Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Worried Mind? Study This

Can you just believe God sometimes? He just amazes me and lately I am blown away. The lady you see above is Beth Moore in case you didn't know. I have never done a Beth Moore Bible study and I think I have only watched her once. I have heard a great deal about her but I jut hadn't had the opportunity to see her. But Monday....... WOW!!! My friend Tasha keeps recommending her studies (which I have checked local libraries and they don't have any) and someone here left a comment to check out a study which I am going to do today. I went to her site Monday to check her out and I found a button that said I could watch her appearances on Living The Life. So I did. This one video in particular spoke to me as it has been a huge issue for me since my husband was laid off in June of 07. But I am going to give you a link and PLEASE watch this video! http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/wednesdays_with_beth/20090204/ .

In fact, feel free to just stop and watch it now. It's that good.

I took some notes on what she was saying because it just touched me so deeply. I was really convicted about some of the things she was saying. Can I share a few?

Beth: Who do you trust? Distrust manifests itself in 2 ways. 1. A persistent ailing heart. Meaning a heavy heart and a feeling of this isn't how life was supposed to be. Isn't there supposed to be some joy?
Me: Holy Cow!! that's me!! If you've read this blog from back in the summer and Fall you know that is me.
Beth: Distrust manifestation #2. A spewing mind. You mind spews with every kind of worry, fear, insecurity, anxieties, vain imagination. You trace where your mind spews and you will find the areas where you distrust God.
Me: Holy Cow!! What did she just say?
You trace where your mind spews and you will find the areas where you distrust God.
She quotes Isiah 26:3 in the beginning.
3.You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
A steadfast mind comes from trust. Where is your mind not steadfast? That is where you do not trust God.
Then she asks this question: "What places in your mind do you spew worry & anxiety? I felt compelled to write it down and pause the video to answer. I wrote 3 things. Since we're all friends I guess I may as well share where I have not trusted God.
1. Finances
2. Self Worth
3. Ability to have a peaceful life.

Can you say conviction? Well, please watch the video and I took lots of notes. It really spoke to me as I have been a worrier solid straight for 2 years now. I mean big time. Consuming worry in these areas. Now, God has really been transforming me and I am no place close to who I was inside one year ago. Praise the Lord! Cause I needed it. But since November I am bombarded with God showing me things and I have been transforming "on the fast track". Lately whatever sermons I have been watching on TV were directly related to what God has been showing me and I really needed to watch them because they were direct answers to questions I had due to my inability to understand parts of scripture where God had taken me. I have blogged about it a lot that it just amazes me. So remember the post about not being a chicken and soaring with the eagles? I was so excited because lately all the sermons were a direct response and answer to what was going on with me? No coincidence to me. So anyway, Joyce preached on having a time of rest. I got excited because I was like Lord, does that mean we are going to have some peace and rest? So then this video pops up about a steadfast mind. So I am connecting some dots. "Want peace?" God is asking me. "Well trust Me then.". Have a steadfast mind Jennifer and stop spewing. The word spewing really caught my attention from Beth because that's what I do. I just get overwhelmed with life circumstances and then I spew and spew about how much I have hated my life. I have been a spewer, although I have been so much more quiet lately but only because of what God has been showing me. That I know for sure. So is this the road He is taking me down now? Finding the peace, boy I sure hope so. Even so, I have been really reading my notes from the video and referenced Joyce Meyers book Living Without Conflict. But I really thought on what Beth said yesterday too and look at what was in my inbox this morning!!!!!!!!! Don't anyone tell me this is all coincidence. This just keeps happening and happening lately. Pleae read.

March 4, 2009

Peace-full
Renee Swope
"You will keep in perfect peace, [her] whose mind is steadfast, because [her] trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
Devotion:One of my favorite things to see is a rocking chair on a front porch. Looking at it makes me feel peace-full. I don't have a rocking chair, or a front porch, but I sure would like to!Worry is the opposite of peace-full. It leaves me peace-less!There are times when I don't even realize I'm worried. My mind is wired to think a lot so I get used to the constant flurry of motion in my brain. Worry will start to slowly creep in, and then before I know it, there's a stirring in my heart, my neck is tense, my mind won't shift gears and little concerns have kicked into full-blown worry.Author Linda Dillow says, "Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere!" So much for my image of peace-full! Oh, but she is right. Worry, like a rocking chair, gets me nowhere! And when I stop worrying, I realize I've wasted valuable time and mental energy thinking about something I can't change when I should've been talking to God - since He's the only one who can change things.In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul tells us how we can find peace to replace our worries. He reminds us the Lord is near and tells us, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT)In the NIV translation, verse 7 reads, "...the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I love the promise that God's peace could transcend my need to understand! Sometimes that's my biggest problem; I wouldn't be so worried about what God is doing if He'd just explain why so I could understand better.But God doesn't say He'll give us understanding in this verse, He says He'll give us peace in the midst of not understanding. And that's what I want. I want God's nearness to be my good and trusting His sovereignty to be my goal. According to the Word, all I have to do is:
1. Stop worrying -- press the pause button on my consuming concerns.
2. Start praying -- open my mouth and tell God what I need.
3. Start thanking God -- remind my heart of God's faithfulness by thanking Him for what He's done.
Now that is doable! So why is it so hard to do? Why do we naturally do the opposite? I think it's because we listen to the enemy's whispers: Do not be calm about anything; instead worry about everything. Tell God what He should do and take control if He doesn't listen. Before we know it, our concerns are consuming us and our worries are robbing us of God's promised peace.But we don't have to live that way. God promises to provide just what we need -- to keep us in perfect peace, as we put our trust in Him and not in our worries. So, today when our concerns consume us, let's choose to stop and empty our hearts of our worries, talk to God about what we need and thank Him for His faithfulness and provision. It's amazing how "peace-full" comes when we stop worrying, start praying and begin thanking God for what He has done and will do.
Lord, thank You for the promise of Your peace that comes when I put my trust in You! When worry or concern threaten to consume my thoughts, help me remember to stop, pray and thank You so that my heart will remember how faithful and capable You are of taking care of me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Renee's Blog for more ways to experience God's peace in the midst of your worries.
Beyond the Shadow of Doubt message on DVD by Renee Swope
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell

