Our spirits require food, spiritual food. Reading the Bible, listening to Christian music, conversing with Christian friends about the Lord, attending church, and time in prayer are all excellent ways to remain faithful and stimulate spiritual maturity. However, our flesh can easily get caught up in the cares of the world. These cares will stir up fears, anxiety, doubt and choke out the peace we have that comes from the living Word.
“And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Mark 4:19 (NKJV)
We are not supposed to get caught up in the affairs of this world. Our focus should be set on our eternal home since we are just passing through. As children of God, we should stick out. Never should we be conformed by the ways and views of this world. But when we let the light of Jesus shine, the world will at times hate, judge, reject, and persecute us. This can lead to anxiety if we don’t have Christian fellowship to support us.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2 (NKJV)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)
Politics and our economy can easily rock our world, robbing our peace of mind. But if we make it a practice to focus on God, His faithfulness, and His love for us we will weather every storm and adversity. There are many things beyond our control. However, when we cast all of our worries upon the feet of Christ through prayer He will take our burden and give us peace.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus. One time, when the Lord was visiting, Martha became angry and troubled when Mary decided to sit at His feet and listen to His message. She was busy preparing a meal for their guest and felt her sister should be helping her with this task.
When Martha voiced her complaint to Jesus she was probably surprised when He rebuked her and praised her sister. It was not Martha’s desire to prepare and serve Jesus that was sinful. Jesus spoke highly of those who served others with a pure heart. It was her attitude that Jesus confronted. Martha was caught up in the cares of the world. Her anxiety about preparing a meal collided with her judgment of Mary. We have no right to look around at what others are doing and assume they should be serving God in the same way we are serving Him. We live in accordance to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and we do not know how He is leading others.
Have you fallen into the same trap that snagged Martha? Are you so troubled by what you perceive as negative behavior in others that you have become a self-righteous judge of good works? Has ministry, work, or just getting through the day clouded your understanding? Is it possible that you have become too wrapped up in the cares of life to recognize Jesus is in control and has prepared good works of many different sorts for all His children?
When we find ourselves losing the peace of Christ, we need to step back and pause for a moment. We should take our focus off of self and put it back on God. Then we should ask ourselves, What does Christ want of me? What is His will for me this very moment? If there is any self-pity we need to cast that to the throne room of God. If there is any anger or feelings of injustice, those too should be offered up to the Lord who is a righteous judge. When the cares of the world rob our peace and we feel overwhelmed, help is but a prayer away.
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42 (NKJV)
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?’” Luke 12:22-25 (NKJV)