Twenty-three verses of Philippians remain for us in our walk through the letter written by Paul. The final fourteen verses include an extended statement of gratitude to the Philippian church for their financial support as well as words of final greetings. I encourage you to read those fourteen verses later today, as I will focus on the first nine verses in this blog post.
You will recall Paul’s words from the second chapter.
You will also recall Paul’s challenge that he issued to the Romans.
In chapter four of Philippians the Apostle returns to the topic of mindset. Clearly, Paul understood the significance and power of the mind. Webster’s Dictionary defines “mind” as, “the seat of consciousness, in which thinking, feeling, etc. takes place.”
In order for a person to live in Christ, he or she must call upon Jesus to sit on the seat of their consciousness. A believer surrenders heart, soul, and mind to Christ. Therefore, join me in learning from Philippians 4:1-9 about what I will call The Mentality of Faith. We will discover four components of The Mentality of Faith: Unity, Joy, Peace, Intentionality
Robert Wicks identifies what he describes as the “tendency of man to be conditioned by his special concern for himself” (107).
You and I discover selfishness with absolutely no help from anyone needed. Paul provides no details as to its nature; nevertheless, we know that Euodia and Syntyche found themselves at an impasse. Paul urged one he identified only as “my true companion” (possibly Luke), to help the two women to restore unity. Note the words, “contended at my side in the cause of the gospel.” Euodia and Syntyche were active servants of the Lord, not gossips and busybodies. Nevertheless, they too, lacked unity. Perhaps they disagreed on ministry tactics or best practices. It may have been an issue of “king of the mountain.” Regardless, the disunity needed to end. In order to maintain a healthy Mentality of Faith we need to continually strive for unity.
Those with a healthy Mentality of Faith are people of joy.
The angels sang.
The shepherds spread the word.
The early Christians feasted.
The hearers are full of God’s praise.
Even still, the very people of Joy face a determined opponent. His name is Anxiety. Anxiety declares war on Joy. Anxiety destroys the substance of Joy. Yet - praise God there is a yet - those who seek Joy have access to weapons with which to return fire and defeat Anxiety.
b) Prayer and Petition
And it gets even better. We not only have weapons; we also have a Champion . . . “The Lord is near.” The ever-present Lord fights with us against Anxiety.
Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11 (NIV)
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Joy leads to peace. Peace of heart and peace of mind strengthen believers as they live in the presence of God.
I pray that God will open your eyes to that you will see all that He is doing and how He surrounds you with love and strength.
Christians dedicated to maintaining a Mentality of Faith practice intentionality in their thinking. We must, with the help of Scripture and the Holy Spirit, train our minds to think upon things that honor God - whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Even people without Christian faith proclaim the value of positive thinking. Imagine how much more value positive thinking holds for the follower of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us.
With a Mentality of Faith marked by Unity, Joy, Peace, and Intentionality, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Without a Mentality of Faith, you will grow tired, weary, disappointed, and discouraged.
Which sounds better?
Obviously, a life with a Mentality of Faith. I urge you to call upon God to rule over your seat of consciousness as you take your everyday, ordinary life and lay it before God as an offering.
For further reading:
Wicks, Robert. The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 11. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press (1955).
RCC YouTube Channel: