Financial Stress? Relational Problems? Health Issues?
A letter from a brother here, to a comrade and brother here who has been struggling mightily within himself—intercepted and forwarded by their permission.
I’ve had you on my mind a bit ever since we listened to that tape the other night. We ended up listening to that tape again with some others, and we had some good conversation afterwards.
Anyway... the thoughts related to you go something like this...
Our disposition (attitude) is a reflection of who we BELIEVE.
For instance, if your 8 year-old said there was a fire-breathing dragon in the front yard... you WOULDN’T believe him and so you wouldn’t take any action based on his imaginative testimony. Nor would you have ANY fear based on his testimony. But... if someone you trusted said the same thing (and you sensed they weren’t joking), you would respond differently.
I’m starting to see (or re-see) that WHAT we believe has a HUGE impact on how we act, think, and feel.
You plan to go to work tomorrow because you believe the building is still there and because you believe that Bill is still planning to keep paying you. He has demonstrated a degree of faithfulness in paying you, and so you TRUST that he will continue to do so. But... you do NOT live in fear of working for nothing. Nowhere in the back of your mind is there this thing that says, “I wonder if this guy is going to really pay me or not.”
So, what’s my point?
Well, our King (Master) has specifically asked us to NOT be anxious about our financial/physical needs. He said that was a problem the Gentiles had, but that His followers were NOT to live like that. How were they to live instead? Put God’s business first and that other stuff will be just fine.
So... how we respond from there is a reflection of WHAT we believe. We either believe the world that has been pulled over our eyes to blind us to the Truth... or we believe Jesus. We either believe in the circumstances of this manipulated shadow world... or we believe Jesus. We either believe the LIES of the devil... or we believe Jesus.
And, WHO or WHAT we believe... is the guiding, protecting, and enveloping plumb line of ALL our actions, thoughts, and attitudes.
We cannot believe God and worry at the same time. They are mutually exclusive. To worry is to CALL GOD A LIAR. It’s an attitude of heart that says, “I know about that poetry you gave us, but my situation is different. You don’t understand how much debt I have... You don’t understand how bad I am at managing money... You don’t understand the expectations that have been placed upon me by my wife and others... You don’t understand the expectations I have placed on myself (I want to be such and such type of provider.)... ad infinitum.
To Worry at ALL we must either believe that:
1) God has lied and will not really take care of me, OR...
2) He’ll probably feed me, but He won’t take care of all my other bills, needs, wants, and expectations.
To Believe we must declare in our hearts that: I have given my life to Jesus, and I WILL have every single thing He wants me to have and not one thing less than what He wants me to have. He is God! No set of circumstances can keep me from having exactly what He wants me to Have! It’s a settled fact!
AND if my “wants” do not match “His wants,” then I GLADLY yield my wants on the altar—not because I’m strong or tough—but because I TRUST that IF My Abba has ANY reason to not want me to have something, then I trust Him COMPLETELY and I am delighted to NOT have it. DELIGHTED!
No regrets! No second thoughts! No Anxious thoughts. No mid-life crises. No fears of the future. No daydreams of the past. Not duped for a minute by the shifter of shadows. My anchor and Hope ARE in a world that he CAN’T TOUCH! He can’t get to any of my stuff... It’s not HERE! God has ALL my stuff; and it’s very well protected! And he cannot Keep my Dad from giving me anything He wants to give me, anytime He wants to give it to me. Try to starve me and He’ll send the ravens to feed me...
And that snake CAN’T take anything from me! Because I’m not holding onto Anything... My Father keeps all of my stuff. NONE of my heartstrings or hopes or emotional security lie in the SHADOWLANDS... and that’s the ONLY stuff he can touch. He can only shift the shadows... He cannot disturb anything REAL... UNLESS I let him through UNBELIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All my hopes, all my trust, all my security, all my peace, all my expectations... are protected by the host of Heaven and buried deep in the fortress of my Father’s loving heart...
If God is for me... who can be against me?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.8:35-39).