Today’s verse is quoted often. It starts, “Do not be anxious about anything” or “don’t worry about anything.” The Passion Translation says it this way: “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life” (Philippians 4:6). Let us ask the question today: am I going in different directions?
Paul is saying when you are experiencing a situation, there’s one direction to be traveling — toward God in prayer and thanksgiving. That’s the direction that is fruitful. That is the direction that will provide us peace beyond understanding. That’s the direction that brings God glory. As we are meant to be in relationship with God 24/7, when something arises in life, whether good or bad, our direction should still be aligned toward Him. Our first response should be to take everything to God. To pray. To thank Him.
This is easier said than done. Just as we find ourselves getting off course as navigating with our GPS, so we can end up going in different directions. When our problems seem big or when we worry that God won’t intervene in the way we desire, we go in a different direction. When we get proud and forget our dependence on God, we go in a different direction. Our lack of humility and our fears easily change our route. We try our own way. We try to carry everything. We try to find easy fixes that are never part of God’s plan, covering our problems with the world’s bandages.
How do we make sure we are not traveling in a different direction? Fix your eyes on God. If you don’t want to go in a different direction, you must look in the direction you wish to travel. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that if we want to throw off things that keep us from God, if we want to stay away from sin and run with endurance, we must fix our eyes on Jesus. We read in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus is “the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Our Champion will show us the way. Not only does He provide us with redemption and restoration, but He also calls us friend.
When you have a situation arise today, spend time in prayer and thanksgiving. Thank God for His provision. Thank God for His promises. Thank God for the situation. Remind yourself of His Word. Remind yourself of His blessings. Pray for strength. Pray for wisdom. Pray for peace. There’s no need to travel in different directions. God is here. God is near. God is in control.