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Surrendering Anxiety

Did you know that just being afraid of something is not considered a phobia? The fear must altar your behavior in some way to be considered a phobia. The same is true of anxiety. Many times we may be anxious, but when it causes us to change what we’re doing, we are considered to have anxiety. It shows up in different ways. Many times, we try to altar the situation ourselves, but that can make things worse. We don’t make the best decision when we are worried. I know that for me, it causes me to run through scenarios trying to find the right way to fix it. I lose sleep and can’t concentrate on things throughout my day. In turn, it affects every area of my life until I’m so desperate that I force the issue.

You’ve no doubt heard the Psalm that tells us to be still and know that He is God. What you may not know is that the Hebrew words for be still mean to let hang down; to be relaxed, especially the hands. It can also mean to not make an effort or exertion. Meaning take your hands off the situation and let God handle it. The Passion Translation takes that into account and writes that verse this way, “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). So many times anxiety has altered our minds to the point that we lose sight of God in our situation. God wants to remind us that He sees us, and knows what we’re going through.

It’s tough to take our hands off the situation. It’s better to ask God for wisdom in how to handle it though. Ask God to give you peace in your mind and clarity of thought as well. Surrender your anxiety to Him, recognize He is in control and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Our behavior change in a situation should not be out of anxiety, but rather out of thoughtful prayer after we’ve handed it over to God. If you want to see God in what’s going on, be still, put your hands down and relax. Breathe. Pray. Listen. Begin to thank God for all He’s done, and all He’s going to do. Your life is in His hands and He is in charge of the outcome. Trust that He will do what’s best and grow you through it. God is at work and it’s for your good.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

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Clear The Mechanism

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “Be Still and Know that I am God Promise Journal”. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

When you think of Kevin Costner and baseball, you probably think of “Field of Dreams”. You probably don’t think of “For Love of the Game”. I think it’s one of his most underrated movies. In it he plays an aging pitcher who is being forced to decide if he should retire or be traded. He’s pitching at an opponents stadium and the crowd is loud. They’re trying to disrupt his concentration while he’s pitching. Before each pitch he says, “Clear the mechanism,” and he shuts out the crowd noise so he can concentrate.

I always thought that was cool and I wanted to be able to do it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the ability to do that is necessary when spending time with God. My mind is always working, thinking or solving. It rarely gets a rest. I have sleep apnea and when I don’t have my CPAP or mouth guard, my mind thinks all night long. When I try to get still and spend time reading the Bible or praying, my mind kicks into gear and thinks about everything but spiritual things. It’s aggravating.

I want to concentrate on God and what He’s saying, but the very moment that I get quiet, something pops in. Sometimes it’s a song. Sometimes it’s the to do list for my day. Sometimes it’s about how I’m going to resolve an issue. Five, ten or more minutes go by and I realize that I haven’t been praying or reading. I get back at it and it’s not long before I’m off on a rabbit trail. I know I’m not the only one who deals with this. I think we all do in some way. I’ve learned and trained myself to clear the mechanism in my own way. It’s not 100% effective, but it works most of the time.

When a thought pops in during my quiet time, I’ve learned to do one of two things. The first thing I do is challenge the thought. When it threatens to distract me, I challenge it and push it back out. If I can’t push it out, I write it down or save it in my phone for after. That way, I can control the thought by setting myself free that I’ll address it when I’m done. I’m then free to concentrate on what matters. I’m open to hear from God and study His Word in depth. I’ve found that when I clear the mechanism, I’m free to receive. My quiet time has become growth time.

What are some things you do to clear the mechanism in your quiet time? I’m always looking to grow and when we each share what we do, we help others who haven’t found a way to clear theirs.

If you would like to win the “Be Still and Know that I am God Promise Journal”, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (February 8, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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