I woke up this morning from an anxious, fear-filled dream. I tried to shake it off, but I couldn’t get my mind to let go of it. Throughout the entire morning – while I made breakfast, double-checked back-packs, found matching socks – my brain kept creating spin-offs of this dream. What-if scenarios that made me queasy with worry wouldn’t stop filling my head. I tried telling my brain to be quiet. I tried thinking of other things. I scanned radio stations for an upbeat song as I drove the kids to school, trying to snap out of my dread. But I could not come to a place of rest.
Back at home, I sat down at the kitchen table with my coffee and a book. I thought that if I could hear someone else’s voice for a bit, maybe then my thoughts would stop running around in circles. And this is what I read: “If we allow our mind simply to listen, we perhaps begin to hear our heart speak – faintly, beneath the clatter. It says, “I am so weary, so lost. I have no energy to redeem myself. How I long for rest.” Our mind hears these words and realizes it is of no use to ask God to give us energy to make our way back up the cliff over which we have fallen. We need the Good Shepherd to come and get us. If we allow our heart to give our mind the words to pray, we say, “Jesus, help me…give me the water of life.”
It was then that I sat the book down, pushed my coffee away, and was still. And, finally, I spoke the name of Jesus.
Immediately, it was like a weight lifted off of me and I could breathe again. The negativity crowding my mind was replaced with peace.
Calling on Jesus should’ve been my first reaction.
You and I need to call on Him the moment we feel fear and stress. Those emotions can bind us up in knots and would, if allowed, motivate our entire day. If satan had his way, we’d be paralyzed by dread and frozen in our helplessness. We cannot face his warfare on our own. We can’t rescue ourselves. We need Jesus. Every day. In every circumstance. It is by Him alone that we even exist — and His strength alone equips us to fight these battles that are not against flesh and blood.
When we call on Him, we don’t have to fear this battle. You better believe that demonic spirits know exactly who Jesus Christ is…and they know that He is all-powerful and all-victorious.
Check out this instance from Jesus’ early public ministry from the first chapter of Mark:
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.”
The King of all was present in that synagogue and evil was forced to flee. Jesus is the authority over heaven and earth — and when He speaks in His authority and power into our lives, the schemes of our enemy are destroyed. The storms are calmed. Death turns to life.
If our God us for us, who can be against us?
Our Savior is our protection and refuge. He saves me, daily, from my fear. From carrying the weight of my problems. From facing life in my own (puny) strength. I cannot climb the cliffs myself. Neither can you. So our Good Shepherd waits, in all of His might and glory, for us to call on Him so that He can lovingly carry us out of our suffering and into His joy.
Don’t try to figure it out on your own. Don’t wait for another person to solve your problems. Call on Jesus. He is the Answer.