Some Scriptures have step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. Philippians 4:6-7 is one.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ESV
A couple years ago, while undergoing chemotherapy, I would take my anxious thoughts to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, letting my requests be made known to Him. This was usually around 2 a.m., but the anxiety that kept me awake at night was soon gone as I poured my heart out to God. I experienced the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
“Be anxious for nothing.” These words read in isolation sound like a command. Yet I find that I cannot avoid anxiety. It sweeps in and dominates. Am I in disobedience? I think not. God is simply saying there is no need to be anxious when we can come to Him with our deepest needs. He is not there to chastise. Just as a mother comforts an anxious child, He will wrap His arms around us and hold us tight until our anxiety subsides.
I can struggle, trying to fight off unwanted emotions. Yet the answers to my problems are right before me. Written in the Word of God.
Recently I came upon another example where the instructions seem so simple, but the problem is so tough we somehow miss them and continue to struggle. To counter our weaknesses, we search for self-improvement techniques. We work on all areas where we fall short. Yet does God’s Word hold the simple action?
During a Bible study I came across these instructions: “acknowledge our weakness and confess our dependence upon Jesus.”1
2 Cor 12:9
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ESV
Name the weakness and ask God to pour out His power to help us in our time of need, the Bible study author instructed.
These simple, actionable steps reminded me of the Scripture I used to find the peace I needed to sleep. Sometimes practicing what we read in the Bible is just that simple. We can clearly see the actions to be taken. To gain peace make a request through prayer, supplication, thanksgiving. To address a weakness acknowledge it and ask for God’s power.
Of course, not all Scripture is easy to implement. At these times we must seek insight from the Holy Spirit asking Him to show us what is expected. My husband did this when trying to understand the command to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 18:1-4] He was told to “watch children” and thus he noted their trust, their dependence, their adoration, their delight and much more.
But let’s make note of those instructional passages for recurring problems where easy to follow steps or directions are provided. I will continue to grow my list and for those of you who are an email subscriber expect to receive these step-by-step instructions sometime soon as one of my monthly resource sheets.
Let’s Talk: [Comment below!]
1-What passage of Scripture do you use as a step-by-step guide and how did you uncover it?
2-If you have come across any Scriptures you find difficult to implement share them in the comments so others may provide their insight.
1-“For His Glory: Living as God’s Masterpiece” by Marian Jordan Ellis. Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.