The Lord my God created me, and He created me with certain gifts and my personality traits, some of which are quite quirky I admit. The Lord makes no mistakes, although I do. One of the gifts He gave me is the ability to look beyond my situation, to see a solution(s), and to put my feet in motion to solve the problem. That gift can also be my undoing, and has been many times when I move forward with my own understanding and on my own power.
Abrahm seemed to have the same problem. “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.” (Gen. 12:10) We aren’t told that the Lord told him to go to Egypt; and we aren’t told that Abrahm asked the Lord for direction. He just went because in his finite human understanding, there wasn’t food where he was while Egypt had food.
I know when I get hungry or tired, I get cranky. And when I am cranky I tend to make rash decisions, and I’ll make an understatement–I’m not always nice. That seems to be what Abrahm did as well. Jesus knows what we feel like when we are tired and hungry, and He knows the danger we face. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’” (Matt. 4:1-4)
So if I am to feed on every word that comes from the mouth of God, then it means that I must search God’s Word and seek Him in prayer BEFORE moving my feet toward a solution for my problem. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil 4:6)
God’s Word is true, but for us to fully understand what the Lord tells us, we must study this verse in context. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:4-7)
We are not to be cranky; we are to rejoice in the Lord–to be thankful for all that we have and all of WHO He is. In our humbling ourselves before Him in gratitude BEFORE we even ask for anything, we will be gentle, humble, and thankful. When we focus on WHO the Lord God IS and all that He has already done for us, whatever we are facing becomes smaller, less intense, and we aren’t anxious for we know that we are praying to the Lord God in charge of all circumstances and who has promised to be with us always. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (vv 4-5)
With that attitude, THEN we present our requests to God. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (v6) We are praying to our heavenly Father who already knows our needs and who has promised to provide for our needs (Matt. 6:25-34). We are cautioned when we come to Him in prayer that we are to seek His will and His purpose. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33) And then we receive His promise, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7)