Cheat Codes Part I
In the video game Super Mario Brothers, Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser.
They must traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman. In the game, he starts off as Mario, he’s small. After eating the Super mushroom he grows and becomes Super Mario and is then equipped with additional powers and abilities that he didn’t have before.
But no matter how big he gets, he still has to run the same course. The difference between regular Mario and Super Mario is instead of bouncing off of things, he breaks them. He then becomes better equipped to run the course. Even when Mario stumbles he has got to keep running because there are more mushrooms available. Some that just don't grow him but some that he will level up. 2nd chance extra life (change thinking, renew mind or think on these things)
Just like in Super Mario brothers life can be a difficult game to play. It's filled with attacks from the enemy, pitfalls and sometimes even fireballs, that try to take away our lives, destroy our relationships, our finances and keep us on the same level until the game is over. Thankfully God's word gives us Cheat Codes, spiritual hacks that are the keys to more life. They help us to have better performance, better navigate the playing field, and receive additional lives and to level up.
What is a cheat code?
The most basic type of cheat code is one created by the game designers and hidden within the video game itself, that will cause any type of uncommon effect that is not part of the usual game mechanics. Cheat codes are usually activated by typing secret passwords or pressing controller buttons in a certain sequence.
One of the oldest and most popular Cheat Codes is the Konami code:
⬆⬇⬆⬇⬅➡⬅➡B A start
In the book of Philipians, Paul is in jail writing the church in Philippi. He gives them what we would call a “Spiritual Cheat Code”, a life hack that will help them better navigate this game of life. First he addresses their mindset.
(Phil 4:4) Rejoice Always! Rejoice in The Lord. Because joy is found in the Lord not circumstances. This ongoing joy cannot be grounded in your individual circumstances. Rather, the key to this rejoicing is its being In The Lord, ‘the governing factor in the exhortation’, which signifies that the Lord is either the object of their rejoicing or the ground and the one in whom their joy thrives. While rejoicing, your gaze should be upon the future promises of God. Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times no matter what the circumstances may be. We are ever reminded of what is said in Nahum 1:7 “God is good” and because He is good all the time we have reason to have joy. Not only do we rejoice because He is good we also can rejoice because Romans 8:28 says “All things work together for our good”. All things are not good to me or for me but they all are working for my good)
(Phil 4:6a) Be anxious for nothing. The word anxious speaks of mind consuming worry (based on apprehension about possible danger or misfortune), or unbearable worry. The way it is written in this verse Paul assumes they have been anxious and he says stop it. Then he says “for nothing” ( literally means not one thing) i.e not one job, relationship, bill, house, car, heartbreak, president, racist, test, friend. We should always remember that the same reason we can rejoice is the same reason we don't have to worry about a thing. Because our hope, our joy and our peace is in the Lord. Not on the outside of it, but in it (in everything). You have to stop fronting and stop worrying. How do you not worry? You've got to have the right moves.
Phil 4:6 Prayer + Supplication This type of prayer is a prayer of petition. As people who have been reminded that the Lord is near, we are urged to stop worrying about anything. Instead, as a corrective action to being anxious, we are encouraged in every situation to make our requests known to God in prayer. Ask God to help you, tell him your struggles, not just asking him for stuff. But with Thanksgiving, these 2 are tied together, you can’t have one without the other. Because of the gift of salvation; because of the nearness of Christ (vs.5) we always have something to be thankful for. It’s not just that we have many blessings that we need to look at daily. But by offering petitions with a thankful heart we show that we are prepared to surrender ourselves to His will whatever the circumstances. Worship always changes our perspective and our atmosphere.
Phil 4:7 Maximization means “to increase to the greatest possible amount or degree. To represent at the highest possible estimate; to magnify to make the greatest or fullest use of.”
By going to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we can max out our players and our game experience (ourselves and our lives). Because our trust is in a Lord who is near to us, and in whom we have surrendered our lives, we can not worry but have peace.
Not just peace but a peace that surpasses understanding (whether our petition is granted or not by giving it to God we are assured to have peace that is greater than we can ever imagine). This isn’t merely just a peace