PDF of Study Guide available HERE
Anxiety, isolation, and fear eat away at our well-being. Our emotional, physical, and intellectual resources quickly decline. We live our lives with bated breath, waiting for the next difficulty. It’s time to unsubscribe from the issues that surround us and begin to breathe deeply.
Luke 12:28 (NLT) And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
Learning to Breathe Again. Our Faith is our breath. Learning to believe is learning to breathe. Of course, I don’t mean to believe in just anything. I mean believe in our Father, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. These beliefs, experiences, and inspirations give us life and breath. These beliefs teach us that God will care for us.
Psalms 130:1-2 (NLT) From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help. 2 Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
The Fight for Your Attention. There is a war going on for your attention. Someone – actually lots of someones – want you to buy, use, watch or do something. You can’t buy or use a product without being assaulted with advertising. Advertising is always a demand for your attention. Everywhere you look, there are pretty, shiny, ugly, or terrifying distractions. We live most of our lives bullied by our shallow thinking, as it is bombarded with messages for more products and services than we can possibly process. Not to mention, we have actual problems and fears, aside from all the distractions.
When was the last time you would have described yourself as “carefree”? How long did that last? What is nibbling at the edges of your concentration now? When was the last time that you could honestly say that you were fully present in the moment and place in which you were currently living?
The Depths of Your Soul. Consider the powerful poetry in Psalms 130:1, “From the Depths.” Think about the way you exist within your own mind, soul, and spirit. There is the shallow part of you. You walk around, talk to people, and generally don’t say much of any consequence. It’s here in the shallows that you deal with the “1000 paper cuts” of a given day.
Go a little deeper and we meet our souls. There we are burdened and usually carry heavy weight. We likely don’t even know what the weight is, but in every breath, it is there. Then there is an even deeper place. It is deep enough that we seldom experience it. That place is deep, old, and calm.
Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NLT) I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
You see, there is a deep, old, and calm place within you. I believe this to be the depths from which our psalmist cries out. It is a place that God created and inhabits. It is the place where He has positioned his Spirit within the believer. This is the place of communion with God. And, it is from here that we find our resilience, strength, and victory.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Love God. You were created to love God. Nothing in all of creation was created to love God so specifically and purposefully. Your greatest joys are found in loving, desiring, and experiencing your Father. So when was the last time you set aside some time for that purpose?
John 17:3 (NLT) And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
If eternal life is God, then God gives eternal life by giving himself. We can learn to love God. We could preach to our own hearts.
I have read that our inner dialogue runs at 4,000 words a minute. That is 10 times the words that we can speak in a minute. If our inner dialogue had more statements like this we could change our inner world. “I love God, I love Jesus, I love Spirit, I love the one who loves me first.” It’s time to corral our wagons and host an internal worship service. It’s time to tell all of our inner personality dimensions how much we love God. That is how we force out distractions and focus on God.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Healthy Detachment. These annoying distractions, worries, problems, and unceasing demands for our attention must go. The only place for them is in God’s care and out of our own control. That is the faith Jesus said was too small in Luke 12:38. It is this faith that answers the questions, “Will God care for me? Will He provide a solution?” This faith discovers that the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Learning to Unsubscribe
Can you really keep doing this? How much do you have in the tank? What happens when the last drop is gone? When there is nothing else in the reserve? What will you do then?
No matter how much you think you won’t, the truth is that you’ll walk away. You’ll give up. You’ll quit. You’ll hate yourself, but done is done.
Unsubscribe! Focus on God now and you will refill your tank. Love God, and you will fuel your faith. Receive God’s love and you will be lifted, carried, and filled. Let go of the distractions and you will plug the leaks. What would it take for you to unsubscribe from all of the draining distractions today?