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Fall Newsletter 2018
By McKade Marshall
If we could turn back time and see then what we now know, many of the things we used to worry about have worked themselves out. The things we feared might happen never actually did. The place where worry operates is in your thinking. Learning to turn off negative thoughts can be difficult, especially when you are in a negative environment. However, you have the power to transform the way you think and view life. The way we reverse worry is by changing our thinking. The way we change our thinking is by reading and listening to God’s Word. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 (ESV), “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
In this world we are surrounded by all sorts of information and “news”. Some news reports we receive are good and even make us feel better about life. However, much of the news we see and hear about today is negative and discouraging. Too often we hear about doom and gloom on almost any news station we listen to. If we are not careful, we can begin to allow the news to dictate how we feel each day. If the news is good and the stock market is up, then we are happy. If something bad happens on the opposite side of the country and the economy has gone down, then we are anxious and depressed.
If we go through life allowing every circumstance and situation around us to dictate our mood and emotions then we are going to have a very unstable, volatile life. The good news today is you can take control over your mind, will, and emotions with God’s help. When you make a conscious effort to begin building your life on the Rock, which is God’s Word, then you are building a life that can withstand the storms of this world. In the Old Testament, David knew what it was like to depend on God. When King Saul was hunting down David to kill him, David says in Psalm 18:2 (NLT), “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”
Before David ever became king of Israel, he knew stability and protection could only be found in the Lord. The only place he could find peace of mind was in the presence of God. All of the circumstances around David were continually changing. David had enemies commissioned by the king hunting him down day and night trying to find him in order to put him to death. However, when David had the opportunity to kill King Saul, he relented because he revered and trusted the Lord to handle his enemies. Instead, David told Saul he would not kill the king who had been anointed by God to lead Israel (see 1 Samuel 24:10).
Maybe right now you feel a little bit like David. You have people around you that you know do not have your best interest at heart, like an ex-spouse, a cranky boss, or a cutthroat business competitor. No matter what opposition you are facing or know you are going to face in the future, know today that you have a Defender and an Advocate ready to lead, guide, and protect you. Just like God delivered David from the hands of Saul, and he stepped into his destiny, becoming the king of Israel, God is going to deliver you from the hands of those who are not for you and bring you to where you are supposed to be.
When times are difficult and the pressures of life grow heavier, it is a good time to step back and say, “Hakuna Matata!”. If you have ever seen the Disney film The Lion King (released in 1994), you may recall the playful song “Hakuna Matata” sung by Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog. Hakuna Matata is actually an African Swahili phrase that roughly translates in English as “no worries”. After the main character Simba the lion cub flees his family’s kingdom bewildered by his father’s death, Timon and Pumbaa try to cheer Simba up by telling him to forget about his worries and cares of the world. Forgetting the pain of his past, Simba then grows up under the care and “no worries” philosophy of Timon and Pumbaa.
While we shouldn’t just cast all our responsibilities and cares to the wind like Simon and Pumbaa, neglecting what we know we should do, there is a principle we can take away from this children’s song. It is actually Biblical to not worry. The Apostle Paul tells the church in Philippians 4:6 (NLT), “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” The truth is we are always going to have concerns and issues come up in life. The key to handling problems is responding correctly when we encounter the trouble. The Scriptures tell us the first thing we should do is go to God in prayer. By going to God first, you are taking the matter out of your own hands and placing it in the hands of Almighty God.
The reason you don’t have to worry when you give your concerns to God is because once the issue is lifted up to Him then you are no longer limited by your own abilities and resources to fix the problem. By trusting God, you and your faith are causing His Spirit to go to work. Faith is the substance that causes God’s supernatural power to change the situation. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” What pleases God is not our self-confident, can-do attitude. While God does want us to be diligent and secure in who He has made us to be, our will-power is not going to cause God to act.
Believing God and what He says in the Bible is what causes God to move on your behalf. When you stand on God’s Word, it takes the heaviness of worry off of your shoulders. King Solomon tells us in Proverbs 12:25 (NLT), “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” If you feel heavy today, let this be your word of encouragement: God loves you, and He is fighting for you. He is never going to leave you nor forsake you. The Lord knew you before you were ever born, and He is never going to stop loving you. Come to Jesus and find rest for your heavy soul. Jesus came so that we would not have to walk around weighed down by the pressures of life everyday. He calls us to lay everything before Him. Let Jesus do the heavy lifting. He tells us in Matthew 11:28 (NLT), “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
During my teenage years, I learned a very helpful coping technique for training my mind and body to relax. My middle school English teacher would play a short audio recording of the sounds of the beach after lunch so we could train our minds to relax and think more clearly before starting a new study. As I grew older, I would go back to the days when I learned how to clear my mind and think of a beautiful, clear-blue ocean and white sandy beaches. In my mind I would listen to seagulls cawing nearby as I envisioned myself sunbathing on the shore. This type of meditation has helped me throughout the years to calm down and get my mind thinking more clearly before studying or working.
