Monday, April 28, 2008

What Does It Mean To Wait Before the Lord?

Psalm 62:5-8
Perhaps the greatest key to spiritual growth is spending time alone with the Lord. This means taking the time to speak with God about whatever is on your heart-and, even more importantly, allowing Him to speak to you.
In Psalm 62:5, King David wrote, "My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him." Perhaps that is why David was known as a man after God's own heart. To win that kind of reputation, David first needed to know the mind and heart of God so that he might be and do what the Lord desired for him. David sought to know God. He frequently "inquired" of the Lord. He spent time in the Lord's presence, singing to the Lord from the depths of his heart. In 2 Samuel 7:18 we read, "King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said, 'Who I am, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?'"
What did it mean for David to sit before the Lord? It means that he spent time alone in the presence of the Lord, communicating with the Lord from the deepest part of his soul, asking questions of God, and listening quietly for the Lord's answers.
Jesus frequently sought time apart with His heavenly Father. Time with the Father provided Him with a source of comfort and strength. Jesus also sought time alone with His disciples so that He might teach them and they might find spiritual refreshment (see Luke 9:10).
We are wise if we choose to spend time alone with God, in a place without distractions or interruptions, for a period sufficient for us to relax completely and focus our attention fully upon the Lord and His word. We must be willing to wait in the Lord's presence until we receive God's directives of His words of comfort.
Why don't many of us desire to spend time alone with God? The foremost reason is that we don't feel sure of our relationship with God and, therefore, we feel afraid of God. However, as David admonished, "Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." (Ps.62:8).
But those who are born again spiritually have a Father-child relationship with the Lord. Our heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and deals with us tenderly and patiently. The more we learn what He's really like, the more we see Him as Jesus saw Him, the more we will long to spend time alone with Him-and the more we will know the fullness of His grace.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

How Can You Overcome Anxiety?

Matthew 6:25-34

God did not design you to be anxious or nervous. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowds, " Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow" (Matt. 6:31, 34).

All of us have worried about the basics of life. When we reduce most of our anxities to their lowest terms, we discover they involve fundamental things; where we live, what food we buy, what clothes to wear, what friends we have, what others think about us. In all these concerns, the issue of believers in Jesus Christ comes down to trust.

Do you believe that you are in charge of your life? Or do you acknowledge that God directs and provides? Your answer has everything to do with your anxiety level.

Have you ever watched a mouse running inside a wheel? The faster he runs, the faster the wheel moves-but he doesn't make the slightest progress. He does not even have the sense to get off the wheel.

That is what anxiety does to you. You run faster and faster, trying harder and harder to meet the demands or prevent disaster-and still you do not have control over your circumstances. So when something does not go quite right, your frustration level continues to mount.

There is a way off the wheel, however. God created you. He knows your deepest needs (see Ps. 68:19). He longs for you to end the anxiety cycle and let Him lead (see Matt. 11:28). I Peter 5:6-7 says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." The word "casting" is related to the Greek verb used in Luke 19:35, when on Palm Sunday the people of Jerusalem threw their garments onto a colt for Jesus to ride. The word describes the same motion: a deliberate action of setting something down and leaving it there.

Jesus wants you to throw your cares on Him and leave them there. You depend on Him for life itself; and you acknowledge this reliant relationship by saying, "Here Jesus. Take my problems. You have the answers! I trust You to show me what to do and to take care of the consequences."