The Lord is good, A strength and stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him.
Nahum 1:7 (AMP)
Wrong… Wrong… Wrong… again- WRONG.
Have you ever felt caught in a continuous existence of wrong- you were wrong, you did wrong, you thought wrong…
You’re trying desperately to find solid ground. But the waves are getting higher, the wind is becoming more fierce and you might as well be stranded on an island by yourself- Because that is how it feels.
And rightfully so, because you are wrong.
There’s no where to turn, no one to turn to. The mist is blinding you, the storm has drowned out every call for help and you’re sinking.
The enemy’s lies charge the door and your barricade shakes. You start questioning your motives, your goals, your past and present decisions and your plans. Every mistake you’ve ever made invades and eventually your own thoughts are driving you mad- your heart begins to falter and your trust begins to fail.
No, no I’m wrong. I got this wrong. How could God… No, no I messed up again, God I am trying I just can’t seem to…
You’re screaming for the peace and rest you cannot find.
Meanwhile the enemy continuously assaults you with doubt, fear, frustration and revelation that-
Your life is a compilation of debts you cannot repay.
And if you are inclined to an “independent” disposition or mindset, that will drive you mad.
Because you may “trust” Jesus… except you’ve got to get to this spot, or do this one thing… before you’re free. Jesus has set you free but…
I need to pay this off…
I need to right this mistake…
I need to…
So my question for you is, what jail have you built for yourself? Trust me I’ve built several of my own.
Prisons God has slowly been bringing to light.
Because I know from Galatians 5:1 that Christ has set us free,
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (NIV)
Personally, freedom to me, entails the word independence. Which in many ways may be correct- however this past week I found that it is a concept in God’s Word which requires further investigation…
I submit to you 1 Peter 2:16;
“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” (NIV)
I’ve heard this verse before, and I am sure most of you have too.
However, I confess that I have a tendency to skip over the last bit and mentally I have read it in the past that “I am free and should use my freedom for good…”
You know, like if I had super powers, a sort of Wonder Woman mentality, where “I’m free and could curse you but I will bless you instead because…” (Insert gratitude from thankful citizens).
What we often skip over though is the “because.” We get the action down- use freedom for good. But we miss the “why”-
Jesus. God. Our Lord. Savior. King.
We are free – but we are not independent.
In fact we are wholly dependent- on Christ who bought our freedom.
And we find freedom difficult when trying to handle it independently. We are human, this life hurts and things go wrong-
Oftentimes they go wrong without us intending them to.
We do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, think the wrong thing… (the famous saying “wrong place, wrong time” ring a bell?)
And we are dependent on the grace extended to us by our King.
We are called to trust and endure. Trust our stronghold will help us endure as we run our race.
I was reading a devotional and it spoke of this tribe who did not have a word for trust. So as the missionary sought to find a way to convey this concept to them, he asked what he was doing when leaning back on two legs of a chair.
Their response, “leaning your whole weight on.”
And that definition hit my heart in a moment of clarity.
Do I sincerely trust my Heavenly Father? Do I trust Jesus?
Truly trusting Him entails that I must be actively leaning my whole weight on him, being fully dependent on Him, while having the courage to act on my belief in Him.
*Note whole weight (as in ALL)
Nothing has ever been so humbling and uplifting at the same time.
It doesn’t depend on me, it never did. That’s why I need Jesus, whose yoke is easy and burden is light.
Your life is a compilation of debts you cannot repay. And that is the whole point.
Luckily our Savior is no rookie at tearing those prison walls down and in Him- your debt is covered.
We may forget His presence, but He never forgets us as He stands in the gap- between us and the storm. He calms the waves and lifts us atop the water.
Our stronghold in trouble. Being dependent on Christ, we know that we will never have to endure alone. And there is no “wrong” he cannot right in His time, according to His purpose.
Also, we are fully known by Him, He’s not surprised at the cost. He gets it. He gets us. He saw it coming. He paid it in advance.
So, live fully, freely and dependently friends. Let demolition day begin as Jesus tears down prison walls. Lean your whole weight on Him. (Song “Lean on Me” come to anyone else’s mind?) Take His love to heart and breathe. He is making a way, trust and endure. My prayers and thoughts are with you all, always.
Nothing great was ever done without much enduring
-St. Catherine of Siena
“…if we are willing to be utterly dependent on God, he will enable you to do all he has called you to do.”