Today I think of the island Mauritius off the southeastern coast of Africa. Mark Twain described this sun-drenched island as a country “Heaven was copied after” - or perhaps it was copied after Heaven! Mauritius is arguably the most beautiful country in the world with its white-sand beaches, lush plant and animal life, and staggering waterfalls. The pictures of this breathtaking island are enough to cause your worries to melt away in an instant. In the same way, as children of God, we have a heavenly country that awaits us in eternity. When the trials of this world start to weigh you down, look up! Heaven is right above you.
In one of Jesus’ final prayers with His disciples before He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot to be crucified, He tells God the Father in John 17:16 (ESV), “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Friends, this world is not your home. You are actually just passing through on your way to Heaven. Growing up in the church, I often heard people say this world is as bad as it gets for the believer. In other words, the sufferings you endure in this lifetime are temporary. Heaven is absent of all the problems and headaches that this world has. You have good reason not to worry! You are headed upward to a much better place after this life.
In Australia, a popular expression frequently used is “no worries”. Aussies often use this expression instead of saying, “You’re welcome”, “Ok”, “Cool”, or “That’s fine”. “No worries” is the country’s most common phrase and is even referred to as the national motto. When I think of Australians, I think of fun, laid back, and happy-go-lucky people. Every year the United Nations issues a World Happiness Report (yes, this report really does exist!) listing the happiest countries in the world based on certain criteria measuring the average citizen’s overall well-being. Out of the 156 countries measured, Australia ranks as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world. It should be no surprise that one of the most popular phrases in Australia is “no worries”.
Perhaps we could all use a little more of the Australian “no worries” mentality in our own lives. Jesus told us the reason He came was to give us life and life more abundantly (see John 10:10). He did not come so we would live stressed to the max, anxious, and ready to pull our hair out everyday. He came to give us His peace. No matter what problem you are facing today, God is still in control. If He can keep all of the planets in order and the sun burning bright, He can surely keep our lives under His omnipotent care. We can live with “no worries” because we know who our God is. He is Jehovah Jireh, God our provider. He is El Shaddai, God of all power. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals us. He is El Elyon, the God Most High.
There is no power in heaven or on earth that can stop God from protecting you, healing you, and prospering you. When you know with confidence you are in the palm of His hand, you can live life with no worries. People cannot harm you, and the devil cannot touch you without God allowing it. Even you are not powerful enough to nullify the mercies of God by your past mistakes once you have received Him. When somebody does you wrong, God will turn it around and use it for your good when you turn the matter over to Him in prayer (see Romans 8:28).
As I have grown in my personal walk with God and in ministering, I have learned it does no good to fret and worry about how to make things happen. For years I have kept dreams and desires lifted up to God in prayer that are in my heart. Some of these prayers have been answered by seeing the dream come to pass. Other prayers are still in the works of Heaven, and I believe the answers are coming back down in their due season. When I first had the dream of starting a weekly Bible study four years ago, I had no idea it would be almost four years before it would actually happen!
Now every Wednesday morning different people are showing up to the study. Viewers from various parts of the country tune in on our Facebook Live video stream to watch. Testimonies are beginning to spread, as we are seeing prayers answered. People are recovering from sicknesses, relationships are being restored, businesses are being blessed, and hearts are being comforted in times of loss through this unique weekly prayer and Bible study.
In September I received a handwritten letter from an individual who was in prison. This prisoner had mailed me directly to tell me how timely the summer newsletter “Double for Your Trouble” was that they had received from a close relative and requested a copy of my new book Finding Your Keys: 12 Keys to Living in God’s Kingdom. I signed a book, called the prison, and made sure the package was delivered. To be honest, hearing from this reader in prison changed the way I viewed this ministry. It did something to me on the inside after reading such a personal letter written from behind prison bars.
This fall I believe we are entering into a season of seeing prisoners set free. The heavy chains of worry are being lifted off of our shoulders so we can experience more freedom from depression, anxiety, and other stress-induced pains. As you fix your eyes on Jesus, the cares of this world are not going to be what dictates the course of your life. Instead, you are going to walk in the spiritual authority you were meant to have when Christ sent His Holy Spirit to come and abide in you. The prayer life of God’s people is being used, not for worrying, but for warring against the dark forces that must flee at the name of Jesus.
Every week I e-mail the video feed of my weekly prayer and Bible study to e-mail subscribers. If you are subscribed to my newsletters but do not already receive weekly e-mails from me, I encourage you to go to www.McKadeMarshall.com and submit your e-mail address on the contact page. Also, every Sunday I e-mail hundreds of subscribers a 15 to 20 minute video called “Word of the Week” with an inspiring Christian message. I do not want you to miss out on these weekly videos so make sure you are signed up!
I declare this fall God is lifting the heavyweight matters of life off of you. The things you cannot control or do anything about, He is giving you a peace to
release those concerns to Him. He is carrying you to the next level of your destiny as you keep your heart set on serving and pleasing Him. As you meditate on the things of heaven, God is
transforming the way you think and feel in the midst life’s troubles. Any time you feel overwhelmed, remember: “Hakuna
Matata”. It means “no worries”! God’s got this. With the Lord helping you, there is nothing you cannot achieve! I love you, and I am praying for you.
Walking in His Favor & Blessing,
McKade “Levi” Marshall
Author of "Finding Your Keys", “BREATHE”, and “Tasting the Goodness of God”
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