Psalm 20:6-8 (NIV)
Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
My thoughts were off to the races before I opened my eyes. I am not even sure that my brain was turned on when the cursor started spinning this morning. You know the kind of days when the tasks outweigh the time and you have not recovered from the exertion of the day before – welcome to the holidays. Parties, practices and productions. I am already sick of meatballs doused in barbeque and grape jelly. Did I mention a milestone birthday in the mix? Jesus take the wheel. It feels like I am running like a racehorse set off with a single gunshot hoping to finish the race and find a warm stall with fresh hay to hide from all the chaos mixed with madness all around.
Oh I had the best of intentions signing up for everything. I know that it will all come together because truthfully it always does. Everyone will be happy and satisfied at the end of the day. I will joyously collapse in my bed with a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. See I am already thinking about going back to bed. When my feet hit the floor, my head zoomed past my precious moments spent with Jesus straight to my to-do list. Yet in the back of my mind, I could hear Him whispering, “Come to me, first. Spend time with me, first. I need to talk to you, first.” So I pushed aside the list ignored the clock telling me I overslept 30 minutes and headed for the office. My computer was already on and I cannot remember turning it on, could it be Jesus? Oh who knows? Melting into the chair, throwing a blanket over my legs, it hit me. Stillness, silence and peace in His Presence. Suddenly, all the things I need to do today took their rightful place and I realized He wanted me to stop. A gentle pulling back of the reins while patting my side and telling me, “Whoa girl!”
How do we get so spun up? Running like spooked horses or a chicken with our head cutoff over things that really do not matter. Seriously, my lil smokies will get cooked today along with the macaroni and cheese. The cake is done. The gifts ready other than a tuft of tissue paper. I am on top of this right down to what I will wear. But truthfully, sitting in His Presence, it seems kind of dumb. I am a champ at trusting God with the big things in my life. It is a learned characteristic that comes through trials and tests. It is all the little things that I heap on myself such as the cares and worries of life. I am not a beast of burden though I act like it sometimes. We trust in what we do rather trusting every detail of our life to Jesus. Transferring every worry, care and burden is tough when our flesh is always reaching for control. Those who learn to depend on God for everything from the largest to the smallest most insignificant details that make up our life will be victorious in all things. At least, that’s how I read it.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus invites us daily to come to Him. To those who are weary and burdened, He promises rest. He does not define what made us tired, worried, anxious or stressed, just simply says give it to me in exchange for peace. He also said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…” This is interesting today as I feel a bit overloaded and overwhelmed. The Lord does have a job for us something that He called us to do but it is not all the things that we make it. It is easier to do than to be undone. The Lord desires our hearts. He wants to align our heart with His Heart. His Heart and Mind are always set on His People. It is all about loving and being loved. He loves us and we extend that Love to the world.
My soul is at rest even though my mind is a mess right now. It’s funny how the Lord can change our mind so quickly when we think about Him, mediate on Him, communicate with Him and read His Word. He doesn’t come and make all the plates we are spinning fall down around us but simply says, “Give them to me.” See the Lord knows that although so much of what we become consumed with is trivial and meaningless, He loves us and knows they are important to us so He offers to carry them for us. In exchange, He frees us to do the thing that He called us to do which is love other people. We are His Hands and Feet in the world as messengers who share a Love like no other with those who need Him most. All the while, Jesus takes those cares and concerns that distract us and works it all out. I think that is part of the good that comes from every detail of our life promised in Romans 8:28. His Yoke is easy and His Burden light. Simply take the Love that I have given you that is measureless and share it with others generously. If only it were that easy…
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NIV)
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
There are a lot of websites that have popped up for parties and events that allow the administrator to schedule a gathering and create an online signup sheet for items needed and allows people to RSVP quickly and easily. During this time of year, I get these evites quite a bit. When I logged in to the most recent one, I began to look down the list of items to choose what to bring. Cups, napkins, plates and utensils are the easiest and I love to sign up for these inexpensive items. No preparation or refrigeration needed. Next would be chips or drinks. Holla! These are pretty wonderful, too for the same reason. There are those who will always pick one of these items especially if they do not have the time or resources to do anything else. Others want to bring something as not to be judged but just don’t want to invest a lot. There are others who selflessly give of their time, talent, resources and kitchen to bring the costly food items such as meat, fruit or side dishes. It just depends on the person, the situation and often one’s attitude.
