Focus Means Worship
If I keep my mind on God and His Word and His Will, I'll end up trusting God; and as a result, I'll have perfect peace.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, I trust everything’s alright at your house. God bless you and keep you in His care. Well, I get an early start on these broadcasts. I like to broadcast early in the morning because then I tend to feel like most of you do, ’cause most of the broadcasts are heard in the morning hours. It’s not quite light yet, it’s just getting light where I am. Even the birds are walking [chuckle] and it’s early. But I’m here with God and with you, and it’s a wonderful experience to share from God’s blessed Holy Word. And I trust whether you listen in the early morning hours or during the day, or late at night, as some of you do, that the presence of the Blessed Holy Spirit will be real in your life today, and God’s touch may be evident in everything that you do. God bless you.
We’re looking at 1 Thessalonians 5 and I was talking about this matter of living peace. Living with God’s peace is the very atmosphere of your life, living peace. He said, “Live peace among yourselves.” And the last time we got together, we referred to Romans 5:1, “Justified by faith, we have peace with God.” The war is over and you are in right relationship with the Lord. And as a result, His peace fills your heart. Then we came over to Philippians 4:6 and 7 where Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything.” As a matter of fact, worry doesn’t go away because somebody tells you not to worry. You remember the person who sang a while back, “Don’t worry be happy”? Well, that really doesn’t work. Somebody telling me not to worry, really doesn’t help, does it? All it is, it makes me sure that the other person doesn’t understand the problem. [chuckle] But he says, “Pray about everything, because worry vanishes when you have turned the responsibility of the problem over to someone who can handle it.” You follow me? When you have turned the problem over to someone who can handle it, then your worry ceases.
Someone gave me an electric ceiling fan, and that someone actually was my dear children. They gave it to me for a present. Well, in order to install it in this one-room apartment on the ground level of our house in the Pocono Mountains, in order to install it, it involves some wiring and I would look at the box with that fan in it, and I would say, “Oh, I wish I could put that up.” And especially when the days got sultry and there was need of a little air circulating around, I’d go, “Oh, boy, what am I gonna do with that?” Well, finally, you guessed it, we called the electrician because there were some other jobs that needed to be done around the house, he came on out. And would you believe it? He took that fan out of the box and took the various fan blades, and attached them to the metal arms that stuck out from the motor, tightened the screws, got everything ready. And then, he took the little base plate off of the ceiling where the wires would come out, and he attached this one to that one and before long, the fan was working. I turned the job over to somebody that knew something about it. You don’t worry when you turn it over to the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the point we’re making.
Have you learned to do that? Some people, let’s admit it, some people would rather worry than have the situation fixed. Some people would rather complain than have circumstances changed to eliminate the complaint. And some people, in all honesty, one has to say, would rather be in poor health and complain about it than do whatever is necessary to be better. Well, we’re going to lay those things aside and just assume, aren’t we, that you and I want to stop worrying and stop complaining, and stop hurting. What do you do? You turn the situation over to someone who can control it.
All right? So you just pray about everything. I used to tell our students at the college, “Pray your way through the day.” Those of you who’ve heard me through the years, you’re familiar with that phrase and it’s been helpful to you, hasn’t it? I have letters in the file that say, “Oh, I learned through listening to you to pray my way through the day.” “Pray about everything, in everything,” said he. Not some things but in everything by prayer. Pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up, good morning, Lord. Greet your Lord in the morning. Pray before you meet the family or your roommates, or your friends, so that your heart is ready and right with God and so you’ll be right with people. Pray before you tackle the first job of the day at your desk or office, or in the home. Pray before you pick up the phone. You don’t know who’s on the other end of the wire. Pray before you open a letter. You don’t know if it’s a check or a bill. You know there’s a difference. Pray before you make a decision. Pray before you go on a date. You’ll have less praying to do during and after. Pray before you hire a person. God knows whether he’s pure gold or just a gold brick, as we say. Pray before you make a personnel decision to transfer or to promote or even to fire. Pray before you sign a contract. God has already read the fine print.
