Links Daily Devotional

What the Enemy Doesn’t Tell Us

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV 1984)

You know you need a couple more birdies to make the cut. But all you can see are the last few finishing holes—with all the foreboding that water hazards, traps, and crowds can put into someone’s mind.

You are a student, getting ready to graduate, and this one looming final is ahead—and all you can remember is how demanding this teacher is and how unsure you are about how to prepare.

Or you have this presentation at your job or a big interview—and you can only see yourself lock up and your dry mouth make your words stumble.

I know I don’t sound reassuring right now. But the enemy doesn’t rest, and one of his specialties is to get us to worry about future events. I think he does this because he knows that when we are frazzled and distracted, we are less in tune with God’s will and the still, small voice that his Spirit leads us with. Knocking us off course is what the enemy wants, because his vanity is rewarded for seizing our attention for a little while.

We get distracted because we forget who we are in Christ, forget that our life is much more than golf, school, or work. When Jesus taught his hearers (and us!) not to worry in the Sermon on the Mount, he did so because we need to realize that:

– we are not in control (we cannot add a single hour to our life)
– it is God, our Father, who takes care of us (like the lilies of the field and birds of the air)
– God does not take care today of future problems (tomorrow will worry about itself).

In the third instance, I am also reminded of the Lord’s Prayer, where we ask for our daily bread—not tomorrow’s bread!

I remember having lunch with a Christian mentor a few years ago, where I was so anxious before a golf tournament that I was already crying about it weeks ahead of the event. In her wisdom, she reminded me about Mark 13, verse 11: “… do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” And that, in the same way, we should not worry beforehand, for the same Spirit works through us.

This lesson is not always easy for me to learn. Recently, my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Even though he is in remission now, I can’t help but sometimes think, What if it comes back? What will I do then? But Jesus even said, “Do not worry about your life.”

What the enemy doesn’t tell us is that God is with us—through any past, present, future adversity. He will never leave us or forsake us. Christ’s love surpasses understanding.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Adults teach it, children sing it, but do we really know it and live by it? If we really knew how much Jesus loves us and others around us, how would it change our needs, wants and expectations in relationships? How would it change those of us who tend to live and die by the praise and criticism of others? How would it change how you see yourself after a bad swing or a bad round of golf? How would it change how you see others after they have a bad swing or a bad round of golf? Christ’s love changes everything! Therefore, do not worry.

Isabelle Beisiegel

April 16, 2012

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday through Friday at www.linksplayers.com.