by Pradha Chakravarthy
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream, and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8.
In the past I have wondered why no matter how well I plan my day or how well-prepared I am to make it an easy day, each day has its own adventures, unexpected trials and sometimes even “worst nightmares.” At such times it is so easy to be nervous, anxious and fearful. At the end of the day, I can feel frustrated and overly exhausted. Is this the normal life I must expect as a Christian woman?
Satan knows he cannot stop me from following Jesus nor stop me from going to church meetings, but he knows he can disable me from living a Spirit-filled and fruitful Christian life glorifying God. I have noticed that most of my daily routine – like washing the dishes, laundry, cooking, etc. – goes monotonously, and I can easily get engulfed by the day, sometimes satisfied with spurts of happiness about some accomplishment. But, when something goes wrong or an unexpected trial comes, it’s easy to panic, and difficult to calm down and focus on God’s Word. The Lord showed me that even though I didn’t have to make much effort to focus on my daily activities, I should choose to keep my focus on the Lord in the midst of either a busy day or a slow-paced day. I can be physically present in the world, but in my heart, always in the presence of the Lord in fellowship with Him – in the Most Holy place, drinking from the river of life. Then, I will be like a tree planted by the water, more than just unafraid and not anxious, but also yielding fruit. And, no matter what trials come, I will be with Jesus, not facing them alone, walking with Jesus every moment of my life. What a privilege to walk with One who lived His life on earth victoriously and did the perfect will of the Father glorifying Him!! As a disciple of Christ and God’s child, as a wife, and as a mother, I can live this life that God has gifted me glorifying God just like Jesus did. Even in the littlest things like changing diapers I can glorify God when my heart is steadfast in love, faith and hope in Jesus, choosing to trust God rather than believing in and being distracted by Satan’s lies.
Here are a few things that the Lord has taught me about remaining in constant fellowship with Him:
1. Continuous repentance: Sometimes it is easy to sin in my thought-life while I am working by judging someone; or pitying myself over circumstances in the past or present; or justifying my actions or words in a self-defensive manner; unforgiving attitudes; complaining; discontentment; etc. The Lord has spoken to my heart so many times to repent from these thoughts which only bring discouragement and self-righteousness.
2. Seeking to be anointed by the Holy Spirit every moment, always seeing my own need.
3. Worshiping God: I can worship my God in Spirit and in truth, for He is worthy of all glory!! (Revelation 4:10,11)
4. Loving God and loving others genuinely with the love of Christ.
5. Thanksgiving: Giving thanks to the Lord helps me count my blessings and see the goodness of God in all circumstances.
6. Praising God: This helps me acknowledge His presence with me, and trust in His love and power. (Psalm28:7)
7. Joy: “In His presence there is fullness of joy” (Psalm16:11), so living in His presence helps me rejoice in the Lord always!!
8. Listening to God’s promptings to pray for, encourage or help someone.
Nothing good dwells in my flesh (Romans 7:18), and, all my bright ideas and self-righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But God is working in me, giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13).
So, dear sisters, let us press on to such a life of living constantly in His presence and abiding in Him, so that at the end of each day we may have our joy complete in Him.
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Finally, here’s a secret I learned from brother Zac Poonen: Never settle for a defeated life thinking it’s normal just because most of the Christians around you are living the same way. If you seek for it, you will find the new living way.