Step Away from Worry
Do Not Fret
This week while reading Psalm 37 I could not help but notice the instruction, “do not fret,” repeated three times in the first eight verses. Anytime the Lord repeats something three times it is wise to take notice. To fret is to agonize, be troubled by or upset over something. In today’s fast paced, super charged life fretting can readily take over your mind and heart and steal your peace and joy.
There are so many issues that can catapult you into a whirlwind of fret if you are not diligent to guard your heart. Are you challenged with ongoing financial issues? Does illness plague you or a loved one? Are you struggling with relationships at home, at work, at church or in your neighborhood? Are you looking for employment? A myriad of concerns can discourage, wear down your resolve, and send anxiety soaring. Do you ever feel that whatever is challenging you has no end? Is some situation in your life so oppressive that you feel exhausted?
Steps to Victory
Let me encourage you today. Every season has a beginning and every season has an end. Re-read that sentence before you read further. Every season does have an end. It is what you do in the middle of the season that makes all the difference.
Do not get me wrong, some seasons are quite challenging, cold and bleak as a bitter winter. Yet, as sure as spring arrives, these seasons too shall end.
How do you walk through difficult seasons? The obvious answer includes prayer, Scripture, worship, wise counsel, thanksgiving. Wait…thanksgiving when all seems darkest? Absolutely! One of the major keys to victory in any season is thanksgiving that the King of kings and Lord of lords has chosen you and protected you and covered you thus far in your journey. Despite the apparent darkness around you, He lights the path before you.
Just put one foot in front of the other. Look at what is good and right in your life. Do not look back. Do not fret.
Another major key to victory is lifting your eyes from the earthly situation challenging you and lifting your perspective to one of Kingdom orientation. If you stay earthbound you will miss heavenly blessings.
I do not say this lightly. I have been through some very dark and challenging times. Some were so long I thought I would never see their end. Yet, through each one, I kept lifting my focus to the Lord. Was it easy? Not at all! Was it what got me through? Yes!
Let God Be God!
Staying Kingdom minded is critical in these days. Do not get caught up in earthly banter about others, about wrongs you perceive have been done to you, about things that only God can change. Do not fret. If you find you have stepped off the Kingdom path, do not linger long on earthly matters. Lift your eyes and your heart to Kingdom. Go forward. You are here ‘for such a time as this!’ You are a Kingdom emissary. As such there simply is not room for earthly behaviors.
Whatever you may be facing, remember God is in control. He is the Word and He has the final word in anything affecting your life. Look to Him for solace. Look to Him for direction. Look to Him for wisdom and discernment. Place your situation squarely on His altar and step away. Continue to pray. Continue to seek Him. Continue to war in the heavens but let Him go before you. He is your shield, your exceedingly great reward.
Too many outline exactly how a situation should play out. They pray a schematic for God to follow. Know that He knows far better than you exactly what is needed and He will perform a perfect work in His way and in His time. Let God be God. Being you can be challenging enough.
Let God be God! Do not fret.
It Is Never Too Late!
If you have not yet made the decision to accept Jesus into your heart, do it now. Do not wait another minute. Speak to Him from your heart (for it is always a heart issue). Tell Him you have fallen short in your life. Sincerely apologize for your sins, ask Him to cleanse you and come into your heart and into your life. From this moment forward let His Spirit guide you along the narrow road that leads to everlasting life.
Quotes to Ponder This Week
“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life…Which of you by worrying can add one cubit [about 18 inches] to his stature?” ~Jesus, Matthew 6:25a, 27
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” ~Jesus, John 15:16
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity…Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret-it only causes harm” ~Psalm 37: 1, 7, 8
“I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according to Your word.” ~Psalm 119:107
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of god, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” ~1Peter 2:9-10
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~Proverbs 3:6
“No set of circumstances could ever isolate you from My loving presence.” ~Jesus Calling , Sarah Young, 2004, August 30 devotional
A Prayer Request
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Please keep all who serve our country, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our front-line on the battlefield, let us be their front-line in the spirit. Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives. God bless all our diplomatic and military personnel and their families. May the Lord keep them safe.
Pray for all throughout the world for hedges of protection against radical Islamic extremists and all forms of terrorism. Pray for Christians who face violence and death for their faith. We have long prayed for spiritual victory over radical Islam in Esther’s Warriors Ministry. We now see the reality of this threat come to the forefront in this time in world history. As Iranians and Islamic extremists are shouting ‘Death to America,’ let us speak life, hope and a return to God in America!
Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi. May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. The lives lost in Benghazi, the continuing targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice targeting journalists phone records, the National Security Agency overstepping its legal authority are hardly “phony scandals.” We continue to pray for truth to prevail in each of these situations. Pray for the families who have lost loved ones, for those relentlessly targeted and for all of us who are proud to call ourselves American.
May we may arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history. These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk with the Lord, saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America. Fail not in this hour.
Pray for peace in Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Please pray for the families, friends and community grieving the loss of Alison Bailey Parker and Adam Ward. These two young news reporters were assassinated on air this week. The depth of our grief is beyond description. Please hold Vicki Gardner and her family in prayer. She was the third target that day and was shot in the back. She has a long road to recovery with possible additional surgeries.
Also, pray for the family, friends and community stunned by the senseless gunning down of a Houston police officer. “Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, had just come out of the convenience store of a Houston Chevron gas station where he had filled his patrol car when a man “walked up behind him and literally shot him to death,” Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a news conference. After Goforth fell to the ground, the suspect stood over him and fired several more times. It appears to be an unprovoked execution-style killing of a police officer,” Hickman said. He leaves behind his wife, Kathleen and two children.
Please Join Me In Prayer
Father God, we thank You for the ultimate price that Jesus paid to set us free. Thank you, Lord, for choosing me. Equip me to diligently seek You. As I seek a deeper relationship with You, grace me to hear Your guidance for my life. Keep me from the draw of empty worldly activity and bring me ever closer to You and Your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Place deep in our hearts the love of God and love of country that has guided this Nation from its inception. Place deep in our hearts Your compassion for our fellow men and women. Lead us to pray without ceasing for our brothers and sisters who suffer at the hands of Islamic terrorists. Open the eyes of our leaders to arise in this season to defend the very belief in You upon which our Nation is founded. Thank You for keeping Your hand on America. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and Amen.