The D6 Conference -- Are you worried about your kids? Join Renee Swope and Proverbs 31 Ministries at this groundbreaking conference to help parents and churches raise spiritual champions for Christ.

Application Steps:
Make a list of your concerns and tell God about them. Next, make a list of anything you can think of that God has done to provide for your needs or other's needs. Thank God for them.

Ask God to give you a peace that transcends your need to understand as you commit to trust Him instead of your worries.

Reflections:
How much time do I spend worrying? How much time do I spend talking (praying) to God or reading my Bible so He can talk to me and calm my concerns?

Does my desire to understand and figure things out cause me to worry?
Power Verses:
Matthew 6:27, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (NIV)

John 14:1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (NIV)

© 2009 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.proverbs31.org

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Jenn again: First, did you see the verse based on the devotion? Isiah 26:3 which is the verse based on the Beth Moore video? Did you catch that? I sure did. I was like "NO WAY!" when I first started to read it. I knew then for sure God was speaking to me again. A steadfast mind he is telling me. Well, I am just thrilled. This last week and okay, the week before have been real financial killers for my family. 2 weeks ago we almost ran out of food and had no money to buy any more. We were all hungry and had to ration out what we had. It was hard on the kids as they have never gone hungry before. Well, we lived and God came through. During that week I had determined myself to keep my peace and wait on God. I blogged all about it. I have really been emphasizing placing trust that God will take care of us. I looked back during that week and I could see how inch by inch dollar by dollar at the last very moment sometimes even that God had provided what we needed to keep going. No luck, no happy circumstance, it was all God. And it always came so I have as never before in my life stopped panicking and just trusting. A big job came through, but the money is not there yet. My phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting money and we are not sure yet where the money to make payroll is coming from this Friday. But I know that I know that God will provide and during last week and so far this week I start in and then say, "NO". Just as Beth said in the video before or after the one I linked to, she says to just say "NO" and cut it out. I say, no, and then I just tell God I trust Him. And most importantly I learned from Beth not to trust that God will bring what I need from him or to not take away what I need but I trust that He is with me and whatever happens He is there and He will always make sure we are okay and taken care of. I love Him and I seek him daily and therefore I know He will never leave me and my family and I will be okay. I am learning to trust and live by faith and not by sight. I'm porked by sight, ha ha. How hard is it to trust God in something you have struggled with for so long? It is hard, I've been a Christian since I was a little girl and lived a good and faithful Christian life but still I struggle. That's right because we all do and I am just grateful that God is giving me this opportunity to learn and SEE. My eyes are not blinded to the revelation and I am grateful for it. Do you know what I learned in church Sunday that applies to this study I think? That King Solomon sacrificed and prayed 1000 times before he ever heard from God. 1000 times is a lot of offering and praying and Solomon never gave up trying to hear from God. So if Solomon can pray and offer up 999 times and not give up on his circumstance then why should I say, well I haven't had a peaceful life in years and our finances have been messed up for almost 2 years now and God just isn't going to do anything about it. We're on our own I guess. Well, no. I'm going to be a Solomon. Solomon had a steadfast mind and he trusted that God would be there and speak to him and he waited. So I wait.
Well, this was a big blessing to me and I hope for someone else too. If you haven't signed up for the daily devotionals from http://www.christianity.com/ please do. My hubby even gets them because they bless his socks off too, and let me tell you.... he' a tough nut to crack. Go sign up!!

2 comments:

Mary Ellen ~ Carolina Momma said...

I love watching Beth Moore on Life Today. She's so funny and filled with the Spirit! Great post Jenn. Lots to think about and digest.

Tasha Simons said...

I really enjoyed this entry! I'm so happy to have Internet access again as I didn't for this past week. I'm so glad you enjoyed Beth Moore. I will watch the video. The entry for the devotional part was really inspiring. So glad to hear God is speaking to you through various channels.