When a person is trained to be a lawyer, they use the expression that they are “called to the bar”. There was a man born into moneyed gentry who trained to be a lawyer, but never practiced, possibly because he did not need the extra finance. He was called but never practiced. Some professing Christians are like that. They call themselves Christians but continue in the mindset of the world, anxious, worried and burdened with a load of care, unable to “let go” and allow Jesus to carry the burden. There is a place of rest we can access through Calvary, where, though still caring for others, or ourselves, we learn to trust our Heavenly Father with the circumstance and the end result. Anxiety is a worldly mindset.
The inspired words of God through Paul to the Corinthian church, still speak to us today. 1 Corinthians 1:2 “….to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints….,” and speaking of Jesus in verse 5: “That in everything you are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge.” “Called to be saints..” Do we practice?
How can I change my old mindset of anxiety? Romans 12:2 adjures us: “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” How do I get my mind renewed? Through the word of God. God’s word is creative. As I search the scriptures, meditate on what He says, ask Him to teach me His ways, hide His word in my heart and choose to believe what He says, that He is who He says He is, faith in God is deposited in my heart. This gift of faith produces strength, enabling grace, trust in our mighty God and releases the life of the Indwelling Christ. My mind is renewed in Christ and the old mindset is discarded like the moulting feathers of a bird, as its plumage is renewed. The new life pushes out the old. The two cannot dwell together.
When fears and doubts arise, it is my responsibility then to declare to my heart what God says. Darkness cannot abide in the light. Satan hates the word of God, and flees. If I choose to give him a foothold and begin to worry again, I have given him back a father’s right to visit his children. His children are fears, anxieties, doubts, deceits, lies etc. Jesus called the devil the father of all lies, (John 8:44). Don’t give him visiting rights by entertaining his children!
When you find the ground begin to sink beneath you, take stock! LEARN TO NAIL THE LIE you are believing, and replace it with the word of God. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” We only see the current situation. God sees the bigger picture and is at rest. He knows the end from the beginning and desires us to trust Him with the outcome and fellowship with Him during this passage. He desires our fellowship with Him. He wants us to lean on Him, to trust Him and to abandon our burden of care to the Great Caretaker. Let go and let God! Only then will we know His peace in our heart as we surrender. Surrender is always in the now.
The words of Jesus in John 15 encourage us to abide in Him, the true Vine. When I stray from this position it is evident from the absence of His peace. His peace is a wonderful thermometer or spirit level, indicating I need to take stock quickly when I lose it. When my peace (the peace of God in me) is disturbed, the Holy Spirit is on my case. He wants to guide me back to the place of God’s rest. When I am abiding in the Vine, I will produce much fruit, (John 15:5).
People often misquote the words of Jesus in John 15:7 by omitting the first part of the verse. Most importantly it begins with: “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” When I am resting in Jesus I will hear Him more clearly, entrusting all things into His hands. When fears and doubts arise, it is a clear indication I have left the place of “abiding in the Vine.” Pride thinks it knows best, (does not consult God), but only eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Genesis 3). Pride births unbelief and unbelief destroys faith in God. The Lord does not mince His words regarding unbelief because He knows if it is not nipped in the bud, it will take you on a downward spiral away from Him and your birthright, the Promised Land. He calls it evil: Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Let us encourage ourselves in God with these words: 2 Corinthians 4: 6-10 “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power be of God and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. We are perplexed but not in despair.
Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
The people of God are a called people….”called to be saints”, a “royal priesthood”. Song of Solomon, chapter 2, depicts the tender calling of our beloved Saviour to come away with Him. Have you heard His call?
As we learn to abide in Jesus, embracing the sweetness of surrender, our lives will bear much fruit to His glory. The fruit is to be shared for the extension of His kingdom to others, and our lives will bear the hallmark of His peace.