So I was looking this morning for a passage I’ve always wanted to memorize, but never have (Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”) and I read before it to get some context. The previous paragraph consists of “Rejoice in the Lord always… Let your reasonableness be known… do not be anxious… by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis mine)
I don’t think I ever really read that last part and let it sink in (It’s still sinking in). I looked at the peace of God as the end that was achieved through prayer. After all, Paul just said “Do not be anxious about anything,” so it makes sense that he would tell us how to obtain peace, the opposite of anxiety. But it doesn’t say “And the peace of God… will give you warm happy feeling inside and stop you from worrying,” it says it will “guard your hearts and minds!”
I want to spend more time meditating on this, but this is kinda huge. If I’m working on guarding my heart and mind against the lies of Satan and deceit of my flesh, the peace of God is what I need. When you’re at peace, you’re not trying to obtain anything, and when you’re not trying to obtain anything, there’s no desperation where Satan can whisper “Maybe this will fill your need.” If that’s what you hear when you’re at peace, you’ll answer “What need? I’m at peace. I lack nothing. God is taking care of me.” This is pretty huge.
Maybe I should stop being surprised when God shows me something completely unexpected from a familiar (or even memorized!) verse… It’s kinda how His Word works. It’s “living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.”