Contentment vs. Anxiety

Why has it taken so long for me to write this post?

It is not because I have been at my task of caring for Jerry. It is not because there are not enough hours in the day to witness of the Lord’s goodness ~ this is the reason I write.

Titles come so very easily, but the meat is not always simple to come by. We long to publish the truths of the Father’s kingdom, but it must come by experience. And so this is true of the subject matter of contentment and anxiety.

Growing up in an environment of anxiety stamps a person for life, until we encounter Christ and learn of Him.

Then, we are born and sealed with His Spirit of promise, sanctified, and set apart for His use.

But even as Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, so we wrestle for the promises that are ours in Him. This wrestling is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, bringing us to know the promises through God’s Word, claiming them, and working through life with the two-edged sword to destroy the strongholds that have have been set up in our lives.

There is as much difference between contentment and anxiety as between day and night. The difference is as light and darkness; as good and evil. And each has its ownership and connotations.  Books have been written, messages spoken and songs sung, and we could say more, but we post very simply today of how the Lord brings us from the anxiety of this life to contentment in Him.

The Source and the Fruit
Anxiety is the abnormal attitude of human beings; the seed thought of every man; flowing from the spring of unbelief.

“O, ye of little faith.”

“Yes, Lord, I hear you. I recognize your voice. I acknowledge my lack of faith.”

“Why do you doubt?”

“I have no excuse. My thoughts carry me where I do not want to go. They seem to have a power of their own.”

“Have I not proven that I love you and am able to provide all that you need?”

“Yes, Lord, I am guilty of forgetting you and your goodness when my thoughts wonder away from you. When times are difficult I am carried away by the moment. I am still learning to be content in every circumstance. I confess my sin, and ask that your Spirit keep me in your Word, to always remember your promises. Let me not dwell on the things of the world, and the power of the enemy. But let your Word be the source of my thoughts, to do its work. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and the contentment that is ours in you. Bear in and through me the fruit of your Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; the fruit of holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, and humility. Fill me with your fullness, so there is no room for doubt or fear, but only thoughts of you, your grace and your glory.”
Fran

image: Google

Countdown For America ~ Week 6

l-497887Instead of normal writing time this morning, I spent time in the quietness of the Father’s presence, just to hear His voice; to worship Him, and to know His heart and mind in what to write in this post. As we have gone through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer to pray for our nation, we have been learning how we as God’s people relate to the world in which we live. We are aliens and pilgrims here, journeying through a wilderness on our way home.

Men tell us that we must vote for a candidate of our choice to rule this nation, though there does not seem to be a clear choice for us as God’s people.

“In the sixth petition we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.” Shorter Catechism

What does the sixth petition have to do with a Presidential election?

There is no clear answer to this question.

The petition is a plea for our heavenly Father to keep us from sinning against Him.

Every petition of the Lord’s Prayer indicates a need for us. The first three express our need for the Father’s name, His kingdom, and His will to rule in our lives. These are the first needs in every Christian life. These are our focus, our heart’s desire, our determined reason for living. When these three are our main concern, we are promised that the last three are taken care of.

Such is our thought for this sixth petition.

The heavenly Father’s name, His kingdom, and His will rule over all our physical needs. Our temptations are under His reign and control, just as we are under His care for all things.

Our Example

Jesus fought His temptations with the two-edged sword, the Word of God; by the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Our heavenly Father does His work in and through us. We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling using the weapons He has given us. (Philippians 2:12-15)

Do we fear that we might give in to temptation? This is a good fear. It keeps us close to Him, in His Word and in prayer. Jesus told some that thought they believed in Him, “If you continue in my word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   We are free to trust, worship and serve Him ~ fulfilling the purpose for our creation and redemption.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

Simon Peter in his first letter encouraged his readers to be aware of the enemy, the evil one. We are tempted when we mix and conform to the culture of the world, unaware of the enemy’s stronghold and power. The original translation for the sixth petition was “deliver us from the evil one.”

The main temptation of our day is the same as presented to our first parents: to forget God’s sovereign rule and our entire dependence on Him and His Word, and to place our trust in men and our own choices.

Dear heavenly Father,
You have placed a great need upon your people in this nation today. We are caught up in the struggle of man’s rule of your universe. We have mistakenly placed our trust in the government that man has planned. We are tempted to forget your omnipotence, your omniscience, and your omnipresence. We need you to reveal the power of your name, your kingdom, and your will in our hearts and lives.
Please pour out your Spirit upon us, drawing us to your Holy Word and Christ, your Son.
Bring us, as your people, to prayer and fasting this week, seeking your Word, to know and accept your holy will for us as your people and this nation. Let us not be tempted to go beyond the counsel of your word for the choices you want us to make, choices that you will use for your working ~ for your glory and our good.  In the middle of uncertainty, let us be content in your power, your promises and your presence with us. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

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