Girlfriends in God - Sept. 15, 2009

September 15, 2009 
Change the Setting! 
Mary Southerland

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

Friend To Friend 
We do a lot of laundry at the Southerland house. 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 process all over again. Our washer and dryer have numerous settings for everything from hand washables and fine delicates to cotton and permanent press. After a few loads that yielded pink male underwear and sweaters shrunk to fit Barbie dolls, we decided to wash everything on one setting.  Heaven help the man, woman or child who dares to change that setting. 

When a life crisis comes, we generally have an automatic setting of fear and anxiety.  The good news is that we can change that setting to peace and joy!  How?  By counting on God. 

·         Count on God to be with you.  We battle stress every day, but God is faithful and we can count on Him to be with us. Worry is trying to fix tomorrow's problems with today's resources.  God gives grace in daily doses. 

     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).

·         Count on God for direction.  Life can easily spin out of control in a whirlwind of confusion. God offers clear 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).

·         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. 

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

·         Count on God for protection.  God will fight for us when we are attacked.  When we follow God's agenda, God fights for us but when we follow our agenda, we are on our own. 

      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!"  Great advice!  We have good reason to be afraid when we are in control. Fear feeds stress. 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 control to God and find the peace only He can offer.

Let's Pray 
Father, my heart is filled with fear.  It seems like I am drowning in the uncertainties of my life.  Lord, help me to surrender my fears to You.  Strengthen me to face each one 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 fears.

·         Surrender each fear to the loving control of God as you pray, "I will fear no evil, for you are with me." 

·         Burn the list as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God's perfect peace enthroned in your life.

·        Read and memorize Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (NIV).

·         Determine what step(s) you need to take in order to find victory over those fears? 

More From The Girlfriends 
When the tough times come, where do you usually turn first?  If you are like me, it is tempting to turn to other people and other resources for help.  We often turn to God as a last resort, as if we have tried everything else and since we have no options left, we might as well give God a shot at it!  The next time fear assaults you, turn to God and let His peace fight the battle for you.  Turn your worries over to God, knowing He already has a plan of rescue in mind. 

Fear was a huge struggle in my life for many years.  In fact, fear paralyzed me and blocked God's power and joy in my life.  I am learning to trust God more and believe my fears less.  Need help?  Light for the Journey is my weekly online bible study that offers practical and powerful tools for daily living.  Check it out!  

Looking for resources to help you grow in Christ?  Visit Mary's online store for a great selection of books, CDs, MP3 downloads, E-Bible Studies and more!

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

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

Originally published Tuesday, 15 September 2009.