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Here is a precursor of the teaching, “Seek God: NOT Things!” that I am working on, and it should be finished very soon. But I wanted to give you all this precursor, to help you have peace in God, NOW, because I know so many things are happening, to try and discourage us, and wear us out!
People who are born again believers of Jesus Christ knows the devil does not want us to have peace, so we must not allow him to cause chaos in our lives; we must avoid ALL forms of chaos, including confusion, conflict, conformations, and anything else that will steal our peace. We must run like Joseph did, when his master’s wife tried to seduce him (Genesis 39:7-12), from ALL chaos – confusion is NOT of God but of the enemy!
Yes, we have peace in Jesus (He left it for us in John 14:27, as you will see), but if we don’t use it, the devil will keep us worried, frustrated, confused, and any other negative thing he can throw at us. Use the Scriptures from my teaching God gave me, to help you use your peace Jesus HAS given you and dispel the lies of the enemy; DO NOT allow him to bring anything negative to you – focus on Jesus and the peace He HAS given you!
The purpose of the teaching “Seek God: NOT Things!” is to help you be obedient to the Word of God, so you CAN live in the peace, Jesus has given you! The specific Scripture, that we will study to help us obey God and live in peace, is in Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLV) – this Scripture, is why we are studying the other Scriptures; they will help us lay aside our weights, and live in God’s peace. Once we learn how to lay things aside, which is weighing us down, and that causes us to slip up easily, as the KJV put it, then we can walk in the peace Jesus has given us and obey God!
Let’s look at Hebrews 12:1-2 in the KJV first (underline added by me): “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 in the NLV says (I again underlined the parts in the verse, for you to see, that we must put aside the things that are hindering us, from obeying God or doing His will, so we can live in peace):
“All these many people who have had faith in God are around us like a cloud. Let us put every thing out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should. Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us. 2 Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect. He did not give up when He had to suffer shame and die on a cross. He knew of the joy that would be His later. Now He is sitting at the right side of God.”
The underlined part of these verses, is why I am writing the teaching, “Seek God: NOT Things!” - to “…put every thing out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should. Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us. Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect” (verses 1-2).
Ephesians 4:22-24 - ESV, tells us what to put off and what to put on; this is what it says (I would say, read the whole Chapter) : “22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
As you see, once we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are to put off the old man, and put on the new man; be renewed in our spirit man, to the things of God – then, we will be led by Holy Spirit and not by our soul or the old nature (OLD man). We are to do the putting off and putting on; we have choice!! When we are born again, we receive ALL the benefits from God; and peace is one of them! But we must receive ALL God has for us and walk in those benefits, if we want to be free and STAY free in God. Without the peace of God, rest, ruling, and abiding in our lives, it is impossible for us to EFFECTIVELY put everything out of our lives, that is keeping us from doing the will of God!
Therefore, Hebrews 12:1-2, is the foundational Scripture, for the teaching, “Seek God: NOT Things!” Below, are the Scriptures, we will be studying, to help us put everything out of our lives, that is keeping us from doing what God has called us to do, and that is keeping us from living holy, godly, lives – so we can live and walk in REAL peace, which ONLY comes from God; so we can walk by FAITH and NOT by sight! I am going to write the Scriptures out for you and explain them to you; then as you read them, make them personal – see God talking DIRECTLY to you! As always, pray for Holy Spirit to give YOU interpretation of the Scriptures; also ask Holy Spirit to give you an understanding of this teaching. Always ask God for HIS wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, in ALL things – EVERYTHING you do or say, so you won’t do or say the wrong thing, and you will be able to comprehend!
Let’s begin! There are four Scriptures that I am going to give you, which are the main Scriptures in the “Seek God: NOT Things!” teaching: Matthew 6:24-34; John 14:1, 27; Philippians 4:6-7; and 1 Peter 5:6-7. Just to let you know, some of the Scriptures are long, since I will use the AMP version, so don’t get overwhelmed at the length of this teaching; just go through it piece by piece and take your time – praying as you go.
II. Main Scriptures
Matthew 6:24-34 - AMP - Scripture: 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].
The Cure for Anxiety
25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And who of you by worrying can add one [a]hour to [the length of] his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (the parenthesis are not closed out here, because this is Jesus speaking, and He does not finish speaking until about the end of Matthew 7).
