Abiding in the God of Peace
The apostle realizes that the peace of God is good but not our final goal. We need to go deeper. Our goal needs to be in God's presence. We are to abide in the 'God of peace'.
These verses strongly confirm what we have been trying to point out during our study on meditation. Meditation on God's person, purpose and ways brings us to where we need to be. As long as we are focusing on the truth, we cannot believe a lie. We again see the renewed mind of Christ described. A renewed mind brings stronger faith.
Let's now continue with Phase 2 from verses 8-9. This will bring us up two more steps.
If we found the peace of God to be the subtotal, indeed the 'God of peace' is the total. "And the God of Peace will be with you." We are left with God! If before we could treasure the peace of God, so now let us all the more cherish God's presence. Before Him, we stand stripped of all our worries and doubts. He Himself is our confidence. We live in His comfort and protection.
Phase 2: Philippians 4:8-9
|Paul shifts into a high gear for here the mind is wholly captured on the good and beautiful. Although the Christian is told what to think upon, we should not think this to be legalistic or restrictive. In all actuality, this is the greatest liberation possible for our minds on earth.
By dwelling on what is good and true, the nasty, ugly, worrisome, and similar things are simply not possible.
|Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. ( 4:8).
Contrast this focus to watching a show where one battles in his conscience that it is not 'too' bad.
Memorize these verses. Accept these standards. Begin to discern whatever you think with this list. If it is not on the list, then change what you are thinking about.
Let your mind
dwell on these things.
|The more clearly we see and understand God's truth, the more we can apply these principles to our lives. The end purpose, though, is not peace of mind but having that peaceful mind bring forth good works of love. We are to practice these things.
God has high standards and expectations for us all.
• He doesn't list rules for getting peace. Peace is goal with the Lord, making His priorities your priorities.
The things you have learned and
seen in me,
practice these things; and the
God of peace shall be with you.. (4:3)
Paul is bringing the highest standards that he knows of to their lives. He lives what he preaches. This is discipleship.
What are the good things you can imitate in the leaders around you?
Have you required yourself to imitate them or do you think it is unnecessary? Ask the Lord to help you be more aggressive in growing in Christ.
Anything in conformity with Him will experience His peace, but the opposite is true too. The wicked have no peace. They are like the rolling waves of the ocean soon to meet their doom.
Is genuine peace impossible? No. Is it worth it? Yes. These verses sum up our Christian call in this life. With these assurances, we can see that the worries, stresses and fears of this world are void of God. We dare not be fooled that these things are natural. They are at best ugly contortions of life. At worse they are vital signs of death.
The theme expressed here is what we have been discussing all along in this seminar. To the degree we cast our worries aside, we must accept the truths of God. We only can cast darkness aside, if we bring in light. We have been crossing the Bridge of Hope, step by step, session by session. As we draw near to the other side, we are not only drawing near to peace, but also are drawing near to God Himself. Finding peace is discovering God.
Let's summarize the principles and lessons we have learned so far. Next page