Carefully

Carefully

Psalm 85:8-13 (TLB)

I am listening carefully to all the Lord is saying—for he speaks peace to his people, his saints, if they will only stop their sinning. Surely his salvation is near to those who reverence him; our land will be filled with his glory. Mercy and truth have met together. Grim justice and peace have kissed! Truth rises from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings on the land, and it yields its bountiful crops. Justice goes before him to make a pathway for his steps.

Locked in a mind game of sorts, I often get lost in the definition of words. The importance and relevance in each meaning is vital especially when it comes to the Word of God. Communication in all forms depend heavily on common terms. Relationships thrive and prosper in good understanding. Not everyone agrees on the implication in each statement, and human beings are not known as good listeners. Today the word circling in my mind is careful. What does it mean to be careful? The Word of God tells us not to worry and give all of our “cares” to the Lord but then what does it mean to be careful? What should I be concerned with? I have a thousand things in my head that I could worry about or be concerned over but what is the Lord allowing me to hold on to today. What are those things that He desires me to hand over?

The word “careful” means to be cautious in one’s actions. How does that relate when God has not given me the spirit of fear? (2Timothy 1:7) I need to understand the difference. To be careful means taking pains in one’s work; exact; and thorough. Ugh, that sounds a little more like it but now it’s becoming a chore. By being careful, it means doing something with accuracy and completing it. When we are careful, it means diligence unto completion. We must become finishers which sounds like marathon running which is no fun at all. To be solicitously mindful…now what is that? To be concerned and concentrated. When we are careful, we think about that thing and our desire to do it. These all comprise a wonderful definition, but is it possible to live carefully and still surrender all over our burdens, worries and cares to Christ? I need to know because as of late I have cares and concerns that I am not sure what to do about.

I am listening carefully to all the Lord is saying. He is a still small voice. Jesus is not going to argue His Point. He never has and He never will. His Love should be convincing enough. His Power is evident in all creation right down to each human being. So we must learn to be careful about the right things. Grace doesn’t mean throwing our hands up and doing whatever just to get by although our freedom in Christ allows such a choice. There are consequences that come in doing so not because God is punishing us but that is the course one has chosen. Freedom allows consequences when we choose anything contradictory to the Will and Way of God so we must be “careful”. Careful to remember things like our salvation, truth, mercy, righteousness, and peace and working in life to carefully and solicitously maintain these things in our life.

I Peter 5:6-9 (TLB)

If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up. Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.

Let Him (Jesus) have all your worries and cares for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. To truly get to this point of surrendering everything that we once worried about to the Lord, one must humble themselves to the Lord. We love the idea of a Savior riding in on a white horse, sweeping us off up from our impoverished life and whisking us away to happily ever after in a kingdom and castle without a care another care in the world. Don’t worry He’s coming! But in the waiting for our Prince to come, have we humbled our life to waiting on His Arrival? Are we following His Instructions to make it to that point? Are we living for that “happily ever after” or living for this day? We will make Jesus Lord when and only when we believe He is coming and when He does it is to carry us away from this meaningless life into Eternity. Not only that, when we become more concerned with our future than the ordinary struggles of today which are already well provided for then and only then will we give up worrying and caring about the incidentals of life to embrace the future hope we have in the Lord.

To be careful in the Lord means that we have humbled ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God handing our existence over to Him completely. It is a daily act. We wait knowing that our destiny unfolds in His Timing. It cannot be rushed which will lead to abortion. We must let Him have all our cares and worries so we can focus on remaining faithful to His Love, staying on course to and preparing for our wedding. We must be careful as the enemy tries to lead us off by distractions, detours and discontentment as we think we are not well cared for by his constant goading and substitutions. God’s Best is reserved for those who live in a humbled state more concerned about being prepared for the Kingdom that what will happen today or tomorrow in this life. Trusting the Lord is not always easy but absolutely essential in the waiting until He comes. We must remain focused on this one thing. The thing that really matters faithfulness and obedience to God and let Him handle the rest.

Romans 8:35-39 (TLB)

Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us? No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

When I struggle in my faithfulness and ability to trust the Lord, I am steadily reminded of His Great and Abiding Love for me. Who can ever keep Christ’s Love from us? No one can. Nothing can. It is a proven fact that His Love as ascertained Overwhelming Victory for us. We can live in total and complete triumph by carefully remaining locked in and overtaken by His Love in humility before the Lord. I cannot fix all my problems. I am going to struggle sometimes. I will let worries about tomorrow become mixed with fears for today from time to time. But the bottom line with no way around it is that NOTHING will ever be able to separate us (me) from the Love of God demonstrated by our (my) Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us (ME). He died for ME. Yes, it was in His Death that salvation was released to all mankind but what matters most on a personal level and the promise that I personally hold on to is that HE DID IT JUST FOR ME. We forget. Overtaken by our cares, heavily burdened in shame, regret and fear, and overwrought with life in general, the enemy blinds us to the fact that by faith our hope is always intact. What we see and experience in this moment of this day is subject to change by the Power of God’s Love for us in a single second! I have seen it happen over and over again yet I still become overly concerned and excessively careful about things that are not as important as His Love is for me.

I Chronicles 22:11-13 (TLB)

“So now, my son, may the Lord be with you and prosper you as you do what he told you to do and build the Temple of the Lord. And may the Lord give you the good judgment to follow all his laws when he makes you king of Israel. For if you carefully obey the rules and regulations that he gave to Israel through Moses, you will prosper. Be strong and courageous, fearless and enthusiastic!”

Daily the enemy takes our fears for today and worries about tomorrow like heavy ropes and tries to bind us in a place of anxiety and care. He tries to convince us that his power is greater than the One who lives in us which is simply not true. We have all power and authority over every situation and circumstance that we face in live. God is in control of every aspect of our life day in and day out. He goes before us and follows close behind with His Hand of Blessing on our head. If we will walk humbly with Him day in and day out, it is all that we have to do to have His Power surround us and His Goodness overtake us.

As Solomon embarked in achieving his purpose of building the Lord’s Temple, his father David offered these words of encouragement. If you carefully obey the rules and regulations that He gave to Israel through Moses, you will prosper. Be strong and courageous, fearless and enthusiastic! About what? Doing what the Lord says. Obedience. Faithfulness to the Lord grants us good judgment that allows us to discern between those things worth worrying about like following Jesus and the rest of the mess circling in our head each day. Lord, grant me the wisdom today to care and be careful about what is most important remembering that nothing can separate me from Your Love.

Micah 6:8 (TLB)

No, he has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful, and to walk humbly with your God.

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