"Change the Setting" - Girlfriends in God - June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010  

Change the Setting 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Friend To Friend 
We do a lot of laundry at the Southerland house. I'm sure you can relate to the fact that there always seems to be a load in the washer that needs to go in the dryer, a load in the dryer that needs to be folded and a load of dirty laundry waiting to begin the tedious process all over again. Our washer and dryer have numerous settings for washing everything from hand washables and fine delicates to cotton and permanent press. After a few loads of producing pink, male underwear and sweaters shrunk to fit Barbie dolls, we decided to wash everything on one setting and in cold water. Heaven help the man, woman or child who dares to change that setting. 

When a life crisis comes, we generally have an automatic and very human setting of fear and anxiety. The good news is that we can change that setting to "peace" by counting on God.

  1. Count on God to be with you. We battle stress every day, but God is faithful. We can count on Him to be with us every step of the way. Worry is a trust issue stemming from our desire to be in control. When we try to play God, the result is always worry and stress. We keep trying to fix tomorrow's problems with today's resources. God gives grace in daily doses that are always enough and right on time. 

Isaiah 43:2 "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you" (NLT). 

  1. Count on God for direction. When we don't know or refuse to follow God's plan, life can easily spin out of control in a whirlwind of confusion and doubt. God offers direction and guidance through His Word, through His people and through the Holy Spirit.  

Psalm 32:8 "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you" (NLT). 

  1. Count on God for provision. God goes before us in every area of life. Nothing that happens to us will ever surprise God. We must be careful to stay away from scenario sickness of "what if." There are no "what ifs" when we choose to trust God for every need. God is at work around us, meeting needs we are not even yet aware of. Even as we pray, God's answer is on the way.   

Isaiah 65:24 "I will provide their needs before they ask. I will help them while they are still asking for help" (NLT). 

  1. Count on God for protection. God will fight for us when we are attacked. When we yield control to God and follow Him, God fights for us but when we pursue our agenda, we step out from under His umbrella of protection and into our own limited strength. 

Exodus 14:13 "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" (NIV).    

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read, "If God is your Co-Pilot, switch seats!" The story is told of a newly licensed pilot who was flying his private plane through a fierce storm. He was not very experienced in instrument landing, so when the storm worsened, he realized that the control tower was going to have to bring him in for a landing. The pilot started thinking about all of the hills, towers and buildings in the area and began to panic. Over his radio, a calm but stern voice commanded, "You just obey instructions and we'll take care of the obstructions." Many of us have good reason to be afraid because we are sitting in the control seat of our life, trying to maneuver around every obstruction we face. Stress thrives in an atmosphere of fear and doubt when our hand is on the steering wheel of life. We need to move over, surrender all control to God and find the peace waiting in His hand. 

Let's Pray 
Father, my heart is so often filled with fear and it seems like I am drowning in the uncertainties of my life. Help me learn to surrender my fears to You and leave them in Your hands. Strengthen me to face each storm and walk through it, knowing that You are with me. I choose to trust You and doubt my fears. I choose against stress and for peace. I choose You, Lord. 

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn  

  • Make a list of your greatest fears.  
  • Prayerfully surrender each fear to he loving and faithful control of God. 
  •  Destroy the list as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God's perfect peace now enthroned in your life.  
  • When fear and doubt assault you, the Word of God is your most powerful weapon. Read and memorize the following verses on fear: 

2 Timothy 1:7 
Philippians 4:6 -7 
1 Peter 5:7 

More From The Girlfriends 
I know it is human nature to "over-promise" and "under-deliver" but it still hurts when someone in my life breaks their promise to me. The only person in my life that has never failed me is God. He is faithful. His promises are true and eternal. You really can count on Him, friend. 

Mary's book, Escaping the Stress Trap, is based on Psalm 23 and is a step-by-step plan for dealing with stress and learning to manage it before it manages you. (Also available on CD

Looking for a Bible Study? Mary now has several E-Bible Studies available. You can download each lesson on your own computer, print it out and complete it at your own pace. These E-Bible Studies are perfect for both personal and small group study.

Need encouragement? Check out Mary's weekly online Bible study Light for the Journey and join women across the world in Bible study and prayer.

Be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email. She loves hearing what God is doing in your life!

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Monday, 21 June 2010.