***Recap***:In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus lets us know, we cannot serve two masters; we will love one and hate the other. Then Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives; don’t think about what we are going to eat, drink, or wear (don’t make things, possessions, our master)! When we make mammon our master, we will serve it, and forget God, our Creator! God takes care of the birds, flowers, and grass of the fields; therefore, He WILL take care of us (Matthew 6:25-31). If we spend our time, worrying about our life, that shows how little faith we have in God (v30). People who do not know God (unbelievers) seek after the things (v32) in verse 25. We who have given our lives to God, are to serve Him, not mammon (money, possessions, fame, status, etc. – v24).
We who KNOW God should seek first after God’s Kingdom; the things of Him, so we can know His righteous ways, and not assume we know what His righteousness way of living is! We need to make sure, what WE THINK is God’s righteousness, REALLY is his righteousness! We CANNOT live righteous, without Jesus, because He is our Righteousness; our righteousness ONLY comes through accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! Once we seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, THEN, ALL the things we NEED, WILL be GIVEN to us by God (v33)! Also, we are NOT to worry about tomorrow; tomorrow has its own troubles (v34) – God got us and will NEVER let us go!!
John 14:1, 27 – AMP – Scripture: Verse 1 - “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe[confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.
Verse 27 - Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]
*Although no quotes are showing in John 14:27, Jesus is still speaking and continues to speak, over into John Chapter 15 - I suggest you read the whole Chapter 14 of John – Jesus really encourages us today, as He did the disciples.*
***Recap***:In John 14:1,27, Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled; that means, we can stop our hearts from being troubled! We can choose to be troubled or not be troubled – we have a choice! In verse 27, Jesus tells us that He has given us His peace, to calm us. Again, we see the word, “let” – Jesus said, “Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.” Again, we have a choice to either be troubled and worry or allow Jesus’ peace to calm us in EVERY circumstance; allow Jesus to give us courage and strength for EVERY challenge!
Philippians 4:6-7 - AMP – Scripture: “6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”
***Recap***:In short, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6, not to be anxious or worry about ANYTHING, but to pray about EVERYTHING! Paul goes on in verse 7, to give us a breakdown of what God’s peace (the peace Jesus gave us in John 14:27), will do for us. Paul shows us, that Jesus’ peace will help us in EVERY circumstance and challenge. The peace we inherited from Jesus, the peace that reassures our hearts, the peace that transcends ALL understanding, that peace which stands guard over our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus, is ours - when we CHOOSE to pray about the things that come to make us anxious or worry, instead of ALLOWING them to cause our hearts to be troubled, afraid, worried, or anxious!
In John MacArthur’s teaching, “The Gift of Peace,” he gives us the meaning of the word “guard,” in Philippians 4:7 - this is what John said: “The word for "guard" in Philippians 4:7 is not the word that means to "watch," or "keep imprisoned." It is a word that is often used in a military sense, meaning "to stand at a post and guard against the aggression of an enemy." When peace is on guard, the Christian has entered an impregnable citadel from which nothing can dislodge him. The name of the fortress is Christ, and the guard is peace. The peace of God stands guard and keeps worry from the corroding our hearts, and unworthy thoughts from tearing up our minds.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 – AMP – Scripture: “6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
***Recap***:Peter tells us to humble ourselves, under the mighty hand of God (lay aside self-righteous pride), then God WILL exalt us in His time – God will raise us up to do what He called us to do (1 Peter 5:6)! This is another reason for us to seek God First, and His righteousness, so we will not stay in our self-righteous ways; we will KNOW what God’s righteousness, looks like!! If we stay puffed up in our self-righteous pride, God won’t raise us up!
We MUST come to ourselves, and realize that we CANNOT do ANYTHING, without God, but with God, we CAN do ALL THINGS through Christ, Who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13)!
Peter goes on to say in verse 7, that we are to cast ALL our cares (ALL anxieties, ALL concerns, and ALL worries), on God because He cares for about us – we can ONLY REALLY do this, AFTER we humble ourselves, under God’s Almighty hand!
III. Apply God's Word
A-1. Closing Remarks – It is time for us to apply God’s Word, to our lives – this is how we are going to obtain, TOTAL VICTORY, in our lives! Therefore, take the main Scriptures in this teaching, and begin to apply the Word of God to your life, every day. For example, make a list of everything you are anxious, concerned, and worried about or that your heart is troubled about. After that, then pray as Holy Spirit gave you a prayer, using the Scriptures in this teaching (Matthew 6:24-34; John 14:1,27; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7). It will be easier to make a prayer out of the Scriptures, if you write each one out, making your prayer out of each one, as you write; this is my suggestion, but ask Holy Spirit how to write your prayer and what to write – be led by Holy Spirit, in ALL things!
