I was watching a video on the truths about God that was being taught by a well respected bible teacher (Tim Keller, go look him up!). It has been on my agenda these last few months that part of my personal development would be to learn from well respected bible teachers in order to learn more about the Word and gain greater understanding. Since my desire is to not just talk about God's word but equip women to grow into who she is in Christ and then go out in the world in order to equip and encourage her sisters....it is incredibly important that I educate my self on things of importance.
Faith. Hope. Jesus. Grace. Mercy. Theology. Those things are of great importance to me. I am not interested in being a fair-weather Christian woman. That is not how God made me. He made me with all fire and hope and ideas...and I want to share them with as many women as He will allow me to serve.
During this time that I was studying, mind you, I was in a place of stillness. It was a quiet afternoon. The kids were with their dad. I had chosen to use my time to sit at God's feet and learn. It was at that moment that the enemy decided to attack my vision and try to take my eyes off of God. He almost succeeded.
I could feel my heart racing and my stomach began with that twisting and flip-flopping activity that it does when I begin to feel restless and anxious inside. To be completely honest with you, I cannot even tell you what I was feeling anxious about. I can't even tell you what kinds of thoughts were racing through my mind, except that I was experiencing a heightened level of anxiety and worry...almost like there was impending doom up ahead....and I could feel myself almost giving in.
So, I grabbed my journal that was close by and began writing out my prayers. I wrote:
God, I am feeling a lot of anxiety at this moment. My stomach is in knots. I am worried about I don't know what and it feels weird. Will you ease it? Will you bring to mind, if necessary, anything that I need to let go of or repent of?
It was then that I opened my bible app and put in the search "anxiety" and God brought forth a few verses that I wrote down in my journal as I read them aloud.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Anxiety in a (wo)man's heart weighs her down, but a good word makes her glad. (emphasis mine)
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.
As I read these verses out loud, and as I wrote them down to plant roots, I could sense the anxiety leaving my body. My heart stopped racing and my stomach turning was no longer in knots. It was in this moment that I was once again reminded of just what kind of power we have thanks to the Holy Spirit. When we ask for access to it, through His word and through prayer, the enemy will be unsuccessful in his attempts to take our eyes away from Jesus. He will continue to try. Sometimes, in our humanity, we will turn our vision elsewhere and find ourselves sinking into the sea of doubt, much like Peter when he was invited to walk on the water with Jesus and the size of the waves took his eyes off of his Savior.
The enemy wants nothing more than to move our vision. He does not have brand new tricks in his bag. He uses the same tactics, ideas, same game he likes to play. We must stand firm against his schemes. the Bible tells us to "put on the full armor of God so that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Eph. 6:11) Don't you think that when he attacks our mental state, that it would be important to have on our armor and to equip ourselves, knowing that the enemy wants nothing more than to attack our vision and ideas about God?
Here is my encouragement to you, sister friends: Do not give the enemy an inch. He is not so powerful that we must spend all of our energy on him or worry about him all the time, but it is not wise to act as if he doesn't exist. I see too many women who state they love Jesus but do not know the truths about God. They don't fully understand who He is, what He has fully done, and the power we have in the Holy Spirit. We state we are awake, but really, we are asleep.
No more sleep walking, ladies. Wake up. Get on your knees. Start reading your bibles. Start praying for people to know Jesus. Start speaking up loudly about the good news because y'all, people need to hear it. They need to know and they need to be transformed by it. It is the only thing that can save.
For those of you with many cares and you find your mind wrestling with all the anxiousness and worries of the world, I have a tool for you. It is free. You can save it to your phone or print it for your household, so that you and your family may be able to read it out loud together.
I have created a Printable titled "Cast Your Cares: Verses for our fight against our anxious thoughts." It is a free gift for you for simply entering in your email address and be a part of this community. That's it. No requirement to purchase. You won't be spammed with junk mail or never ending advertisements. I promise you will only receive updates of when I upload a new post, or a personal email from me if I have resources or information that I believe will be of encouragement to you.
May you be encouraged by His word and promises and take comfort in the fact that we can cast our cares upon Him and He is faithful.