Well, as I considered all that God has been teaching me and encouraging me to step forward in, a thought came to mind. In part it was motivated by my friend, Dave OC, who is halfway around the world, on the Camino de Santiago, on a trek, a “pilgrimage” to hear God. What came to mind was a passage from the Bible.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:4-7
I am encouraged and challenged by God’s instructions as I seek to abide in Christ in a deeper way. Paul is encouraging me to make some things, things that don’t come natural or easy to, foundations in my life.
Rejoice! “Mark, always, not just when you are happy or when you receive something you like, but always, be full of My joy.” That’s good, but challenging. Which leads to another step.
Be gentle! “Mark, with an attitude of gratitude and worship, let it so fill your heart and life that it results in gentleness in your relationships with others.” Again, good, but really, God? Gentleness? Yup, gentleness seen in my words and actions.
Stop worrying, start praying! “Mark, come to Me for everything. Everything. Come to Me with an attitude of worship, in gentleness and humility recognizing that you are helpless on your own, and give Me everything that worries you. Everything. And experience my peace and rest.” Thank you, Father!
Then there’s something that really stirred my heart. One more important thing God is saying to me. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4:8-9
Set your mind on that which is pleasing to Me! “Mark, you think about all kinds of stuff, even junk, throughout the day. That which you think about fills your mind. That is why you are having a hard time abiding in Christ and resting in My peace.”
I thought and considered God’s Word to me. Which led me to a Camino that I believe God is leading me to trek on. “Camino” is “road or way” in Spanish. “Santiago” is “St. James.” Hence “Camino de Santiago” is “The way of St. James.” That’s what my Dave OC is walking at this moment. I believe God is leading me on a “Camino de Filipenses” or the “Way of Philippians.” I feel God’s leading to adjust what I think about. For at least today, I am to think only about that which is pleasing to God. That which is true, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy. That which I have learned or received or heard or seen in the Scriptures and think about such things and put it into practice. So no television. No Wong Fu on Youtube. No NBA or checking in on Kirk Cousins or 49er news.
So I’m off! I rejoice as I step out. Another step….