I have been meditating on the 2014 Blog Challenge for March which is Maneuvering.
At first it seemed like there would be a plethora of ideas from which to choose and so I didn’t put much deep thought into it.
As I was getting ready for the night, catching up on some much needed Bible reading, The Lord reached out and tapped me on the head. I wasn’t really thinking on maneuvering it was just this idea floating in the background noise of my mind.
I was studying the book of Philippians which happens to be one of my favorite books that Paul wrote.
I should have realized that my Father had something He wanted to say to me. I let being tired, grumpy and frazzled override that still small voice inside of me that was drawing me into His Word. With the noise of a TV and competition from my young son, being, well a kid, needless to say I was heavily and totally distracted. In a perfect world I would have been reading in solitude, able to glean those nuggets of truth but with a young child around this is nearly impossible.
Some of you know what I mean or remember what I’m talking about.
As I am coming to the end of Philippians, chapter 4 to be exact, I read the familiar words in verse 8.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, 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.”
So what does this verse have to do with maneuvering?
Clearly the writer was trying to impart the need or rather necessity of where our thoughts should be. How many times are our minds a hotbed of thoughts run amuck. We wade through the torrent hoping to come out on the other side with our mind focused and not crazy as a loon.
This clearly shows that we maneuver daily and the first stop is our mind. The apostle Paul addresses this here in this verse. He is telling you the only clear way to maneuver through the thought life is to think or take inventory of these things.
Things that are:
- Of Good Report
The opposite of that would be:
- False reports
May I suggest that our whole lives are spent maneuvering and it all begins in the mind.
Can you imagine what our world would look like if our entire focus was to be a servant like Jesus and we spent every waking moment allowing Him to maneuver us into that position?
You might say I’m not maneuvering my life, I know exactly where I am going. That in itself is a type of maneuvering.
Perfect examples of maneuvering would be:
- Driving the car
- Going shopping
- Making a meal
Who hasn’t driven their car trying to be first to the light/stop sign? Who hasn’t at some point, tried to beat rush hour and drove faster than we should have, took chances that we shouldn’t have, or God forbid, broke the law trying to get there on time or first? This is classic maneuvering.
Let’s talk about shopping. Have you ever been to the store, in a hurry, and you get behind people taking up the entire aisle? Are you one of those patient people who slow down with grace and let them keep chatting or do you back up, blow out a frustrating sigh and try to get around them? All the while you are mumbling under your breath about how rude they were? This again is maneuvering. I won’t go into the check out aisle because I don’t know a person alive who hasn’t flipped their lid there. This also is maneuvering.
Okay so one more; Making a meal. You may be thinking that I’ve lost it if I expect to show maneuvering in cooking.
Think about it for a moment. You go to the kitchen with the idea of making a meal, you have got it all laid out in your mind. You will put this and then add that and you’re envisioning the delight on the faces of your family or friends as they eat your prize winning recipe. Then you get all wrapped in the recipe and you realize uh oh I forgot the milk. Your mind begins to go a thousand directions trying to figure out what to use, what can be a substitute, what will happen if I leave this and go to the store, who can I ask to go to the store and will it make a difference. Again, this is maneuvering.
We do this constantly and don’t realize it.
At the end of our day maneuvering will leave us one of two places, at the feet of God or at the feet of our enemy
I believe this choice is always ours to make and I believe that Philippians gives us the perfect detailed plan to make sure that we control our minds, that we maneuver them to things of God.
Philippians 4:9 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.
Vs. 9 tells us four ways we understand, with the basic command to do what he wrote in Vs. 8.
The end result being the God of peace shall be with us. The God of all comfort will guide us and direct us.
Paul said look, this is what I know; if you will meditate on the good stuff that you have learned from me, received from me, heard in me and seen in me; I guarantee you the God of peace will be with you.
How did he know that?
Before he became Paul if you will remember he was Saul of Tarsus who was a religious zealot (we would call him fanatical) who thought he was doing good. He had maneuvered his way through the ranks of the Pharisees and became a very learned and highly respected man. Yet, one day on a road outside of town, Jesus stepped into his vision and Saul was never the same again. Jesus told him stop kicking against me Saul, in other words stop maneuvering my people to be who you want them to be. Stop positioning yourself to be the number one Pharisee.
We can lean many things from that one experience that he had.
So my challenge is to think on the things of God’s word, don’t maneuver your way to His feet, simply just stop.
Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: I peter 5:6
Meaning, I can’t maneuver my way around with God’s hand on my head. I’m under His guidance and his direction and I am being maneuvered into position by Him. That is what He did last night, He tapped me on the head and said “hey” “Be Still, stop wiggling around, stop trying to clamor to get something that is jaw dropping inspiring and just let me teach you how to steer the boat I gave you called life.
I’m so glad He stopped me and showed me this very simple idea.
The truth is you will never get through life without maneuvering somehow, someway. There will always be circumstances that will arise that cause us to be a strategist. In doing that we have to learn to maneuver, especially around the enemy.
This verse just lets me know when lies, untruths, dishonesty, unjustness, un-pureness or unlovely things occur or bad reports pop up, I don’ t have to dwell on them. I don’t have to let them maneuver me away from Christ feet. I can rest knowing that the hand of God Almighty is upon me and I can dwell on the good things I have learned, received, heard and seen. That is enough to last me a million lifetimes. So I leave you with this thought;
I’m hid with Christ!