We never really get “there”, do we? To a place where nothing new is going on, there is nothing that we need God’s guidance or wisdom on, to place of complete contentment living our day to day lives not really anxious or excited for anything.
Honestly, that doesn’t even sound like a place I would want to be! Yes, sometimes we wish life didn’t have so many ups and downs or unexpected twists, but isn’t that what makes things interesting and pushes us to exercise our faith in Christ?
For many of us, the unknown can be scary. We don’t like the “what-ifs” of life and it’s difficult to not silently freak out about upcoming events that you don’t know the outcome of yet.
Whatever you’re anxious about today, whether it’s going back to school, taking the first step into what God recently spoke to you, or starting a new project in your ministry, have faith in God! Turn your anxiety into expectation by giving your situation over to the Lord and trusting Him to meet your needs, give you wisdom, new creative ideas, and peace.
Whenever you feel anxious look at it as an opportunity to flip the switch of faith on and become expectant about the Lord working on your behalf. It may not be easy, but God sees your effort and will meet you every time. When we put ourselves out there and believe in His abilities instead of our own, the results will be far better than anything we could have done without His help.
There is no place for anxiety in the Body of Christ, the Bible says God will give us wisdom (James 1:5), meet all of our needs (Phillipians 4:19), and strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10). So don’t let the unknown trap you in a cage of worry but be expectant and excited, waiting in anticipation of all that the Lord will do for you!
It may not feel like summer is coming to a close since it is still a scorching 100 degrees outside, but sure enough, September is closing in on us fast. Unfortunately, this means no more days at the lake, a whole new school year, and most likely added stress. Just the thought of the upcoming busy days makes your stomach turn, but isn’t there a way for you to be calm no matter what the future months may hold?
There is one thing that we all have in common. Whether you’re a single dad, a teenager that can’t decide where to go to college, a mom drowning in her work, or a happily married couple, we all have a desire – a need, in the depths of our hearts. Peace. We look for it in all the wrong places and sure, there are things in this world that can satisfy our longing for peace in the moment, but nothing will fulfill that ache like the peace that only God Himself can pour out onto us.
We can’t find it in a basement party, baseball game, a night club, or even lunch with a best friend. We have to surrender ourselves and let our caring Heavenly Father do what He does best. Provide for us. Provide His peace and comfort.
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Did you read that? We are called to peace! Not the peace that we have been struggling to chase after but God-given peace. The verse does not stop there, it ends with “and be thankful.” this reminds me of James 1:2, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” We are also called to be thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to be faithful and let God rule in our lives, giving us His unmatchable peace.
When we turn away from our hopeless attempts to control a need in our lives that we were only ever supposed to let God give, we will reign in life no matter what chaos surrounds us.
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
~ 2 Corinthians 13:11
When was the last time you sat down and thought about your goals or checked up on your priorities? If we aren’t careful, as we get older life gets busier and we let our goals or the things that should be at the top of our priority list slip through the cracks. Luckily, we have the perfect example of someone who lived their life intentionally and didn’t let their goals fall to the wayside: Jesus.
Jesus knew His purpose on this Earth and never lost sight of it. He was deliberate in His days, conversations, and overall life. His mission was similar to ours, because as believers we are called to be like Him. We’re called to witness to the lost, heal the sick, and be examples of God’s love and compassion.
Let’s take a closer look at how Jesus spent His time, revealing where His true focus was:
Teaching the disciples/others around him. You do not have to be a minister to tell people about Jesus! We can encourage our family, friends, and even strangers daily. Remember, it is not only through our words that we reach people for the Kingdom, but through our actions as well.
Healing the sick. The Word says those who believe, not only pastors or traveling ministers, will heal the sick (Matthew 16:17-18). Jesus observed the needs of others and had compassion towards all. He took it upon Himself when He was hungry, exhausted, or really didn’t have the time, to minister to the sick. He placed an importance on their lives that was higher than His own desires or needs.
