This morning I was going about my usual routine; getting the kids up and off to school and settling my mind to prepare for my work day. Though the schedule I’m on makes it challenging to balance my work/home life, I appreciate the quite time I have alone between 8 and 11 a.m. when I start work. I find that this time I get to catch up on some sleep, read, listen to my favorite preachers on YouTube and just sit and listen. It’s vital to have that time to commune with the Lord. I’m learning that He is always reaching out to us, we just have become so distracted that we cease to still ourselves to pay attention.
I was quietly doing whatever and the thought just kinda popped in my mind, “Be sober-minded.” It was so matter of fact and prominent that it caused me to check my own mental state. I wasn’t even thinking about anything in particular but when things like this happen, I know I’m in for a good lesson… a lesson that almost always checks me every so graciously.
1 Peter 5:6-10. I was gonna stop at 8a, but it’s all too good and so relevant to where I am in my life.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Be sober-minded. Simply instruction, meaty in-depth. When we think of being sober it’s easy to immediately think about someone not being influenced by alcohol or drugs. Sober, aside from not being intoxicated or drunk has several other meanings; habitually temperate, quiet or sedate in demeanor, subdued in tone, free from excess, showing self-control (come on here fruit of the Spirit) and sane or rational. When you break it down that way, it will really cause you to look inwardly if you’re honest with yourself.
Despite how we may think or feel, God is really concerned about our emotional well-being. This is an area that I am pressed on every which side about! Getting a hold of my intense and sometimes irrational emotions is my area of development and boy is the Lord working on me with this! Even so that I was prophesied to about the importance of not being led by my emotions… the Lord is really committed to getting this thing together! He cares about our emotional state and not only that but he is empathetic to our feelings. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” It’s not a matter of the Lord not understanding us, he does but he gives us tools to handle ourselves without destroying ourselves.
Psalms 55:22 tells us to “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will NEVER permit the righteous to be moved.” When we allow the cares of this world to overwhelm us and stress us out, it means we have shifted our focus from the Lord to the issue. I’m reminded of Peter when in the midst of the storm, he told Jesus, “Hey Jesus”, I’m paraphrasing of course, “If that’s really you, tell me to come out there with you.” What’s funny about this is that even in his faith to be able to walk on water too, he was still apprehensive because he acknowledged the Lord but in the same breath inserts unbelief by questioning if it was really him. He goes on to get off the boat and walk on water, but as soon he took his focus off Jesus and onto the storm, he began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me!” It’s funny how finite we come to realize we are when we began to see things from where Jesus is. He had enough faith to walk on water in the midst of the storm but when he began to focus on the storm he hollered for Jesus to save him. We are so ridiculous! The God who controls the storm can surely gives us to power to not succumb to it. We. Don’t. Have. To. Drown! We CHOOSE to as a result of our improper focus.
Lately I’ve been telling the Lord that if I’m seating in heavenly places in Christ, help me to view my circumstances from heaven’s perspective. Our perspective is everything. It’s like looking at those pictures where you’re asked what you see and there is more than one answer. You may see lack but God sees the opportunity to prove himself to provide your needs. You may see sickness but God sees the chance to prove that He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. I challenge you as I challenge myself, to look at things from heaven’s perspective and be sober-minded! Let us not allow our toxic emotions tarnish the work that God is doing in and through us. Wherever you are right now, this is not your expected end! Believe that for me and I’ll believe that for you.
I will not have us ignorant!