Once you have made a prayer out of each Scripture, then combine the parts together, and pray that prayer, over your list of worries, concerns, anxious things, and things that are causing, your heart to be troubled every day.
A-2. Praying the Scripture – This is my prayer, that I made from the Scriptures:
Father, in the Name of Jesus, and by the Power of His Mighty Blood, I choose to serve You and You alone, not mammon! I CHOOSE to give You my heart; You are MORE important to me Father, than fame, status, money, or possessions! Therefore, I refuse to worry about my life; what I am going to eat, drink, or wear. You take care of the birds, grass, and flowers; therefore, I KNOW You will take care of me! I will not be like the people who do not know you, and ask You for things, You ALREADY know that I need.
But I will seek first Your Kingdom, Your righteousness, which ONLY comes through Jesus; I WILL seek FIRST, Your way of doing and being right, and WILL NOT lean to my OWN understanding! Because MY righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)!
Father, I CHOOSE NOT TO let my heart be troubled, but I put my trust in You! I WILL NOT be afraid either; I WILL ALLOW YOUR perfect peace, that Jesus left me, to keep me calm in EVERY circumstance and give me courage and strength, in EVERY challenge!
I also CHOOSE Father, NOT TO be anxious, worried, or concerned about ANYTHING, but in EVERY circumstance and situation, I WILL make my request known unto You, with thanksgiving in advance. Then Your peace, the peace that reassures my heart, and transcends ALL my understanding, WILL stand guard and keep worry from corroding my heart, and unworthy thoughts, from tearing up my mind! I receive Your peace NOW Father, in Jesus’ Mighty Name!!
Thank You Father for YOUR peace, that Jesus left me, and Holy Spirit HAS given me; thank You Father, for my FULL manifestation, of ALL my benefits, Jesus has given to me!!
I TAKE BACK from the enemy, EVERYTHING he has stolen from me, that he shouldn’t have; Father, I don’t want ANYTHING, that You did not ordain for me to have!! Father, remove EVERYONE, and EVERYTHING, that is in my life, that is NOT of You, and that You did not ordain, and give me the things You want me to have, and put the people in my life, You want to have in my life, in this season, in Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen!!
I am going to rewrite here, what I wrote in“Session 3: ***Recap*** - Philippians 4:6-7” above, so you can refresh your minds, on what John MacArthur said in his teaching, “The Gift of Peace,” about the meaning of the word “guard,” in Philippians 4:7.
John MacArthur said that the peace of God is not based on circumstance like the world’s peace, so it doesn’t make sense to the carnal mind; Paul says it is a peace that surpasses comprehension.
In the NASB95 version, Philippians 4:7 says: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Subjective peace is divine, supernatural peace; it cannot be figured out on a human level.
John MacArthur goes on to explain in “The Gift of Peace” teaching, the meaning of the word “guard” in Philippians 4:7; this is what he said: “The word for "guard" in Philippians 4:7 is not the word that means to "watch," or "keep imprisoned." It is a word that is often used in a military sense, meaning "to stand at a post and guard against the aggression of an enemy." When peace is on guard, the Christian has entered an impregnable citadel from which nothing can dislodge him. The name of the fortress is Christ, and the guard is peace. The peace of God stands guard and keeps worry from the corroding our hearts, and unworthy thoughts from tearing up our minds.”
Now, with the words of John MacArthur said once again, I agree with you all, that God’s peace, WILL guard your hearts and minds, as you seek God’s Kingdom and HIS WAY of doing things, HIS Righteousness (Jesus, our Lord and Savior) FIRST! I pray God will deliver, heal, and restore you all, wherever you need it, in Jesus’ Mighty Name and by the Power (Holy Spirit) of His Blood, Amen!! Thank You Father, for hearing and answering our prayers, in Jesus’ Mighty Name, and by the Power of His Blood, Amen!!
As you can see from the Scriptures in this precursor teaching, we have the victory ALREADY, through Jesus, over ALL, worry, anxiety, concerns, and ANYTHING else, that would come to trouble our hearts, to keep us frustrated, so we cannot hear God, obey God, or walk according to His will for us! All we have to do, is makeup in our minds, once and for all, that we WILL obey God, by laying aside EVERY WEIGHT, AND SIN, THAT SO EASILY BESETS US (Hebrews 12:1-2 – KJV), and CAST ALL our cares (ALL anxieties, ALL concerns, and ALL worries), on God because He cares for about us (1 Peter 5:7)!
God’s blessings to you all! And as I said earlier, the teaching, “Seek God: NOT Things!” will be out soon.
Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks
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