Philippians 4:9 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
In the last few verses, Paul has given us a crash course in Christian living. He told us to pray about everything. He told us to fill our minds with positive, godly thoughts. But praying and thinking aren’t enough. Now, he wants us to put our prayers and thoughts into action.
Paul knew better than anyone what it was to be anxious, worried, depressed. He stayed under lock and key for doing the very thing he felt called of God to do. He was obedient to God, but he had yet to see the tangible rewards of his obedience. He no doubt fought discouragement; he could have easily just given up, given in to silent tears and black, foggy depression.
But instead, he sang! (Acts 16:25.) He prayed, he forced his mind to lovely, true, pure, noble, excellent things, and he praised God! As a musician, I can tell you that singing – real singing – is not a passive activity. To truly sing, you’ve gotta open your mouth wide, tighten your gut, and belt it out!
Many times, as Christians, we turn inward to the more meditative aspects of our faith. But James 2:17 tells us that faith without action is dead faith. And dead faith never did anybody much good. Yes, we need to pray. Yes, we need to think good thoughts. But our faith isn’t truly alive until we put it into practice.
So, as we live out our faith each day, let us imitate Paul. Let us open our mouths, tighten our guts, and belt out our faith through everything we say and do. In so doing, we will beckon our Heavenly Father to draw near to us, and we will find peace.
Dear Father, Please help me to put into practice all that You are trying to teach me.