A House of Cards

Here recently, I felt life’s little worries start to creep up in my heart. I found myself being scared, questioning, and worrying about all sorts of things. Day by day it seemed like the questions were getting bigger and the worries grew stronger. I was afraid I was letting people down or worrying about my future. Then I started to be consumed with how I could make things better.

I knew and wanted to believe that if I casted all my fears and worries on God, He would take care of them, but instead I found myself believing God didn’t care enough about me to take care of my fears, questions, and worries. This led me to think I needed to be the one to handle life’s little (sometimes big) worries on my own.

Now, I know this idea is a L I E simply because I still forget to rinse the sink out after I brush my teeth. So how in the world am I suppose to take care of my biggest fears and worries? It just doesn’t make logical sense.

But that’s how the enemy works. He likes to make me (maybe even you) think I can handle life all on my own. Sometimes, the enemy even convinces me that I can do the “fixing”, or whatever I think should be done, better than God. Again, this is a L I E! 

The even scarier part, is that I didn’t even know I was trying to take control over my life. I didn’t even recognize I had stopped trusting the Lord.

Then, I read Psalm 27. It’s only 14 verses, but there’s so much in those fourteen verses–so much truth; so much life!

Psalm 27:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”

Light brings life. Look around, we’ve experienced an early spring and already the light we have had in our little area of the world has brought so much life. Birds are out, people want to be outside, those little (annoying) bugs are even out and about. The light brings out the life. And my light comes from the Lord. He–the light of the world–brings life to me.

And God is even more than that.

He’s my salvation. He’s the very reason I have life. I didn’t even know I needed saving, remember? I didn’t even recognize myself taking over and trying to fix the little world around me. But God knew if I stayed on the control-freak path, full of worry and fear, it would end in destruction.

So He saved me from myself.

He’s my light. He’s my salvation. He’s given me life even when I didn’t know I needed it. This is real proof that God d o e s care about me. Because He’s already done these things, what then could possibly scare me? There is nothing left to be scared of when I realize and believe God gives me life.

It is the same for you. When you realize that God is your light and your salvation, life starts to get a little easier simply because there’s nothing left to fear.

God, the giver of life, will not let you down.

And there’s more…

Psalm 27:5
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”

Did you catch what all this verse says God will do?

God will hide me (you) in His shelter when trouble comes.

God will conceal me.

God will lift me high upon a rock.

Don’t be surprised when trouble comes because God’s Word is honest with us that it will come. We live in a post-Genesis 3 world where sin has corrupted our hearts, yet God tells us that when trouble occurs in our life (or in my case when life’s worries are creeping in), He will provide His shelter. He will even provide a covering for us. Notice how it does not say, “You need to find shelter on the day of trouble.” It says, “He will hide me… in the day of trouble.”

These verses, really the whole chapter, provided such freedom for me. This chapter has set me free from my fears, my worries, and even my questions (or doubts). God used Psalm 27 to speak life into me.

I was attempting to build my own shelter, and the shelter I was trying to build for myself was no better than a house built with a deck of cards. I don’t have much experience with building a house of cards, but when I have attempted to build one, I remember being scared to breathe for fear the house would fall. I also remember that if I added the wrong card at the wrong spot, the whole place would crumble down. It wouldn’t take much of anything to knock my little house of cards down.

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I was doing the same thing with my life. I was carefully laying out all my fears, worries, and questions and strategically placing them where I thought they should go. But just like a house of cards, I was scared to breathe. I didn’t want the house to crash. I didn’t want anything out of my control interfering with the way I built my house.

B U T God, in His great love offers me His shelter–something that is stronger than I could ever build in my own strength; in my own control.

As I read through Psalm 27, I felt like God was saying, “Rachel, what are you trying to build? Why are you trying to build something when I’m already offering you a better shelter? Come to me and I will provide your shelter. Come to me and I will cover you. Come to me and I will lift you up. The shelter I provide will not fall down. I hold you up. I am the one protecting you from the trouble this world brings. Stop building your own house, it will only fall down.”

It was in this moment, I had a choice to either continue building my house of cards or to trust God’s shelter. But I was tired of building, and I wanted rest, so I ran to the Lord, let Him cover me, and I found rest.

But what about you? Are you building a house of cards? Or are you resting inside the shelter that God’s provided for you?

It is my prayer that we (myself included) stop building a house of cards and run to the shelter the Lord has provided.

 

Stop Trying

Over the last couple of weeks, I started feeling super drained. I don’t really know how to explain it except for I was busy trying. I was trying to align God’s plan to my timetable. I was trying to fix everything around me. I was trying to be encouraging to those near me. I was trying to do all the right things.

But all this effort in trying, left me e x h a u s t e d.

In all honesty, my heart didn’t really want to talk to God and there wasn’t really a reason.

I didn’t know what to pray or what to lay before Him.

I had no words.

In the midst of my own efforts of trying super hard, God reminded me of the truth He spoke to me a few years back.

My church has been going through Genesis and we recently studied through chapter 14. Imagine this with me: There’s a lot of war. Different kings were trying to take over other kings with more power. Every time these lesser kings tried to conquer the powerful kings, they always lost. It never worked in the underdog’s favor. Then Abram’s nephew, Lot, was captured by these powerful kings. Abram along with 318 men decided they were going to go up against the most powerful kings. Needless to say, Abram and his 318 men were the underdogs.

Guess what happened next?

They defeated the most powerful kings. And afterward, this priest greeted Abram and his men along their way back; and the priest reminded the men that God was the one who defeated those powerful kings.

It was in that simple moment at church, reading and listening to this story of God’s protection and provision, that the Holy Spirit started reminding me God is in control–not me. It is God who perfectly times out the events in my life. It is God who works miracles. It is God who fixes everything around me. It is God who is the source of all encouragement. It is God who wins the war in my heart. It is God who protects me and comforts me.

It is God–not me.

All this effort in trying to be whatever I thought I needed to be was n e v e r going to work because it’s not about me. It’s about God. It’s not about what I can do, but rather what God can do.

In Genesis 14, it wasn’t Abram and the 318 men going up against the most powerful kings; it was God. God defeated the enemy. That’s why verses 19 and 20 God is praised: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

God delivered Abram from his enemies and God has and continues to deliver me from my enemies. And here lately, I have been my biggest enemy (anyone else ever feel this way?). I needed God to deliver me from myself and the lies I was believing.

I believed I was the one in control and the one doing everything. This is what was making me exhausted. The idea that I could do all things was and still is a lie I believed.

I am not the one that can do all things. God is.

God has so graciously reminded me of the truth that He has done it all. He did it all on the cross thousands of years ago. God ultimately delivered me from my own sin by sending Jesus to die for me. All I need to do, is believe in Him.

Did yah catch that?

The only thing I need to do (the only thing you need to do), is believe in Him.

God isn’t asking for my effort. God isn’t asking for my ability to do something. God isn’t asking for encouragement. God isn’t asking for my help. God isn’t asking me to deliver myself from my sin.

NO! Those are all lies.

Instead, He wants me to believe in Him. He wants Y O U to believe in Him, in His Power, in his Deliverance (even if His deliverance is from the lies we believe).

Through God reminding me of this amazing story of God’s deliverance, I have stopped trying so hard. I have rested in His presence and believed Him at His word.

God’s got this!

God’s got me.

God’s got you!

This isn’t easy. I literally still fail at this!

B U T

I know God is holding everything in heaven and on earth together; therefore, I can stop trying.