our sin to God, we do experience the peace of God. We must let our sin and our concerns go, and we do this by letting Jesus take it. Verse 7 tells us that this peace “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
This peace that Paul – the writer of this letter to the Philippians – refers to is a peace that guards us and protects us from spiritual harm. The lies of the evil one can certainly affect us through stress, depression and anxiety, but when we make things right with God, things can change.
As we draw crosser to God, over time, this peace comes to us easier as we more readily accept it. Remember that while we are born again, we are also adopted. In our adoption, God knows that we have a past that needs to be dealt with. Being born again doesn’t make us a completely different person but, rather, a new creation. God loves to take our old experiences and use it for the good of others. But if we don’t learn how to overcome our past, then God cannot use it.
It is through our submission to God that we experience change. I am just thankful that God takes us just as we are with our sinful nature and every other difficulty that our lives contain at the moment of being reborn. He wants a new creation. God wants to change all of that bad to good, and he is perfectly capable, if we let him.
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Go forth and be blessed, my friend.