“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “Aint nothin but a meatball.” God’s version of these sayings is found in Jeremiah 12:5. “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”
Essentially Jeremiah 12:5, is saying if you are frustrated and worn out by people and situations of little meaning, then what will you do when real problems emerge? And if you are filled with unrest in a time of peace what will you do in a time of war? If you are in a church or family where love abounds, how will you survive when you are amongst enemies?
If we get bent out of shape or offended by minor issues, what will we do when valid concerns arise? This huge tactic of the enemy to distract us works pretty well. God is saying don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes the things we think are important really aren’t. We can get offended at someone by the way they look at us, by the way they stand, meaningless words they say, or by a simple gesture. Worse we get offended because our mind makes things up or adds lies to situations. Offences send us spinning out of control, causing us to be completely distracted by trivial things. So when something of substance happens we won’t have the where-with-all to fight and handle it as we should. Instead we waste our time chasing our tail, being angry at those we should love.
When God pointed this scripture out to me, the light bulb went on. I realized how distracted I could become over stupid stuff. Disgusted from acting as a double minded 40 something year old, junior higher–I repented, changing my heart and behavior! It is so amazing how much freedom there is in not being offended! Not only that but when things happen as they do everyday, I don’t have to lament, instead I forgive, keeping my heart soft, my mind sharp and single focused.
Every time something comes up I say to the Lord, with a question mark…”footmen issue???” Every time He answers “Yes”. Once I was positive an issue I was dealing with was not a footmen issue but that I was running with the horses. I said to my best friend “surely this is not a footmen issue” as I uttered the words, the familiar check in my spirit arose. When I hung up the phone I said “God this is huge-it can’t be a footmen issue” He didn’t agree with me. Furthermore He assured me salvation was the only “run with the horses” (important) issue. This put my life into perspective. God is concerned with people’s salvation, I was concerned with people’s behavior to me. Yuck.
It’s likened to Joshua before he went to fight the battle of Jericho. The angel of the lord appeared to him and Joshua asked are you for us or against us? The angel said neither. God doesn’t take sides with His people. He loves us all the same and wants us to be good kids and get along with each other! If we sulk, back bite and devour one another, we are no good to God and we will not be able to run with the horses. But on the other hand…we will be very resourceful to the enemy! No thank you!
Offence is a choice, we can’t let little things make us mad and steal our peace. Remember we control our emotions they do not control us.
Jeremiah 12:5, a random scripture in the Old Testament, about footmen and horses can save us so much grief! Everyday we must be aware of the footmen and purpose not to let them weary us.
Keys to a distraction free life style:
* Pray without ceasing and read the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
*Submit our heart and soul daily–setting our mind, will, and emotions in their proper place–under God’s Word. (James 4:7, 1 Corinthian 10:5)
* Keep our heart free from offence. (Philippians 1:10, Proverbs 4:23)
* Grace is needed–be Humble. (James 4:6)
* Repent and always forgive. (Acts 3:19)
* Remember God loves everyone! (John 3:16)
* Put on the breast-plate of righteousness and take up the shield of faith, so offences won’t penetrate our heart. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
* Remind our soul to bless the Lord and be thankful. (Psalm 103:1-2, Colossians 3:15)
* Be mindful that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, don’t let the enemy distract us by stealing our peace. (Isaiah 54:17, John 14:27)
* Remember love never fails–love at all times! (1 Corinthians 13:8)
* Be willing to be misunderstood
* Recognize feelings are feelings–not facts
* No drama! Don’t make more out of things then need be!
* Keep in mind we are on a journey—we have not arrived!
* Enjoy life–enjoy our family, don’t let finances, bad attitudes, misfortunes, misunderstandings or a messy house rob us of joy!
Above all remember God is for you and He has a plan for your life!
Philippians 1:9-10 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ”