I have this little word tattooed on my wrist.
It’s something I’ve known. Something I KNEW when I got it that I needed to embrace and OFTEN be reminded of.
That was almost two years ago and I feel like I am JUST now recognizing how much.
It’s easy to obsess and stress. It’s like the reasons to give in to anxiety outweigh the reasons to instead lay it at the feet of Jesus and trust him to handle it.
I’ve been VERY guilty of this.
This week I started reading “A Small Book for the Anxious Heart” by Edward T. Welch and this jumped off the page at me:
Jesus himself heard his Father’s voice in Scripture. He knew that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Notice what happened when he needed to hear that voice more than ever. While starving in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan, his response to Satan was, “it is written . . .” (Luke 4:1–12). Jesus heard the words of the Father in the same way that we do—in Scripture—and there can be no doubt that he enjoyed the closeness of the Father through those words. So, even if we have already tried Scripture, we try it again, and again. Our goal is to persist in listening to God’s words until we really hear them and they speak God’s comfort and healing to our souls.
Often it can seem like Scripture is too hard to understand and too far removed from our daily life. But it is a treasure that yields more and more as you go further in. Yes, it takes perseverance. Anything of value comes through perseverance. So listen, and keep listening. You will find well over three hundred places in the Bible where God speaks directly to your fears, and, with practice, you will hear his words to you on every page. Here is just one of those three-hundred-plus verses: The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1 NIV)
I used to be one of those people who would read something like this and laugh and say, “But ok when?!”
But in this season I’ve seen how the more and more I listen to Jesus through his scripture & his promises – the more time I abide and persevere in getting in front of TRUTH, the more I turn to worship instead of worry – the less and less I find myself a victim of fear and anxiety.
We aren’t told to abide to check something off a list. We aren’t told to abide just to ‘qualify’ as a good person.
We are called to abide to because it ACTUALLY TRANSFORMS us. When we are full of truth and God’s spirit – we cannot be deceived, we cannot be led astray.
LISTEN. ABIDE. PERSEVERE.