A Lifelong Refuge for the Weary
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you learn to live contentedly for Christ!
"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:11-13, emphasis added
This is the last of my three-part "Life Stewardship Series." The first week of the series (Week 39) we learned how to give our all to God. Last week, we focused on how to give God what is His in this life. Now we will learn how to live contentedly and victoriously for Christ--our Great Physician's antidote for worldliness.
Worldliness itself can be a symptom of being totally stressed out, weary with the continual "drip, drip, drip" of the demands of living in a fast-paced society that is spinning out of control. As a result, many Christians look to distractions that will give even a moment's reprieve from their problems. But that is not a long term solution, and it certainly does not contribute to building a fireproof life.
If anyone should have been stressed out and weary, it was Jesus. He lived the perfect human life, yet He lived in a whirlwind of activity. He was constantly eating, walking, talking, and sleeping with twelve men who never seemed to leave Him alone. His life was so full of people and ministry that He often didn't have a chance to stop to eat because vast crowds and desperate individuals sought him out. He was even chided, rebuked, and scoffed at by His own family.
Jesus was also the personal target of Satan, who tempted Him, tried to derail Him, and entered people to drive them to destroy Him. He was thus attacked by every demon that could be rounded up to scream at Him, thrash around in front of Him, and seek to bother Him. And through Satan's influence, civil and religious authorities hounded him, always plotting to catch Him and take Him off for punishment and execution.
Yet, in the midst of all that, Jesus was peaceful, calm, focused, and confidently following God's will.
How did He do that? If we follow Christ, we can find His secret. Though we can never be sinless, we can learn to let the Holy Spirit empower us to imitate Jesus' pattern for the perfect life in step with God's will. Although He lived an extremely full, busy, and demanding life, every time Jesus is seen in the Scriptures He is composed, and led by the Spirit.
Jesus was God, yet He lived the perfect human life as a man. What kept that perfect life on earth so strong? It was time alone with God that rested His soul. He had cultivated the discipline of resting in His Father by being alone with Him. Jesus had learned the secret of waiting on God. His whole life reveals that intimate communion with God is needed to live a godly life full of power, under the control of God's Spirit. And He calls each of us to do the same. So you must learn to seek and find a solitary place in your life to be alone with God regularly. If you do, this is what you will find:
- Christ is your "holy place" and your "righteousness." He is the only Refuge when you feel unclean, defiled, or guilty.
- Christ is your safe and strong "shoulder." He is the only Refuge when you feel weary, exhausted, or stressed.
- Christ is your "fellowship." He is the only Refuge when you are lonely, and feel left out, left behind, homeless, or forsaken.
- Christ is your "stronghold" or "fortress." He is the only Refuge when you feel helpless, fearful, and powerless.
- Christ is "exalted" and He is in the "heights." He is the only Refuge when your heart darkens and you feel hopeless.
- Christ is "separated" and holy, made higher than the heavens. He is the only Refuge when you struggle and feel so weak when you are tempted.
You will find so much more in Christ if you spend time alone with Him regularly. Instead of fleeing to the world and its enticements, flee to Jesus as your Refuge from weariness!
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