First of all Happy Thanksgiving Day, dear reader!
On a day when just about everyone is considering what we’re thankful for, I thought I’d explore that a bit in a different way. Today I’m thankful for “Divine Authority”. That idea may seem a little odd at first, but here’s how I see it.
Some people chafe at the idea of divine authority, or even just the word authority. We live in a world in anarchy and defiance (glorified in our essentially “adolescent culture”), so it’s easy to slip into that mindset, especially these days when so many people want to call the shots with their “mortal mind” without reference to or consulting with the “Immortal Mind” in Whom we live, move, and have our being.
Somewhere in that word authority is the idea of an Author, an Originator. So maybe instead of resisting Him, it might be a better idea – after having experienced one life complexity after another, where we just can’t seem to make sense of it – to get to know Who the Author is and what He has written to us through His servants, in order to find out what we’re missing through the anti-authority mindset which we may need to see within us, – something we didn’t even realize we may be harboring.
Why? Because God’s authoritative word is the only real remedy I know for curing anxiety, if it’s put into practice. More people suffer from this today than ever before. Why? I would offer that it’s because there is often an unidentified, resident resistance in them to Divine Authority. (If you are reading this and sensing a reaction and a resistance to it, it may be true for you as well.)
So if I may, I’d like to share something about that idea in a way that maybe you’ve not considered before. For that we’ll visit Philippians 4:6-9 KJV.
“Be careful for nothing (meaning “have no worry about anything”); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
God offers His authority here in a unique way. It’s easy to trust God’s “authority” – since God is Infinite Love – Who basically says, “Lay all your cares on Me, and I will replace them with My peace and My presence which surpass all comprehension.” “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
We trade in all our anxiety for the peace of God and the God of peace! What could possibly stand against His presence when it arrives on the scene? Releasing anxiety to the Lord along with copious, unrelenting prayers of gratitude, and elevating our thoughts and attitudes into higher places (including the apostolic examples), is God’s recommended spiritual practice for defeating anxiety!
When our prayers, gratitude, and higher thoughts become the 1st habitual response to life’s seeming no-win situations, instead of thinking or talking or reacting ourselves into a fret fest, something “strange” (because we’re not used to it) and wonderful begins to overtake us when we approach our dilemmas with God’s way: Lasting divine peace along with lasting divine presence overtakes us. But somewhere along the line, we must begin to practice what He shows us here, and that means surrendering to His Way, His authority, of approaching these things, instead of perpetuating our own approaches. That’s the real essence of Divine Authority – pure Love Who desires us to be set free from the scourge of anxiety about anything.
Therefore, why would we resist God’s authority and go speeding off on the Worry Way, when we can surrender to Authority that is pure, infinite unconditional Love and wise counsel?
Personally I cannot think of anything I can be more thankful for today than this invitation into His abiding peace and presence by the Author and Finisher of our faith!
In a topsy turvy world, upside down as it draws near to the devil and resists God, which “is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12), this great old standby passage from Philippians is a sweet way of being reminded to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:7,8)
We’re also drawn to several verses os Jesus’ magnificent teaching on this: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?…Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?… Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34)
Let us meditate on these directives from our Lord, take them to heart, and put them into practice!
May your Thanksgiving Day, and every day, be marked by the presence of God, relentless gratitude, sublime thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, and thus the enjoyment of our Lord’s benevolent authority through His grace and peace.