The Pursuit of Security
It seems that we have become a fear-driven society. The 24/7 news cycle reminds us of what is wrong with the world, and we feel out of control. We crave security and keep looking for ways to get it. We want assurance that we can fly without anything happening before we land. We want assurance that we will never have to live without having the financial resources to meet our basic needs. We want assurance that we and those we love will live a long life without crippling illness.
Security is having the assurance that if anything happens, we will be okay. We all need it at some level, but how much do we dwell on it? And from what source are we seeking security? The government? Our jobs? Our investment accounts? Our own abilities?
Threats Keep Us Worried and Anxious
Fear of any of the above can preoccupy our minds. These threats may be real or perceived. They cause us to consume time and energy seeking ways to eliminate the concern.
Of course it is wise to pursue reasonable solutions to reduce threats and improve our safety and security. But if we become obsessed with eliminating all threats to our safety and security, what are we putting our faith in? Will it always deliver, no matter what happens?
How Can We Have Financial Security?
I have worked with people and their money for over 20 years as a financial advisor and planner. We all experienced a level of fear and anxiety in the fall of 2008 as the stock market dropped dramatically for several weeks. Some thought they would lose all that they had spent years accumulating. This experience made me realize that financial security cannot come from a large well-managed investment portfolio, or a job with a solid company. It is a blessing to have a well-paying job. It is wise to save for our future and invest well. But genuine financial security can only come from one source, and that is the Lord. In Matthew 6:25, 32-33, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
Of course, God does not promise a life of ease. God can and does provide in miraculous ways, but He also may allow bad things to happen (Ecclesiastes 7:14). Whatever might occur in this life, He wants us to place our faith in Him to provide and get us through it.
The Search for Security Can Become a Form of Bondage
When we are preoccupied with doing all we can to prevent bad things from happening, that is a sign we are not trusting in God. This preoccupation can lead to bondage. It can trap us into a never-ending search for the best way to eliminate all threats to our safety and security, and we cannot rest until we find it.
Satan can use our preoccupation with the search for safety and security to distract us (2 Corinthians 11:3 and 1 Peter 5:8). This will rob us of joy, and limit our availability to pursue our Ephesians 2:10 calling. Instead of being preoccupied–even obsessed–with our security, God wants us to be obsessed with Him.
Chris Tiegreen, in his daily devotional The One Year Walk With God, “If we would invest all of our emotions and thoughts into Him, He would manage our lives.” That is liberating, but hard to develop as a habit.
We Can Break Free
Recognizing that the weapons God gives us for security are not the weapons of this world, we must engage in active management of our thought life (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). When a crisis comes that is out of our control, we must turn to Him for security and focus on His promises. As we begin to practice this more and more, we will experience growth in our faith, we will have more peace, and freedom will increase. More freedom is more availability to pursue our God-given life purpose.
If you speak with my wife, she will tell you I am still learning. I have made progress and experienced God’s security many times, but I need more practice. When I fail to depend on the Lord for my source of security in a situation, I have to recognize my failure and recommit.
So the real question is this: Where do you seek security?
By Jim Dean
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