Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” NKJV
I remember early in my Christian walk I was discussing this passage with a couple other young ministers. One of them read it (KJV) and it says: “Be careful for nothing…” He concluded that we should throw caution to the wind and being careful in anything we did was a sin. That, in my view, was and is a very dangerous philosophy to adopt and is completely foreign to this passage. I cannot envision anything in the Bible teaching that ‘carelessness’ was a virtue and that throwing ‘caution’ to the wind all the time was the right approach.
In examining the language of this text it would seem that a right interpretation would be a warning against being anxious over life’s events and circumstances and to press it further the suggestion is that it is an instruction to be or have ‘care’ and ‘take thought’ without running amok through life. It is not an instruction to allow ‘worry’ or ‘fretting’ gain a foothold and in that sense we are to not be anxious about anything. It is an instruction to take whatever might cause anxiety to prayer presenting our petitions before the LORD and in so doing allow GOD’S PEACE to rule our hearts, guard our minds and allow us to move forward regardless of what we face. This is a call to live with ‘guarded minds’ or minds guarded by the Spirit of God, the Peace of God and the Power of God.
Being anxious or filled with anxiety is not a demonstration or expression of trust and confidence in God rather it is a revelation that our trust and confidence has been in our ability. If we trust the arm of flesh we will find that failure and disappointment is the result far more often than victory. However, if we learn to take whatever might bring anxiety or anxiousness to our hearts and minds to the Lord and allow His perfect peace to rule our hearts and guard our minds we will find that we are able to realize the promise of Isaiah 40:31 where our strength is renewed, we soar with the eagles above the tempest, run without weariness and walk without fainting. WE LIVE VICTORIOUSLY!
If our minds are cluttered with doubts and fears then truly our eyes will often be filled with tears and we will live in a state of anxiety that drives away peace. But, if we allow our minds to be guarded with the peace of God we will find that though all hell assail us heaven’s grace will not fail us and we enjoy PEACE that surpasses all human understanding and is often perplexing to the natural mind because it does not make sense to the natural man but is real.
If you have been troubled in your mind take these two verses and allow the Holy Spirit to apply them to your life and incorporate them into your daily walk. God bless as you go through this day!