Is it possible to overcome anxiety in a world full of pressures and troubles? Is it possible not to worry when everything around you is everything but pleasant? Is it possible to believe God for the best when it appears you only experience the seemingly worst situations in life? Is it possible to smile or even laugh when legitimate needs are before your very face? Is it possible to lift your hands in heartfelt worship when going through the storms of life? Yes! It is possible. But, how? As believers in Christ Jesus, we must understand that Jesus Christ already told us what to expect in this world, but better still, He tells us how to live on top of situations. He showed us how to live in victory every single day of our lives not just because of but also in spite of... He showed us how to have a shout in our spirit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Glory to God! Jesus didn’t leave us in the dark about anything and that is why we must pay rapt attention to Him.
In John 16:33, Jesus declares “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The first thing you must observe here is that Jesus said something to us in order that we may have peace. Meaning that we cannot base our peace on anything else but the Words of Jesus! Never look to or observe the situations to find peace, but look and listen to Jesus! Then He said that in the world you shall have tribulation. Now He’s informing you that what you’re going through is not new – that’s how it is in the world. As long as you’re in this world dominated by sin and its effects, there would be tribulation. But then, He tells us what to do. He said to be of good cheer, or in other words, cheer up! You must consciously choose to cheer up, not just when the situation changes for good. No! You must cheer up, stay worry-free, laugh in the midst of the situation! Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world! Hey! This must come to you as a revelation that Jesus has overcome the world – literarily! Now the case is different for us. Now we can be hopeful for change. Now we can expect a miraculous turn around. Now we know that things would change for the better because Jesus Christ – Himself – has overcome the world for us and so we have overcome the world! Praise God! This Scripture will strangle any form of pressure in your life if you let it sink deep!
Now, Peter by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, tells us what to do with the cares and worries of our lives. He said “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1Peter 5:7). In other words, take the pressure off yourself and put it on Jesus Christ! Glory to God! We can live pressure-free in a pressure-filled world! You must consciously disallow pressures in your life. That’s your responsibility – no one does it for you! You choose to do so or stay with pressures! It could just be as easy as saying “Lord, concerning this situation, I take the pressure off of myself and place it on you because you care for me. I believe in Your love for me.” Praise God! If only you can be foolish enough to be ‘careless’ for a moment, you’d see the mighty hand of God at work in your life. You can’t be more responsible than God. Philippians 4:6 tells us “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” We must do the Word, in spite of legitimate or logical reasons to worry, if we must live in the miraculous. Trust God for real. Proverbs. 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Refuse to worry! Whenever you feel like worrying just laugh because you know that things would change for good – somehow!
As the year is quickly closing up you may be tempted to want to worry about unaccomplished targets and goals but you must refuse to worry because worrying can never change the situation but complicates it. Be hopeful and trust God. Live according to the Words of the Master in Matthew 6:25-34 and stay pressure-free because you are covered. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:57). Praise God!
As a little boy growing up, we lived close to a Christian neighbour who liked playing this song every Sunday. An old song which goes like this ‘all over the world the Spirit is moving. All over the world as the prophets say it will be. All over the world there’s a mighty revelation of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ Amazingly, I never knew what those words were doing to my spirit. I grew up remembering that song again and again and kept wondering why I was so affected by it. Today, the Holy Spirit has made Habakkuk 2:14 the melody of my heart. I never new I carried a prophecy in my spirit. Habakkuk 2:14 tells us “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Praise God! When you look at the world today, what do you see? As you look into the eyes of people from day to day, what do you see? As you hear of turbulence and catastrophe from the news media every single day, what do you see? What comes to mind when you hear of the pestilence, terrors and inhumanity of fellow humans? Friends, I see the harvest. I see countless number of men and women, boys and girls from every nation, race, tongue and tribe turning to the Lord as their only hope. I see a sea of humanity turning back to their creator God through the only remedy He has provided – Jesus Christ! I see multitudes calling on the wondrous Name of Jesus Christ for their salvation! It’s harvest time. The harvest is ripe and ready for harvesting! This is the season the Prophets talked about when there shall be unprecedented divine manifestations!
The Lord Jesus Christ firmly declares in John 4:35-36 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” This is so instructive and prophetic! What harvest was Jesus talking about? – The harvest of souls brought into the Kingdom of God, possessing His eternal life and free from the dominion of the devil! The Lord Jesus said to His disciples and to us in extension that we don’t need to look too far to see the harvest. He said that the harvest is ripe already, ready for harvesting. In other words, it’s not the time to wait, it’s not the time to analyse the situation, and it’s not the time to try to see the possibility of plunging into the harvest field to reap the harvest into God’s ban. It is simply the time to act. It’s the time to step out with every eagerness and faith to bring in the harvest. Jesus was expressing Heaven’s urgent demand on you and me towards getting the lost to hear the Gospel and receive the gift of God – eternal life (Romans 6:23). Heaven is counting on us!
I want you to observe these three expressions Jesus used in John 4:35 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” The first thing I want you to observe is the word ‘behold’. It’s an old expression which means to see something, to look upon. Next is the phrase ‘lift up your eyes’. This expression doesn’t refer to a physical act of lifting up your eyes but to something very supernatural and prophetic. It has to do with our positioning which would in turn affect what we see and how we see what we see. Jesus was simply asking us to see through the eyes of the Spirit in the same manner a Prophet would. This is very important because by way of application if you look through your optical (physical) eyes you will see little or nothing. In fact those who try to see with their physical eyes only end up discouraged because the physical factors are so disheartening. In Genesis 13 we see this play out so amazingly. Lot lifted up his physical eyes and looked and made a deadly mistake that almost cost him his life. But Abraham lifted up his eyes, at the Lord’s instruction, to see and saw through the eyes of the Spirit and till today his action is still paying off well (Genesis 13:10 & 14). Abraham couldn’t have seen what he saw through his optical eyes – it wasn’t possible for that to happen because he actually saw the whole world. Wow! That’s what God wants us to lift up our eyes to see. He wants us to see beyond our local Churches, communities, nations and see the world because the harvest is so great – everywhere! Thank God we can see through the eyes of the Spirit. This also applies in any situation. Then thirdly, the phrase ‘look on the fields’ is very instructive. In a nutshell Jesus is asking us to breakout from the four walls of the Church buildings and go reach the unsaved out there! He’s asking us to set our focus on the harvest. The Church exists on earth for one ultimate purpose – to reach the world for Jesus. But if we only organise Church meetings without stepping out to win a lost world to Jesus then we have lost our whole essence of existence. As long as we continue to focus only on blessing ourselves, we remain useless to God!
The Prophet Joel gave a very timely prophecy that speaks of our day. What a great time to be alive and watch this happen before our very eyes and to be a part of it! Joel 2:28-32 says: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit...And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Glory to God! This is the season of its full fulfilment. Be a part of the harvest!
Prayer: Father in the Name of Jesus, thank you for the privilege of being a part of this historic season of harvest which will usher in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ask that you cause our eyes to see through the eyes of the Spirit so that we can see and play our roles effectively in this season of unprecedented harvest of souls. Amen!
Photo: Christ for all Nations (The Evangelistic Ministry of Reinhard Bonnke)