Philippians 4 Challenge

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “where did that _____ (insert the thought, emotion, feeling) come from?!” Now more than ever do we find that we need to be all the more vigilant and mindful of our input. Because it impacts our output.

That’s why I’m so thankful for the wisdom God gives through his written word. Keys to success. God’s word truly is our compass and navigation for every season, crisis, situation of life. The apostle Paul and Timothy knew a thing or two about persevering with joy and thanksgiving during times of crisis, trouble, immense pressure. And they ran their race well. Effectively and faithfully til the very end. 

The chapter title for the verses above is clear and straightforward, "Practical Counsel.” Paul proceeds to list the practical counsel found in verse 8. He then closes the letter with "Appreciation of Support." In other translations the verse headings are even more specific and says "Be anxious for nothing," "Be united, joyful, and in prayer” and "Meditate on these things" (the whatever is...). The verse headings alone is good counsel for everyday living. Not to mention prevalent for the current season we find ourselves in, quarantining. 

Similar in heart to what we are facing today, Paul wrote the letter of Philippians to encouraged the Christians of Philippi to remain steadfast in their faith and to not give up. He exhorts them to continue in spiritual maturity, growth and to live in peace and unity with one another. The apostle was not writing from a place of comfort, literally. Nor was he throwing out good christian talk. He was walking the walk and probably preaching to himself. How do I know? He penned the letter while in prison. Paul was not foreign to the difficulties and challenges of life in isolation, his physical life in danger, the uncertainties of tomorrow. And yet still. He exhorted God's people to take on this stance, this way of life: 

1. Be anxious for nothing. 
2. Be united.
3. Be joyful. 
4. Be in prayer.
5. Meditate on things above (only whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely commendable, of moral excellence and praiseworthy)

Could the “secret” to living a life of joy, peace, harmony and faithfulness no matter the circumstance be found in the scriptures above? 

What if living a life of peace with ourselves and with one another is as simple as using the "whatever is..." as the filter for our thought life and what we subsequently allow out of our mouth. Then always ending things by saying thank you. Expressing our appreciation to God and one another. Is it that plain and straightforward!? If so, I’m thinking the possibilities of richness and depths of relationships. 

What if for the next 30 days we did what Philippians 4 says? 
What changes would we see in ourselves? In our relationships? 
Could it change the trajectory of our life? 
Would we experience the full, abundant life Christ intended? 
Could it somehow create (literally) space in our mind and heart? Perhaps where dreams and visions can now take up residency. 
Would we have greater clarity. Better focus. 
Would we feel lighter, more free? 
Could it open a door for more of God... or rather, maybe it will unclog, declutter areas in our life so that we now can better hear, see, perceive God and his voice. 

What if it awakens us. 

I'm taking the Philippians 4 challenge. 


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