4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:4-9).
The above passage frustrates the heck out of me. Between the words above and James 1:2-8, I find myself perpetually perplexed about how to jive my deepest gut-level feelings with what I know walking in faith looks like. This has been the theme of my last week on this planet. Like many standers in the midst of a divorce, I’m at the place where a new attack of circumstances comes in daily. Sadly, all too often I allow myself to become discouraged and distraught. I share my circumstances with my friends and fellow standers, rather than encouragement received through my deepening relationship with God. Honestly, sometimes you need someone to share your sorrows with, but am I allowing Satan to use me as a tool in a different way from my prodigal? I loved this statement from today’s Charlyne Cares:
Our prodigals are in the “far country” and are being blinded and deceived by Satan, but what about us? Are we allowing Satan to blind and deceive us? Are we allowing Satan to diminish our Savior? Are we allowing Satan to minimize God’s love for us? Are we allowing Satan to define who we are in Christ? Are we allowing him to take our blessing and our victory? (Minerva in Texas)
Again, I think it’s okay and even healthy to feel sorrow and grief over our situation and circumstances. I think, though, that I need to avoid having that become the theme of my life, that I share with others. I think that i have often failed in this regard, in my personal interactions and on this blog.
Romans 12:2 tells us, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. How do I renew my mind?
If we follow the instructions in these verses, our minds WILL be TOTALLY renewed and there’s no way we could have anything but peace! The challenge is retraining our minds to think that way, because anyone standing for marriage restoration knows how much time we spend doing the exact opposite of what these verses tell us, especially when it comes to the things we spend most of our time thinking and talking about! (FAM Blog)
My friend and fellow stander, Bill, said the other day in one of our chats that speaking life over everything is what”renewing” your mind is about. I have a different attitude and I believe due to that, God has torn down more walls for me (Bill). I think that we would all like to see more walls come down. So let’s at least try this. I have no great strategies to share. I will try to take captive every thought of complaining and try to focus on the good in my circumstances. I will try to pour out my grief and grievances to God alone, as He is the only one who can do anything about it anyway…
So let’s take up our Armor of God and step up! We are not standing or fighting FOR the victory; we are standing and fighting IN victory! Remember the promises. Remember that He made the heavens and the earth by speaking it and watching as the sun appeared, the clouds, the stars, the moon. God’s Word went out from His mouth and did not return to Him void; instead the earth and heavens came about. God has sent out His Word for each of our marriages. He has spoken the Word and it will not return to Him void; instead a healed and restored marriage will come about. Know that the circumstances can become overwhelming, but if you keep your eyes on the one being who holds all the answers, who holds all the solutions, who holds the truth, you will see the manifestation of your promise come about. (Minerva in Texas).
Wow! I love the idea that, We are not standing or fighting FOR the victory; we are standing and fighting IN victory. I need to tell myself this daily. I need to let my countenance know. I need to walk in victory and speak life. Will I still cry my guts out to God in the back yard? Yes, of course. My challenge is then not to go to the grocery store and walk around with a rain cloud over my head and talk to everyone I meet like Eeyore. It may be a bit too abstract to think about God’s greater purpose for my pain and about the fact that “it is finished“. My own sanity and my own walk with God, however, is not so abstract.
Finally, I love the idea from Pastor Tim Dilena, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, that the difference between intercession and gossip is whom we share the information with. I need to share my circumstances with my Lord not everyone else. I need to pray more and worry less so that Jesus can show up and get us off the program.
I know that God is working, so I have to get out of His way, and give Him the credit.