40 Days Deeper – Day 2: Are You Grounded?

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“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Ephesians 6:13, NLT

Today, as I continued to ponder the need to be “grounded” in life, I began to consider the need for electrical grounding. In terms of electrical currents, grounding “protects your appliances, your home and everyone in it from surges in electricity.” It is a means to direct an unexpected or sudden surge of electrical charge into the earth rather into your body or belongings. Without this re-direction, you or your appliance would absorb a level of shock that you are not equipped to handle – and damage or death can occur as a result.

If we are going to live free, we need grounding in our lives as well! Sometimes, life can simply get chaotic, and circumstances, emotions, or activity that is normally in our control, become out of control. We experience sudden surges in anxiety, disappointment, fear, or anger. And if we are not properly grounded – in God, in family, in solid, healthy, life-giving relationships and friendships, we find ourselves overpowered by the surge of negative emotions or thoughts. We begin a downward spiral of negativity overload, and without an alternate means to redirect all of that frustration, we sometimes explode.

I grew up singing the song “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand…”, but now I realize that being “grounded” on the Rock isn’t just about avoiding shifting sands and slippery slopes. Rather, it is about understanding where to direct our fears, doubts, our hopes, and our dreams. It’s about knowing that your whole life is in the Master’s hands, and that because He is in control, you don’t need to implode when hardship comes. Rather we simply need take the following steps:

  1. Prevent emotional overload by “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV).
  2. Allow God to direct the current of your life. Ask Him to establish order in the flow of your finances, friendships, resources, gifts, time, talents, and day to day efforts. “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 straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).
  3. Know that God can handle the hard stuff of your life. Give it to God, knowing that there is nothing to hard for Him. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:37, ESV)

Ephesians 6:10-17 instructs us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can ultimately stand. Armor protects against attacks, deflecting deadly blows, and covering essential organs. It reminds us not to put our trust solely in our own ability and strength to stand, but rather in the wisdom and might of our Maker!

“And yet this was a SMALL thing…”

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

2 Samuel 7:18-22 ESV

This morning, I woke up completely overwhelmed by God’s relentless, reckless love for me. As I read this passage in 2 Samuel 7, and thought about who God is and all that He has done in my own life, I began to weep.

Like David, I asked who am I, so flawed, and insignificant, and undeserving that the Great God of Heaven would take all of my days, both good and bad, and make something so beautiful from them. And if the sum total of all that I have seen God do is merely “a small thing” for Him, then no matter the kind of moment I sit in right now, I can remain confident that the best is STILL yet to come!

This morning, be encouraged to pause for a moment, and look back over your own life. Identify the moments of deep sorrow, disappointment and heartache – it’s there we most clearly see God’s righteous right hand upholding us. Think back to the moments of unspeakable joy and unbridled celebration – there it is easy to see the Presence of the King who rejoices over us, where we see that His joy is our strength.

If you are struggling to find energy and focus for worship this morning, think of a Savior who was willing to sacrifice everything just. for. you. Who went down into the depths so that you could be raised to life again! The same Jesus who now sits at the right hand of His Father interceding continually on your behalf.

And like David, I’m sure you will come to the conclusion: “Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears” (2 Samuel 7:22).

Live FREE!

“So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”

John 8:36 (MSG)

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”

Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

Live FREE.

As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2018, it can be tempting to fall back into the same traps that slowed our progress in past years. I have become vigilant in identifying and rejecting the broken cycles of fear and doubt that once held me captive, threatening to ensnare me once again.

Walking out our journey to lighter living, means being intentional about maintaining our freedom. We may not be able to control everything that happens to us in life, but we have been given the power to respond to life in a way that maintains our freedom.

Today, refuse to be entangled in situations, conversations, relationships, commitments, habits, or thought patterns that draw you away from God, and lead you back into bondage.

Rejoice in the freedom we have received, paid for with Christ’s sacrifice on an old rugged cross, and released to us by His resurrection from the grave.

Let God’s reckless love overtake you today, and live lighter!