Worry-warts

It is something we all are guilty of on a daily basis – some much more than others. Go take a look at two previous posts on Fear and the process of Letting Go…this post will tie in well with them.

Every situation we encounter in life has the potential to go in two directions: either positive, or negative. Compulsive worry-warts (like me, especially when it comes to our baby) see the danger, the potential problems arising a mile ahead of the event itself. Taking the baby on an outing, I worry that he will cry inconsolably. Feeding him, I worry that he isn’t getting enough milk. During the day, I worry that he isn’t getting enough sleep. Although it is hard for me to admit this, this process is a huge waste of my time and efforts. Not only is it unproductive and, like fear, based in the non-existent future – it also leads to sickness and sadness.

So Jesus tells me the following today:

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:34

I need to let go of the aspects of any situation that are beyond my control, and focus only on living in the moment. His grace is sufficient for anything that could come my way. I must only focus on His provision, not the potential problem.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully];” 2 Cor 12:9

Without worry, we will experience abundant joy and light living. Our minds will be filled with peace. Some last encouraging words if we let go of our own yokes and trust in the abundant provision of Jesus:

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Mat 11:30

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5 MINUTE FRIDAY: PERSPECTIVE

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Perspective, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

PERSPECTIVE

Go:

His vantage point is different from mine. When I look at me I see brokenness, fragility and sin. I see everything that should keep me away from His presence, and all that should exclude me from His grace.

What He sees is a completely different picture. When He looks in my direction, He sees a body that has been made whole by His Son’s death. He sees a strong woman, holy and unblemished. Instead of the faults that cloud my vision, He looks into the face of Jesus – and all He can see is my righteousness. No effort is required from my side other than to believe in His sacrifice. This washes me once, forever and perfectly.

Stop.

Letting go…

Why is it so difficult to let go? To forget about our own plans and ways of doing things and just let God take over?

I don’t give Him enough of a chance to actually show me what He can do in my life. I hold onto this urge to control every aspect of my life so tightly, that He cannot be the God who is able to do more than I could ever dream or imagine (Eph 3:20).

“God is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” Eph 3:20

God has all the solutions you will ever need. Every answer you need is wrapped up in Jesus. If we just allow Him to set the pace and guide us in our everyday lives, we will be amazed at the results!

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

If we give our worries to God and allow Him to take care of us, we will experience a peace that far transcends all understanding. Suddenly our lives won’t be governed by this inexhaustible need to control every detail, but we will rather experience a wonderfully liberating joy and peace.

I need this in my life!

Fear

Why do we give so much authority to an inanimate concept? We go about our daily lives, many times basing decisions on the presence of fears. Fears are like mirages. They seem bigger and more imposing than they actually are. We don’t fear something that has already happened – we fear the thought of something that might happen. Fear is always based in the future, so if we fear, we don’t live in the moment. Jesus said:

“Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life.” Matt 6:25

Try this today. When you find yourself getting anxious about the possibility of something bad happening, choose not to give in to the fear. Remind yourself that fear lives in the future, and all you are guaranteed of is this moment, and the fact that you have a God beside you every step of the way. If we continually give in to fear, we will miss out on some amazing opportunities and experiences along the way. If you fear failure even before you start – you will never know what could have been. Don’t be uneasy any more. Start to live boldly, and see what God can do in your life!

The Israelites were struck with fear when they saw the Egyptians pursuing them in the desert. They saw the possible torture and death waiting in the future instead of the miraculous salvation God would bring in that moment. Moses told them:

“Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Ex 14:13-14

God proceeded to miraculously open the sea for them, and the Egyptians were indeed never seen again.

When fear strikes you, counter with a firm confidence and boldness in God. Stand still – don’t let fear move you into the opposite direction. God will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.

The mystery of Christ

A mystery is something that puzzles or perplexes people. It is something that does not immediately make sense when you hear it. The mystery of Christ as it is referred to in Eph 3 refers to the grace if God. The perplexity it causes is largely due tot the fact that it just sounds too good to be true.

To the Jews it didn’t make sense that Gentiles could now be includes in God’s special promise through simple acceptance of the Gospel. Jesus shook all their ideas. Now it is no more a matter of observing the law and commandments (which only included the Jews), but now it is a matter of belief (which includes all people and races on earth).

“And that the mystery (secret) was made known to me…when you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. This mystery was never disclosed to human beings in past generations…[It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel).” Eph 3:3-6

The grace of Jesus is called a favor or privilege, showing to us the unending, boundless, fathomless, incalculable and exhaustless riches of Christ. It is a wealth which no human being could have searched out (Eph 3:8). It includes every believer on earth, regardless of his race, performance, religious background or influence. It is easy and simple – not dependant on our discipline or achievements. We only need to believe in order to share in these riches.

God wants to help us

God is always ready to help us in time of need. He wants to convince us of this, so that whenever we face a situation that scares us or seems out of control, we can just turn to Him and KNOW that He will provide for us and help us. In the span of 4 verses (Isaiah 41) we are told 7 times how God will provide, :

  • I am with you
  • I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties
  • I will help you (1st mention)
  • I will hold you up and retain you
  • I hold your right hand
  • I will help you (2nd mention)
  • I will help you (3rd mention)

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice…For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:10-14

How can we wonder about His intentions when we read this verse? How can we worry about situations if He goes through all the trouble of emphasizing His intentions so clearly?

I say we just believe Him, and see how He keeps His promises! I can’t wait!

Walking in the Spirit

“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” Gal 5:16

To walk in the Spirit is to walk with your eyes fixed on Jesus.  In John 6:48 Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life. He confirms that to dwell in Him (walking in the Spirit) is to be aware of the sacrifice and what His flesh and blood accomplished:

“He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood dwells continually in Me, and I [in like manner dwell continually] in him.” John 6:56

Promises that we can trust if we dwell in Him (feeding on, or being aware of His sacrifice) include the following:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall remain under the shadow of the most High…He will cover thee with His pinions and under His wings shall you find refuge…Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, there shall no evil befall you, nor any plague, nor any calamity come near your tent…” Ps 91:1,4,9-10

The Father, Spirit and Son are one, so to walk in the Spirit is to walk with God. To dwell with Him is the most natural, easy thing for man to do. Think about Jesus’ sacrifice in every situation you encounter. If you are sick, realize that His sacrifice brought healing for all. If you feel condemned, realize that His sacrifice made you blameless before God.  Be aware, constantly, of how His sacrifice changed everything around us. It will give you life in every situation.