Monday, April 7, 2008

The Focus Fear Can't Stand

"'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" (Isaiah 41:10)

What strong commands of encouragement from our God! He who knows our distracted hearts better than anyone, and the nameless fears that rob us of rest and joy, bids us fix our focus where peace of mind and spirit are restored: upon Himself and His provision.

*His Presence "I am with you" When the downcast disciples were so demoralized because their Master had told them He was leaving them, going where they could not follow, they were experiencing the sense of abandonment. Few feelings are more devastating. Little wonder that the Lord comforted them time and again with words of His return to receive them to Himself, that they would be where He was. Someone has well said that heaven is not so much a place as it is a Person. And wherever we sense His presence, His nearness transforms that place into a heavenly one.

*His Person "I am your God" In times we are afraid, we tend to look in every direction except the right one: inward, leading to self-absorption; downward, leading to despair; at the circumstances, increasing our anxiety; at other's situations, prompting comparison, leading to self-pity, anger, or envy; at imagined solutions, leading to inaction, procrastination, and unbelief. All such idols are illusions, tools of the enemy to keep us from giving our full attention to the living God. "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) When that is obeyed, fear cannot abide.

*His Power "I will strengthen you.... help you.... uphold you...." For the one who knows His presence and Person, there is no need to persuade or convince concerning His power. Jeremiah was one such individual. He knew his God in presence as well as character, and states confidently, "Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, " (Jer. 32:17).

Forgive, Father, for how often I take my eyes from You, distracted by the lusts that the enemy of my soul tantalizingly places before me. Forgive, too, for the directions to which I look for help & wisdom when I should look to You, the only true and living God. You know the rest my agitated heart so desperately desires, and the fear that haunts my nights. Restore, Father, the determination to seek You, You alone, Your will, Your way, beyond any and all other.
In the Lord Jesus' Name,

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