I'm talking to you, Euodia. Listen to me, Syntyche. Never shy to preach unity, Paul gets personal in Philippians 4. He names names. But he does so in an affirming way, pleading that the two women who "contended with me for the faith" will stop contending with each other.
That phrase "The Lord is near" has never seemed to fit very well. So I decided to look at the rest of the chapter in the light of "The Lord is near," meaning His Spirit and Word is among the church and within me, is accessible and favorably disposed to hear my prayer, and is coming soon. Here's what I got.....
The Lord is near - who am I to contend with my brother? That's His job.
The Lord is near - I will be anxious for nothing. The peace of God which passes all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
The Lord is near - I may bring to him my every request, prayer and petition. He loves to hear from me.
The Lord is near - knowing this is the "secret" of living in plenty or want.
The Lord is near - I can do all things through His strength.
The Lord is near - He will supply all my needs according to His glorious riches.
From the song, "I Do Not Call You My Servants" -
The Kingdom of God is not far off
A castle where tribute you bring
but the Kingdom of God is among you
for behold now your friend is the King