Living a Philippians 4:8 life

       I believe that the quality of life that we live lies in our hands.

Things aren’t just left up to chance, luck or a random hand you’re dealt in life. I believe that we are called and destined for greatness. This kind of thing doesn’t just take care of itself though. It’s cultivated into existence. Without tools and a plan of action, us and our callings will fall flat big time. Through the ups and downs of life, what will keep you grounded? Focused? On task? Joyful? What will protect your faith?

I believe how we choose to deal with things when they get rough impacts our character, our mindset and our entire lives. We of course can’t and won’t be perfect, but I believe that the Lord has provided us with the tools to stay focused and at peace through anything. A powerful example of this is in Philippians 4:8-

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.

This is hugely helpful in all arenas of life. I have compiled a list that I personally keep with me at all times to remind myself of some of God’s truths when I need to hear them most.

Always Remember:

  • Our journey and relationship with God will be unique and look different than anyone elses.

If you’re frustrated with how others seem to be “ahead” of you because they’re having encounters and hearing God differently, don ‘t be. Nobody is ahead of anyone. We are all unique people which garners each of us to have an equally unique walk in life and relationship with God. We can’t get stuck in comparing ourselves to other people because were fully meant to be ourselves in every way. Don’t ever feel like you’re missing something or you’re just not “one of those people.” That’s not how the kingdom works. God equally loves all his kids and equally wants to communicate and work in all of our lives. Things come at different times for everyone. Trust He’s there.

  • We need to let go of our own understanding and expectations of what we think things will look like or be like.

So many times we get this idea of how something should ideally be and we end up rejecting anything else and missing out on God showing up. He can see things and knows things that we don’t and we have to trust that when we pray, He’s handling it and not get so caught up in how. Also, in letting go of the need to understand everything that’s going on, we draw on our faith, strengthen it and draw nearer to God to hear his heart.

  • Rest in him.

I think in a lot of situations in life we bust our butts striving, trying to make things happen or fix them in our own might and get so stressed and burnt out when we make no progress. I think these are places were he wants us to rest in him. We tend to think it’s irresponsible or lazy to sit back while life’s problems take over. But in resting in Him, HE takes over. Sometimes were called to rest ( and we really need it) while he handles it. We were never meant to carry burdens alone or worry anyway! He WANTS us to let go and let Him. It’s not a control thing, it’s a loving daddy thing.

  • Sometimes He answers our prayers in ways we can’t see or didn’t expect.

I bet many of us have gotten angry or frustrated thinking we’ve poured hours into prayer with God and there’s still things unresolved and unanswered. I know I have. But the truth is, many times our prayers are answered and dealt with and we don’t even know. We expect things to come through a certain way, but most times, God’s ways are not like ours and he has a different plan. Your blessing could be in route and you have no idea! Sometimes we can’t see how he worked out an issue til were out on the other side and we can see it much clearer, thinking back, ” If only I had known what I know now, why couldn’t I see that?” And that’s where our faith kicks in. In the future, know He works all things together for our good, and stand on that.

  • We reap what we sow. Planting things in faith over time will bring a harvest later on. Never lose faith. Nothing may be happening in that moment, but planting in faith through prayers and speaking truth over situations will show fruit. NO MATTER WHAT.

This kind of ties in with the last one, but it’s more about understanding the power of our prayers, faith and time with God. Sometimes were just thinking in the moment and sharing the things on our hearts, but were also putting power through faith into those situations to be drawn from later. We will reap what we plant in faith. No matter what the situation is, God never fails and your faith and strength will pay off. Pray knowing that you’re planting a seed!

  • His promises never fail and always come true. Just remember, His ways are not our ways and his timing is usually not the same as ours.

We may want something fixed right now and think we know what needs to happen, but we can’t get stuck in the frustration that things aren’t happening the way we want. We have to remember that God is always working things out for us in the spirit realm and in ways we can’t see and don’t know. In a society where we want instant gratification in everything, we need to relearn to be patient. He is capable of anything and his problem solving looks way different from what we have in mind. Trust His timing, it’s always perfect. And rest in the knowledge of His power. It’s bigger than anything.

  • His will is always the same, for us to live our best life. Believe that’s always at play even when you can’t see it. His love abounds.

Believe it or not, God actually cares about our happiness. Some people believe that as Christians were supposed to humbly suffer and life is just full of punishments and tests. That’s so far from the truth. He’s not just God, he’s our Father. He created us just to love us. That’s huge. So don’t ever think that if you’re going through something, He’s at fault. Know He’s fighting battles for you daily in the natural and supernatural.

  • He’s bigger than anything we will ever face and we can bet He’s not unaware of the desires of our hearts or the issues we face. He’s on top of it all.

We don’t need to worry about our health, finances or any other of life’s struggles because God didn’t put us here to be miserable, suffer or perish! We get to live with His authority and strength at our core and carry it everywhere we go. We are His temple, so of course he cares about our health! Of course He cares about the desires of our hearts! We are taken care of, we are loved, we are protected!

  • He loves us more than anything. we are protected and provided for.

When things look scary and fear is welling up inside you, remember who your Father is. Remember how powerful he is. Remember how he sent His son to die for you. Not for you to perish, suffer, struggle or live in despair. But for you to have  life and life abundantly. For you to thrive. For you to overflow with joy. Because He loves you.

  • The devil is already defeated. He may delay us, but he can’t stop us. We will be victorious!

