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Peace That Passes Understanding

Peace That Passes Understanding
Philippians 4:6-9

Today we are going to Philippians 4:6-9 and the Peace That Passes Understanding. Grab your Bible, a notebook or journal, and something to write with. Today, I’m going to walk through the verses and then pray through them. Prepare to meet with God as we do.

Philippians 4:6–9 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 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.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

 
Verse 6 Don’t worry about anything; First, we have got to recognize worry in our lives, and we’ve got to make an initial conscious effort to not worry. We’ve got to make a conscious effort, a strong attempt, to commit to not worry and to instead, pray(ing) about everything. Instead of worrying, we’ve got to pray. But when we do pray, we can’t pray our worry. We have to pray God’s truth. We have to pray who we know God is, and we have to pray what we trust God is doing. And we have to pray it in place of our worry. We have to pray it instead of worrying. We’ve got to replace that worry with faithful, trusting, believing prayer to God.

Tell God what you need and that’s okay, certainly. But tell him what you need according to who he IS. Not to according to who you are, or what you feel, or what you think, but tell him what you need according to who he IS. And then finally, we read and thank him for all he has done. It’s so critical. We have to pray in an attitude of gratitude. No matter what you see, think, or feel, no matter your circumstances or situation, you can have an incredible attitude of gratitude if you belong to Jesus Christ today. We have to pray in that gratitude. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to be thankful for all that he has done, and all that we know all God is doing and will be doing.

Verse 7 Then. . . Then – when we have replaced our worry with intense prayer according to who God is, and according to his character, and his promises, and when we have rolled our burdens over to him and thanked him repeatedly for all that he’s done and all that he’s doing for us, then verse 7 says, Then (we) will experience God’s peace, which exceeds (passes) anything we can understand. This “peace of God” – God’s peace – is supernatural. It surpasses anything we can understand, any of our logic or reasoning. It’s not magic, but it is supernatural. And it doesn’t come easily, it’s not a quick “magic” prayer. But it is there for us. It is always available to us. And it is always available – here’s the secret – in the presence of God. In this place of communion with God in prayer, when we are rolling our burdens over to God, when we are thanking him repeatedly for all that he’s done, and all that he is doing, in the presence of God in that way, we can truly experience God’s peace. The peace of God which passes all understanding.

And then, the end of verse 7 says, His peace will guard (our) hearts and minds as (we) live in Christ Jesus. AS we live IN Christ Jesus. This concept of being “in Christ” is throughout the New Testament. It’s the idea of complete identification – we are one with Jesus Christ. It’s the idea of complete oneness, of unity with Jesus. And it’s not only a “positional” oneness in Christ, but it also is a “practical” in Christ – that’s what we see here when verse 7 says as we live in Christ. As we are living in that identification with Christ, as we are thinking in that oneness (that unity) of being in Christ, as we are acting as one in communion and identification with Christ, that’s the practical side of being in Christ. It’s living in a genuine, constant communion with him. And when we are there in communion and unity with Christ, then God promises us that his peace will guard our hearts and minds.

It’s our living in constant communion and unity with Jesus that enables him to guard our hearts and minds, and it’s what will enable and allow us to experience this peace of God, no matter what our current circumstances or situation is.

But then – there’s actually more of the “our part” part. There are two more things that determine whether we can live in, or experience this peace of God that passes understanding.

Verse 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts (wait – read that again… fix your thoughts) That’s no easy charge, is it? Fixing our thoughts, setting our thoughts, containing our thoughts, controlling our thoughts, that takes the supernatural power of God, doesn’t it? That is why we have got to truly and deeply understand and apply Romans 12:1-2. I will let you dig into that on your own for now.

But here, in part one of this “summing up” of how to have the peace of God that passes understanding verse 8 says, Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. I could easily teach a full message on each of these eight things we are called to fix our thoughts on in order for us to experience the peace that passes understanding. What we fix our thoughts on is such a huge part of experiencing the peace, and the presence of God. We’ve got to recognize the power of what we fix our thoughts on, and we have got to choose carefully what we fix our thoughts on – if, indeed, we desire to experience this peace of God that passes understanding.

And finally, part two of the summary of experiencing this peace is in verse 9.

Verse 9 Keep putting into practice continually – that’s big. It’s not just what we believe, it’s not just what we think, it’s not even what we just fix our thoughts on. We’ve got to put it all into practice. It means we must take daily action on all that we believe about God, on who Jesus is in our lives.

We’ve got to keep putting into practice (continually) all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. (That’s the Apostle Paul.) And that’s our part – that’s the “our part” part. We’ve to fix our thoughts, and we’ve got to put all that we believe – into practice. We’ve got to put shoe leather on it. We’ve got to put all that we believe about God and who God is in our lives into practice. All that we’ve learned, and received, all that we’ve heard and seen in God’s Word, and then the end of verse 9 gives the final “then”.

Then the peace of God will be with you. Then you will experience the presence of God, and you will experience the peace of God that passes all understanding.

These are life-changing verses for sure. Let’s ask God now to move us closer every day into experiencing this supernatural, incredible, miraculous peace of God that passes all understanding.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the promises in your Word, Lord. Thank you that your promises are yes and amen. Every one of them is true, and we thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us to make this real in our lives. And so, Lord, we pray you would move us closer to the truths of these verses, Lord, that we would catch ourselves when we begin worrying and instead force ourselves to begin praying about everything according to who you are, and what you’re doing. And Lord, may we roll our burdens over to you. And Lord, may we be thankful continually for all that you’ve done, and all that you are doing, and all that you will do all the way into eternity.
 
And Lord, may we move closer to experiencing your peace, this peace that exceeds anything that we can understand. This peace that will guard our hearts and our minds as we live in you, Jesus. And Lord, please baptize us in your Spirit. Fill us with your power, that we can walk closer with you, live in communion with you, Lord, that we can be one with you in how we live.
 
And then Lord, may we fix our thoughts – help us take hold of our minds. Give us the helmet of salvation to protect our minds, that we would fix our thoughts on what you say to fix them on. On what’s true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. God help us to contain control and fix our thoughts on these things.
 
And Lord, may we have the strength, in the power of your Spirit, to put into practice all that we’re learning, all that we’re receiving from your Word, everything that we hear and see in your living Word, Lord, may we continue to put it into practice knowing that as we do that you, the God of Peace, will be with us. And Lord, as you are with us, and as we are living in communion with you, we will experience that supernatural, miraculous peace of God that passes all understanding. In your mighty, life-transforming, peace-giving name, Jesus, we say amen.

 
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