Today I’m happy to share some words by Donna Gaines and the post could not be more timely. Who couldn’t stand to hear more about stress-free living? I hope you are blessed by her words! I’m looking forward to reading her new study, Leaving Ordinary!
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What keeps you awake at night? What puts a knot deep down in your stomach? What is it that you have allowed to steal your joy? Regardless of what it might be, God wants to set you free from all anxiety. You may think that is impossible. But God has commanded us to not be anxious (Phil. 4:6-7). I have described this “stress-free” living in my new book Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer.
The Bible tells us, we are not to live as “mere men” (1 Cor. 3:3 NASB). We leave “ordinary” behind when we meet Christ and begin to live the Spirit life that only He can provide. This extraordinary relationship leads to a stress-free life. In Philippians 4:6–7, we are commanded to be anxious for nothing (nkjv). But how are we to do this? By trusting the One who has called us and is preparing us for heaven. I did not say that you would have a “pain-free” or “trouble-free” life. Jesus said just the opposite. He said, “In the world you have tribulation,” then added, “but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 nasb).
If He has overcome, we can overcome through Him! The Spirit of God has the ability to lift you above the circumstances of your life so you begin to see them from an eternal vantage point. That means taking the intrusive thoughts of anxiety and worry that seem to bombard your mind at times and refuse them entrance. Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (nasb).
Instead of worrying, turn those anxious thoughts into prayer requests. Jesus has told us to “cast all [our] anxiety upon Him, because He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7 niv). As we do this, we can claim His peace that will literally build a fortress around our hearts and minds. Then Isaiah 26:3 will become a reality: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT)
(Leaving Ordinary, p. xiii)
Faith and worry cannot coexist in our hearts. We either trust the Lord, or we lean on our own finite, human reasoning, vainly seeking to solve our own problems. Sadly, our “problems” are often the proverbial “what ifs” that never actually materialize. Our adversary, the devil, is always ready and willing to provide his annoying “fiery darts” of anxiety, that send our minds into tailspins of speculations and vain imaginations. With these he keeps us distracted and spiritually disengaged while simultaneously robbing us of the peace that Christ died to purchase. Fortunately for us, there is a better way!
Choose to believe – trust Christ to carry your burden as you roll it over onto Him through prayer. Then His peace will be yours and you will feel that all too familiar knot in your stomach relax as Christ takes over. This, my friend, is the stress-free zone Christ has provided for all who believe.
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Donna Gaines – In addition to InScribed’s Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer Donna is the author of two other books, There’s Gotta Be More and Seated: Living from Our Position in Christ. Donna is also the editor of A Daily Women’s Devotional. She is married to Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. Known as “Mom” to her son and three daughters and “Nonna” to her six grandchildren, Donna enjoys Memphis bar-b-que, Alabama football, and anything that you can douse with salsa. Leaving Ordinary is available now.