Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Friend to Friend
My 4-year-old daughter looks at me and cries, “Mommy, I’m falling!” I know it’s a test. In actuality, her falling-off-the-couch body is just half a foot away from the ground. It doesn’t matter. For her, this is a test of epic proportions. She’s asking, “Mommy, can I trust you to catch me? To really be there for me? To pull me through?”
I’ve asked these very same questions of God during various trials. God, how will You possibly show up when my bank account is tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Will You be there for me when Multiple Sclerosis makes me unable to walk? Will You abandon me too, like those people did? Will You really be able to help me overcome my depression?
God, how can I be sure You’ll do what You promise? Especially when looming issues, thoughts, doubts and feelings of insecurity feel far more real than the God I cannot see.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there today, facing fear, doubt, a boss who isn’t nice, a friend who hurt you, a husband who is absent, a daughter who is astray, a home that is too expensive, a dream unmet, or a wait never-ending.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my trials, it’s this: To respond reactively usually sinks us emotionally. But to prepare proactively is to triumph. We can triumph through Christ who triumphed.
Why? Because Jesus fought the battle and won. He knew what to do and how to do it. He left us with a battle plan: His Word. We have a plan from Christ.
Battle Ready Lessons We Can Learn from Jesus
Jesus Did Not: Get to the age of 21 and demand a timing change from God by saying, “I am tired of waiting around. I am tired of seeing all these issues. I need to fix them now by doing something about them. I’ll die right now and save the world.”
Jesus Did: Respect and honor God’s appointed time for change. Jesus began ministry at the age of 30. (Luke 3:23)
Jesus Did Not: Retaliate, injure or fight back the people accosting, intimidating and threatening Him.
Jesus Did: Trust His Father’s ultimate plan to fight the battle and to win the war.
Jesus Did Not: Focus only on His pain as He suffered a slow death on the cross.
Jesus Did: Reach out to the convicted sinner next to Him on the cross to welcome Him to eternity.
Jesus Did Not: Listen to the enemy’s talking points in the wilderness.
Jesus Did: Use God’s Word as a shield to block the enemy darts that sounded like voiced invitations to sin.
Jesus Did Not: Heal everyone and step in to address everyone’s concerns.
Jesus Did: Have the wisdom to understand the difference between those who wanted help and those who didn’t.
Jesus Did Not: Enlist only perfect people to be His ministers after His death.
Jesus did: Enlist, then equip simple fishermen without master’s degrees, with the Holy Spirit to accomplish unbelievable works, despite the hardships they endured.
Jesus equips and enlists us the same way. It doesn’t matter how things appear. With God, just as it was with my daughter, we’re safe. We’re always just a half-foot above the ground, even if it feels like we’re in a free-fall plummet.
“I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)
The victorious right hand of God holds us. This is significant. It means the strength of God holds us up. Just as biblical fathers blessed their children with their right hand, we are blessed by Jesus. It means the complete sovereignty of God and the full force nature of His love is behind us and with us.
There is a plan – and we are in it. Rest assured. Just as Jesus saw the cross and all the pain He would have to endure, days later, many people witnessed an empty tomb. And through the face of a battle, the ultimate war was won.
Father, reveal to me the heart of Christ. May I understand how Jesus fought His battle, so I can better trust God to fight mine.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What situation might you need to see from a new perspective? If Jesus stood before you today, what do you think He might say about your battle?
More from the Girlfriends
Kelly Balarie is beyond excited to announce her new book on Amazon, “Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously”. This book is bringing breakthrough and transformation in women’s thought-life in profound ways. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.