You know the old saying, “The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.” [laughter] Pray before you make those decisions in life. Pray before you take a job or leave one and pray even when you’re starting a casual conversation. How many times I have spoken thoughtlessly in conversation and it’s ended up either hurting someone’s feelings or creating a bad impression. Pray before you open your mouth. I read just yesterday in a book of quotations, “A closed mouth gathers no foot.” [laughter] That’s one way of putting it. I love the Spanish proverb. I have a book of dichos, they call them, Spanish proverbs. And of course, I’ve told you this once or twice, I guess. En boca cerrada no entran moscas. The flies don’t enter a closed mouth. Same thing. Pray before you speak up and pray before you act up. Everything, said he, by prayer, and you know when you finish a day like that you can turn out the pocket full of memories and say, “Lord there it is. I have gone through the whole day with you, thank you, Lord.” And your sleep, I assure you, will be much sweeter because you’ve prayed your way through the day. You try that.
That’s what we’re talking about while living peace. The peace of God as a result, Paul says, “As a result, the peace of God which passeth all understanding.” You wouldn’t be able to understand why you are so at peace, but you are. Oh, to live in the presence of the Lord. My sister Mildred took a fall a long time ago now, it’s well over a year, and broke her hip and as she lay there on the concrete, aware of the fact that something was terribly wrong and she knew something had broken, it turned out to be her hip. She wrote me and said, “I want you to know that in that moment as I was falling and as I struck the concrete and as I knew I was injured, that I had the most wonderful feeling of absolute peace,” the presence of the Lord. That’s what we are talking about.
In the circumstances of life which you cannot foretell and God knows you can’t control, in the circumstances of life which you may not even be able to understand, why, Lord, has this happened to me? In those circumstances if you are committing your life to your blessed Lord, you’ll have His peace. Because why? Because He is in control. Where you are and what you are and the circumstances in which you are, are all under His control and you can perfectly be relaxed and in peace. Isn’t that great? You try that on for size yourself. Pray about everything, he said. As a result, as you commit everything to the one who can handle it, you’ll have God’s peace. And you won’t be able to understand it necessarily, but you can accept it. You don’t really understand how it is that when you turn the light switch on, the lights light. You say, “Oh, that’s electricity.” All right. Explain it to me. “Oh,” you say, “Well, that’s the current flowing through the wire.” Fine. How does it get through? You don’t really, really understand a lot of the simple things we take for granted. But you accept them and you enjoy them. You don’t have to understand what God is doing in your life, but you certainly can commit yourself to Him and enjoy His perfect peace about it. Amen? The peace of God.
Well, then, I will go back to another familiar passage that you people who study your Bibles have already probably been thinking about, and that’s Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him,” says Isaiah, “in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.” Perfect peace, kept in perfect peace because your mind is fixed on the proper objective. Thou wilt keep him. Isaiah 26:3. I turned the pages. You heard me turning them, didn’t you, of my big Bible. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.”
What is the process, then, of living in peace? It’s to keep your mind focused on your Lord. This is a follow-up then of the verse we were just talking about. Pray about everything. How do you do that? You commit things to the Lord and what God is doing. Paul said in Philippians 1, “I would that ye should understand, brethren, that the things which have befallen me, have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel.” Why, he said, what God is doing is getting a lot of people saved here in the very palace at Rome. Keep your mind fixed on what God is doing, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. Now, the obverse of that truth is also important and it occurred to me sometime ago as I was meditating on this very passage. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee,” and if you turn that around it makes very clear that you will trust, that is, you’ll commit the whole bundle to the person or thing that you’re thinking about. Whatever you think about the most will be that on which you are willing to risk the whole bundle, all of your life or all of your future.
You can understand why it is so important to have your thoughts fixed on your Lord. Why is it? Because what you think about becomes that which you really trust after all. What you think about becomes that on which you are willing to risk your life. A person who thinks about money all the time will risk a great deal on something he thinks will make money. A person who thinks about sensual pleasures all the time will risk his life and reputation on that sort of thing. You understand me? So it is, that if I keep my mind on God and His word and His will, I’ll end up trusting God, and as a result, I’ll have perfect peace. We’ll get a little more of this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, oh, may we have our minds stayed on Thee so that we can enjoy Thy peace, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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