What would happen if you tried to start your car without any gas in it? How far would you get on fumes? Would you make it out of your driveway, down the street, or to your final destination?
This may be a common sense question, but really how many of us do this daily? We pull out of our house with barely enough momentum to make it through the day; yet we’re going out in the world to interact with people from all walks of life, including unbelievers, who do not always have our best interest at heart. Without godly wisdom (i.e., going before God, reading His Word, renewing our minds daily) we put ourselves at a disadvantage in handling what the day brings. Jesus told us in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33), but we can take heart because He has overcome this world. Since we are overcomers through Christ, we know that we do not have to succumb to defeat. But how would we know this without reading His Word and renewing our minds daily?
I have seen the fittest people unhappy. Their body is all cut up (speaking in gym terminology right now with reference to a muscular body – fit, toned), but mentally they are out of shape. We’re faithful to the barber shops, beauty parlors (hair never out of place), and nail salons, but are falling apart on the inside.
Is this because we feel our outer image (what people see) is more important to maintain than our inner man?
Some months back, I recall feeling overwhelmed with trying to lose weight, finding the time to work out with my ever growing to-do list, my son’s many activities, work, etc. I contacted a former work-out partner of mine who is serious about the gym. This woman helped me to shave off approximately 20 pounds when my fitness routine had become stale. She’s all about the gym! I started talking to her about my situation and she recommended that I cut back on my prayer time in the morning to make time for working out. During that time, I would set aside 30 minutes in the morning for working out and then another 30 minutes for prayer, or however long I was led by the Spirit, before going into work.
This may sound like a lot to do in the morning before going to work, but it’s manageable with proper rest time and planning the night before. Depending on your wake-up time, this may not be doable if you’re getting up with just enough time to spare and are doing laundry, handling food preparation, cleaning dishes, etc. I’m not sure if you can relate, but I’ve been there, so I’m putting it out there. In this case, you may need to move some of these tasks to the previous evening to be more productive.
Nonetheless, I was surprised that she recommended cutting out one of the most important times of the day – prayer and filling myself with God’s Word. I still remember the start of our conversation like it was yesterday, “Ayesha, I know you like to have your prayer time in the morning, but…” If I’m not mistaken I believe I said, “Don’t we need to get up to thank God for the use of our limbs to be able to work out?” Needless to say, I didn’t take her suggestion. She may know how to help you lose weight, but I am not willing to sacrifice my mind to do so when I can achieve both with better time management.
There are many people in this world who are battling mental illness. I’m not a licensed physician, nor am I pretending to be; however, how many issues are we dealing with (e.g., depression, fear, anxiety, etc.) that are related to succumbing to our circumstance? God tells us not to worry, yet we do it. This blog is not meant to tell anyone how to live their lives, but I can tell you from experience that I worried less when I was full of God’s Word. So a man thinketh so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
I feel stronger when I have a strong prayer life and are reading and believing what God says about my situation. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, so I know the difference when time is not spent with Him. When I lacked in that area, I felt it and started seeing my situation bigger than the one who is in control and told me I’m an overcomer.
Whatever you’re mentally feeling today, go to God’s Word and start meditating on what He says about your situation. I’m a living witness that a change will happen when you believe God and stop focusing on what the enemy wants you to believe. The enemy wants you to focus on the mountain, but didn’t God give us the authority by faith to move that mountain (Mark 11:23). Again, how would we know this without reading His Word and renewing our minds daily?
I am not going to promise you that your situation will change right away, but you will by spending time with God in prayer and reading His Word.
Don’t you want a break from worrying about things and people you cannot change and from carrying around heavy burdens? I know I do. Give it to the one who can do something about it. Remember everything on this earth belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1), including the one you’re worrying about.
Let me give you some verses to start with:
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My prayer is that this blog will encourage you today in whatever you are facing. Have a blessed week and feel free to share this post with others as well as leave a comment. We can all encourage each other.
Love you in Christ,
Ayesha L. Shoulders