In these days of ISIS, uncertain financial situations and Ebola it is easy, for me to get ahead of myself.
There are many evidences of followers of Jesus being persecuted, not only overseas, but our freedoms are eroding here. It’s not new.
One can easily become immobilized by fear. Following any of the real or perceived threats to their ugly conclusions is frightful. For people like me with vivid imaginations, it is a trap.
I was praying with a close friend this morning. I found myself in tears overwhelmed by how many things one can be afraid of and my need to depend on Abba.
As I prayed, I asked Abba to “position me” so I can see myself, my situations and world events from the vantage point of my loving creator… and I began to experience the fear melting away.
I was looking in the wrong place.
God promises to care for his own. “He who calls in faithful and he will bring it to pass.” 1 Thes. 5:24
God does not call us then abandon us. Jesus said,: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Heb. 13:5
His designs for us are good, not evil! Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord,….”
So, why do we feel alone so often? Why do we suffer? Why do we fear? Let me attempt to back into this.
Our “challenging” circumstances are real. They are NOT fun nor are they from God, however, he does allow them. They are consequences of your choices, of others choices and ultimately, the choices of the original humans who exercised their free will, choosing to be like God in stead of letting God be God. We all share the DNA of both God and the original couple who exercised their will to disobey God’s one and only prohibition.
Whether or not you believe in a literal Adam and Eve, if we are honest, we all exercise our will for what we want over what is for our good or the greater good from time to time. We all know we are not prefect! The world is corrupt and we have to live in it until we die or Christ returns.
Fear finds and entry when, either consciously or not, something in us realizes we are in over our heads and we can not control other people or circumstances. ISIS, Ebola and much more are all “above my pay grade.”
That’s God’s pay grade! He actually does retain control whether we understand it or not.
Do I have a part to play? YES!
I begin by letting go. I acknowledge that anything outside my personal domain of influence and control is not mine. And that God is ultimately the one in control of everything, not me.
Then I can pray. Let me rephrase that. Then I must pray. Matt 6:10 Jesus taught us to pray “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If we take time to genuinely think about what he teaches in the “Lord’s Prayer” it is a command to pray, not an option.
What is God’s will? We need to read and study the word of God to find out God’s will for each situation.
That is why this photo struck me. A rainbow is a promise, a covenant sign God made declaring he will never again destroy the earth by flood. When this refracted light fell across the pages of my bible the other day I remembered God’s faithfulness to uphold all of his promises.
If I persist trying to “work above my pay grade” I will be a nervous wreck because he has not called me or equipped me for it.
I can rest in the promises of God, with the rainbow as a sign of his faithfulness.
I can and must pray for God’s will to be known, and accomplished on earth.
I do all this focused on God and my relationship with him, that is my “pay grade.” If I am not in sync with God, I can not pray in a way that will bring out the fruit of my life that God desires.
This morning when I let go of the fear while I was praying with my friend, I was flooded with the love of God and his peace that passes all understanding. He really is good, and he really is GOD.
What are you afraid of? Is it within your God ordained “pay grade?” If it is, read the word and listen as God brings scripture to mind to help equip you to deal with it. If it is not in your “pay grade” let go! Tell God you choose to trust him to show you the way through. Sometimes it feels a little like jumping off a very tall cliff without a parachute, but trust me… It’s worth it!
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.