My dog Max often has intense dreams that get his paws moving. Early this morning, I woke up when I heard him whimpering. I did what I always do; I said, “It’s okay Max. It’s okay.” That is usually enough to calm him down. My voice. It is a voice he knows well – the voice of his master. It is a phrase I say to him a lot on our walks as I try to encourage him during his anxious, stressful moments.
This week, I am preparing a message about what Jesus said about anxiety and fear. After I told Max it would be “okay,” and he quickly calmed down, I considered how our Lord tells us in His Word that it will be “okay.” Sadly, we do not often take the time to listen to His voice or read His Word. Instead of resting in Him, instead of enjoying the peace only He offers, we allow ourselves to worry our days away.
I have seen anxiety rob friends and family of peace. I have seen the struggles of loved ones cause health problems, hospital visits, depression, and more. Worry, anxiety, fear—we all feel these things. Thankfully, we have a Father Who calls out to us. We have a Father Who still speaks to us. We have a Father Who embraces us, Who cares for us, Who knows our needs better than even we know them. He tells us to cast everything on Him. He promises He hears. He ensures His great purpose. Whatever you may be struggling with today, listen for His still small voice. Listen as He speaks to you. It’s going to be okay, my friends. Maybe it doesn’t look like it right now—but it will be okay.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 [NASB]
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7 [NLT]
In Romans 10, Paul writes that salvation is all about the welcoming word—“Jesus is my Master.” This means that you embrace Jesus with all you have and you are calling out to God, trusting in Jesus and what He did for you. He said it really was not about doing anything. It was about the welcoming word. It was about calling out to God and trusting in Him.
With your whole being you embrace God and He sets everything right. It is only because of Him that things can be set right. With the welcoming word, life is changed. The word of faith is your righteousness. Remember Abraham believed and because of it he was righteous.
Have you declared the welcoming word yet? If you haven’t done so please understand that if you do so today, if you embrace God and call out to Him right now, you will be saved. God will set everything right between you and Him. If it’s been awhile since you were saved but you have fallen off course, today is a good day to reaffirm the welcoming word once again and ask Him to encourage and empower you to press onward. I am so thankful that we can approach Him with this welcoming word. Only through Jesus we have this great opportunity.
“It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—‘Jesus is my Master’—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not ‘doing’ anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: ‘God has set everything right between him and me!’” – Romans 10:8-10 [MSG]
When it was near the time for Elijah to be taken up, there was a group of prophets from Bethel that approached Elisha. They questioned him, asking him if he knew Elijah was going to be taken away. He told them “be quiet about it.” Again they questioned him, and he again gave the same answer.
In the American Standard Version, it translates “hold ye your peace.” He was not telling them to be quiet because he did not want to hear this news that his master was leaving. He was telling them to be at peace with it.
There are moments in life when we know something is coming. For some, it might be painful—it could even be the loss of a loved one. But Elisha reminds us to “hold ye your peace.” He had peace knowing that it was the Lord taking his master. We can each have that same peace. God is in control. God has a great plan. Sometimes we need to “be quiet about” things and trust that He is faithful. If you don’t have peace, it is because you haven’t let it come upon you.
“The group of prophets from Bethel came to Elisha and asked him, ‘Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?’ ‘Of course I know,’ Elisha answered. ‘But be quiet about it.’” – 2 Kings 2:3 [NLT]
We like to know everything. When there’s an accident, we are rubberneckers because we want to know what happened. Perhaps we are concerned for the possible injuries, but we also want to know what happened. When something big happens in the news, we want to know what happens. Some of us find ourselves glued to the television set. We like to know how everything works, and because of great advancements in technology we are able to see our heart as it pumps blood, research our family history with online records, and even search for information for school reports with a click of a mouse.
But we cannot know everything. We don’t have all of the answers right at the moment. There are times in our life when God’s plan does not make sense to us. We all have had those moments when we don’t understand. We often ask God for understanding. We often ask God why. We often seek answers.
Today’s passage asks why we try to understand everything as we walk along the path God has directed us to take. If we trust the Lord, where He takes us should be fine with us. We do not need to understand every little thing. We simply need to trust Him. We walk in faith trusting in His great, perfect plan. As you trust more and stop trying to know every single thing, you find more peace in the simplicity. Some of the pieces may not seem to all fit together, but one day God will show you the finished work. What a beautiful picture that will be for us!
“The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” – Proverbs 20:24 [NLT]
In Exodus 12, the people are given instructions: “be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in hand” (v. 11 NLT). They were getting dressed for travel. These people were slaves, slaves that were not allowed to leave due to the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. But God was preparing the Israelites for the Lord’s Passover. God promised that they would soon be leaving.
Getting dressed for travel was an act of faith, trusting that God truly was going to do as He said. Are you dressed for travel? Are you prepared to do whatever God has called you to do? Are you believing the promises of God? The Word of God?
We might not need to have sandals on and a walking stick in hand, but we should always be prepared to walk in faith. Trusting God—trusting His Word, His character, His promises—that’s faith. Believing Him. And the only way you can believe Him is to know Who He is and what He promises. That requires prayer. That requires reading His Word. So are your sandals on? Are you ready?
“These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the LORD’s Passover.” – Exodus 12:11 [NLT]