Do Not Fret

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“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Not “fretting” is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for fret is “charah” and  it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me.  I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it  – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job. 
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it.  He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you. 
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites in the face of a good fret is:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard.  If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love. 
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.

Go for it

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“ And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My friend, throw off everything that is holding you back today and go for everything God is calling you to do.

You are graced to run your race (not your neighbor’s race or your sister’s race or your boss’s race – your race).

Run it with perseverance.

Don’t quit.

When you get tired, rest.

But don’t stop.

Begin again.

Get back on track and run your race until it’s over.

Reset Your Rest

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Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Psalm 116:7 NIV

Don’t let a bad attitude rob you of a good opportunity to be used by God today.

The very best way to change your attitude is by reminding yourself who God is and who you are in Christ.

When the world crowds in on you and makes you feel claustrophobic with all the “things needed ASAP”, it is good to take a moment to chill out and remember that God is good and has been good to you.

It resets your perspective and returns your internal state from “fret” to “rest”.

Unwind your worry.

Reset your soul.

God has called you to be a change maker where you are.

He will give you everything you need to do it including reminding you to get out of the way.

Let go of all the things you can’t control today and reset the one thing you can- your attitude.

What does re-setting your soul to rest in Jesus look like for you today?

Prayer is…

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Prayer is a retreat.

The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

A time to take a step back.

Flee the battlefield to regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper”.

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace.  Shalom is the peace that comes after the conflict and the quietness that comes after the chaos.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Fighting a battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to pray.

To take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision.

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

My prayer is that you would get off the battlefield for a while and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Stay there as long as you need to.

What Do You Need Today?

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Life is unpredictable.

Every day brings the unexpected and unplanned for.

The good news is that you have Jesus. He is here to guide you through it. He is your Shepherd.  He sees ahead, helps you walk through, takes you where you need to go and protects you along the way. Dangers may loom, predators may attack but you are not alone.

“GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.  You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”

Psalm 23:1-3 MSG

Are you tired and worn out?

Jesus has quiet waters to restore your tired soul. Quiet means still, waters are refreshing. When was the last time you just let all around you become quiet and refreshed your spirit?

Is your soul starved?

Jesus will lead you to green pastures that will feed your hungry heart. He has made you with intentional and unique ways of refilling yourself when you’re empty. When was the last time you spent time doing what fills your soul?

Are you feeling lost?

God will guide you to the right paths that will bring God glory. He has created on purpose for a purpose and will guide you in it. When was the last time you asked Him to show you the right path for this season? Often we continue in an old path from an old season until we look around and say, “I’m not in the right place”. Jesus is a present God who will give you updated guidance on the right path you are meant to be on.

He will lead you through the hills, the valleys , the deserts and all the while, in the middle of it all, will provide a place for you to rest, refill, refocus in Him.

Jesus is the good Shepherd, let Him lead you to quiet waters. He will lead you to what you really need today. 

Unplug

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You can’t know God’s will by looking from the world’s perspective.

You must unplug from it.

God’s will, His good, pleasing and perfect will for you isn’t difficult but it is very different.

Rest in Him,

Renew your mind,

Refresh your heart.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godʼs will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How do you unplug from the world?

How do you connect with God most: the Word, worship music, a walk, nature or being with others?

What refreshes your heart?

Do whatever you need to do to draw back from the world and draw close to God today.

Unplug from the world and plug into the presence of God.

You will be amazed how much that fixes things.

Change Your Mind

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Repent is an old word that we don’t use much anymore but the concept behind it is one we do all the time – we change our mind. And when we change our mind, we change the direction of our lives.
Right in the middle of the busiest season of the year, I want to remind you that the most powerful thing you can do right now is rest and repent.
Rest in God’s grace.
Repent of self-effort.
Rest from perfect image making.
The kind of rest God has for you is a deep down rest that knows and is confident that God will fulfill His Word in you.
It is a confidence not born of flesh or work but from the Spirit and grace.
It is a trust that is so sure that a quietness envelopes your soul.
You can rest in the midst of conflict.
You can be quiet in the midst of chaos.
This kind of rest doesn’t come from removing all strife from your life, it comes from being obedient in the midst of it.
It comes from making hard choices and trusting God’s way instead of your own.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Repentance is about realizing that all your dizzying efforts to make your life happen your way will only cause you strife, fear, and pain.
Rest is about realizing that you are loved completely by a Savior who sacrificed Himself for you so that you can be empowered to live the life He created you for.
What do you need to change your mind about today?
How are you going to rest in God’s grace today?