…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NASB
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus
Matthew 11:28 NASB
Anyone out there feeling overwhelmed by life these days? What does it mean to be overwhelmed? It means to be buried beneath a huge mass. It means to be completely defeated. It means to be inundated. What is overwhelming you today? The cares of the world? I mean the cares of the ENTIRE world! Thanks to technology, we have instant bad news 24/7, do we not?
Social media bombards our souls with constant sensational, amazing, heart-rending, instantly gratifying and mostly empty and an unrealistic way of looking at life. Why do we fill ourselves with so much information and bad news? Every where we turn we are afflicted with bad news or with some humanistic way of solving the issues of the world. There is no human alive that ca live up to all the expectations placed on us by an ever-increasing onslaught of social media.
What is it that we all need? Someone to acknowledge our existence. Someone to know and to be known by. That need - that void - was intended to be filled by one and one only. It is intended to be filled by relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
We do not need more presence on social media. We need more of the presence of God! We crave and long for intimacy. That is part of being human. I use social media to further the kingdom, not to replace relationship. I limit my time there.
It is ok to be in the world but not of the world. Remember, we reap what we sow. We get out of our minds what we put into our minds. I fast from secular music. I fast from shows that fill my mind with evil. I fast from most news shows. Trust me, I get enough peripherally to know its bad out there. I hear from enough people struggling with their broken identities to know the world is falling apart.
So what are we to do to stem the flow of the overwhelming nature of the world around us?
I believe the answer to being overwhelmed is intimacy with Christ. Relationship requires intimacy. Requires an exchange of life. I must learn to step away from the things that overwhelm me and practice intimacy with Christ if I am to survive. It looks like this:
I step away from the chaos and present my heart and mind to Jesus and say, “Here I am, Lord. Into-me-see.” And in that same moment, I step out in faith and hear Him say to me, “Here is my heart, son. Into-Me-see.”
You say you don’t have time? We make time for the things we value. You find time for everything else. What can you give up - even for a few minutes - to make time for Jesus each day? We need truth from which to view the world. A place of Solid Foundation from which to see. We need intimacy, yet the enemy so compounds our lives with the social media onslaught that Jesus gets buried in the very chaos we dread and feel overwhelmed by!
Here are some practical things I think will help release you from being overwhelmed:
1 We need intimacy with God through conversation - prayer
Addressing the need for intimacy, Every human has a void only God can fill. The world - the enemy and his lies - try to keep us so overwhelmed we forget God and begin trying to live up to the expectations of the culture. What is beauty? What is your cause? What great feat will you accomplish today? • Acknowledge God's presence with you
• Give Him your burdens
2 We need release…and worship is one of the great keys to me releasing the cares of the world. You say you don’t have time? We make time for the things we value.
• Worship in your car as you run errands or go to work
• Worship with music filling your home as you go about your daily chores
• Worship privately with headphones as you prepare to go to sleep
• Worship with your spouse as you can
• Get creative
3 We need to order our day
• Begin with reading a devotional thought that helps me focus on what is true.
• Ask the Lord to order my steps and order my day
• I keep the channels of prayer open at all times
• I do not spend much time on social media.
I do not watch the news all day long. I know it’s bad out there. That’s why a Christ-centered worldview is foundational and necessary to my well-being. When the world is falling apart, I have a place to fall back on that will not overwhelm me. Racial divides. Political divides. Hatred. Poverty. Catastrophes, both natural and man-made. Need I go on? I know they exist! Rather than being overwhelmed by them, I give them - these things the enemy intends as burdens - to Jesus and allow Him to do the heavy lifting. Last time I checked, He is the Redeemer He is the Savior. I need to not try and do His job for Him!
4 Admit your need and allow Jesus to meet it
I know my personality. I am an introvert who longs to be understood. I tend to feel empathy for everyone I meet. I tend to feel my way through life, but feelings are not a solid foundation from which to operate. Every feeling I have is rooted in a thought I have had. I trace the feeling to the thought and determine if the thought is truth or lie. If truth, I release it to God. If a lie, I ask God to reveal the truth of His Word to me.
• I cannot afford to play the ‘what if’ game
• I do not face tomorrow’s giants until tomorrow.
• I do not face my giants in someone else’s armor.
• I can worry or I can trust
5 Name my fears and remind myself of the truth God has gotten me through before
• Ask God for His perspective on what is reality
• I make a conscious choice to encourage myself in the Lord
• I remind myself of God’s past works in my life
• I remind myself of who and Whose I am
• Recognize I cannot change my past. I cant control tomorrow. Live in the moment!
6 Bedtime routine
• I unburden my soul
• I release my children to God
• I release my finances to God
• I release my fears to God
• I ask Him to show me reality
• I ask Him to meet with me in my sleep (Psalm 127:2)
7 Let me boil it down to the lowest common denominator for you. Jesus is the Answer. Make it and keep it simple. When in doubt:
• Put on truth - Focus on the Word of God as your foundational Truth/worldview
• Steal away and unburden your soul each day. Make the time…even if it’s only a couple of minutes.
It’s all about relationship with Jesus. You can have as much or as little as you need. It’s up to you. You can swim in intimacy with Christ or you can drown in the cares of the world. It really is your choice.
Resources for Taking Back Intimacy with Jesus
• FREE Devotion Book
Daily Devotions For Kingdom Seekers, Vol. 1 is a free book of daily devotions in the form of an ebook. You may download it for free at https://dl.bookfunnel.com/g7jet60yhj
A print version is available for only $10 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Devotions-Kingdo…/…/ref=sr_1_2…
• Worship Music
Over 30 collections of worship and ministry recordings at www.dennisjernigan.com
There is so much great worship music out there now. No excuse for not worshiping along with a favorite recording!