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Philippians 4 Prayer Challenge – 2018-04-17

Week 3 of Philippians 4 prayer challenge.

As I begin to memorize Section 3, I am reviewing sections 1 and 2 – not just memorized words, but the actions each section requires… which is the goal in memorizing this – not just to read it, not just to know the words, but to memorize the words and the actions until they are as natural as breathing. My accountability partner on this is doing the same… My first thought on this was the amazing blessing… when God throws down a challenge, take it! If you do not, don’t be surprised if He throws down a lesson… A challenge is strength building and preparation; whereas a lesson is often damage control after the fact 

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil 4

As I was reviewing this, I contemplated how we get mired, bogged down in drama and negative thinking. Living this has been soooo freeing! It speaks to me of daily letting go drama, the bitterness, the self-serving righteousness, and focusing on the things that are just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and of praise…of focusing on praising God for answers to prayer – many of which I do not presently see, know, or comprehend. It speaks of reframing, from focusing on this negative event, feeling or label to reframe it as a word/thought of a stone overcome in the path on my journey, of victory in moving forward, of praise, and of joy..

This has been an amazing couple weeks!

As I was meditating on this, I thought of the harm gossip does to living this. What is the difference between obtaining Godly counsel and gossip?

Hmmm…maybe the difference is…
Godly counsel would be going to A friend for prayer and advice…seeking a solution.
Gossip usually looks like repeating to anyone who will listen in order to assassinate another’s character. Gossip reveals a heart that is building a wall, an excuse to avoid relationship…

I was remembering this morning a training I went to years ago:
When you gossip, you share a perceived wrong.
the hearer usually has no idea what the other side of the story is, and not only shares an incomplete perception, they also add to the wall by sharing with others an even more incomplete picture.(the speaker used the telephone game as an example… each time a story is repeated, it strays farther from the truth). Each time the story is repeated, it only increases the problem.

The speaker spoke of our responsibility, as Christians, to be peacemakers, to give wise and/or Godly counsel… “this sounds like something you need to discuss with them…” and walking with them in prayer and a heart to restore relationship.

Speaking TO rather than ABOUT reveals a Godly Spirit… a desire for healing.

Speaking ABOUT reveals a desire for drama… an attempt to create a story where you believe you can be the righteous one or the hero or the savior at the cost of another.

In time, perceived injustices are usually resolved, but the gossip chain is a one-way street and rarely does the word go back down the chain, “oh, that was just a misunderstanding…”

I can help but notice the slang subwords in assassinate…in(n)ate- : existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth : native, inborn innate behavior
2 : belonging to the essential nature of something : inherent (Meriam Webster)

Honestly – I love to play word games, and I intentionally used this slang analogy to remind myself to NOT gossip…and then I found this:
Word Origin and History for assassinate Expand
v. 1610s, from past participle stem of Medieval Latin assassinare (see assassin ). Of reputations, characters, etc.

Yes, when I gossip, I am an assassin…

As I searched for verses to confirm if my meditations, my understanding on this honor God, I was amazed at how often counsel, instruction, wisdom and understanding are in the same passages.

I apologize in advance, this is a small cross-section of the vast number of verses on this topic. So many are in Psalms – of David, described by God as a man after God’s own heart, and in Proverbs – the wisdom of King Solomon

9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
I Kings 3

Deeper Still: (NKJV)

A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,
And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
16 A fool’s wrath is known at once,
But a prudent man covers shame. Proverbs 12

5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope. Psalm 16

2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel Proverbs 1

19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. Proverbs 19

The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
3 Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established. Proverbs 16

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things Proverbs 2

Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” Proverbs 4

21 The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16

27 An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
28 A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends. Proverbs 16