Journey From Bondage to Freedom

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I’m in bondage. Fear has taken ahold of me. I’ll be honest with you readers it has been quite awhile since I have been able to go to church, mostly for health reasons but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be listening to the tape of the service and even longer since I’ve read my Bible. Some Christian Right? I known overwhelming fear and while watching “The Fighting Temptations” twice yesterday with two different friends, (I thought the movie would be a blessing to them, but I think it blessed me the most).  I needed what it shared, my church and being in the choir was the first blessing it gave me, remembering the joy for it. But then when my friends were gone came the real blessing facing hard ugly truths about myself, and this to share with you, also terrifies me, but I know honesty and transparency is what is required. So as my stomach churns, I progress.

Phillipians 4:6-7  “In nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” 

The Bible makes it very clear that we are not to fear! That we are to put our trust in the Lord. It is that simple. He promises peace if we just trust, pray and thank Him, easier said than done.

I did say that I’m in bondage and yes that as I sit here I realize I have been most of my life. Fear has been the main underlying storyline of my life that, and a general feeling of unworthiness. This last week I’ve been drowning in fear.

Letting myself fear is a sin of not putting my trust in God the creator of the universe. How can I be so arrogant? Could it be that I feel unworthy of His love? His grace? His care? How can I say I put my faith, my salvation in His hands, yet I don’t trust Him with my health issues, with my families issues, with my friends? Do I really believe God to be the God of gods and the Lord of Lords? The Holy Father of the Son of God Jesus Christ who died for my sins? If I do how is it that this magnificent God is not worthy of my trust?

Matthew 6:25-26 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t so or reap or gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?”

You would think that these two verses, especially the last sentence would calm me and put my mind at ease; to know that the God of the universe thinks I’m of more worth than the birds of the air. I wish I could honestly tell you that the nerves in my stomach the overwhelming fear of the unknown has been comforted, it has not.

Matthew 6:27 “Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?”

Makes worrying seem rather futile doesn’t it? I know it does to me logically as well, but that doesn’t change the truth of what I’m really feeling, anxiety/fear/worry still.

Matthew 6:28-30 “And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was not adorned like one of these! If that’s how God cloths the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you – you of little faith?”

There it is again He will take care of us with not just adequate care, or good care, but adorned by God. He clearly tells us all over His word how much He loves and adores us. Yet my sin, my shinning folly is staring back at me from the words I’ve just typed, ” – you of little faith”. I’ve been out of a Bible study and of my own studying of the Word, away from church, and only talking with God for a very long time. I know our relationship needs more than that my faith has lessoned. I’ve fallen. My God help @me! Save me from the fear, the worry that permeates my being. Help me put my heath issues in your hand!

Matthew 6:31-34 “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

There is the answer on how to actively stop worrying! First we must make the decision to obey God by letting Him know what’s our my heart. Phillipians 4:6 “in everything by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. ” We need communicate with our Lord, pour out whatever it is that is weighing us down, He wants to know it all. After all He already knows it – He’s waiting for us to let Him in. As I type this I realize I haven’t really been letting my Lord in. Father forgive me. Even better when we take everything by prayer and thanksgiving, making them known to God it will eliminate the worry!

Now before you call me crazy let me try to explain if it isn’t clear. When we give  our worries to God and thank Him for answering our answering our prayers (in advance) we have no need to take them back, thus causing us to worry that day. If we are tempted to take the item back we are commanded to pray in everything by prayer and thanksgiving, to let our requests be made know to God, it doesn’t say that there is any time limit. That we can only come to Him once a day, no! Our Father knows our frailties and loves us. He never slumbers or sleeps, available 24/7, 365, praise Him!

Better yet, that promise goes on to, Phillipians 4:7 “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” Not only will God eliminate worry He will replace it with a peace that surpasses all understanding! How does that sound for a promise? All we have to do is come to God in prayer and thanksgiving. He is such a gracious Father. There is no way that we can comprehend His peace but to experience it is a blessing of being a child of the King.

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Once we’ve poured our requests to Him, He commands us not to worry, Matthew 6:34 “…don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  As the promise gives us peace, the command keeps us in the present. As Matthew 6:34 says, tomorrow (and as for that the next day and the next have/ [mine]) has enough worry for itself. The promise helps us stay in the present taking our requests to the Lord. The command protects us from living outside of the promise, which is what I was doing. Lord forgive my foolishness!

Joy – A Fellow SoJourner!

Trusting God

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.  Psalms 40:1

This comes from the first devotional I read today.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  John 6:38

This was the second devotional, talking about how Jesus had a Potter/clay relationship with the Father.  As the Son of God he had to trust God’s will and carry it out.

Behold, God, my salvation!  I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

This was my third devotional, talking about how when you follow Jesus, God will lead you in what you should do and that you needn’t worry but can have confidence or trust in His guidance.

It would seem that God is trying to get a point across to me today.  I don’t know what all He has in store for me but I do know that a medication that helps with my General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is not here today.  Due to things beyond my control the pharmacy was unable to get the renewal prescription from the doctor yet and I’m without it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God to take this away from me and put this at the foot of the cross, but it seems today God especially wants me to trust Him through the anxiety.  I say this because it’s past my first dosage for the day and I can feel the anxiety starting to rage.  There is no emotional reason for it.  Actually for a Bi-polar as far as depression or mania I feel remarkably stable.  Not so with the anxiety.  I feel as though I could run a marathon and it wouldn’t begin to touch the surface of anxiety going through my body right now.

I know that exercise helps and since I have a bum knee I won’t be doing any running but I will be doing some walking.  Actually probably a great deal of walking.

Trusting God that He will help me through this is my only other recourse.  I do trust that He will get me through the day.  As Psalms 40:1 says, “He inclined to me and heard my cry”.  I know that He hears my cry and He cares for me and will help me with this.

Unlike my sweet Tessa my dog who has “Separation Anxiety”.  Every since the first day I got her from the shelter I’ve been trying to get her to trust me that when I leave I’ll come back.  Yet, every time I come home from somewhere be it 5 seconds or 5 hours she acts like she thought I’d never get back.  Love her as I do her trust level is very low.  She knows I’ll feed her so she at least trusts me for that.  She also knows I’ll love her, so she can trust me for that.

I wonder how God sees my trust level?  I know and trust in His love.  I know in my head and trust in my heart that He will provide my needs.  But like my puppy when I haven’t heard from Him for a while, do I question if He’s there?  To be honest maybe yes sometimes.  My head want’s that proof and maybe if I were really honest maybe my heart becomes insecure.

For now I can say with assurance He is here during my struggling time.  My time of need.  When my heart cries out, “Help me Father, I am hurting and I need You.”

Oh, how good it is to have Him to be able to go to.  Today would be a dark day indeed without Him.  Thank you Lord for your trust worthiness.  You are truly an awesome God.  Without you I would be lost.

How is your trust level? Be honest with yourself and with your Lord, He knows already anyway.

A Woman After God’s Own Heart!