Jesus Has Set Us Free From Stress

heart

If you are like I am, you enjoy working, or the feeling of accomplishing something. Most people enjoy their occupation. However, not everyone enjoys their place of employment, but most enjoy what they do. We achieve feelings of enjoyment and accomplishment by doing manual labor, gardening, or by putting the finishing touches on a dress that’s been made from scratch for yourself or someone else, or perhaps it’s by writing a note or letter to a loved one. My point is — none of us just sit. God did not create us to do nothing. Resting is good, yes. But, we were created to be active and creative. Let’s start at the beginning… 

When God created Adam, right off the bat He gave him something to do, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). It was God’s design from the very beginning that mankind would work or have an occupation of some kind. But, it wasn’t until after the fall that man would labor and/or strive by the sweat of his brow. “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18)  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19) In the sweat of your face …” (Genesis 3:17-19a). So, after the fall, the fruits of Adam’s labor came hard, based on the sweat of his brow — not based on his relationship with God. Sweat here is symbolic of “self-effort” or “the curse effort.”

Sweat Was NOT Allowed In The Temple

In The Old Testament, when the priests went into The Temple to do service unto the Lord, they were given specific instructions. Each of these instructions are symbols and teach us Principles. Example: “And it shall be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, that they shall put on linen garments; no wool shall come upon them while they minister within the gates of the inner court or within the house. 18) They shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen trousers on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat” (Ezekiel 44:17–18). As we just read in Genesis, sweat is symbolic of “self-effort” it is speaking of “the curse effort” which makes sweat, defilement. That’s why the priests were commanded to wrap their head with linen, because linen did not cause sweat. Symbolically this means they would minister before The Lord free of all self-effort and the effect that the curse had on their minds.

The Principle that we learn from this is that sweat or self-efforts speaks of unrest, worry, conflict, illness, confusion, stress, fear, sorrow, grief, in general — the pressures of life; these and more are consequences that the curse has on our minds.

 We Are The Temple

We, you and I, when we accept Jesus Christ, become the temple of God. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16 bolding mine) “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Corinthians 3:17 bolding mine). “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 bolding mine). God dwells within us. When we think on that, it is soooooooo AMAZING…God, The Creator of the Universe, dwells within us. He is Peace, Rest, Strength, Reconciliation, Power, Anointing, Grace, The I AM of the universe. And as His temple, our mind is symbolic of The Holy of Holies. 

The Temple of The Old Testament was always busy with presenting sacrifices to The Lord. Busy cleaning up, busy with preparation, it was a busy, busy, busy place. Just as The Temples of The Old Testament it seems we too, as God’s temples, under the New Covenant, are ALWAYS busy. Busy with our jobs, busy with our families, busy with our friends, busy with ??? We are just busy. Therefore, we must be aware of ourselves and search ourselves and ask — are we busy sweating, SWEATING, in our own self-efforts?

 Why Did Jesus Sweat Blood?

This portion of Scripture is speaking of Jesus, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). The sweat Jesus shed on The Mount of Olives was symbolic of our stress, the pressures of life, and the battlefield of the mind. When we work out, where do we sweat from first? Our foreheads, just as Jesus did, symbolic of our minds, that’s the first area Jesus Delivered us from. He has set us free from stress, the pressures of life, and the battlefield of the mind. His Blood that dropped onto the ground was to set our minds free from the curse of Adam. 

When The Crown of Thrones was placed upon the head of Jesus, The Blood He shed, was for us to have The Mind of Christ, “…But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). I have heard that the thorns placed on the head of Jesus come from a plant, which lives in a very dry area, and that these thrones are really leaves without enough water to open up. The little water these leaves receive is preserved within themselves, producing huge thrones. God’s Word or Scripture is often referred to as water, “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26) The thorns are symbolic of, sweat or self-efforts, unrest, worry, conflict, confusion, stress, fear, sorrow, grief — in general the pressures of life. As we begin to water our minds with The Word, these symbolic thorns will absorb by, “the washing of water by the word”, they will then loosen, and turn into the beautiful leaves they were meant to be. The result is, “He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalms 1:3).

Once our minds are free, we can see ourselves as God sees us, as The Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can now see ourselves as new creatures in Christ…Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

The cares of the world today are loud. There is a crisis in our land and across the world in almost every nation. Here, in America, men and women worry about feeding their families, their ability to keep their homes, is their job secure, can they buy gas if the price keeps going up, will the terrorists attack? There are so many questions in the day in which we are living, I have talked to many and they say, “But, what if this, or what if that?” or “If I don’t worry who will?” and “What do you expect me to do?” People are looking for answers that this world cannot offer. No one knows what the future holds. Yet, we know Who holds our future. The Word says this, “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3)  He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalms 1:1–3). When The Word speaks of walking “not in the counsel of the ungodly” that means, don’t believe the report of our government, or the news reporters, or even our neighbors. Do not stand “in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful” that means those who DO NOT know Jesus, or His Word, or His Ways, people WILL scorn you when you try to convince them that Jesus IS a safe and secure place. You cannot try to convince them. You must walk away and TRUST GOD. God will prove Who He is to them through you and your lifestyle. 

