This year I am re-reading the devotional book Jesus Calling and finding the daily messages every bit as encouraging and also as convicting as they were last year. Funny how that happens. The Lord has been reminding me through this little book to consistently practice His Presence. It is so easy to get carried away in the whirlwind of my life – the monotonous tasks, the worries and fears, and just the routine of life.
Just this week I felt myself being overtaken by worry and a fear of the huge responsibility that the Lord has given me in raising my children, planting a church, and effectively ministering to others. It is a responsibility that feels crushing to me at times. I know in my head that I don’t need to manage it all on my own, but I often try to. I forget that I have the Creator of the Universe – the Great I AM – living in me and desiring to carry that burden for me. He desires to speak His perfect Peace to my worry and stress, but I have to give it to Him. He is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon me. He waits for me to come to Him. I don’t know why I have to be reminded so often that my life is easier when I practice His presence in every moment of the day, but I do. It makes me think of the Israelites wandering in the Egyptian desert. They frequency forgot the Lord who had led them out of slavery and they asked to go back. What? That doesn’t even make any sense, but when I think about my own journey, it’s actually not that much different than that of the Israelites. I often forget the Lord who led me out of my slavery to worry and fear, and I go back to it. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “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.”
I don’t have to be a slave again to worry and fear, but it’s my own choice. As I practice the Lord’s presence in every moment of every day because of the great sacrifice that Christ made for me, I can live in freedom, not slavery. Jesus came to set the captives free! “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” – Romans 6:17-18