Time is fragile, precious, and in most cases is considered the most valuable commodity; worth more than gold, but wasted more than all else. Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). A good way to gain wisdom is to learn to live each day with an eternal perspective. C. S. Lewis wrote: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” One of life’s greatest paradox is when time collides with a crisis. What do I mean? Well, we don’t truly appreciate time until something forces us to pay attention. I can safely opine that hospice care nurses would testify the number one request before a person’s transition is to have more time enjoying their lives and enjoying their families. David implored the Lord in Psalm 39:4 he said, “LORD, make me aware of my end and the number of my days so that I will know how short-lived I am.” I’ve heard it said, “Wise people make wise use of time.” The book of Revelation tells us that when we all step into eternity, time will be no more. But until that last day, it is God’s desire for His people to build wisely upon the framework He has given to us.
How we choose to spend our time will determine our success or failure; our work and our reward, not only now but also in God’s eternal kingdom. God wants us to achieve something bigger than ourselves!! Point blank, when we are good stewards of our time, we can achieve all God has for us to do (Psalm 139). Look at this way, although time can be measured, it can’t be stored so if you’re holding onto grudges, resentment, past pain, faults, indiscretions, and regrets…let it go and start living life NOW because yesterday ended last night, tomorrow ain’t promised, and today is your present from God so receive it today!!
When we are at our weakest, we are really at our strongest (2 Cor 12:9). Some weaknesses stem from consequences of living in a fallen world, but they are not due to personal sin (John 9:3). Some weaknesses may exacerbate sin in the heart, but ultimately sin comes from the heart–which must be dealt with. It’s important to note that physical weaknesses entered the world because of sin’s corrupting influence. However, God still can use these present ailments (weaknesses) for a good purpose (Romans 8:28). So the real question you may be pondering is where does my strength derives when I don’t feel like I have any strength? In short, your strength is birthed out of contentment, faith, and trust that God is bigger than your ailment. When you can’t God can because God sanctifies us through our weaknesses. Paul learned to be content even when his prayers for relief from his thorn were not answered (2 Corinthians 12:10). So to wrap this up, at times our impatience for deliverance may expose our self-reliance, our dependence on our own strength and abilities, our lack of trust in God’s ways and plans, etc. But, despite all of these negative dispositions, we must decide to embrace that contentment aids our plight by helping us live in light of eternity, our present sufferings become light momentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Lastly, in our weaknesses we experience God’s grace and power. Our weakest moments are our greatest opportunity for growth!
So many people today misinterpret the power in obedience because they often correlated the act of obedience with weakness. If we surveyed this paradox more acutely what we’ll find is a battle between God’s will and our will. Yes, we have the freedom to make choices every single day. Sometimes we choose the difficult path (God’s will) and sometimes we opt for the easy way (our will). But either way, our will factors into how we live and why we do the things we do. God’s will is like a powerful, raging river, full of grace and mercy, strength and provision. God’s will for us is our best-case scenario. Our will, on the other hand, can be a disjointed, downhill path – easy to walk on, but may lead us away from God’s best path for us. That’s why obedience to God will always cultivate power that fuels our faith (Phil 2:12-13). Jesus chose to submit (obedience) His will to His Father in Heaven. He came to earth specifically to do the Father’s will (John 6:38). Likewise, we are here to do the Father’s will. God is not looking for perfection. He knows we’re not going to get it right all of the time and yet still, He loves us deeply. What He really, truly wants from us is our trust. I Samuel 15:22 says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice” and I’ll add that obedience is greater than our stubbornness, selfishness, entitlement, pride, excuses, and need for explanations. Jesus reminded us in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice: I know them and they follow Me.”
