Philippians Chapter 4 verses 6 - 8
July 1, 2018

C. R. Oliver

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July 1, 2018

Philippians Chapter 4 verses 6 - 8

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.

Introduction:      Perhaps no set of verses in the entire New Testament is more pertinent than these when viewed against a world flooded with mind controlling influences. There is a war going on right now between the forces of darkness and the Christian's mind and heart.

Before entering the application of this Scripture passage, allow me a brief revue of some of the influences which are being applied today.

(I suggest the reader Google search "Mind Control" and be prepared to encounter some "gooney" websites. There is one source I recommend:

Although it is a secular website, it presents a very clear and thorough command of the subject.)

Using the cited source above, there are two facets of interest common to most of us: Mass Media and The Emerging Church.

Mass Media
The influence of media in all of our daily activities is astounding. Cell phones beckon an immediate response, Google offers a quick form of reference, the internet affords a world of contact capabilities and joins media sites forging the compendium of news Items, whether "fake" or true, and even though these vary in priority, they are simultaneous in their presence.

My source (above) lists four main types of mind control encountered by the general population through mass media:

(Quote) "Have you ever considered exactly how the media influence our decisions? Television, radio, the Internet, cinema and advertising is easily accessible to many of the people on the planet. In fact, we accept it and even expect it to be present. This means that the people controlling these things have access to billions of people. They can quickly and easily get their messages out to the masses.

1.      Repetition
Repeated exposure over time to similar messages makes it easy for people to accept them as true, and more importantly, act as though they're true, even when they 'know' the messages are false.

2.      Use (and misuse!) of experts
Whenever scientists, researchers or other experts are quoted, people rarely check the validity of any claims made. It is assumed that if these people are doing such work then it must be valid information.

3.      Commitment
Another useful tactic whereby the media influence our decisions is that of commitment. When people commit to something, they tend to continue in this vein because they want to appear consistent.

4.      Scarcity
Limited editions
Members only clubs
Time sensitive ads
Fear of loss of opportunity
Having to compete
Threat of loss of freedom
Banning something. (end of quote)"

Once one studies the techniques of mind control and the flood of propaganda poured out to the public, the necessity of the central Bible Study becomes apparent. Philippians 4:6-8 offers to "garrison" the minds and hearts of believers as protection against these forces.

Emerging Church

But a huge question arises like a predator, "Are propaganda techniques being used by the emerging Church?" Consider the following before answering, "No Way."

(Quote) "Public commitments, public confessions, double agendas, redefinition of words, loaded language, control of behavior, information, thoughts and emotions, it's all here."

These items, employed by righteous entities, can be useful and helpful, but in the hands of some, its': "Shut up and drink the cool-aid."

These considerations are reason enough to explore what the Bible says about these matters and beginning with the target Scripture is a great place to start.

Bible Study: Philippians 4:6-8:

Examine these verses carefully and even commit them to memory, I repeat them daily and often have to say, "Lord, I commit this news report to you and thank you for guarding my mind and heart."

Prayer, petitions (supplications) and thanksgiving precede the promised "guarding." Making one's requests known to God is an open-ended situation. No limits or boundaries are placed on the scope of the petitions. There is a prior mandate, however, "be anxious for nothing."

In this anxiety rocked age-that is a biggie! Stress is everywhere because of the pace of the times. Just the thought of "artificial and augmented intelligence" pitted against the decision- making processes of the individual is scary, to say the least. Virtual reality plunges participants into "fantasy land," where the mind dare not go when viewed in light of Scripture.

"Be anxious for nothing" has no limitations either. Got a bad medical report? - place your anxiety on Him and obey the command. Whatever the cause of the anxiety-stop it, by resting on that verse. Paul said he wasn't moved by anything, let alone lack or abundance---he took God's word to heart and acted on it. The promise is that the Father has the issue under control; so son, just tell Him what's bothering you. (Doesn't that make for a better night's sleep?)

Sometimes, it is necessary to exercise the authority of that command many times a day over the same situation. Man's reasoning, being what it is, wants to attack a problem and weigh the probabilities which only increases anxiety.

Realistically, revelation about the issue often comes during the verbalizing of a prayer, petition or thanksgiving! Anxiety blinds the mind and blurs the issue-fear and faith are conflicting. Anxiety opens the door to false imaginations (the satanic workshop, Genesis 8:21, Luke 1:51). This is why one is admonished to bring thoughts and place them at the feet of Jesus (casting down).

2 Corinthians 10:4-6:
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Out of a grateful heart, there is a mix of thanksgiving along with prayer and petition. Thanksgiving is not a separate entity, for the scripture says, "with thanksgiving." David was a master at combining the two. As God keeps the prayers of saints, thanksgiving becomes the incense mingled with them.

Philippians 4:6-7:
6 Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7 And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
GNT (Good News Translation)

Evoking shades of the verse, "lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths," these promises, from other Scriptures, affirm the Philippian admonition.

