- 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.