Do you and I really believe God can be trusted? That He will show up in times of crisis? Or in the small details of our daily lives? Can we really live free of anxiety? Can we experience a quiet inner rest when the circumstances surrounding us seem to dictate otherwise?
The answer is a resounding yes! I say this both from personal experience and from the promises in Gods word: "I am leaving you with a giftpeace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (Jn. 14:27 NLT) (See Jn. 16:33; Rom. 5:1; 8:6; 15:13; Phil. 4:6,7)
The problem if we are indeed anxious and stressed out, lies not with God but with us. By our refusal to give Him regular, sustained, unrushed access to our lives; by our allowing lifes incessant pace, seductions and demands to dictate our priorities, God gets the crumbs, time wise, focus wise, intimacy wise. Inner peace and rest are the products of consistent periods of unrushed solitude alone with God, pondering His truths coupled with worship, reflection, and application. I am not talking here about dutifully racing through 5 chapters of the Bible a day in order to click off a chart.
This morning I pondered the life of Daniel and his unwavering resolve to obey God rather than the King. I mulled over his subsequent rescue from the lions den, etc. And in so doing, I found deep comfort from his courage, and from Gods faithfulness toward him. (Daniel 1,6) I then mulled over Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus called the fishermen and demonstrated His sovereignty by overloading them with a cache of fish. Like dye penetrating deep into a fabric, the profound idea that God is there, meets us at our point of need; that he can indeed be trusted whatever the circumstances, was driven deep into my heart. I closed the book, turned out the light (still dark outside) and worshipped Him. How could I not rest and trust in Him? And then get busy about His work? (From now on you will catch men. Vs. 10)
Consider carefully 2 Chronicles 16:9: The eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect (Literally: blameless, at peace, whole) toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them (Living)
Only times alone with God as evidenced by the fact that he has first priority in my daily schedule will allow me to sustain a blameless heart and thus experience his great power in helping me. [God] will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concernYou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Matt. 6:33 NLT; Jer. 29:13)
Just how badly do you want His peace and presence in your life? How badly do you want his great power in helping you? It will not come cheaply. The price is focused, disciplined priorities, time wise. Discipline in purposely shutting out the noise and clutter around us as we elect for quiet times alone with God. There is no other way. There is no short cutif I am to be free of anxiety and experience inner peace. But you have to come to a point ofI am hesitating here to use the D word: Desperation.
Consider this: "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with mewatch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matt. 11:28-30 Msg)