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.

Real Freedom

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Real freedom isn’t saying yes to everything, it means being able to say no when you need to.

No to the things that sabotage your peace.

No to the things that undercut your strength.

No to the thoughts that lead you to that dark place.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”

Titus 2:11-13 NIV

It also means saying no to people.

Saying “no” can be hard to say when you have used “yes” for so long to please the people around you but you are not here to please the people around you, you are set free to please God.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10 NIV

Saying yes to God sometimes means saying no to others.

Say no today out of a place of strength, vision and confidence knowing who you are in Christ.

What or who do you need to say no to today in order to be who God has set you free to be?

No

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“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.”’

Matthew 5:37 NKJV

No.

A simple answer but rarely an easy one.

At some point, you will need to say NO to good things so you can say YES to the God things.

For those who are challenged with saying “NO”, here are ten different ways to say it:

1. I would prefer another option.

2. I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid.

3. Someone would be awesome at this, I am not that person.

4. Some things have come up that need my attention.

5. We should rethink this.

6. My instincts tell me I’m just not suitable for this.

7. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

8. Um, no.

9. My plate is already full but I will be happy to suggest somebody else’s plate to put it on.

10. No, I’m doing all I can right now but thank you for giving me the opportunity.

What do you need to say “NO” to in order to make room for the right “Yes”?

Lip Service

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You know you are in trouble when you are only giving lip service.
When you smile with your mouth but not your eyes.
When you begin to say the words but there are no feelings attached anymore.
That which begins as a great love story ends with years of apathy hidden by duty, commitment and stalwart phrases of those good old days.
We assume that this means that it is over.
The hope of lasting love slips into the daily drudgery of life.
And yet….
It is not over.
The Lord says:
“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Isaiah 29:13 NIV
In a relationship, lip service does no one any good. Not in your relationship with Jesus, yourself or anyone else.
It is better to be honest with what is going on in your heart.
That is the only way any relationship thrives.
Jesus came for your heart and that is where love grows.
Bring him your heart today and let him restore to you that which you thought was lost.
What is going on in your heart?