Quickly, Paul gives the filters for "right thinking." Integral to corralling one's thought pattern are the six, "Whatever," passages. These criteria join Proverbs 23:7 "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

Whatever is: True, Nobel (honorable), Just (righteous), Pure, Lovely and Good report are screens through which one's thought life should set as parameters. This is a tremendously difficult task during these times. In a day when there is no trust in media, or each other, these six filters offer guidance through treacherous waters. Societal demands, peer pressures and the segmentation of the populous are in conflict with these filters.

(Consider these translations for clarity.)

8 And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you

8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Entering this fray of the believer's life is the God of peace! He comes with His promise, that if one will simply abide in this command, He will give to them peace in their heart and minds that surpasses their understanding. There is a peace that will transport them to a reality that is not virtual, but attainable in no other way other than letting Jesus keep one there. Talk about a "place called there." From these circumstances, the recipient often gives testimony," I don't understand it, but I felt His presence and had such peace during the whole ordeal-I don't understand it." We need to hear these testimonies in every church and all the time!

Why is peace the "keeper" through Christ? Could it be He is fulfilment of "the chastisement of our peace is upon Him?" Such is not sublimation, nor is it a form of denial or some mantra estate, it is peace in another dimension. It is the kind Jesus had when He slept in the back of the boat as the storm raged. It is the kind of patient lagging behind when the news of Lazarus' death came to Him. It is the calming quietness before, "Talitha arise." It is the entering in of an understanding companion.

Guarding the mind and heart is a huge task. It parallels one's obligation to "cast your burden on Him, for He cares for you." It is Him, practicing what He preached, in "bearing one another's burdens." Hallelujah, it is our older brother who intervenes for us in the unfair dimensions of a continuously confrontational world.

Take a brief trip now and look at Scriptures which bear out the need to keep the mind and heart garrisoned by Him. Indeed, the range of mind confrontations becomes clearer as one journeys through what the Bible describes as various mind estates.

Examples below are of "sordid mind" estates which are operative in the world.

1.) 2 Corinthians 4:4: Blinded mind
…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

(The mind of non-believers is blinded-why attempt to reason with them? We must contend with them, even as Paul did, though their irrationality often ends with rejection of the gospel message.)

2 Corinthians 3:14-17:
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

2.) Acts 14:1-2: Poisoned mind 14 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

3.) II Cor 11:3: Corrupted mind But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4.) Romans 1:28-32: Debased Mind
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Paul simply said in Romans 8 there were two kinds of minds and the earliest days of psychology found evidence of this great summation.

     Karl Jung: "at the base of every mental aberration is an unresolved spiritual issue."

Romans 8:5-6: Two kinds of minds: carnal & spiritual
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Spiritual states of mind (a few examples):

1.) The Jesus Mind
Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

Jesus taught in Luke's account, not to have an anxious mind.

Luke 12:29 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind…

(Paul said in Philippians 2:5: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…)

2.) The Renewed Mind
Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

3.) The Willing Mind
2 Corinthians 8:12: For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have…

4.) The Same or One Mind

Philippians 2:1-4: fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 4:6 also speaks of the heart and its mind connection. For purposes of this study, references and types of heart will be summarized.

This next verse, however, is one to be remembered in any discussion of the heart and mind.

Jeremiah 20:12:
O Lord of hosts,
You who test the righteous,
And see the mind and heart,

A believer's condition of the heart reflects his place in Him. Romans 10:10, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." It did not say," with the mind man believes." The heart goes to the core of man.

The Pharisees had adequate mind theology, but their hearts were far from Him.

Matthew 15:8-9:
8 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

I'd rather hear ten words poured out from the heart, than a thousand from a rehearsed mind. Ah! This is the reason God looks upon the heart. The pulpits of the world have traded the preacher with tears streaming down his face for the lost souls about him, for jokesters with polished demeaner. One Billy Sunday, fresh from the gutters of Chicago, came out swinging against the ravages of alcoholism and dried up a nation of boozers.

Our elitism has banished us from hearing what a torn heart for a mission field sounds like. Our sanctuaries aren't holy; they are silent markers of the sickest of spiritual disease. Twenty-minute homilies are no different in impact than four-hour babblings. When Simon Peter stood on the Day of Pentecost, the people saw a man who had sobbed for his denials, but now brandished a sword of light upon his filling. "We testify of what we have seen and heard "sounds different than "in the original Greek, this word means..."

Paul, who said he was willing to be struck from the book of life if it meant Israel would come to know His Lord, also wrote:

2 Corinthians 6:11-12:
11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections

There, O Reader, is the crux of the matter of the modern church!

His offer to bear our anxieties, hear our prayers and petitions, accept our thanksgiving and Guard our hearts and minds is something we must receive, lest our lives be shipwrecked.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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