Giving is a mindset. I use the “SignUpGenius.com” as an example probably because I have been on it quite a lot. My life is run from list to list. As I evaluate the lists in my life, I set priorities. Those have changed over the years. In our spiritual life, it is no different. We prioritize Christ in our life. Where He falls on the list of priorities determines our success or failure in maintaining our peace and joy in life. If Jesus stays our first priority, all these other things will easily fall into place. Just like choosing what we will bring to the next holiday event, we must decide the level of our time, talent and resources that we will invest in our relationship with Jesus. We will never win the war for our thoughts until we stop depending on what we can do and solely on what Go will do when faith and obedience become the one thing to be accomplished in each day with everything else falling into place around it. Before we give anything, we must give our heart and mind to Jesus. Casting down every thought and emotion contradictory to Christ and taking captive every disobedient longing, we will be victorious in every aspect of our life. We will live successfully in the Presence of God. We must go there first reining in the wild horses spooked by the enemies lie that we must “do” anything to please God other than faithfully and obediently loving one another until the whole world is saved.
2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV)
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
When we are overcome with stress, worry and anxiety that leads to fear – it is expressed in doubt. Anything what we do or want to do becomes bigger than our God so we hang on to it, we will be worn down. We are not designed to carry the burden of our life, Jesus is. To depend on our warhorse or chariot puts power in the enemy’s hand, because we have stepped out of God’s Power and Authority. This is not just for spiritual warfare but daily battles with our flesh. The enemy isn’t only focused on destroying the ministry of your life sharing Jesus with them. Oh no friend, it is much more personal than that. He wants to wear you down, tire you out, and cause you do drift from the Protection of God into the darkness so He can take you out. He wants to destroy you. He hates you and the God in you. Sobering huh? I think so as I have worn myself out doing and thinking that God will honor it. When all along, He has been whispering for me to come closer because my doing has become a distraction and my work that of my flesh.
Busyness is an evil spirit that steals our time, kills our joy, and destroys our faith by allowing fear to take over and run us to death. This is not the Will of God for us. He provides a place of love, joy and peace for us to live and prosper in His Presence. Being overwhelmed and overwrought has never and will never be His Will for our life. It is symptomatic that we have taken the reins and are driving the chariot. Whoa! Just whoa! Lord, open our eyes to see You all around us. Leading us, guiding us, preparing us and protecting us as victory is nearby. Do not let us become consumed with fear that the enemy produces in the overwhelming details of life but open our eyes to see You, Jesus.
Psalm 27:4-5 (NIV)
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Every single time that I allow myself to let busyness overtake me, it comes back to these verses. One thing I ask for the Lord and only this that I seek that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life. One thing. It all comes down to one thing and every other detail of my existence must find its proper order behind the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Feeling like you are being drug behind a herd of wild horses? Ridden hard and put away wet as the old adage goes? This is not the Will of God concerning us. I know that some people are having a difficult holiday season. This is the first I can ever remember not suffering from depression that overshadowed me for years and years so many I cannot count. I had no reason for it to be that way. The enemy had a stronghold that only this year somehow the Lord has broken. Yet still… the spirit of busyness was having its way with me until now. I break that spirit along with the one called fear that the Lord did not give us in His Precious and Holy Name. As I take a deep breath right now, Lord fill me again with the Holy Spirit as You draw me closer and tighter to You! Jesus I surrender my mind, will, emotions and even my body to You! Lord, have Your Way today that I may dwell in Your House forever.
Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.