You know sometimes we get all flustered and overwhelmed with our faith, but if you think of it, we are only responsible for two things, two purposes, in our lives — first, we are called to live passionately for our God and secondly, to help reconcile others to Him. That’s it. As Paul explained, “God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others.” (II Corinthians 5:18)
I don’t mean to get too personal, but how easily are you distracted from those purposes? We know that the devil does all he can to hinder us. He distracts us with either pleasures or pressures. In fact, we are told, “. . . we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us” (Hebrews 12:1). To “do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few other things as possible to distract your attention from him . . .” (I Corinthians 7:35).
Can you be honest and admit that your job can distract you, not only from your family but from your dedication to your Lord? I’m serious. I know about some who have worked real hard their entire married lives just to take care of their families’ financial needs, but sadly, in the process of their hard work and dedication, they became distant and distracted from the emotional and physical needs of their families. Then, when they became seriously ill or were on their death beds, they couldn’t let go and allow their Father to care for their family. They never developed faith or confidence that he could or, better, would take care of them.
No, their entire adult years were spent meeting the needs of their family and never learned to allow Yahweh to care for them. Friends, He desires, longs so much for us to simply enjoy what we are doing but not to allow it to become burdened with the “cares of the world.”
Oh, my dear friends, do you think I am being too extreme here? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Our Father desires, longs so much for us to simply enjoy what we are doing but not to allow it to become burdened with the “cares of the world.” Oh, my dear friends, we need to refocus ourselves.
We need to stop worrying about our lives. Worrying about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds? (Matthew 6:25-26). For those of you who are proud of being “good providers” for your families, relax, your heavenly Father is a whole bunch better at it than you. Begin to be proud of being “a faithful servant and friend” of your Lord.
Yes, we think about those other things — that’s the way life is — but we don’t have to have anxious thoughts about them. Instead of being anxious and wearing ourselves out, we are to “. . . seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness . . .” (Matthew 6:33). That’s what the “good book” says.
Just remember that we are not alone in whatever we are facing because Yahweh is there for us. Instead of allowing ourselves to be distracted we can pull our minds back to Him and His Word. Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious. But it also gives us keys to help us deal with our cares and anxieties. “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.”
We are able to take our cares to God in prayer. We can remember His goodness. Our Father knows all of our needs, but this verse tells us to ask in prayer. This is our greatest gift! Supplication is making specific requests. Nothing is too little or too big to bring to our God. We can pour out our hearts to our heavenly Father with thanksgiving. Just remember how He has taken care of you in past situations, and you will praise Him. Just count your many blessings and give thanks to Him. You can start right now if you wish.
Philippians 4:7 goes on to tell us what follows. “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” We become peaceful before our need is even met, Why is that? Because we know how much He cares. He is there to console and to comfort us when we are afraid or anxious — distracted by cares. “When I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure” (Psalm 94:19) When we are afraid, we call out to our Father and then, trust Him to act on our behalf. That sounds selfish, but it not. As the Psalmist cried, “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
There is an Old Testament account of a time when all the armies came against Jehoshaphat. When he became afraid of the enemies, he went to his God. “Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he asked the LORD what to do. He then told the people of Judah to fast to show their sorrow. They immediately left for Jerusalem to ask for the Lord’s help.” (II Chronicles 20:3-4).
Verse 15 gives us Jahaziel’s prophecy, which is a response to Jehoshaphat’s action. “Then Jahaziel said: Your Majesty and everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you don’t need to be afraid or let this powerful army discourage you. God will fight on your side!.” Glory to God! You know, sometimes we are so distracted from a lifestyle of keeping our God first and going to Him for help. But we can have peaceful hearts when we simply realize that the battle is God’s, and not ours. Our part is to remain committed to our purpose and to live for our God and to stand on His wonderful Word!
Our God takes care of us as we “,em>stay put” so that we can take care of one another, and so that we can be a blessing to others. As Paul admonsihed us, “Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
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