Are you overwhelmed?
Life comes at you fast. Information, expectation, surprises, and change can be stressful. Our nature to control amplifies the feeling of being overwhelmed. The rush of emotion and the need to “process the moment” and the perpetual need to “catch up” can stretch us beyond measure.
As time goes on we are learning to become active listeners, deep thinkers, and confidence steppers, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Psalms 61:2;
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
We are being led to something and someone greater.
As we journey on, we begin to see things from different angles, and understanding becomes more evident. Time makes it abundantly clear as the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:2,
Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.
Jesus is personally expanding us so that we cast our care on Him rather than caring for them ourselves and becoming overwhelmed.
Here are a few points on how to uncomplicated our thinking about something.
- Remember what did God say?
- Rehearse God’s Promise?
- Reassess how to simplify our thinking?
- Research, have I personally interpreted anything?
Our thinking and perspective often complicate matters. If we are operating in what God has called us to do, (our role), then He will supply all that we need. Often we step out of “our lane” and that is when the problem starts.
As we look forward there often can be more questions than answers. Confusion can be our companion, many voices clamoring at the same time with the same intensity. It is easy to be tempted to look backward and wish we could relive what was. This is unwise because we are missing the blessing of today! In Ecclesiastes 7:10 – we can often wish for things to go back to normal, like the good old days – but God is making all things NEW!
The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 3:13 to forget those things behind and reach forward to what is ahead… In doing one, you accomplish the other. The order here is important, often we try to forget the bad things by will power or suppression, and this delays the inevitable feeling of being overwhelmed. As we take hold of HIs promise then Jesus fills the void the past has stolen.
One of the greatest tragedies is to think naturally about the supernatural. We humanize God and rationalize faith and naturalize His plan. This is how we shrink God into our image. How does this happen? In Matthew 9:17
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Old wineskins are dried and cracked, the moisture has left the lining and now it is dry and brittle. There has been no nourishment or care to keep it pliable and flexible. This happens when old systems of thinking strive to control and manipulate fresh new ways. This “Me” centered philosophy sucks the life out of the organism. Dullness, crustiness, limp, and fragile condition becomes the norm.
New wineskins are a vessel that has newness of life. Jesus doesn’t “fix us” but he heals us and makes us brand new. New wineskins mean Jesus’ provision void of man’s help. This new wine is Life-giving, alive and regenerated energy that revives every fiber of our being! The apostle Paul says in Romans 8:11
“that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead can quicken your mortal body!”
Now, we are operating in the new covenant where there is no deficit motivation. We don’t have to pay God back – or earn His love and righteousness. Our receiving and obedience makes us partakers of Jesus’ fullness and experiences His truth.
New wineskins with new wine happen by:
- Pray fervently
- Learn it again
- Do what you can now
- Do not focus on what you can’t do
- Little thing build great things
- Nothing great happens quickly
When we look at the new with an old perspective the wineskin bursts. So many are overwhelmed because we are looking through the wrong lens. Jeremiah 2:13 shares with us that a hole in the vessel causes loss and an overall mess. In cooking, we put our food in the proper containers. For instance, liquids would go right through a paper bag because it is the wrong vessel. But the right vessel holds the liquids and preserves the flavor.
Dressed for battle
How we approach our battles is the difference between winning or losing. We must have the armor of God on and be ready to avenge disobedience with obedience. The Psalmist shares in Psalms 78:41 that we can limit the Holy One because of our unbelief. Unbelief causes inner anguish and mental fatigue.
As we learn in a fresh way HOW faithful our God is, and how to relate to him based on WHO HE is then we have a carefree spirit. Many don’t believe this is possible – but IT IS! Reliance on Jesus and His promises and allowing Him to interpret what is going on, allows us to step into a peace that passes understanding.
Are you overwhelmed today? That is a sign you are not dressed for battle. Jesus is not to follow us but we are to follow HIM. Let go, and let God lead.
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (tinyurl.com/IRpodcast)