“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5, NLT
Everyone enjoys a good shortcut, especially when running late. While shortcuts take us where we need to be faster, they can sometimes do more harm than good. Is a route worth taking if the road is rugged or has too many twists and turns? You risk having a car accident that can delay your arrival or prevent it altogether. Sometimes you are better off taking the established route.
Similarly, there are shortcuts that you can take in life to help you achieve your goals more quickly. Some are efficient, but others compromise your integrity. Christian women must accept God’s established route for our lives even if it takes longer than we desire. Our work should be pleasing to God because He will judge it. Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 with me:
“God will never put more on you than you can handle.”
We have all heard this saying, often to encourage Christians to grin and bear life’s hardships. Many falsely believe that it is a Bible scripture. This saying is a misquote of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV):
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
This scripture is about overcoming the temptation to sin – not mustering the strength to carry our own burdens. God’s will for us is quite opposite as detailed in Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV):
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”- Psalm 77:11-12, NIV
In Joshua 4, God gave the Israelites a special set of instructions. He told them to take 12 stones, one for each tribe, and set them in a specific place. Read Joshua 4:21-24 with me:
Then Joshua explained again the purpose of the stones: “In the future,” he said, “when your children ask you why these stones are here and what they mean, you are to tell them that these stones are a reminder of this amazing miracle—that the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground! Tell them how the Lord our God dried up the river right before our eyes and then kept it dry until we were all across! It is the same thing the Lord did forty years ago at the Red Sea! He did this so that all the nations of the earth will realize that Jehovah is the mighty God, and so that all of you will worship Him forever.” (The Living Bible)
As followers of Jesus Christ, we should keep “stones” for the same reason the Israelites did: to remember what God has done. It would be difficult for us to collect a stone each time we encountered God. My solution: Prayer Journals.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
How would you describe yourself? Grab a pen and take a moment to write down a few adjectives. Your list may include words such as:
Loving Adventurous Giving Resilient
While these are beautiful qualities, have you ever described yourself as weak? WEAK?!
I can see you cringing. Most women do not want to be called weak. It is an insult. We want to be seen as strong individuals, who are confident and capable of handling whatever comes our way. Our culture affirms the strong woman stereotype and we are led to believe that we should always exude strength.
Thankfully, the standards of this world are not God’s. As His daughters, it is okay for us to be weak. No one is purely strong. There are areas of our lives where God has blessed us with the ability to thrive. Similarly, there are also areas where God has purposely allowed us to struggle. God does this to build our dependence on Him and prevent us from making idols of ourselves.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV
Fear is something that we battle daily. It knocks on our door as we prepare for a job interview or embark on a new business venture. It tries to hold our hand when a relationship we thought would last forever ends. And it attempts to wrap its arms around us after God reveals vision of our life.
While it is natural to experience fear, know that it is more than an emotion –it is a spirit. The enemy sees no problem in using it as weapon to prevent us from pursuing our God-given purpose. We can spend years bound by fear, unable to take the next steps in fulfilling our destiny. It is incredibly important that we learn how to overcome fear! Here are three strategies:Continue reading “Overcoming Fear”→