Don’t Let Your Guard Down!
Recently my husband preached a message that was so timely and relevant, and in its simplicity it was extremely profound. Since then, he has received several confirmations indicating it was indeed a message from the Lord. Often he does not title his sermons, but the central theme was dealing with fatigue. From his introduction he captured the attention of the audience because we could identify with the frustrations of what we now know as “pandemic fatigue”. Unfortunately, it has affected and even overwhelmed many now that COVID-19 has dominated the majority of 2020.
I have found myself using a word that is typically not in my regular vocabulary. In the past few weeks, I have openly verbalized that I am tired! I even found myself reciting a line in one of gospel singer, Vicki Winans’ songs that says “You really don’t know how tired I am”. The tiredness or fatigue that very subtly crept in is not just physical, but it is emotional as well. What has caused it? The cares of this life. My heart is overwhelmed with concern and compassion for those who are suffering from all that has happened in the span of the last eight months. The manner in which we have been forced to go about daily living. Everything we do, everyone we are connected to, everywhere we go or are unable to go has been branded by this pandemic. If allowed, this “thing” has the potential to drain and exhaust every ounce of energy we have. The enemy has seized this prime opportunity to weaken even the strongest. In II Samuel, the 17th chapter, David is once again is being pursued. This time by Ahithophel and Absalom (his son). Verse 2 reveals this plan diabolically concocted by Ahithophel to kill David. He stated, “I will come upon him while he is weary and weak and make him afraid.” You see when we become weak, tired, fatigued it opens the door to many accompanying complications. Automatically we recognize that illness can be one of those complications, but fear is another major one. When we become fatigued, we subconsciously become susceptible because we have let our guard down. During these troubled times it is so crucial for us to guard our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits.
As children of the most Holy Father, we have the assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Yet we must be ever so careful that we do not veer from Him. This is not the time to let our guard down! The crux of the whole matter is that it is not that we do not know what to do, but it is our “feelings”, that are getting in the way – clouding our judgment and our outlook. Complacency and numbness have the tendency to overshadow the promises that have been spoken over us.
I want to share a few things God gave me to point out in a recent counseling session. I still find it amazing and so like the God we serve to give me words to help others that also are beneficial and applicable to me when I need them most.
1) Do not allow your prayer life to become generalized. In other words
don’t just go through the motions of prayer as an obligation. We
get tricked into that by rationalizing our actions by saying “God knows
what I’m going through.” Yes, He does! But He wants you to bring every
care, everything that concerns you to Him by being specific and
intentional in your conversations with Him. That’s what prayer is you
know . . . conversating with, talking to God.
2) Make your days productive. When days go by without achieving
goals, or accomplishing routine tasks, that becomes the perfect
recipe for depression and feelings of worthlessness.
3) Take your mind off yourself and your concerns. We are living in a time
that everyone is going through something! If you look around, even
if you just watch television or social media you can easily see some-
one else who is experiencing much worse than you. Do something,
some kind gesture for someone else. Once you do, don’t make it just
a “one and done”, strive to keep it up periodically.
4) Express genuine interest in young people. The feelings we are
experiencing as adults are very real and frustrating. Imagine what our
children and young people are going through. Their emotions and
frustrations are probably at an all time high and chances are they are
unable to clearly articulate their feelings. Take time to not just talk to
them but listen with your undivided attention. You may not readily
have solutions, but it helps to know you care.
5) Start making plans! This pandemic will not go on forever. As believers
we are never without hope for the future. God has given us hope
during our journey here on earth, and He did not stop there – He has
given us an eternal hope!
Start by writing out plans for what you want to do when the restrictions
of this pandemic are lifted. What vacation do you want to take?
Who is the first person you want to visit? What new additions do you
want to make to your personal wardrobe? What type of celebratory
service do you want to have in your church or organization? What
new restaurant do you want to patronize? Now is the perfect time to
begin putting money aside so that it will be readily available to fund
your heart’s desire when this is over.
6) Monitor how much news media you consume. We frequently hear
warnings for parents about the amount of time our children spend
on social media and watching television. It would behoove us to
follow the same guidelines and advice. The majority of news we
hear is discouraging and casts a shadow of doom and gloom. There
is no way possible that a steady diet of that will not eventually
negatively affect your mind, your heart, and your physical being.
Unknowingly unhealthy information has crept in, taken up residence
In your spirit because you let your guard down.
7) Count your blessings! We have a tendency to complain about what
Is wrong in our lives. But what about all that is right, even those
blessings that we know we did not earn or deserve? Yet, God said
“This is just because I love you”. God’s unmerited favor, His saving
and keeping power, His protection and provision. I will venture to
say if you start counting your blessings, you will soon lose count!
This is not the time to let your guard down. Galatians 6: 9 (NKJV) admonishes us, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”. Let us not get weary, tired, fatigued and neglect to do
good to others and for ourselves. In due season we will reap!