Depending Upon Ourselves :: By Lea Sylvester

A casual observation of the news headlines any day of the week can cause a person to feel overwhelmed. It seems as if “everything” is coming at us from every direction at the same time. As a Christian, we are to be ever-watchful; putting our faith and trust in the Lord. The times in which we live are evil and wicked. The changes in our society are enough to not only cause us to feel overwhelmed, but also surrounded and helpless at times.

Neverfear! We have the blessed assurance that come what may, we need only look to our Lord. If we are absorbed with every news story (which all seem to be “bad” or “worse” or “even worse than we imagined”) that comes across the news in whatever form we might receive it, are we focusing on God? Of course, we are not to put our heads in the sand and act as if nothing is wrong. Everything seems to be wrong! But, these are the times which will separate the “men from the boys,”so to speak.

To begin with, perhaps we need to be reminded that we were not given the spirit of fear. II Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We have all the “tools” we need in order to keep our proper perspective of this life.

This scripture tells us that instead of fearing [anything], we have other ways to deal with situations. We look at anything through God’s Word, and we see that we have no reason to fear in any situation. What is fear?

Fear is defined as:

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real orimagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid, concern or anxiety.

So, the opposite of fear would be courage, security or calm. Fear is the opposite of confidence. The enemy uses many methods to cause us to pause or to stumble. When we see events unfolding in this world and we becom worried, have concern, or otherwise let our minds dwell on what we see, we are distracted from God. This may cause us to waver, to get out of sync with God. It leaves us vulnerable. We are not to be afraid nor to fear, nor be concerned to the point that we are driven to distraction over anything. It is when we try to “understand” with our wordly eyes or when we try to use our own strength that we may fall into this trap. We must never take our eyes off of our Lord.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans Chapter 8:

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15. We are being assured throughout Romans 8 of who we are in Christ and these scriptures are very descriptive and instructional. They are victorious and encouraging to us. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35. Indeed we need to adopt the attitude displayed or portrayed in these passages of scripture, particularly as we face the days ahead. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39.

We cannot depend upon our own strength, courage, or worldly knowledge to face anything-at any time in our lives. We cannot depend upon man, upon government, upon society. We can always depend upon God. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5.

In fact, the Apostle Paul made a note to the church at Corinth “…to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…” I

Corinthians 1:2-3a NKJV.

Here Paul makes a note of the fact that in every place they, “call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” We are specifically told to be distinct, separate and different than “the world.” We are sanctified by Christ, He is our Lord. We look to Him for all things. In every situation, call upon the Lord.

The way to live a life that is set apart for God is not to strive under our own power, but rather to call on the name of the Lord in every place and in every circumstance. Calling on the name of the Lord denotes a life that is submitted to and dependent on God’s strength and wisdom, rather than our own. An interesting byproduct of calling on the name of the Lord is God’s favor (grace), and peace. Peace speaks of rest, and the absence of strife. It is a state of untroubled, undisturbed well being. As we see the unsaved wringing their hands and hear “the sky is falling, the sky is falling,” we are at peace. Why? We know our Heavenly Father. From only Him comes real hope.

Have you sensed God’s favor on your life? Is your life filled with rest, and free from strife? If not, it could be that you are attempting to do things in your own strength rather than calling on the name of the Lord in every circumstance and situation.

Father, we ask You to help us to call on you in each and every situation throughout our day. Help us not to attempt to do things in our own strength. Help us to look to You for wisdom and strength in even the seemingly little things of our day. Create within us a holy dependence on You. We thank You that as we do this, Your favor and peace will be upon us.

What have you been attempting to handle on your own? Right now, call on God for His help and wisdom in the situation. Today, in each and every thing that you face, call on the Name of the Lord, and see the difference that His favor and peace will make in your life. Let no fear lessen your faith in God. Rather, let it strengthen you by learning to depend solely upon Him.