A boring guard duty shift is a good thing.
But even when it's boring it's necessary.
A friend and I were talking about Revelation 2:1 yesterday and guarding our hearts. In Revelation 2:1 we are told that Jesus walks among His churches. That walking among the churches means He's on guard duty. He's patrolling. He's aware of all that is happening and is on the offensive in case any attacks happen. We are to be like Jesus.
We are told to "Guard...what has been entrusted to us" 2 Timothy 1:14.
In Proverbs 4:5-6 it says, "Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you."
This scripture says that Wisdom will guard you.
Now, let's read another scripture that ties into that thought:
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
This says God's peace will guard your heart and your mind.
Let's tie this into Matthew 6:31-33:
"Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.'"
Jesus tells us not to be anxious. Instead of worrying we are to seek God and His Kingdom. I used color these verses with a bit of negative self-talk. Here's what I heard when I read them:
"Jane, worrrying is a sin! When you worry you are being so fleshly and ungodly. Knock it off. God says to seek Him and His kingdom! Do it! Knock off the worrying!"
That's NOT what Jesus meant with those verses. There is no condemnation in Christ ever (Romans 8:1). There's not even a touch of it, not even a speck of You-ought-to-know-better mentality. No, no, no.
Until this morning I never thought about guarding my heart and mind from worry. The guarding was always guarding against things like lust, envy, anger, bitterness, gossip, greed.
Worry was an activity I just shouldn't engage in.
But worry possibly is the biggest enemy of all. Worry (we often call it stress these days) will seep in and we will allow it for we think it is the responsible thing to do. But Jesus said don't worry for our own protection. One way to do this is to seek God when that worry wants to creep in.
The entry from Oswald Chambers' My Utmost For His Highest fits in with this perfectly. I want to quote a bit of it here. He writes:
"A warning which needs to be repeated is that 'the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,' and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the frontline of attack is not about clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it . . . Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern for our life."
When we allow ourselves to worry we have lowered the guard over our hearts and minds. Worry worsens your physical health. Worry takes away your joy for your present life. Worry distracts you. Worry puts your eyes on your situation rather than God. Worry magnifies the problem and causes it to appear much larger than it really is. God doesn't tell us not to worry just because it is a sin. God tells us not to worry because it is fatal for us.
Jesus gave us a weapon against worry attacks. That weapon is seeking God and His Kingdom!
He doesn't tell us to seek Him and His Kingdom because He is some ego-maniac. God doesn't need us or our worship. He tells us to seek Him and His Kingdom because that is where our true joy lies. It is for our benefit not His. Of course He enjoys it when we do for He loves us and loves to be in conversation with us. He loves to help us. He loves us!