Wednesday, September 14, 2016

wallow, worry or worship?

Are you present in the present?
Are you worshipping in the now?
Are you living each second deliberately focused and with the love of Jesus?

I know for me, one of my deepest sins against God that I must always bring to His altar in repentant prayer is my inclination to nervously worry and fear over my future and to internally wallow in disappointment when expectations are unmet. It's silly, really. For overall, I am secure in my ultimate future. I know who my Redeemer is and trust that He is faithful with my eternity. However, regularly I do not apply this same certainty or trust toward my Master regarding matters in my day-to-day life. No, my default, knee-jerk reaction is to listen to Satan's whispers and worry through my current trials. This is the subtle fear of the unknown that cripples my thoughts and paralyzes my focus to live in peace, to love fully, and (most importantly) to trust my King unconditionally in the here and now.

When I surrender to the sin of mistrust and disbelief, I stifle my ability to worship the Master completely in the "now" moments. I taint everything with a self-focus of worry rather than a glory-focus of freedom while giving credit to my Savior. It's kind of like the father who asked Jesus to remove a demon from His son in Mark 9. Ultimately, this man believed that Jesus was capable to help his son's situation or He wouldn't have come to Christ in the first place. But sadly, he also questioned the Messiah's ability and authority while entertaining the possibility that God might not come through. Read the story (below):

When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.

A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."

"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"

"From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" 

He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. (Mark 9:14-30)

Ladies, life is peppered with trials. But the truth of the matter is, individually we have no control over anything. We must accept it. WE HAVE NO CONTROL. How we choose to move forward in our trials and accept our reality will define how much we actually trust the Creator of the Universe. Yes, we could live wallowing in disappointment because our selfish expectations remain unmet. Sure, we could live in worry and fear of the unknown moments that have yet come. Or we could choose to live prayerfully in worship - overwhelmed with the wonderful presence of our Savior. We can glorify and believe that God is able... God is faithful... God is in control and will take care of us. Why? Because He loves us more than anything else. We are most important to Him.

Rather than argue over the wisdom and speculations of men... we have a choice to turn from Satan and believe that everything is possible with God and that He loves us. He is good. He wants what is best for us. He will see us through our trials if we allow Him to direct our paths. But we must seek Him and believe that He is able.

How do we do this? As His people, we must never be afraid to go to our Messiah and ask Him to teach us... to help us overcome our unbelief when times seem bleak. Prayer is key. We need to focus our energies on living prayerfully and seeking after His guidance outlined in scripture. For the only way we will be able to successfully get through our most challenging trials is through prayer and communion with the One who is in control. The One who knows the plan. The One worthy of complete trust.

"If you can...?" No. I no longer want to question your authority, Master. I KNOW You can and will take care of me. You are in complete control. With the power of Your Spirit, I will trust You and leave my worldly uncertainties aside. I will live deliberately in the mission field You have placed me in today and spend my time worshipping rather than wallowing or worrying. Use me as a living testimony to showcase Your grace. For Your Word is truth. Your power is unmatched. Your glory is evident and abounding.

Glory to my faithful Father. Praise to our blessed Savior. Honor to the powerful and holy Spirit of the Living God! I will live present in the present and consider every trial pure joy to know You more intimately. For in every trial, You will teach me to know You further. These moments will bring me closer to Your throne. Use them to keep my heart focused and enjoy Your perfect love in every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Thank you for every breath, dear Jesus. Thank you for teaching me to trust You.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:2-7, 12)

Blessings!

Victoria

 © The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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