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Call 91:1 Twenty-Four / Seven

December, 2001

By Dr. Mary Craig

What is our comfort with terror striking its targets daily? What can we do when we find ourselves falling into worry and fear and anxiety and even panic?

The whole world now knows that the events of 9-11 changed the course of history for its inhabitants. Here in America, calling 9-1-1 no longer gives us the feeling of security it once did. We need something more than to put our confidence in human and government ability to secure and safeguard. When all becomes chaos externally, the peace must be found within.

Jesus told us this. He said that in the world there would be tribulation, but that His people were to cheer up because He has overcome the world. We need this overcoming kind of faith, and it comes with the perspective of our Sovereign Savior.

You see, there is more to peace than just the absence of hostility and care. Peace involves a joyous sense of well-being that views all things as good. In it comes a sense of satisfaction from knowing one is right with God in Christ, the Prince of Peace. This peace is a peace of conscience, rest of heart, tranquility of mind. The peace of God passes all understanding, so don’t expect to figure it out.

In John 17.27 Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you, peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." In John 16.33 we have more: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace." Jesus promises the Holy Spirit, whom He declares to be the Comforter and Paraclete.

The Holy Spirit is not a force or an "it" or merely an influence. The Holy Spirit is a Person with personality. He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Glory and of God, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of prophecy, the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, the Seven-fold Spirit of God, and more! The Holy Spirit has emotions, a mind, and a will. He can be grieved, vexed, lied to, quenched, resisted, insulted, pleased. As the Comforter, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us. As Christ abides in us, it is by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. The Holy Spirit comes upon believers to enable them to be witnesses unto Jesus Christ. He is in, with, upon, and working through believers, and He is with them to help, to sanctify, to apply the work of redemption that Jesus Christ accomplished.

God encourages us to cast our care, our anxiety, on Him (1 Peter 5.7). As we humble ourselves under His mighty hand and as we walk soberly and vigilantly knowing that our adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, we are to cast our care upon the sovereign, omniscient, God only wise. In due time we will be exalted, knowing that as the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after we have suffered awhile, makes us perfect, establishes us, strengthens us, and settles us. (1 Peter 5.6-10) We are called to trust God.

Many times people find irrational thoughts coming at them, thoughts which can become obsessive. The Bible tells us to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10.5) We are exhorted not to take any thought for our life or for our body. Our life is in God’s hands. It’s His care and concern. As we look at our thoughts against the framework of the Word of Truth, we can discard thoughts that do not align with the Word of God.

Thoughts are interesting. They can be like wild cards, darts, random words free-floating in our minds. Usually our thoughts are not all truth or all error. Usually there are like salt and pepper together, a mixture that must be sorted out. Thoughts are also like seeds or even spores floating around looking for a place to land, settle in, and grow. Remember, anything you feed will grow!

Worry destroys the body. We become critical, complaining, depressed, fearful, insecure, etc. when we worry. It keeps us from our normal responsibilities, duties, and tasks. It hinders our service to God and to our families and even to ourselves. But worry can be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Greek word in the NT translated "anxious" is really a word that describes the effects of worry. It means to divide, part or separate, rip or tear apart. We find a perversion or distortion here of a good and God-given emotion, concern. Emotions are not turned off and on! Rather, they must be dealt with and managed so that destructive emotions become replaced with proper manifestations of the emotions.

Worry turns concern to focus on the wrong day—tomorrow. Worry focuses on the future and especially on things we can do nothing about and/or things that are out of our immediate control. Energy gets mobilized with no place to go. We imagine and fear. We become like horses at the gate ready for action but with no set course before us. So we are torn apart, tired and dissatisfied.

Setting your plans before God helps (James 4.13) Think of it like an architect would do, going to the building department with drawings and plans and sketches to make sure things line up with the code. Take your ideas to God for His inspection, overview, and reworking. Better yet, ask God to give you ideas and plans that He has in mind for you and your situation.

Philippians 4.6-9 guides us to pray properly, taking our petitions to God with thanksgiving and rejoicing in the Lord. Likewise, we are to think properly. Turn random thoughts to truthful thoughts. Think about what is good, pure, of good report, etc. Focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. And then, live properly. Some things in our lives may need to change to lessen concern and worry.

Remember, if you belong to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. His power is at work within you producing fruit, one characteristic of which is peace. The promise of peace stands sure. The peace of God guards/keeps your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. You can learn to be content knowing that Christ strengthens and supplies your needs. God is trustworthy and sovereign in the affairs of human history. He has a plan and no serious competitors.

Twenty-four/seven you can call 91.1.

He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall trust:
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come nigh you.
Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation; there shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling.
For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and viper: the young lion and the dragon shall you trample underfoot.
Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high; because he has known my name.
He shall call upon me; and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him,
And show him my salvation.
Psalm 91


© 2001 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.

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