What would it be like if no matter what life threw at you, to be unshaken? I feel "shaken" a lot. I think I've confessed on here before my naturally wimpy nature. You know those stories of the ballerinas who basically mutilate their feet for their art? I would have quit. You know the marathon runners who push through to the finish line? I wouldn't even have entered the race.
On my own, I am very, very shake-able.
Recently, I was reading from Voice of the Martyr about Christians who are suffering severe persecution, and as I read about them, I prayed and asked God, "How do they do this? How do they live day to day with this uncertainty and danger hanging over their heads and not lose it? How are they not paralyzed by fear but instead grow and thrive in the worst conditions when I shrivel up at the least sign of adversity?"
God is always patient with me (thankfully!!) and He showed me a few verses in the last few weeks that give me the secret to being unshaken. The first one is in Psalms 16: 8,9, "I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my hearts is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell in security."
So, the first thing is that I need to set or keep God continually before me. God should BE my life, not be a PART of my life. By setting God continually before me, I am abiding in Him.
There is a book written by a man named Frank C. Laubach It's a very small, slim book called Letters by a Modern Mystic, and it doesn't take very long to read. It is record in a series of letters of an experiment. Frank Laubach decided to try to keep God in his mind every minute of every day. At first he found it difficult and was dismayed that maybe one minute of every hour he was thinking of Christ, but over time, it became second nature to him to keep God "continually before" him.
This is an excerpt from one day that was a success after much failure. "Well, today has not been a failure. The thought of God has drifted out occasionally but not for long. But this day has been a different day from any other of my life, for I have not tried to pray in the sense of talking to God, but I have let God do the talking with my tongue or in my inner life when my tongue was silent. It has been as simple as opening and closing a swinging door. And without any of the old strain, the whole day passed beautifully with God saying wonderful things to me."
This is a man who learned to dwell in the presence of God - to practice setting God continually before him.
The results of doing this are in another set of verses. In these verses, Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, contrasts two different people. "Thus says the Lord, "Cursed is the man who trust in mankind and makes flesh his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:5-8
Which brings me to another set of verses, ones that I memorized when I was a kid but packed a new punch when I looked at them recently in light of what God was showing me.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones." Proverbs 3:5-8
The bottom line is that so many times instead of trusting in God, I trust in myself - my intelligence or my solutions or what makes sense to me. It's not just lack of faith (and God tells us without faith we can't please Him). It is pride. It's what caused Lucifer to fall - he thought he knew better than God.
That's what gets me in trouble too - instead of being obedient to what God has asked of me, I get impatient or think I see what needs to be done and rush ahead to do it. I try to come up with my own solutions to help God out. All the while, God is asking me to trust Him, to follow His lead, to stay by His side and not rush ahead out fear or anxiety or pride.
To be unshaken I have to set God continually before me. I have to make a conscious effort to trust God and not rely on my own understanding or reasoning. I have to sink my roots deep in the everlasting water so I don't have to fear times of drought.
How shake-able are you?
~ Blessings, Bronte