If you've been reading the past two posts, you'll know that I am talking about the theme of a lack of fear and a trust great enough that allows us to abandon our cares and worries into the hands of the Father for him to deal with for us....so that we can live in peace and without stressing about ANYTHING, whether it be where our next meal is coming from or an important exam, or the degree of our sanctification.
So today I opened my devotional (Jesus Calling by SArah Young) and found, lo and behold, she's talking about the same thing. (for those of you who don't know, Jesus Calling is spoken as though Jesus were speaking to you, the reader. I highly recommend this book...it is soundly Scriptural so she never goes out on her own limb...and it is INCREDIBLE how often God gives me exactly the word I need for my day in the morning's reading.) So as I read it, I realized that God isn' t done with me yet on this topic....
So let's talk about it...and see where it goes.
She talks about Jesus being the center of our entire being...so that everything we do, say, or every choice we make is rooted in him....and says that when that is the case and we have our eyes FOCUSED on him, that worry and fear will find no place to land in our heart...though they may be swirling around us seeking a foothold, we will live in undisturbed peace.
So in this devotion today, Ms Young talks about being centered, having focus, being alert and vigilant, and guarding our hearts with Gratitude. At first that last item puzzled me...but then I thought, this is exactly what I was saying in my last post. If we look at all that God has given us and has already done, there is no place for discontentment or fear. We can only continually rejoice at his goodness and we can hold out our hands knowing that he will fill them with more of his goodness...and when the road gets dark, He will HOLD those hands. Remember the verse, " I am the Lord thy God, I will strengthen thee and uphold thee by my mighty right hand)? And there are numerous other references of God walking with us holding us by our hand. This hand-holding not only provides comfort, but SAFETY. Ever see a dad walking with his two year old child...holding hands? The child stumbles...and the father, lifts him right up in the air, feet dangling, so that he doesn't fall and hurt himself. This is how God walks with us.
He also walks with us in the quiet of our heart ("in the cool of the evening") holding hands like the Lover he is to us. We can tell him anything. We can know deep peace and security. We can wonder at his beauty.
The verses, Sarah shares at the end of today's devotion are especially meaningful to me. I will share them with you:
1 John. 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
My daughter has been in many bad relationships...ones that have scarred her soul and left her fearful of others. As her mom it breaks my heart to see this...Just as it breaks the FAther-heart of God to see us, his children getting hurt because we took our eyes off of him, or perhaps do not even know him...
She is with a young man now who has been kind and gentle with her...not using her or expecting anything from her. He seems to have made it his mission to be her friend and to allow her to heal from her wounds. My daughter is constantly amazed by this and told me that he keeps telling her "THIS is how a relationship...a normal loving relationship should be." "And the amazement of that is delighting to her...and yet still a bit fearful When will it end? When will he turn around and claw her heart out???
That's how we as humans are. We've been wounded and kicked down so often that it is almost impossible for us to believe in a relationship filled with peace, comfort and good things. So when God offers it to us, we say, 'Yeah, so where's the hitch?? When do you toss a thunderbolt and blow us to smithereens??" And we live suspicious, fearful, worrisome lives. Rather than a life of delight in our perfect Lover...and happiness and gratitude at the gifts he's given us. This breaks God's heart. Worry and fear are not to have a place in us...EVER. We are even told that we will be able to walk on hot coals and be bitten by dangerous snakes and be unharmed. That doesn' t mean to go out and try that. It means that should those things come our way...God will protect us and regardless of the way he chooses to do that , we need NEVER FEAR. Yes, poisonous snake and hot coal walking are painful hardships....but even in their presence, we are held in the arms of the Everlasting One and do not need to fear. Ever.
2 Thes. 3 : 16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.