A Measure of Success (Day 3 from Cleansing Thoughts)

   The second area of scripture I turned to supported the first. In this passage, Jesus is telling the disciples not to worry about the necessities of life by stating, “Fir all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:39-31, NJKV). Yet our society seems determined to turn this principal around, and  we are conditioned from a very early age to accept it. 
   
   When I read this text, I know instantly what the Lord was saying to me. I was at a point in my life when I was feeling very anxious. I knew in my heart I was to wait on the Lord, but it had been a hard year. Our income had dropped drastically, the savings account was being depleted, and I was growing impatient. I had my eyes on the needs and not on the One who provided for them. When I went on the interviews, I stepped out of the will of God and entered my own self-will, but God, in all His wisdom , chose to close the doors. You see, He was protecting me; I had come to far to allow the world’s view to take me back into the wilderness again. In the course of my lifetime, I may not have accomplished much according to world standards, but in the eyes of God, my only failure was in not following His Word. The Word said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving , let your request be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV).

   That scripture alone should have told me I was not where God wanted me to be. At that point, the anxiety in my mind over our current circumstances was greater than my faith. You see, I had lost the peace of of God in my heart, and my mind was no longer guarded against the opinions of the world. It is interesting to note that in this text, the word guard is a military concept showing a sentry standing guard over his charge. In this case, it is your heart and mind. While it was true I had made my request known to God, it was not with a pure heart for to a true disciple of Christ, anxiety and prayer are two opposing forces. The simple truth of the matter is I was not giving this burden to the Lord; therefore, the anxiety I was feeling never left me, and it was the motivation behind my prayers. At that point, I was not thankful for all Gods had brought us through; all I could see was what I determined  in my mind was a need, and I stepped out in my own power to fill it. Sometimes, it is a long way from the heart to the mind, but  until we make that journey, out Christian walk is in vain. My actions were determined by what I was dwelling on in my mind despite what I knew in my heart. I quickly repented from my foolishness and began my journey. 

   My daily prayer became, “‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me’ [Psalm 5:10, NKJV]. ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer’ [Psalm 18:14, NKJV]. Preserve me, I God, for in You I put my trust’ [Psalm 16:1, NKJV]. ‘And do not let me be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is that good  and acceptable and perfect will if God for my life’[Romans 12:2, NKJV].”  (Italics added to personalize the scripture.) Fir several days, I studied the scriptures and felt myself strengthened from His Word until I once again saw myself through my Father’s eyes. Seeing things clearly, I began to make a Thanksgiving list of all that the Lord had seen us through that year and the many ways He had met our needs. My journey was complete when my mind was renewed and my trust in God to supply all our needs was established in my heart. Then and only then did I return to present my request before the Lord.



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