IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
As believers in Christ, we are inheriting a kingdom that is unshakeable. (Hebrews 12:28) We are hidden in Christ. (Colossians 3:3) Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:38) There is nowhere we can go where He is not already there. (Psalm 139) When we need wisdom, we can ask, and He will give it to us generously. (James 1:5) In this world we will face hardship and trouble, but praise God, He has overcome this world. (John 16:33) His yoke is easy, His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30) Please, take a deep breath and exhale. Do it again. You are safe. (2 Thessalonians 3:3) You are loved.(1 John 4:19)
Scripture has been given to us through God himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, to reveal God to us, guide us, comfort us and keep us focusing on the things that lead us to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. All scripture, from Old to New Testament writings focus on Jesus Christ. The cross is the central focus for the Christian faith. Through Old Testament scriptures that look forward to the coming Messiah, and New Testament scriptures that share the joy of the freedom, victory, reparation, and healing brought to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we see the consistency of God’s main message. That God loves us. He wants to be in relationship with us. He wants to entrust things to us. He wants us to follow His plan. He wants us to live eternally with Him. He wants us to spread this message to others.
This message is clear. This is THE GOOD NEWS. This is the focus. This is the “headline of the paper” and the “sign on the marquee”. If you are in Christ you are secure. You are safe.
On this backdrop, and after waiting on God’s timing, I’d like to address some things with my goal being truth and comfort, peace and rest. I’m going to write them in list form so I can just say what I need to and move on. Everything I write is for you to consider and weigh and come to your own conclusion.
(1) Above all, if you are a Christian, it is really important that you read the Bible. You may think you don’t know how to read the Bible, or don’t know where to start, or don’t know what you’re supposed to do once you’ve read it, or don’t know how to understand it, but all of that can be worked on. You have to start somewhere because this is how you will know God’s character and His “voice”. You have to know God, what is consistent with His character and what is not, so you can properly discern competing thoughts or agendas. Because this is the goal, it is also important that you read a version that is well accepted by Biblical scholars as your main text. Commentaries and paraphrased Bibles can all be useful and helpful and enjoyable, but starting with a well-vetted, standardly accepted version (there are many) is highly recommended. This is the way God Himself chose to inform us of Himself and His plan for us. There’s no other way. There really isn’t. Without knowing the truth of His Word, we will only ever be able to rely on ourselves and our own best thoughts. We will take our own thoughts and attribute them to God. We will create a fake or altered version of God, usually one that lines up exactly with our own beliefs. So please, if you are able to read at all, please consider reading the Bible. (*If you prefer to listen or can’t read, you can find many wonderful audio versions as well these days. One way or another, or both, get the Word into you whether you fully understand it all at first or not).
(2) If you are a Christian, that does not mean that you are called to figure out and react to every possible plan, agenda, opinion, article, podcast, report, etc. that comes across your senses. You are not in charge of all of that. Some of you may be called to pray for some of those things, but if you are, you will have a measure of grace that will allow you to do it without fear, fatigue, anxiety, unrest, etc. I am hearing from way too many people who are feeling burdened and overwhelmed from the current world events but also even from prayer meetings! This should not be! Jesus said “my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, some can handle the travail of deep intercession, but others are not called to that. If you are not called to that, don’t do it. If you are feeling pressure from within, or from others, to engage in areas that you do not feel the Holy Spirit leading you, don’t do it. Ask the Holy Spirit what He is leading YOU to do. Maybe the best thing you can do is take a nap! I’m not even joking.
(3) Understand that God is not going to keep something VITAL to your walk with Him hidden. While some scripture is tricky and difficult to know the full meaning of it, the vast majority is pretty straightforward. Focus on that. Don’t get caught up in youtube videos and email chains and the latest “prophetic” voice. Our security is in Christ. We do not need to fear the darkness. No one fully knows all that’s going on and no one but God ever will. Don’t spin your wheels and tax your adrenals by trying to play God and figure out all these hidden secrets. Our kingdom, our life, is not found in this world. We have inherited a kingdom that will never be shaken, but this current one will be! It doesn’t really matter how or what it will look like or when it will happen. Just know that it will because that’s what the Bible tells us. So, we don’t need to fear it. True followers of God will not be somehow snatched away from Him. You won’t accidentally get involved in something that suddenly makes you no longer a Christian. It doesn’t happen that way. So, don’t be afraid and don’t spread fear. Be rooted in God and stay humble.
(4) Avoid putting prophetic words above established scripture (The Bible). Prophecy is good, we are told to desire it along with the other spiritual gifts and even more so, but prophecy or so-called prophecy is out of hand right now. I don’t even need to be cautious with those words because it is really out of hand right now. We can’t pretend that it isn’t. When people prophesy, we must weigh it and hold it up against the Word of God (the Bible). It doesn’t have to be found in scripture per se, it most definitely can be a “fresh word”, but it should never contradict scripture or take the focus off of Jesus/God. But here’s the thing, with today’s technology, anybody can come on a media platform and “prophesy” and get an audience. Without asking for it, you can even find these in your inbox or newsfeed on a daily basis these days. And for the most part, no one has been checking to see if any of these words come true or not. Most are so vague that they cannot even be verified, leaving people to bend them however they want to either fit or not fit a given situation, and leaving that person to continue to prophesy more and more. Again, I’m not against prophecy, but we can’t fall for people’s opinions, and mostly their well- intentioned desires, and call it God’s plan. Lately, so many “words” have proven to have originated from the human spirit and not the Holy Spirit. Let’s not be afraid to just admit that so we can stay abiding in Christ and be positioned to hear Him when He does truly speak.
(5) Consider that maybe less is more. Get back to the basics with God, your family, your friends, your Christian community. Invest in relationships. Connect with other Jesus followers and focus on God and His goodness. Just gaze on Him. Read His Word together. Share testimonies of His faithfulness. Be real. Ask people to pray for you and you for them. Open your home. Laugh. Eat. Play some games. Dream together. Bless someone. Sing. Have communion. Laugh some more. Let your roots in Christ go deeper, let your light shine brighter. Experience His light and easy yoke.
I’m writing this with my close and extended friends in mind and those I perhaps have never met but are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of our household of faith. I love you. I really, truly love you.
Thanks for reading and considering these words. I wish you all God’s peace, His deep peace that surpasses all understanding.
PS- If any of you reading this need any help with any of the above, please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to help you.