I don’t know if this is your experience or not, but I find that often, when I read the bible, the bible begins to ‘read me.’ Suddenly the inner workings of my heart are exposed, and I am challenged to bring my life into line with God’s truth. This is not a bad thing or something to be avoided. In fact, we should rejoice in this, as its shows Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. He is bringing His light into our dark places in order to release and to transform, never to shame or humiliate. This happened to me very recently.
Feeling that something was not quite right, and that my journey was unnecessarily burdensome, I cried out to God in prayer. “What is my problem?”, I asked. Then I imagined myself bowed down, painstakingly putting one foot in front of the other, while carrying three heavy burdens on my back – fear, worry and anxiety. I had taken my eyes off God and was allowing these three things to cloud my vision. Joy was no longer my reality as I had allowed it to be swallowed up by the wearisomeness of the journey. “Help me God”, I prayed, “I don’t want to live like this anymore.”
Further studying the scriptures, I sought out what God had to say on these subjects. I discovered was that it was not God’s will for any of His children to carry these things. In fact, His word tells us that worry, anxiety and fear need to be banished from our lives and this can only be done with His help.
In the parable of the Sower in Matthew 4, we read that worry or the cares of life are like an ugly thorn bush, which grows up and chokes the effectiveness of God’s work, until it bears no fruit. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and it was being choked within me.
In Luke 21:34 we are warned to not allow the worries of this life to weigh us down. Instead, they are to be thrown off our shoulders so we can run our races with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1).
Paul instructs us not to be anxious about anything but in everything, with thanksgiving, offer our request to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). Then, and only then, will the peace of God fill and guard our hearts and minds.
Finally, fear must be resisted and driven out by the love of God, because it is a result of the fall and not part of the believer’s inheritance. Coupled with unbelief, it prevented a generation of Israelites from entering the Promise Land. God forbid that we choose to walk in their footsteps!
Prayer: Father God, Your word is light. Your word is truth, and Your word is life. Right now, show me where I have allowed fear, worry or anxiety to rob me of the abundant life Jesus came to give me (John 10:10). With Your help, I want to banish these from my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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