One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. Luke 6:12
I always find myself so fascinated with Jesus’ constant pursuit of God the Father in prayer. Being part of the Trinity, it likely wouldn’t surprise any of us if Jesus had simply relied on his own wisdom and strength. After all, his time on earth was limited; shouldn’t He make the most of it by doing and teaching as many things as possible? And yet, time and time again, we see Jesus withdraw from everyone, climb a mountain or hillside, and seek his Father in prayer.
There’s something about putting feet to a path and climbing upwards that always connects me with God. Whenever I find myself overwhelmed with life, I know it’s been far too long since I put on my hiking shoes and sought God in the silence of an upwards climb.
This weekend, I took advantage of an open morning and climbed to the top of my favorite hiking trail. The top gave breathtaking views of the ocean, islands and the entire county that I live in. I began to breathe in deeply and lift my eyes to heaven. A song came to my mind and I began to sing out…
God I look to you, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like you do…
Hallelujah our God reigns
forever all my days Hallelujah
God I Look to You by Jenn Johnson
It felt like I was singing a prayer or anthem over our world; that no matter what is going on, God is big enough to handle it and He is still on His throne.
God brought the word “fear” to my mind and I began to mourn over all of the awful things I have seen people doing to one another in the past few months. Viral video, after viral video has shown that fear brings out the absolute worst in us.
As I was pondering God’s heart for us in the midst of our fear, I kept getting distracted by the sound of plants rustling nearby. It was a warm day and so I was already on alert for rattlesnakes. One loud rustle in the bushes beside me sent me stumbling back as I lost my footing on the trail and screamed out. My heart was pounding until I saw the bushy white tail of a little bunny scamper through the bushes.
As I laughed off my dramatic reaction to something that clearly wasn’t a threat, I thought, “That is all that fear is meant to be. Simply a momentary emotional response to protect us from potential danger.”
And yet how often do we camp out in fear? Make our home in fear? Scream at people in fear? Berate people in fear? Neglect community out of fear? And ultimately, make our decisions out of fear?
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
The spirit of fear is not from God! God has given us the opposite: power, love, self-discipline. I actually love the phrase the King James Version uses in place of self-discipline: “…a sound mind.” Oh how I would love a sound mind in the midst of a world of chaos!
I believe that fear is built into us as frail human beings. But it isn’t there to inform our decisions, it is there to remind us to go to our heavenly Father and seek wisdom. Are there real dangers in our world right now? Absolutely! Are there decisions that we need to make right now out of protection? Yes. But should we make any of these decisions out of fear, the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something or someone is dangerous? No!
As Christians, we are followers of Christ, and we need to take our cue from Christ who took everything and submitted it to the Father in prayer. Christ who spent 40 days alone seeking the Father’s wisdom. Christ, who when facing death, spend the night praying to his Father and begging his followers to do the same on his behalf.
What if we truly followed Christ’s example?
How different might we look from those around us?
I’d say it is about time we find out!
BRITNEY CHRISTIAN MILLER is a singer, songwriter, worship leader and blogger from southern California. Her greatest passion is bringing hope to those who have no hope and working with young girls who are victims of human trafficking. She thrives on using music and writing to bring the message of truth to those who don’t know it and inspiring those who do to live out their faith in powerful ways. Her music, which speaks of finding light in the midst of darkness and keeping faith, has been featured on major television shows and can be heard on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook and her Website.
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Your Gifts: Spiritual Gifts Discovery
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Here are more free articles, excerpted from the book Your Gifts shown above, one for each of the nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gifts…
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy?
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- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Exhortation?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Shepherding?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Mercy-Showing?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Serving?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Giving?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?
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