There were many requests for the above quote from todays talk on overcoming anxiety. As we have been unpacking some powerful truths in the book of Philippians, perhaps the center piece of the book is understanding how to live out of the new “phronesis” or mindset that we have in Christ. Paul reiterates that this new mindset is experienced as a new way to think, feel and act. Our old mindset, or way of thinking, feeling and acting, is so easily overcome with fears, phobias and anxiety, that the joy that Paul talks about experiencing seems impossible. Yet he continues to inspire us towards living in such a way that we can know and taste joy even in the midst of the hardest of circumstances.
Paul rightly understood that we move towards the things that we dwell on…the things that captivate our mind. If we are stuck in an anxiety rut, we move towards more anxiety. But, since we have received a new mindset from Christ, we can begin thinking, feeling and acting differently…and the difference results in an intrinsic joy that flow from the source of Christ Himself, who dwells within you by faith.
God supplies the peace and joy but our job is to redirect our thoughts through prayer, meditation, and choices. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Paul states: “4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
When the defeating thoughts that flow from our old mindset (phronesis) come, Paul calls us to stop, take hold of those thoughts, release them, and then, most importantly, replace them with thoughts from the new mindset (phronesis). In fact he lists some things to replace your negative thoughts with in Philippians 4:8-9:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
To think about these things is the Christian act of meditation…to ponder…to dwell…to ruminate on those things which move you closer to God. God mysteriously meets us as we choose to think differently, and we are flooded with a sense of peace that defies our current reality…and this unleashes a flood of joy in our soul.
This week…take the negative, limiting thoughts of your old mindset captive…and replace them with thoughts from your new God-infused mindset. As you do, take note on how differently you begin to see things.