29 Oct 2020

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!