Monday, May 27, 2013

Keeping the Light

"Unless the LORD had given me help,

I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.

When I said, 'My foot is slipping,'

your love, O LORD, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me,

your consolation brought joy to my soul."

Psalm 94:17-19, NIV84

Ever feel like you've lived out some of the verses in the Bible? These particular verses could've been written by me. They speak deep into my heart every time I read them. After going through a very intensely dark time of depression and panic, my God and Savior gave me help. I cried out to Him, only my words were more along the lines of "my mind" is slipping rather than "my foot". God caught me when I was falling/slipping into the deepest darkest pit I'd ever known. It was as though He reached His hand down and took hold of me, never to let me go again. Of course, I know now that He hadn't let me go before that, but I wasn't aware of His Presence. I didn't think He really noticed me at all. The Enemy had me convinced I wasn't worth noticing, not worth much anything. I had lived my life wrapped up in a victim attitude, full of fear, despair, and defeat. True darkness dwells where there is no hope, and for a Christian to lose all hope, is a dark and dreadful thing. It reminds me of Jesus when he said, "If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt. 6:23 (NIV) I can attest that my darkness was great! I had let the light of my faith flicker and wane until it was almost snuffed out. I am so grateful God didn't give up on me even after I had given up on Him.

Although not as powerful as God, our Enemy, Satan, does not give up easily. There will always be temptations to disbelieve God. I still have broken places that need healing, and when life becomes hard, when trials, heartaches, and temptations come, my thinking is affected. My soul and spirit are affected. I must intentionally keep my eyes on the goal--knowing Jesus, my Lord and Savior--crying out for His help in every situation. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, my heart totally devoted to Him, I feel safe, secure, stable.

My relationship with God through Jesus Christ keeps my mind under control. I'm less apt to "wig out" when I've concentrated on the Scriptures I've posted on this blog for overcoming fear, panic, anxiety, and depression, when I've kept my daily quiet time with God, and spent time alone meditating on His goodness, love, and provision. Everything in me settles down after reading the Bible, praying, and spending time with God. How grateful I am for our loving Father who has given us His Word, which is more precious than gold, and 24/7 access to Himself, which is worth everything and anything I have to give up to spend time with Him. I thank Him that He "has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind". (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV) The NIV says it like this, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."

That's what I need every day--power, love, and self-discipline. We can find power for living only in Christ Jesus. He blesses us by His Spirit and He makes us a blessing to others. This is where true fulfillment lies. C. S. Lewis once said, "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." I've aimed at earth, and I ended up in darkness. I'm aiming at Heaven and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ! (2 Corin. 4:6)

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