An experienced fisherman knows the beginning of a successful catch starts with a great cast. Making an accurate cast requires developing the physical skill set and muscle memory to repeatedly put a bait in the right location. In I Peter 5:5,7 we are instructed to “humble ourselves” and to “cast our anxieties to God” because “God cares” about what we go through and he doesn’t want us holding onto “junk” that we need to “chuck”! Think about it…You’re in a boat, afloat upon a vast body of water. Your method of fishing is not the rod-and-reel. Instead, you have this tangled, twisted mass that is your net. It’s heavy, burdensome. Hard to work by yourself. Even so, you take this soggy, cumbersome thing… and you fling it away from you and let it fall trustingly upon the sea. In short, the net represents your “cares,” your anxieties… whatever is weighing you down. Understandably, the net was never designed to stay in your boat. Believe it or not, it has a purpose. That is, your own twisted mass of problems (cares/anxieties) exists for the sole reason of trusting it to the very mighty arms that are supporting you. At the end of the day you need to chuck your net and let them land upon Him!! God cares for you. You are His own “care.” He will always bear you up for His glory and your good! I close with these two scriptures: Proverbs 12:25 reminds us, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” and Psalms 55:22 also confirms, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
I betcha one thing when we make it to heaven we will not see anyone holding a panhandler’s sign that reads, “I will work for food.” The problem many of us Christian face is truly understanding where the power and authority of God is found. It is where the peace of Jesus is located. It is where God’s joy abounds. It is where contentment flourishes. It is where the treasurers of heaven are stored. It is where your blessing flow from. It is where truth reigns. It is where the heart of salvation begins. It is where God’s victories are provided. It where God’s anointing flows. It is where God’s grace abounds. It is where healing and deliverance lives. It is where God’s promises are fulfilled. It is where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are distributed. It is where wisdom and reverential fear of the Lord begins. It is where God’s mercy is renewed every morning. It is where rituals, religions and traditions of men don’t exist. It is where relationship with the Father starts and intimacy thrives. It is where oneness, alignment and agreement meet. It is where the kingdom of heaven is located. It is where the oil of gladness pours from. It is where the flood gates of heaven open and blessings flow. The treasures of heaven is found in you through faith in Jesus Christ and keys to unlock these treasures is found in God’s word. The keys are your faith and belief in your God. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Jesus said time and time again”your faith has healed you.” And one of my favorites is John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” With God there is no lack! God is your Jehovah Jireh, He who supplies ALL of your needs. God knows ALL of your needs before you even pray about them. He is your Jehovah Rapha, the Great Physician and your healer. God heals your body, mind and spirit and delivers you from all worldly issues. He is your Jehovah Shammah, your God who is always with you and who will never leave you. He is your Jehovah Nissi, He who is your banner of victory and fulfillment.
Submit in the Greek derived from two words Hupo (hoop-o) and Tassó (tas’-so) and by definition hupo means “under authority” and tassó “to set in place”. So when James encouraged us to ‘submit ourselves before God’ in chapter 4 verse 7, he was strategically and militantly instructing us to first set or place ourselves under God’s authority. You see, once we are in the right position (prayer), then we become capable of resisting the devil and ultimately he will flee. The Message Bible paraphrased it this way, “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” Numbers 13:19 reminds us that God’s voice will never contradict or nullify God’s word!
By personal observation ,
anxiety is a combination of looming fear, unwanted stress, and abnormal uncertainty. When combined, this mixture can become a very dangerous addictive concoction and I believe that’s why Paul addressed this addiction to the church at Philippi. In Philippians 4:6-7. He said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Speaking of Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 he too warned us about sipping on this poisonous ☠️ and often deadly concoction. He explained the necessities like food and clothing are nothing to worry about. Using examples from God’s creation, Jesus teaches that our Heavenly Father knows our needs and cares about them. If God takes care of simple things like grass, flowers, and birds, won’t He also care for people who are created in His image? Rather than worry over things we cannot control, we should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you” (verse 33). The bottom line is putting God first is the only cure for anxiety. So if I am speaking to you give God back his rightful place and remember fear, stress, and uncertainty should never be placed in the center of your life because that place belongs to God!