Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I cannot tell you how many times I have read these verses. And I’m pretty sure that they have been a favorite passage from the first time I encountered them. And yet, I do not embrace them, I do not embody them in my life. Does that make sense?

Does it make sense that I can hold a verse close to my heart and yet not live it out in my life? I don’t think so, but there it is, as illogical and nonsensical as it is. In fact, sometimes I think I live out the opposite of these words: I worry about everything and pray about nothing.

Okay, so that’s probably a slight exaggeration, but there is at least a kernel of truth in that hyperbole, you know?

My natural response to the things in this life is worry. I fret about my choices, my circumstances, our finances, my parenting, my relationships. You name it and I’ll likely tell you that I’ve wrung my hands over it.

But this is not how God intended us to live, is it?

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His Word is filled with promises of blessing and promises of his steadfast presence through every circumstance, every moment, good, bad, ugly; it doesn’t matter, he promises to be there. I will never leave you or forsake you.

And yet I fret.

His Word is filled to overflowing with some version of the phrase, Don’t be afraid. Fear not. Don’t be anxious. Be steadfast. Be courageous. Don’t worryHe tells us this over and over and over again.

And yet I worry.

His Word is filled with examples of God’s children trusting beyond what is reasonable: trusting in the face of giants {David} and armies of chariots {the Israelites as they sought the Promised Land}, trusting at the edge of the sea with nowhere to go {Moses}, trusting that God will provide the sacrifice so you don’t lose your only son {Abraham}, trusting that you will bear the Son of God though you are a young, teenage virgin {Mary}, trusting that Jesus will bring your brother back to life {Martha, Mary and Lazarus}.

And yet I am often afraid.

But this is not what God wants for me.

And this is certainly not what I want for me.

So, then, what does all of this mean? Well, it means that I need to treat prayer as the life-giving opportunity and privilege that it is. Because, really, if you think about it, prayer is tantamount to breathing if I am to live the life God promises me. In the same way that I breathe without planning or thinking about it, I need to pray. I need prayer to be my automatic response in every circumstance.

I either take God at his Word or I don’t.

And living in fear and giving in to bouts of worry pretty much says, God, I don’t believe you. I want to believe you, but I don’t. So, I’m going to sit here in my life, in this moment, and fret and worry and miss out on your blessings.

Now, that’s not what I really think; but I can’t help but believe that that’s exactly what my worry translates to.

So, I either take God at his Word or I don’t.

Well, I choose his Word. I choose his promises. I choose his assurances. I choose to trust him. I choose to stand across from the giants of my life and claim the victory and not cower in fear.

What about you? Are you ready to kick fear to the curb and take God at his Word?

Let’s stand together, my friend, and have each other’s backs and remind one another of who God is.

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2 thoughts on “Take Him at His Word

  1. Why is it that even though we know the truth, we still default to the way our flesh reacts? I stress all the time, even when I’m telling others not to. “I need prayer to be my automatic response in every circumstance.” This I need to remember.

    1. I always come back to what Paul said – that I do the things I don’t want to do and i don’t do the things I should do. Being in the world but not of it is no easy thing.

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