Philippians 4:6a Do not be anxious about anything
Yesterday I was listening to James MacDonald on my iPhone and laughed out loud when he talked about irrational fears that people have. I know one of mine with certainty. If you really want to scare me, certainly absolutely terrify me, just say "Shannon, I need to talk to you". This will immediately catapult me back to some of the finer moments in my childhood when my mother's "corrective action" would be prefaced with those exact words. I fully acknowledge that this is entirely irrational. As it turns out, the vast majority of people truly just want to talk to me when they speak those words. Nonetheless, my natural tendency is to find my stomach in knots and my heart filled with dread.
In Luke 21:10-19, Jesus is describing to the apostles what would occur when Jerusalem is destroyed by the Romans approximately 35 years later. These are the kind of passages I'm so tempted to blaze right through in an attempt to "get to something that applies to me". If I slow down though, I just might hear a word for me today. The truth is, not only do I dread interpersonal confrontation but I really do not enjoy public speaking. I am completely unqualified to do the very thing God frequently asks me to do. When I examine this passage, however I find a prescription for being petrified.
- Face Your Fear - Verses 12 and 13 of this passage foretells that the apostles will be brought before all levels of government which will result in great opportunities for the apostles to witness to them. If a great conflict avoider such as myself is terrified at the thought of "corrective conversation" even with someone I love, the idea of speaking before say a President or Governor is enough to nearly induce an ER visit. Being willing to do something I least want to do means God is going to use it the most. After all, it actually really is "all about" Him.
- Resolve Not to Worry - Verse 14 contains a phrase that might be best stamped at the beginning of any of my speaking notes; "make up your mind not to worry beforehand". Even if I feel completely unqualified to do something God is asking of me, I need to make up my mind not to worry. Even if what God is asking of me is worst-nightmare scary, I need to resolve not to worry.
- Rely on God - Verse 15 gives a peace-inducing promise that they will be given the words and wisdom such that those they are speaking to will have zero rebuttal. This means that if God calls me into a situation, I can count on Him to supply exactly what I need each moment I'm in that situation.
Today I will face my fears, resolve not worry, rely on God and wait to see the wonders He has waiting for me.