On a scale of 1 to 10 how stressed have you felt this past week? For a few days, I felt like my world was imploding – I wanted to say that the challenges of life with three kids was too hard! As the pressure within me mounted, I found that I was losing ground in the battle for my mind. Every word, interruption and noise seemed to contest my peace.
I was struck by what Rick Renner wrote in his book, Spiritual Weapons “ If you do not take charge of your mind- if you do not learn how to speak to yourself, rather than listen to yourself – the devil will continue to use lying emotions and illusions to manipulate, dominate and control you for the rest of your life.” (p23)
As you may have noticed at the end of each post I have been adding a self-talk point for this reason. Rather than let your thoughts control you, you should learn to speak truth to them.
We all face stress in our lives, how we deal with it affects our victory in the spiritual battle. Click To Tweet When we give in to our stress and proclaim defeat – we become just that – defeated. This is a battle.
When under stress I tend to listen to the negative thoughts stemming from the pressure I feel rather than speaking truth to myself. Often, I don’t know that I am stressed until I sense the telltale signs of anxiety, my thoughts constantly in motion, lack of peace and an awareness of pressure rising within. As I have grown in cultivating a peaceful soul over the past several years, my perception of stress comes quicker. Rather than waiting for my fuse to blow, I am learning to deal with stress as it comes.
These are two areas of stress
- Stress is a part of life and you must learn to manage it.
- Stress comes when you are doing too much or things God did not intend for you to do.
What are you feeling stressed about that is just part of life?
Maybe it is finances, a work environment, children, or a family relationship.
At other times, I ask myself questions like
- What can I change in this situation? Somethings can be changed and other things can’t. For example, when I get overwhelmed with work I understand that it is part of life, but I can diligently be organized, and say no to jobs that I can’t complete in the client’s desired time.
- Is this something I am in complete control over or are there others involved in the outcome? If other people are involved it may be one of those cases when I simply must turn control over to God and trust Him because it is a circumstance I can’t change.
- Is there someone I could ask to help with this area?
- Why do I feel stressed? Is it just my attitude?
Also there is the stress of doing more than God intends for you to do. Our world is busy. Opportunities are all around you – service positions at church, volunteering for a good cause in the community, inviting guests to your home for a five-course meal, parties, and so much more. Taking on too much will leave you with a busy soul and a lack of peace, as well as a mounting pressure to perform. Focus on your strengths and what God has called you to do.
Life Coach Moment
- Journal answers to the previous questions. As you write ask God to calm your thoughts and give you discernment concerning the source of your stress.
- Make a list of all your responsibilities. The list should include responsibilities that you can’t change (like cleaning the house or a responsibility at work) as well as commitments that you volunteered for.
- How does the list seem to you? Is it too long? If it is, pray for wisdom concerning what responsibilities you have that you could relinquish.
Renew Your Mind in truth
These two verses minister to me. In Proverbs 16 is the reminder that in all things I need to pray about the plans and activities that I have. When there are things I can’t change James 1 is a great encouragement to persevere.
Meditate on these verses for a few moments.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.
Abba Father, I feel stressed but am not sure where the stress is coming from. I commit ________________(list some of your activities) to you. If I am taking on too much responsibility clearly reveal that to me. In areas where You desire that I persevere I receive Your strength and power available to me moment by moment. Thank You for directing my path and filling my heart with peace. Amen
Self- talk Points
I have committed my way to Lord and I trust that He will establish my plans
This is a time of perseverance. I will be strong in the Lord.
Learn to speak to yourself rather than listen to yourself. Click To Tweet In the stress of life don’t let the enemy gain a foothold.