Anxiety, Temptation, Fear, or Peace…. Choose you this day…

Discussion Quote/Devotional THought of the Day:

“God is with you!” So cast far away from you that fear and spiritual agitation.  They are reactions to avoid in the first place, for they only serve to multiply temptations and increase danger! ”  St Josemarie Escriva,

Within our worship service, multiple times a phrase is said by the pastor, noting that the presence, the peace of God is with His people, and then we pray together, or feast together at the Lord’s table. It is a powerful thing, this knowing that the Lord is present, that He is here, that we have a relationship with Him, and that He is the Paraclete, the Encourager/Comforter/one who comes alongside and supports us.

To lack that presence is to invite in something else, Escriva says agitation,  I tend to call that anxiety, the peace robbing emotional reaction that doesn’t trust in God, but wonders about all the permutations of the situation and starts spinning our hearts and minds out of control, as fears take over. We seek to escape such, and there is Satan, holding out temptations that will kill the anxiety, or at least hide it, for a few hours, for a few minutes.  Those temptations often become addictions, because we turn, over and over, for some kind of release, some kind of escape, a vacation from the stressful strain of the world.  With those temptations is always danger, always a struggle, always…..more stress

The  option to it is simple – to simply rest and find yourself in the presence of God.  To know His peace is with you.  Luther talked of dwelling on the promises of your baptism, others talk about contemplating the incredible truth found in the Lord’s Supper – that there, we come face to face with the truth of how much the Father loves us, how much Christ was willing to sacrifice.   ( Our brothers and sisters in the RCC talk about Eucharistic Adoration – a complex devotional time before a host that is saved for that very time – it is my thought that it developed simply from stopping and considering what the Lord’s Supper reveals, and not wanting that moment to just come and go so quickly)  How deep the Father’s love for us… for me… to dwell on these things…. how the burdens, the transient, temporary burdens disappear! How the escapes that we had planned, as we broke before temptation now seem so.. empty… because we know that which makes a difference.

The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ is with you always……

And even as I write, I can hear my people say “AMEN!”

(and under their breaths… utter.. Thank God!)

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 24, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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