I think a lot of us get more wrapped up in what the devil can do to us than what God can do for us! The devil may still have some pull here on earth, but it’s nothing compared to the pull you have on heaven. When we are awakened to the authority we carry in ourselves through Christ Jesus, we are unstoppable! Once the devil realizes you know how to wield your weapons, he will flee. He wants more than anything to knock us off our game, and make us forget, for even a moment, who we are. The devil knows once Jesus returns, it’s completely over. He wants as many people as possible scared, confused and misled. Focus on God’s promises and not only will you not be a victim, you’ll lead others away from that mentality too.

  • We have all things on earth as they are in heaven; perfect.

Health, prosperity, joy and so much more are ours for the taking if we will believe it. God gives these things to us, no way we can earn them; just part of being His child. The kingdom is powerful and at hand, we receive these things now, not when we die! We are supposed to be cultivating heaven on earth and spreading it as far as the east is from the west. How can we do that if were not living in our heavenly inheritance?

  • When things start to feel heavy or out of control, remember that we were never meant to worry or burden ourselves. Give it all to Him and let go. Sometimes striving and trying to control and fix gets us nowhere. He wants us to hand those things over and go on without a worry and be joyful!

I’m pretty bad about this honestly and I’m realizing it more lately, so I know the Lord is working with me on it. So This one for me is pretty important. I envision a balloon, and I place a worry, thought or problem inside it that I’ve been trying too hard in my own might to fix and I imagine releasing it up to heaven for God to deal with. It may take several “releases”, but if I feel I’m obsessing about something again, I consciously re-release it back to him. It takes practice, but It’s necessary and helps. Our burden should be light! Release your worries over to Him today! Believe me, He wants them!

  • Focus on things that are lovely, pure and of good report. Count your blessings! Counting your woes does nothing, steals your joy and is a huge waste of time!

This is really the heartbeat of this whole list. It’s so easy to start complaining, listing off all the things we don’t have and get in a nasty mood where It’s almost impossible to see anything differently. Positive thinking may seem simple, but for a christian, It’s spiritual warfare! There is power in the things you think and say, and speaking negativity will just cause more to breed in your life. But focusing on the good, even when it’s tough is explosive! It knocks out spiritual attacks, changes your atmosphere and breaks off chains of bondage! Remember, to go by what you know is true, not what you see.

  • The joy of the Lord is my strength. If I keep my joy, I will always keep my strength. The battle is won out of a joyful heart. Nothing has the power to bring you down. NOTHING! He’s that good!

This one I actually got from a facebook friend, and it was so powerful to me. Joy is everything in the kingdom. Our God is pure love and joy, so to sustain joy no matter the circumstances makes you unbreakable. It may take some practice, habit correction and intentional thinking, but once you are able to truly have joy in all things, you will feel so at peace and able to power through life’s hangups with a kingdom mentality. I really came into this myself last year and it changed everything for me. It is extremely important to keep these things in the forefront of your mind  because you can slip out of these practices and have to get back into it. Recently, I realized I wasn’t having joy and let all the things going on around me creep in and steal it! Now I’m aware and getting back there. Once you learn something, you will always know what it takes to get back there if you need to again.

 

I believe having a plan against attacks and the daily things we deal with is essential to your spiritual, mental and physical well being! Keeping your mind on these things during times where it would be easy to give up, give in or lose faith, will greatly impact your atmosphere, your intimacy with God and the world! The devil will know you’re locked and loaded with a kingdom mentality and he will flee!

I pray this list is as valuable to you as it is to me. It’s so easy to slip into negative thinking and fear, but next time you feel those things creeping in, you’ll know what to do!

 

Here is the full list in case you want to copy and paste or print it out. ( I keep mine in my phone!)

  • Our journey and relationship with God will be unique and look different than anyone elses.
  • We need to let go of our own understanding and expectations of what we think things will look like or be like.
  • Rest in him.
  • Sometimes He answers our prayers in ways we can’t see or didn’t expect.
  • We reap what we sow. Planting things in faith over time will bring a harvest later on. Never lose faith. Nothing may be happening in that moment, but planting in faith through prayers and speaking truth over situations will show fruit. NO MATTER WHAT.
  • His promises never fail and always come true. Just remember, His ways are not our ways and his timing is usually not the same as ours.
  • His will is always the same, for us to live our best life. Believe that’s always at play even when you can’t see it. His love abounds.
  • He’s bigger than anything we will ever face and we can bet He’s not unaware of the desires of our hearts or the issues we face. He’s on top of it all.
  • He loves us more than anything. we are protected and provided for.
  • The devil is already defeated. He may delay us, but he can’t stop us. We will be victorious!
  • We have all things on earth as they are in heaven; perfect.
  • When things start to feel heavy or out of control, remember that we were never meant to worry or burden ourselves. Give it all to Him and let go. Sometimes striving and trying to control and fix gets us nowhere. He wants us to hand those things over and go on without a worry and be joyful!
  • Focus on things that are lovely, pure and of good report. Count your blessings! Counting your woes does nothing, steals your joy and is a huge waste of time!
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength. If I keep my joy, I will always keep my strength. The battle is won out of a joyful heart. Nothing has the power to bring you down. NOTHING! He’s that good!

 

Be blessed & free!

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Randina Sheldon is a passionate writer/teacher/life coach set out to make a huge impact revealing the gospel, leaving behind a trail of love, healing, wholeness and knowledge!

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