Hidden in Christ
How often do we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin to experience fear, worry, stress or even depression? It's impossible to experience any of this if we are fully connecting with Him and trusting in His perfect love and the promises of His Word.
In my time with the Lord last night I studied in 2 Chronicles about the life of Asa. It's so interesting to read that when this King was seeking God, even though there were enemies and battles that would come up against him, he would win every one as God remained first in His life and He continued to follow His directions. Even against insurmountable odds, He would win by God's power. It was only in the last year that the physical battle he fought was lost as he chose to do things his own way and no longer God's. He even made a treaty with his enemy out of fear of being destroyed by the King of Israel, instead of trusting God to deliver him as He always did before.
Then I began to read about Stephen, what an incredible man he was. He was a godly man who dedicated his life to serve the Lord, yet ended up martyred for his beliefs. He simply spoke the truth of God's Word and it instilled rage in those who listened. It amazes me that as they were biting at Him and killing him with stones, he never took his eyes of the object of his desire, Jesus. He could see Him before Him and even under the most horrific circumstances, he had peace and was able to show love and forgive His attackers. It’s just incredible to me, he didn't even act as though he was feeling the pain... he was too focused on where he was going and the realization of the presence of God was more tangible than the stones that were tearing at his flesh.
I don't know about you, but I certainly haven't arrived there yet, but I know that walking that close to Jesus is attainable. I know there's a place where I can go so deep into His presence that the issues of this life cannot penetrate. I know there's a place where His power flows and signs and wonders follow...I know there's so much more than we've ever experienced and it's hidden under the shadow of His wings... and He's calling us there. A place where faith triumphs over pain, sickness and anxiety. A place where perfect love casts out all fear.
Don't let one day go by that you’re not drawing closer to Jesus and nestling under His protective covering. His plans for you are so much greater than the obstacles that are before you. You can triumph over every one, as you remain fully focused on Jesus... but He must become the object of your desire... He deserves your time and first place in your life.
1 John 4:18 (NKJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Psalm 91:4-6 (NKJV) He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,. Nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
Acts 7:54-60 (NKJV) When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.