I enjoy many Bible commands, because they have a more direct impact on me personally. You know, "Wives submit to your husbands" and "Children obey your parents" are great, because I reap the reward of those. (I hope the sarcasm is coming through loud and clear. Ha!) But then there are commands that are equally clear, but far less enjoyable. At least, less enjoyable at the outset.
For example, "Do not be anxious about anything..."
The problem is that the text is pretty clear: "Do not be anxious." This command can't be misunderstood as some loose guideline Paul is giving us, or some principle that is negotiable so that anxiousness can be excused as a cultural construct of Paul's day, or that Paul is waxing eloquently on what is best for us though it would be acceptable to choose another path. No, the command is plain: [You] do NOT be anxious.
Then, as if to further clarify that which is pretty clear already, God had Paul add, "...about anything..." to the context. Not only are we not supposed to anxious, but just to be clear, we are not to be anxious about anything!
As Traci and I were gearing up to leave our paid position at New Hope Community Church, and facing the reality of finishing up our personal support raising while also trying to help find $225,000 to purchase and remodel a bowling alley, there certainly were opportunities to be anxious. I wish I could tell you that I passed all those tests with flying colors, but when I woke one morning at 3:29, finances were already on my mind.
I laid in bed for several minutes pondering a few strategies and ideas and immediately my mind went racing toward anxiousness when this verse popped in to my mind. "Do not be anxious about anything..." (that's the hard part), "...but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (that's the solution).
Let me encourage you today, give your anxieties, your worries and your fears over to the only One who can take them away. Put Philippians 4:6 to practice. Memorize it. Pray it. And every time you begin to feel anxious, even at 3:29am, let this verse beat your worries away.
At the outset, "don't be anxious" is not a fun or easy command to follow, but when I turn my anxiousness over to the Lord, I'm always grateful for His strength that allows me to be obedient. What worries do you need to hand over to Him today?