Going from fear and panic to rest

The entire world appears to be in a state of panic. What should we do? How do we do it? What if I make a mistake? People are terrified of missing out, of getting it wrong. Many believers are even terrified of missing the will of God. In all of this fear, do you feel like something is pushing you? Do you feel like something is driving you? Do you ever wonder how to enter into the rest God has promised to those who believe?

What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the way”? (John 14:6)

When Jesus announced that He is the way, He didn’t mean He would show us all the right things to do so we could go do them. He wasn’t giving us a steering wheel so we could drive our lives where we think He wants us to go. He meant that He would steer our lives for us as well as be the power to make it all happen. How is this possible? When Jesus said He is the Way, He meant that as we realize what it means to be in union with God through Him, we will discover that He is the total fulfillment of God’s will for us within us. Our union with Jesus makes His reality our reality and His life our life. We are one with Him. As we continue to agree with Jesus regarding His, and our, union with God, our thinking changes and we begin to see our lives from His perspective.

When you learned to drive you were taught to keep your eyes and attention on the road, right? If you don’t, you will either run off the road or hit something you didn’t see. Wherever your eyes and thoughts are focused is the direction you will go, whether in life or driving your car.

But, humans have a cunning enemy. In Chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis, God said the serpent (Satan) was more subtle than all other living things. Satan has convinced many people that he just wants them to do wrong things, but the truth is he wants to control what we think. He does this by tempting us to continually ponder what Jesus refused to ponder.

Remember that Jesus was a man just like us. He had to live by the same laws that God had established for the Jews. Even as a child, Jesus pondered the books of Deuteronomy and Psalms. As He obeyed the instructions that God laid out in Deuteronomy, He learned to meditate in God’s Word, thus, He learned to think like God wanted Him to think and act like God wanted Him to act. The Jews had refused to obey God in the wilderness after they came out of Egypt. And, they kept refusing to hear Him. Even in the First Century after Jesus rose from dead, they covered their ears. They didn’t want to hear or do the truth. Jesus said, “I came to fulfill the law.” He became the first and only Jew to perfectly hear and do what God had said. (Matthew 5:17)

When we continue to look at Jesus, at who He is and what He says, and agree that His truth is our truth, we will find our lives have been conformed to His. It’s kind of like driving a car. You fix your attention on the road (i.e. the way) and just keep looking at where you are going. Distractions may come, but we turn our attention back to His truth (the road) and agree with God that there is no other truth, regardless of what our circumstances and experiences tell us. God can’t lie and He can’t change, so no matter what happens, no matter how badly it hurts, we continue to agree with God that His Word is our truth and we expect to see His goodness while we live on this earth. (Psalm 27:13) This is what Paul meant by the fight of faith. It is the fight to not back away from what God says is the truth even when life, and possibly other Christians, seem to be telling us it isn’t.

This is how Jesus is our Way. We keep looking at Him, Who He is and what He believes, and we don’t take our eyes off of His truth. We reject distractions and keep bringing our attention back to God’s truth. As we continue to fix our attention on Jesus, we eventually discover He has always been with us and we have always been safe. We come to a place where we look back and realize that as bad as they may have seemed, things weren’t what we thought. God’s perspective becomes our perspective and God and our lives become wonders to us. We guard our hearts by continuing to ponder what God says to ponder. Through experience, we learn to reject and ignore the distractions which the darkness of this world says we need to focus on. As we keep our attention on His truth, we will discover that He has always been working in us and has steered our lives right where He wants us to be.

You will find yourself in Jesus’ rest and may even wonder when and how it happened. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and what He says.

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