 God Is Aware

Most of us are aware of this familiar passage of Scripture, but I encourage you to read it attentively and think about what The Lord is saying to us, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27)  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28)  So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30)  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31)  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32)  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34)  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25-34).

As we see in this portion of Scripture, verse 33 is the key to everything Jesus is talking about, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The word “But” means, nevertheless, however, though or even though, even if, and while. God IS AWARE of the worries and cares of this world. But or while we are going through them, or even though they are a part of this life, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What is one of the ways we seek Him first?

Meditate

A number of believers say, pray. Yes, I agree prayer is important. However, ask yourself the question, “Is prayer alone changing things?” You and I both know the answer to this question is NO.” Because prayer alone hasn’t worked for many, they have said things like, “God doesn’t care.” “His Word isn’t true.” “I’m not good enough.” In addition to prayer let’s look at verse 2 of Psalms 1, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” At the time, this was written The Law that had been written was the Torah. Now we have the whole of The Scriptures or The Word. Therefore, to delight ourselves in The Law, or The Word of The Lord, we learn the whole Word, and we meditate on the all Scriptures. To meditate means to study and murmur or mutter under ones breath. When we think something in our mind we only have a 20% chance of retaining it, but to meditate on something we retain 60% to 80% of that thing. 

As an example of meditating or muttering I will use the verse, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). I am going to break down the first half of this verse. When I mutter, I concentrate on, and speak softly each word in the verse and then go back to the whole to feed on… 

You — You are The Most High God, Creator of the Universe, My Savior and Deliverer, The God Who shut the mouth of the lions, The Healer of all diseases, The Fire that does not consume a burning bush, You part the Red Sea, You cause a few fish and loaves to feed thousands, You are The Teacher, The Living Bread, The Rose of Sharon, The Prince of Peace, The Son of Righteousness, You are Love, You are Provider, You ARE I AM, You are Grace, and so on…

You will — Not You will think about it, or You were, or You can, or maybe, or it might be within Your realm of possibility, or You think You are able to, BUT it is Your wish, Your motivation, it is Your resolve, You have made up Your mind, this is Your promise…You WILL

keep — I mutter to myself, You keep me, I am precious to You. You delight in me. To keep means to cherish, to be loyal to, You will give Your angels charge over me, like a precious keepsake, You keep me in Your Secret Place hidden from the enemy and danger, You are The Watchman over my life…

him — That’s me, and I am loved by my God. I am forgiven by my Savior, and saved by His Grace, I am a partaker of His Divine Nature, a new creature in Christ, more than a conqueror, heir and joint heir with Jesus, above and not beneath, the head and not the tail, I am protected by God and kept in safety wherever I go, I am redeemed from the curse of The Law, justified, I am the apple of His eye, and so on… 

perfect — Perfect means without blemish, wonderful, faultless and flawless, Your perfection is complete and absolute, it is exactly what I need for every situation, and accurate for every circumstance, the finished work, nothing is out of place…

peace — You will cause me to live in tranquility and contentment, I will live in safety and prosperity, You will watch out for my welfare, my health is in Your care, Your Peace is perfect completeness, You take care of me body, soul, and spirit. My friendships will prosper in Your Care, You will cause even those who are upset at me to be at peace with me. You will bring restitution into my life. I will live in Your Peace. You will a make a way for all my debts to be repaid. Peace is my portion and lifestyle…

Think on these things…mull them over and over in your mind… Then I encourage you, take a few minutes to take the words in the second half of the verse and then meditate on them too. Meditate on this verse for a few days until it becomes a part of you. “And in His law he meditates day and night” 

God refers to us as sheep in His Word. When a sheep eats, it chews and then swallows what it has grazed on. Later, when the sheep is resting it will regurgitate or bring up again what it has eaten and begin to chew on it again. This is a picture of you and me after we have listened to, or read The Word. We are then to bring that Word back up in our memories and chew on it, or think about it, or meditate on it. The sheep only has one stomach, so it swallows and does not bring the cud back up again and again…the sheep chews on what it has brought back up until it is absorbed into its system, until it has becomes a part of them. The Word is to become a part of us. The Word is to become our flesh.

A cow on the other hand has four stomachs. They eat, then rest and regurgitate what has been eaten and they chew and chew on it getting all the nourishment out of it. Then they swallow it again and it goes into the second stomach. They repeat this action because they have four stomachs. This is symbolic of us eating then resting and meditating on what we have heard or read and getting all of the nourishment we can out of it at that time. Then like the cow we rest and bring it back up again and chew on it some more and get more nourishment out of what we have heard or read later. Then finally, whenTthe Word has been processed through us a few times, like the cow, it becomes milk or nourishment for us to feed to someone else.

Meditation not only nourishes and changes our lives, but it also affects the lives of others. “And in His law he meditates day and night.” As we learn to do this, we learn to walk in fellowship with God as Adam did before the fall and as Jesus did when He walked on this earth. “No Sweat!”

Be aware that all attributes of The Most High God are capitalized out of love, respect, and reverence for The Trinity. Also be aware that the name satan, related names, and attributes are capitalized. I choose not to acknowledge or exemplify him even to the point of going against grammatical rules.

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