I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you (Ex 23:27). I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust (Ps 91:2)~ To have seen the dangers I’ve seen this week and to see it avoid me! The enemy set out to eliminate me but the Hand of God was on me. I came within seconds of being a crime statistic but He moved the enemy on and moved me and my family out of harm’s way and we were spared and unharmed. In that fearful situation I had complete confidence and calm… Perfect peace. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Ps 27:3) – I’m so thankful today that He has His hand on me. Let this be a confidence for YOU: God is able and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. — Luke 5:16
Our society wants us to spend every waking second of our lives doing something. As a result, the pace of life can become quite daunting. There are clients to meet, deadlines to make, calls to return. We run at 10,000 RPM for the entire day, then make our way home and have to deal with cooking dinner, washing laundry, and getting the kids to bed.
We must learn to slow down in life. Racecars cannot be repaired while on the track, so why do we think we can “be still, and know” God (Psa. 46:10) when we cannot find the time to take a break?
But there is a way to slow down when we’re running full throttle all day and night. It’s called margin. Put another way, it could be considered a reserve or simply breathing room. Jesus thought it was important enough that he made it a routine part of his life on earth–he recognized his earthly limits and took time to get recharged.
Consider this: When you don’t have any margin in your life, you cannot fully accomplish the things God reveals for you to do.
There are numerous ways we can introduce breathing room into our lives. We can learn to say no when we’re already overloaded with tasks. We can anticipate the unexpected and add some time to the front end of meetings. We can take opportunities to laugh, cry, and rest. We can also take time to help others in ways that allow them to experience breathing room in their lives.
Don’t move so fast that God’s voice is lost in the everyday. Take time to slow down and breathe so you can grow and get to know the Savior as a friend.
Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee (Jer 32:17)~ God is the fountain of all being, power, and life; with Him no difficulty is such as cannot be overcome; He is THE God of boundless mercy; that He IS God of strict justice; and He directs every thing for the best! There is no other ‘god’ that has created anything, but “GOD” is the creator of ALL things… all things by Him and for Him. He is the King of Glory – the Lord God strong and mighty! Don’t ever think your situation, your issue, your problem is too much to take before Him! To hold it from God and try to handle it yourself is to say He’s not good enough… If God isn’t good enough to share with, to turn to for help, to confess to and confide in; then how can you be all that on your own??? Don’t place yourself above what God can do. Unlike you with your limits, flaws, fears and liabilities, the only thing God cannot do…is fail! Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (Prov 3:5-6,26).
…but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13)~~ There are a lot of ways we can approach life. Many will say we should focus on getting ‘ours’ by any means necessary. The way of the flesh: selfishness, pride and the “me-first” approach take the way of focusing on what we GET and pursues the intent of “receiving”, even if it’s at the expense of others. We want it all and we want it now. We don’t care how anyone else feels about it as long as we get ours. When we don’t get ours, we not only express our displeasure, we take vengeance on anyone or anything that stood in the way of our happiness and we make sure their causing our displeasure is well exposed and in today’s world…well documented!
But our own contributions are nonexistent in every way. At what point did we give anything? Did we sow any good into the life of another? Did we take the way of love or were we just focused on what we were receiving (or not receiving)? The Way of Love will not be impatient or rude. Love won’t be jealous and it doesn’t focus on its own achievements or its own needs, ignoring the feelings and needs of others. It doesn’t insist that everything be done its own way and doesn’t punish when this doesn’t happen. Love isn’t irritable or resentful. It doesn’t “bring back up” when you’ve “messed up”. It doesn’t try to hide the truth. Love doesn’t give up on you, calling you a lost cause. Love doesn’t doubt you. Love doesn’t leave you. Love doesn’t walk away from your emotions….AND, Love never fails at doing ALL of these things!
Focus on love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you’ll know without a doubt that love covers a multitude. Every situation is an opportunity to respond with love. How do I ‘love’ in this situation? There are a lot of ways we could do things, but when we take the way of love, the best result always comes out…for us as well as others.
Remember, Jesus gave two specific commandments, rooted in love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-39). Notice, this is about DOING and GIVING…He never said anything about “getting”. God First LOVED! He didn’t demand it and then give His in return. There my friend is our model example! Matthew 6:33 reminds us: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you! So if the kingdom of God is rooted in Love, does it not make sense that we too GIVE Love first?
…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s; Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord… (2Chr 20:15,17)~~
So often we feel like parts of our lives are crashing down on us. We are overwhelmed by the trials and troubles we face. We forget that even as devoted Christians we are subject to troubles in our lives (Job 14:1). But what we must also remember in this life that is surely to have its uncertainties is that God is always there standing in for us… ensuring the victory. NO one else would…even if they could… go so far as to even come and get you out of hell and in fact go there in your place!
Rather than get all worked up because of the fears of what might happen as we consider the magnitude of our trials, we must never forget the unmatched power of our God! He will step in and fix it all without you ever having to lift a finger or even say a word. He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him and trust in Him. Some battles and trials are not for you to resolve but to trust that He will! When you turn it over to Him truly, your peace will be in great abundance as God intends. Remember – He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly! That’s not about material things, but the life and peace and joy that HE GIVES.
Friend, don’t fight the battle before you take it to Him! Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet but trust in what HE will make happen for you… And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts (Ex 33:21-23). As He sets you high upon a rock out of the reach of your (HIS) enemy, covering you by His hand from even a scratch, stand still and be completely silent…. and see the work of His glorious salvation as He goes before you!