The Bare Soul -
November 9, 2008
John 14:1 - Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
As a child, there were certain tasks or chores I was expected to do around the house. Sometimes, if household finances were good, I would receive an allowance. Most of the time, it was thirty-five cents a week or if times were good my father would give me a half dollar piece. Mind you, this was in the 1960s when a family of four could live modestly on an income of $150 a week. Many weeks, we lived on half that much which made allowances a luxury and something my parents couldn't afford. However, I was still expected to do my chores and my dad and mom would treat my brother and I with an occasional treat when they could. In reality, allowances in our family weren't earned, they were just an expression of my parents' thoughtfulness when they COULD afford it. To "allow" us the money each week was a treat and I appreciated it when I did receive it. Many children today don't understand how to give back to the family unit without believing they should be compensated. I was one of the fortunate ones to know that my parents didn't owe me anything beyond their providing me the basic needs in addition to their love, which was always abundantly supplied.
Some may consider allowances as merely monetary expressions, however there are other meanings. We grant allowances, daily, with probably little thought. We "let" or "allow" others our time, especially if they are our friends. We allow others, such as telemarketers to go through their entire spiel before we say, "No thank you, not today". We also allow or let the worries of the day encroach upon us to the point where concerns and constant thinking on a particular matter can last well into the evening and haunt us as we retire to toss and turn. Everyone is a candidate for providing this type of allowance to occupy -- literally to take up residence in our minds and hearts. Jesus understood the concept of "allowing" or letting something consume the mind and heart to such a point that the life was paralyzed with fear. He understood that a bad "allowance" of fear and worry would ultimately take over the entire being. In the opening scripture, Jesus gives his disciples a command -- a life command that would allow them to be hopeful rather than consumed with fear and heartache. The Worldwide English Translation puts it this way: Jesus said, Do not let anything trouble your heart. You believe in God and you must believe in me also. Jesus implies not letting or allowing the mind and the heart to be overwhelmed, but to refuse this wasteful pre-occupation by turning over our anxieties to the Lord.
We are not ruled by committee, if we know the Lord Jesus. We don't have to listen to the constant banter back and forth in our minds and hearts of differing opinions, or this idea or that. We don't have to listen to the "committee in our heads" that is run by the flesh and the devil, seeking to distract us from God's holy purposes. When all we hear is the cacophony of one competing voice after another, we can merely silence the madness by allowing the Lord Jesus to take control of the situation. In the beginning it will be difficult, but in time we will begin to trust more and more that He will put everything at peace and rest in our soul. He will not compete with these other "committee voices". However, when we allow Him to have the floor, He will silence all and will not allow them to usurp His rightful place, as long as we insist that He does so.
My childhood allowances were something not necessarily earned, but they were accepted with gratitude when offered. They were expressions of my parent's love by giving us a small token of their love. Likewise, God only gives good allowances of righteousness, peace, and joy. We don't need to allow or let others rule over our hearts or minds. As sons and daughters of God, He has given us the power to accept his peace into our hearts: "Let not your hearts by troubled ..."
Lord Jesus, we allow you to once again rule over our fretful minds and hearts. Give us peace as we give ourselves to You. For only You give us true rest from this world and the demands we place upon ourselves, We thank You for allowing us your holy presence to dwell within. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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