Be Anxious for Nothing and Other Seemingly Impossible Commands

Sometimes I come across verses in the Bible that sound utterly impossible for me to do. Verses like:
  • Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:13)
  • Do all things without complaining or disputing (Philippians 2:14)
  • Give thanks always for all things (Ephesians 5:20)
  • Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • In your anger, do not sin (psalm 4:4)
  • Do not fret because of evildoers (Psalm 37:1)
  • Take no thought for your life (Matthew 6:25)
  • Do not fear, nor be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9)
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What I find so challenging in obeying these verses, is that in each of these verses, there are no exceptions. God expects my obedience regardless of my circumstances. When things are going well, obedience to these commands comes quite natural. But the more difficult of a trial I am in, the more unnatural obedience comes for me, and the more I have to choose, to obey by faith—trusting that God is working my circumstances to good, and will deliver me in His perfect time.
In and of myself, it is humanly impossible for me to obey any of these commands. (John 15:5) This got me wondering, if obedience to these commands is impossible on my own, why would God command, not merely suggest, my obedience to such things as “be anxious for nothing?” That is when it dawned on me that God never commands us to do something He first hasn’t first fully equipped us carry out. Paul declared, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8) No doubt obedience to God is a good work. Another Scripture that guarantees our success, as we seek to obey God is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

I can be anxious for nothing through Christ who gives me strength. I can do all things without complaining or disputing through Christ who gives me strength. Whatever good work God has called you to, whether it be to keep your tongue from evil, not worry, not complain,  etc. why not put  it in context of Philippians 4:13, so you know you can overcome this challenging area of yours. Even now I am in the process of losing weight and Philippians 4:13 is my guarantee that in Him I can do it!

So whatever God asks of us He has already completely equipped us to do what He’s called us to do. And what has God called us to? My list of “impossible” verses is just part of our high calling, to live our life set apart for the Lord. I imagine if every person that confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior, did not hesitate to do these most difficult of commands, the world would take notice, and our witnesses to our unsaved friends and family would be so incredibly powerful. As the saying goes, “People may not always believe what you say, but they will always believe what you do.”

 So when I come across these most challenging verses, sprinkled throughout the Bible, the question for me should never be, “How can God possibly expect me to…?” but rather “Since God has fully equipped me to obey, setting me up for success from the start, the real question is, “What am I doing now to obey?”

Questions for you: What Bible verses do you find most difficult for you to obey? What are you doing today to obey by faith?

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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.

 

6 comments:

  1. Hi Brooke. :-) I also find it difficult to obey those verses you mentioned! I am guilty of making excuses like "It's too hard" and "I'm only human, I wouldn't be able to obey them 100% of the time." But then I think God wouldn't want us to do something we can't do, would He?

    Your post must be speaking to me. I'm glad I came over here today to learn an important message from God through you. Thank you so much for the wonderful lesson, Brooke.

    Take care and God bless! :-)

    Irene

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    1. Irene, you are exactly right that God doesn't call us do something without first equipping us. I'm glad this blessed you. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  2. These are whopper verses and I've struggled to obey them too. But like you've said, Brooke, He gives us the ability to do each and every one of them. Very convicting post! :)

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    1. I agree, these verses are whoppers! I thank God that He doesn't call the equipped, but equips the called. :) Perhaps this is why God's Word promises "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)With Christ strengthening us, We can do all things, even these whopper verses. :)

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  3. "Do not worry" is the hardest one for me. However, all of the listed verses are hard to follow. I know God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us to obey his commands, I can do all things through Christ. So in reality I can NOT worry.

    Thank you for posting this!

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm glad this post blessed you! I agree, "Do not worry" is one of my most challenging verses to obey. Really though, the more I know God and His Word, the easier it is for me to trust Him, and not worry when trials come up. The more I know Him, the more I am certain that God will somehow deliver me from whatever I'm facing.

      Knowing God more has been my #1 help in overcoming worry in my life because it is easy to trust someone I know well. The same is true for my relationship with God. And like you said, God gives us His Holy Spirit to enable our obedience. Combine that with our ability to do all things through Christ, and you're right the reality is that we can actually not worry. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!