“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” Phillpians 4:6-8 The Message Version
How do you survive in a world that is pulling on you in all directions?
There is so much to know, too much to know.
Knowing everything that is going on in the world is overwhelming and undermining at the same time.
It is overwhelming because we are finite beings who are limited to one place at one time.
It is undermining because it erodes hope and breeds fear giving birth to an epidemic of anxiety.
How do we survive?
We choose to withdraw in the grace filled arms of God before we look into the lens of world.
We step into a shower of worship and allow God to saturate us with His presence before we step onto the sidewalk of humanity.
We go to Him without fear of judgement or censure.
We speak to Him about what is really going on in our hearts and hold nothing back.
We aim our thoughts on the target of that which is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind.
Not to ignore what is happening in the world around us but to be free to see it through the perspective of something bigger, someone bigger, someone who spoke it into existence, walked among it, died for it and is redeeming it one life at a time.
Someone who is a Savior and the only One who can save it.
God is still doing glorious work in you and in me.
I am overwhelmed by it.
Which is so much better than being overwhelmed by everything else.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.””
Luke 10:41 NIV
Being overwhelmed isn’t an emotion I like to have. There are always too many things to do and not enough time to do them. The amazing thing about grace is that it immediately lifts the burden of “everything that should be done” and replaces it with the “one thing that needs to be done “. What is that “one thing”? It is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Begin there.
Drop your to-do list, close your eyes and take some time to sit with Jesus.
Being with Jesus does wonderful things to your priorities- it lines them right up.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
When you sit at the feet of Jesus, time stops and eternity enters.
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get.
The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. (Mark 4:18, 19 MSG)
A stress-filled life strangles the power of God’s Word in you. It makes it like a dormant seed unable to break out of it’s shell . It can not grow to become the formidable, fruit-bearing, Spirit reproducing Word it is meant to be.
You hear the Word of God and it is exactly what you need. But then you begin thinking of all you need to do and all the things you don’t have and soon you have forgotten that Word.
Don’t let stress to undermine the revelation of God’s powerful Word in your life.
Don’t let your to-do lists to dictate your time in the Word, get in the Word and let it dictate your to-do lists.
Just as stress strangles the Word, so the Word strangles stress. It just matters which one comes first.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ”
Matthew 6:33-34 NIV
The key is in what your are seeking.
Break up with stress.
Embrace God’s presence and go after his kingdom- he will take care of the rest.