Jesus really wants us to be care-free!

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I have gone back to reading Oswald Chambers’ devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  A few years ago, someone gifted me with Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. So, I put Chambers’ book aside.  But a friend quoted him a few months ago. I dug out a copy and have so enjoyed and been challenged rereading his thoughts.

This morning I copied down a Chambers’ teaching: “Worrying means we don’t think God can look after the practical details of our lives and it is never anything else that worries us” (May 23)

That admonition ties together today’s reflections about worry and relying on Jesus.

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

Being an ‘ezer’ to my husband is a serious responsibility.  Yet, I know God has assigned me to be Mike’s helpmate. I pray a lot, though still succumb to fretting over possible ‘wrong’ advice.

Mike had been experiencing frustration at work. So, I encouraged him to seek other local jobs in his field. Boeing had an opening.  He applied and Monday was offered the position at a salary way more than he even asked for. All along we prayed for God’s wisdom. But, when I suggested that he let his boss know about the offer, we moved out on a limb of faith, being unsure of the reaction the email would spark. Would he write back: ‘Good luck and in touch!’ or something worse like, ‘After all we have invested in you, you search out another job!!!!’

Brad did not respond the day Mike pushed ‘send’ on his email. It wasn’t until the following day that he connected with Mike. But Mike did not let me know until he came home.  In suspense that lasted until early afternoon, I wrestled with doubts and fears. “Father, did I ill-advise Mike?” Peace came only after throwing myself on God’s sovereign control of even my ‘wrong’ decisions.

Being a wife stretches my faith!

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Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Philippians 4:5 NET

I keep re-reading this teaching.  Like you, I am aware of the many cares and burdens that loved ones have. If God is sovereign, then these problems are planned for the good of His people. And He alone gets to define ‘good’!

How are we to handle suffering?  By casting our ‘unsolvable’ burdens on Him.  We specifically ask His help and then hand over the matters.  That means we are CARE-free.  Freed from cares that are too much for us, those situations for which we have no visible resources.

Our mental space then is freed up to reflect God’s desire: ‘Let your gentle carefreeness, which is due to Jesus’ nearness, be evident to all’ (my translation).

I can follow Jesus this day, serving others in love, doing my assigned tasks BECAUSE I know who this Jesus is. He is none other than the loving, faithful, sovereign Creator and Lord of the universe.

If He, the Almighty One, is handling my issues, no worries. But help me, Holy Spirit! It’s far easier to know how I am to handle life’s issues, than to follow through.

“Far as the curse is heard” – applying Oswald Chambers

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First – here is Oswald Chambers’ post for 13 December – I’ve cut just a few sentences to make it shorter.

“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” Luke 18:1

You cannot intercede if you do not believe in the reality of the Redemption;  (otherwise – my word) you will turn intercession into futile sympathy with human beings…… In intercession you bring the person, or the circumstance that impinges on you before God until you are moved by His attitude towards that person or circumstance. ……..

Our work lies in coming into definite contact with God about everything, and we shirk it by becoming active workers. We do the things that can be tabulated but we will not intercede. ……

The thing to watch in intercession is that no soul is patched up, a soul must get through into contact with the life of God. Think of the number of souls God has brought about our path and we have dropped them! When we pray on the ground of Redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.

My application –

Reading this exhortation to pray on the basis of the redemption made me realize how SHALLOW are my prayers.  Normally I pray, “Dear God, please bless Sally and help her with her busy day.”

That’s a wimpy prayer.  Come on, Maria, you can do better. Put some muscle in that prayer! Pray like you mean it!  Here are the two options, depending on my friend’s status with God:

  • Lord, you have paid the price to rescue Sally from being under the curse of God’s justifiable wrath.  She now has peace with God and access to His throne and you as her heavenly intercessor. Awaken her awareness of all the spiritual blessings and promises of future grace at her disposal because of the work you did at the cross.  Help her to remember THIS TREASURE. Remind her of your promise to provide all the grace she needs for each need this busy day.

Or for a friend who is not yet a believer

  • Lord, thank you for the painful need (whatever the circumstances) in Sally’s life.  Continue to make her aware of her inability to handle life on her own.  Open her eyes to the real and present danger of living under the curse of God’s wrath.  May she SEE Jesus and realize that through his death on the cross, he absorbed the judgment due her.  May she embrace and receive that act on her behalf as the most amazing gift of all.  May she then treasure her new relationship with God and learn to come frequently and easily to your throne with each detail of her life.  May she learn EARLY that she is not meant to handle life on her own.  Thank you for this circumstance in her life that you are using to bless her.

Please pray that I may care enough about my friends and family members to invest this kind of time and energy in praying for them.  And pray for me this way!

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