Make God the SOURCE of your life, not just a RESOURCE
Refuse to Worry! In this world, there will always be something enticing you to worry. That is the nature of a fallen fractured planet; things are not as they should be. So, the temptation to be anxious is constantly with you, trying to worm its way into your mind. The best defense is continual communication with Me, richly seasoned with thanksgiving. Awareness of my presence fills your mind with light and peace, leaving no room for fear. This awareness lifts you up above your circumstances, enabling you to see problems from My perspective. Live close to Me! Together we can keep the wolves of worry at bay.
This is the March 4 entry in the Jesus Calling book by Sarah Young. She formatted the book as a yearly devotional that is written to us from Jesus’ point of view; they are words of encouragement, they are reminders, they are words of love and they are pep talks from the ultimate Coach. This book was indispensable for me. It was given to me as a gift by a good friend who was prompted by the Lord to present this to me on my 50th birthday. God knew that I needed some of these reminders to get me through some upcoming difficult times.
This devotional includes several dialogues on fear. Why? Fear is innate and we all face it at one time or another. It has become a part of us since Adam and Eve committed the original sin against God in the Garden. In Genesis 3:10, Adam says, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” After this sin, Adam and Eve, felt unprotected and afraid because they were separated from God in their daily walk.
As a Christian, we know that one of the resources available to us to fight against fear, is God’s Word and God’s Promises. We also know that He is not just a “resource”, but He is our “source”. The American Heritage dictionary (5th edition), defines the word “resource” as: something that is available for use or that can be used for support or help; an available supply, that can be drawn on when needed; the ability to deal with a difficult or troublesome situation effectively. On the other hand, the word “source” is defined as: a person or thing from which something comes into being or is derived or obtained; the point of origin; one such person that supplies information.
The latter definition is what scares the enemy and is why he uses fear to weaken us. If he can instill fear, then perhaps, he can manage to freeze you in your tracks. If he can make you question your “source”, then he can convince you that your “resource” is ineffective. When the enemy wages spiritual warfare upon you, he uses tactics to convince you that you are alone and that you are powerless. I recall these tactics being labeled as, The Immobilizers. I know this sounds like they are villains in a comic book, but I can assure you, they are not imaginary opponents; they include fear, anxiety and worry.
Worry and anxiety are depilating because it imagines the worst-case scenario. It manifests something in your head that hasn’t even come to fruition. In most cases, it dwells on something that hasn’t materialized and paints a future picture of a situation where you are left alone to deal with it. Excessive reasoning and obsessively trying to figure everything out without Jesus in the picture is what the enemy wants us to focus on.
But God’s Word tells us a different story:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8, NKJV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4, NKJV
Therefore, since God is your source, then your resource is faith. Faith is the weapon against the “Immobilizers”. Faith is stronger than fear, anxiety and worry. It reminds us that we are not alone. God is more than able to comfort you, protect you, and guide you. You are extremely precious to Him. So much so, that He gave His Son to death so that you may have an opportunity to be with them in Heaven.
Do you recall Jesus telling His followers about the birds in the sky and telling them how much more important they were to Him and His Father? In Matthew, Chapter 6, He closes His story about worry and anxiety by saying, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” If this isn’t the best version of, “Fuhgettaboutit!”, I don’t know what is. I believe Jesus does have a sense of humor.
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? 27 And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What arewe to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I know, that on any given day, you might be bombarded with ammunition from the enemy that is so severe and overwhelming, that your spirit is so weakened and bruised, that all you can do is pray and cry; then compose yourself, and cry and pray some more.
In October 2021, my husband and I had one of those days, actually, one of those weeks. I contracted Covid and my husband showed symptoms two days later. We had the Delta variant; this was a stronger version of what is circulating today. We had volunteered for a church tent revival in Batavia, NY. Upon returning and testing, the fear of what the government and media told us, was seeping into our souls. The enemy immediately told us: you are in the age group that will not survive, you have co-morbidities that will prevent you from breathing, there are no cures that work, Ivermectin is for horses, and people you know have already died from this virus; the enemy was relentless. All we could do was to fight back and tell the enemy he had no right over our lives. I declared that I was a child of God and that the enemy had no claim over me. We prayed and sought out doctors that were like minded to treat us. In faith, we knew that we were protected. We knew our fate was in God’s hands. I assured myself that He does not take us from this world not one day sooner than He intends. I can share with you today that the fear was real. That the attacks were swift and hard. I’m not saying that every struggle you face will be the same but what I do know with certainty is that if God is your “source” and you include Him in your life every day, you read His Word, you show Him gratitude, you sing Him praise, you will know Him in such a way that when the Immobilizers strike, your soul will not be rattled.
In closing, I want to express that despite the horrific events that occurred during the pandemic, we can find laughter and comfort for our souls because we are assured that we have cast our cares upon Jesus; he wants us to enjoy our lives. So, despite the absurdity of 2020, which we agree was intended to create fear, whether by people in the political arena, social media, national TV news channels, Big Tech or Hollywood, most of us understand now that satan was behind all of this. Despite the fear, one day in November 2020, I was urged to see the humor in all the things that NYS and the Government was requiring from us, so I created a few comical snippets. I would like to close by sharing my humor to remind you that laughing is good medicine and its contagious. So, spread laughter instead of fear:
· Married couples, effective Monday, can no longer live in the same house. If you have a garage, State stimulus money will be provided to remodel your garage for habitation. If you still have old fashion outhouses (not applicable in New York City) that’s even better under the New York State federal law; that will be less money appropriated for remodeling since it’s a smaller space and NYS can allocate that to young teenagers so they can use stimulus money to get their tattoos.
· Husbands and wives should reduce affection especially kissing; you are allowed to kiss on Monday and Saturday if your birthday is in an odd month; kiss on Tuesday and Sunday if you have an even birth month. Tuesday and Thursday are reserved for passing glances and waves from the garage or outhouse (whichever is applicable). If your birthdays do not align you need to apply to the Albany Coronavirus Task Force for an exception and pay a $1,000 processing fee. (that will be used for PPE that Trump didn’t send us)
· The 6 feet apart rule will now become 20 feet; we will use the new Pelosi stimulus dollars to distribute cans and string so family members can communicate with each other.
· Regarding the Catholic religious tradition of the “sign of the cross”, it has now been banded; contamination of the virus to your face is highly possible when you touch your forehead because it’s extremely too close to your eyes.
Through God’s Grace, Love, Blessings and Prayers,