(Excerpt from the sermon)
Sermon Series: Four God So Loved
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Don't get too wrapped up in anything in this world. Decenter internal circumstances, your emotions, and your feelings through the discipline of volume moderation. Rejoice that your names are written in heaven every day. Every moment in every circumstance speaks this to your heart every day and everywhere. The result of all of this comes in verse 7 of Philippians 4. If you are willing and able to re-see your circumstances through prayer, thanksgiving, and the love and wisdom of God, you will be able to re-center your circumstances through moderation. You start to understand that your real joy is not tied to good or bad experiences while you're living here. It's tied to ultimately who you are in Christ and a future that can never be snatched away from you.
The Bible says, when that happens, peace will guard your heart. It's like an army that marches around you and protects you. There will be no stress allowed in, no enemy of anxiety, no internal war allowed. Then, this overwhelming transcendent peace that is not explainable begins to enter into your life. A few years ago, I told you about my father-in-law, who went over to pray for a friend who was dying. And during the prayer, he said, “Lord, I pray that you will heal my friend. He would get better and be able to remain with us here for years to come and my father-in-law's friend interrupted him and said, “whoa, whoa, what are you doing? Why would I wanna stay here when I can go and be with Jesus?” So how is it that you can be close to death and you're totally at peace? You're a rock. How can you do that? Martin Luther King, Jr stated, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long time–longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land”, Then he finishes by saying “So, I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.’” Do you know that was part of the speech he delivered in Memphis, the night before he was assassinated, he died the next day as a rock.
Is that really possible? When you re-see your circumstances or when you reevaluate your circumstances through prayer and the love and the wisdom of God, When you re-center your circumstances through moderation and realize your citizenship is in heaven, here's what happens, now you allow the overwhelming presence of God to overwhelm your circumstances and to take you into the beyond. What does that mean? In chapter 4 verse 9, Paul continues when he says whatever you've learned or received or heard from me or seen in me, put into practice and the God of peace will be with you. Now, listen, it's one thing to seek the peace of God, We all want that but it's another thing entirely to seek the God of peace. Here's how you know, you do one without the other. You only pray when you're in trouble and if you only pray when you're in trouble, but never seek God himself, you'll never get the blessings of God. What I'm trying to express to you is not just theory to me. It's a life experience. The mind is powerful. It can impact and override your emotions. I believe, personally, that the mind is so powerful that it is able to subdue the nervous system. So when the mind seeks God, something happens. Paul said, “it's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”, when you seek God, you get more of God.
The more of God that you have, the more awareness of God and the more power of God is released into your life. At that point, since now God is so dominant in you because you understand God and the result is that Jesus lives in you, the power of his resurrection, all of it is true, you have this solid belief system in yourself. It's not in you, it's in God, but God is in you. This solid belief in you means that nothing else can distract you. Nothing can deter you. Nothing else can get in to cause harm because God occupies every room in the house of your soul.
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