Spending time with the Father. Jesus many times withdrew Himself to spend quiet and personal time with His Father. It was in those moments that He received strength and direction to follow through with His mission in life: reaching the lost. It is absolutely necessary that we spend exclusive time with God, not only on Sunday mornings but during the week as well. It is from that time that we are built up and prepared for God’s plan in our lives.
When we look at the things our Savior focused on during His 33 years here, it is easy to see He had an eternal mindset. Everything He did He did for the gain of the Kingdom of Heaven. So we must ask ourselves, do our goals have eternal value, similar to Jesus’, or are they solely focused on ourselves and how we can get ahead? Our time spent here is but a blip in eternity, to put all of our time and energy on goals set to produce only Earthly works could cause us to miss out on all that God has planned for us during our lives on Earth.
To live in a world of constant entertainment, drive-thrus, and any question you have to be answered instantly with a quick search, the idea of waiting for something has become foreign. While our society grows every day, our God stays the same.
When we bring our requests to God, or when things are changing in life and we need to know which direction to go, it can feel impossible to hear from the Lord. Is this because He is ignoring us? Forcing us to make the decision without His guidance and hoping we choose the right way? Definitely not!
Our minds have become so fast paced it can sometimes feel like that; but the truth is, we’ve drowned out His Spirit. Maybe not intentionally, but undoubtedly when we let our schedules get so hectic we barely have time to take a deep breath until we lay our heads down at night, we’ve silenced His voice.
There are three main areas of our lives, all equally important, that we must keep at the top of our priority list for the health of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and really for our own personal health.
First, our prayer life. To have an open and honest prayer life with the One who knows all things, somehow can be difficult. To be brutally honest about your thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs is something that our Heavenly Father craves when it comes to our communion with Him. Yet, so many people fear “offending” God. It is vital to our relationship to spend time in prayer on a regular basis. To talk out the future plans, opportunities, and decisions of our lives helps to make us more conscious of His Spirit and leading.
The second, is quiet time. There are imperative moments to be had in the quiet, uninterrupted, presence of God. Moments that can so easily slip through our fingers if we aren’t careful. If when we are through with our prayers we get up and run off with our day, we don’t give God the opportunity to speak to us and show us His love. Learn to rest in His presence, it is there you will feel His peace and love, and hear where He is directing you next.
Finally, a key factor in waiting on the Lord is to worship Him. Not only on Sunday morning, but every day in your own home. In Acts chapter 16, Peter and Silas were thrown into jail. When they began to pray and lift up praises to God, a mighty earthquake struck, the prison doors flew open and their chains fell off. Plans are set in motion when we sing praises to Heaven. Worshipping our Father not only glorifies Him, it helps us as well because it reminds us of His goodness and all He has done for us. To remember His faithfulness in past situations is encouraging when waiting on a word from the Lord.
Our Father longs to speak to us, we simply need to slow down and give Him our attention and time.
For me, in the society we live in, the idea of “freedom” seems so distant. Not in the sense of physical freedom, freedom to do and say almost anything we please, but spiritual freedom.
To see so many people be taken as prisoners of a war that has already been won, is heart wrenching. Captivated by the devil’s deceit, they fall deeper and deeper into mental bondage. So, as spiritually free Christians, what do we do?
The Bible says in Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use that freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Just as Jesus served, we serve. We use our freedom to pull others out from the trench of deception.
If we take Jesus as our guide and our example, we see that He ministered to people out of love, not judgement. Agape love is a limitless, others-focused loved that has never been needed more than it is right now, in 2019.
While the world seems to grow darker, we must shine brighter, push any fear of rejection out of our minds, and run full force into the nations to love, serve, and help set the lost free.
If we do not use our God-given freedom to witness to and help unbelievers, we are not living out the will of our Heavenly Father. We live in a world where fear, sickness, anxiety, depression, and poverty has stolen the happiness and peace of millions. Yet, Jesus took all of that to the Cross when He willingly gave His life for us.
Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t know the blessings of God, or think back to your own life before you accepted Jesus; that’s a scary thought! We have been liberated by Christ for a purpose. Use the freedom you have, that so many are searching in the wrong places for, to share the Gospel and turn slaves of the devil into the children of God.