The Battle is not Yours, but God's

January 30, 2015

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For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

The battle is not yours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15

Sitting at home that first day, immersed in God, was easy. It was wonderful. But the next morning, my alarm clock went off, and I started panicking. I felt literally sick to my stomach dreading going to work and facing my biggest stress and fear. My students. It seems so ridiculous now, almost two months after the fact, but I was terrified.

I had started reading Max Lucado's book Fearless on the suggestion of a friend in my small group. Previously I thought of Lucado of a super cheesy Christian writer, full of lame platitudes and pathetic feel-good advice that wouldn't apply to my life and my problems. Boy, was I wrong! It felt like he was writing directly to me, like he could read my mind and knew my deepest worries and anxieties.I got great comfort from his words, and I am truly a convert. I can't get enough Lucado in my life!

That morning in my prayer journal, I poured out my fears. It makes me sad to read these words now. The desperation and fear is so apparent, so thick you could cut it. It was a dark time. I remember my husband, trying to encourage me, saying, "The school year is almost half-over. It will be summertime before you know it." That wasn't encouraging at all, but DISCOURAGING! I couldn't see myself making it through a single day at school, much less another week, another month, another five months! I was angry and scared and desperate.

December 4, 2014: Please take away the fear and dread. Fill me with a peace that only comes from knowing Your are my god. Give me the courage to before them no matter what they say, think, or do. Please be with me today. Show me your presence. Fill me with a sense of well-being and calmness. Let me think only of you and not them. Let me keep my eyes on you, my Savior, and not on any storm in my life. The storm isn't important. I choose not to fear the storm ahead of me and fully trust You to get me through it and draw you close to me for protection and a renewal of my spirit. Please be with me today and every day. I give you my fears, my worries, my doubts, the things I fear that I know I can't control. I am tired of fighting this alone. This is not my battle to fight; it is Yours. You hold the power to make me a new being in Your image- one full of light and love, not fear and darkness. I want to be that new creation. Give me your strength for I am weak. I know I can't do it alone, and I don't want to anymore. Be with me today, Lord, please.

PEACEFUL- Worry Stoppers (Adapted from Max Lucado)

PRAY, first- Ask for God's help. Prepare yourself inwardly to face your fears outwardly.
EASY, now- Slow down. Take your fears to Jesus and state them clearly.
ACT on it- Become a worry-slapper. Treat fear like a mosquito. Once it starts bothering you, slap it
                   hard! Don't dwell on it. Be a DOER, not a STEWER.
COMPILE a worry list- Write down all your anxious thoughts. Now think- how many of your                               worries and fears have ever actually turned into realities? Not many, I bet.
EVALUATE your worry- Look at your lists and highlight the themes of your worry. Pray for those                        things.
FOCUS on today- God promises to meet our daily needs DAILY. He will give you what you need
                   when you need it.
UNLEASH a "worry army"- Share your fears and worries with a few loved ones. Ask them to pray
                    with you and for you.
LET God be enough- Your heavenly Father already knows your needs. Seek the kingdom of God
         above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

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