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Ya’ll, does it ever hit you between the eyes that you are trying to do everything all by yourself and figure everything out and yet you totally DO NOT have it all together? In fact it has hit you between your eyes that you are a hot mess?

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Oh, I SOOO want to have it all together. I really do want to just dwell in peace ALL the time! But life happens and stressors pile up and suddenly I find myself all bound up in stress and worry.

Then, when I realize that I’ve lost my peace, I feel guilty. I start to question-

Why do I continuously battle all the little worries that add up to be a big heavy burden? Why do I battle so hard to just leave things at the altar that I have very little control over in the first place?

And then I feel likeI should have this lesson learned by now!!! I should just Let Go and Let God, right? Just run to Him when there is stress. Just Trust Him!

But the truth is, the anxiety still comes. And completing one more trip around the sun does not mean I suddenly have achieved perfection. Yes, I’m “continually being made perfect” (Hebrews 10:14) as I submit my life to God, but I still wrestle. Oh, boy, do I wrestle.

But ya’ll. I wrestle. I don’t just lay down and accept defeat. I BATTLE to hold onto ground previously won.

Yes, I’m imperfect and the enemy comes and attacks and tries to steal my peace. But I will not go quietly into darkness. I fight- with weapons of prayer and praise (usually in the form of worship music).

See, the enemy thinks:
if I CAN’T get her to tank her whole life, I will settle for working to keep her bound up in anxiety and stress.

So I have to go into battle. And I DO gain the victory–through the grace and provision of Jesus and the divine weapons God provides (Ephesians 6:10-18 has a list). Victory over darkness is possible- but we have got fight!!!

And once we win, we have to stay on our guard because the enemy leaves, but he comes back at a more opportune time. (Luke 4:13 AMP).

My pastor recently said:
“If Jesus Himself had to battle the enemy over and over, why do we think we’re exempt?”

Ya’ll, we have got to BATTLE.

This is why I need my Jesus so much. I need self awareness and connection to the Holy Spirit within me to stay alert and self controlled. To not get complacent.

It’s easy to get busy or distracted. It’s easy to be focused on what’s going on around me or wrapped up in my own ideas and plans… and then when I get worn out or things don’t go my way I suddenly realize- BAM.

Ohhhhhhhh. Those stressed out, unhappy thoughts in my head are not my own. They are deception from the slithery serpent, the thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)

The enemy’s tactics are age old. ‘Cause they work for him! He peddles deception and fear and seeks to ensnare us.

1 Peter 5:8 says:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Sober and vigilant are also translated as “Be watchful, alert, self controlled, be disciplined.”

I’d add:

Be Self-Aware. Know what thoughts are your own and what thoughts are from the enemy of your soul.

How do you know the difference? The thoughts that are deceptive or destructive or miserable or unhappy…. those thoughts are flaming arrows from the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

So we have to be both self aware and self disciplined. Don’t believe everything you think.

“Control yourselves and be careful!” 1 Peter 5:8, ICB

When we get focused on the day to day struggles or running from one thing to the next, it is SO easy to let our guard down. And the next thing we know, the negative thoughts come sneaking in. They are so quiet that often we don’t realize it is the enemy roaring, seeking to devour our peace.

So ya’ll. Let’s ROAR back. The enemy is a LIAR. The enemy can whisper lies into our minds. But we get to CHOOSE whether to believe him.

We battle him best with God’s word- as Jesus Himself did in Luke 4.

Who are we going to believe? The thief who comes only to steal, kill, or destroy? Or Jesus, who loves us and gives life, abundantly?
(John 10:10)

So in the stress and in the stretching, in the busy-ness and the pressures of life, let’s choose wisely and intentionally.

Let’s not live bound up in stress and worry, but instead seek God’s peace that passes understanding… and let’s battle to keep it!!

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