Skip to main content

No matter what

Always, constantly, no matter what - three "timeless" commands. Always gives absolutely no room for "sometimes".  Constantly gives no space for "once in a while".  No matter what includes the good and the bad.  In none of these words is there any implied "if I feel like it", or "maybe if the circumstances are just right".  In fact, there is little "wiggle room" at all - celebration, giving thanks and prayer are to be continual, unending, and "non-circumstance-based".  

Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 VOICE)

Celebrate always.  Ever notice how easy it is to celebrate the home run that brings three other runners into home base, securing the "win" for the team?  There is a whole lot of revelry when this happens.  On the other hand, we don't see the same level of enthusiastic encouragement and "celebration" when the fly ball is caught and the third out is proclaimed!  Didn't all the players play as hard as they could?  Didn't every swing and miss count?  Didn't every advancement of base make a difference?  It is kind of amazing to me that we only see our "wins" in life "worth" celebrating when they are perfect!  The command to us today is to celebrate always - even if we don't always hit a home run. 

Pray constantly.  As I've said on more than one occasion, I am not the kind of person who prayers on their knees.  I am not knocking it if you are, but my knee surgeries have made that pretty much an impossibility for me, so I walk and pray, sit and pray, drive and pray, and even garden and pray.  I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way to pray.  It is just time talking with God and if the connection is being made - it is all good!  When we think of the instruction to pray "constantly", it doesn't mean with each waking breath we are uttering some word of prayer.  Instead, it means there is no variation in our "practice of prayer" - we make it a regular and consistent part of our lives.

Give thanks no matter what.  Most of the time we struggle with the "no matter what" part of this instruction because "no matter what" can involve some pretty ugly and not so welcomed stuff in our lives. It doesn't mean we thank God "for" the ugly stuff, but "in" the ugly stuff.  We don't thank him "for" the cancer, but "in" his keeping power to walk through the fight against it!  No matter what isn't conditional - it is not based on the situation at hand.  It is based on the first two commands being an agreed upon practice in our lives - Celebrate always and Pray constantly.  When these two are operational in our lives with consistency, the giving thanks no matter what part is a whole lot easier!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,