Did I get your attention?
I’m assuming that you are captivated and curious by the title.
It isn’t very often that we hear our friends, family, or even God tell us to “just quit.”
“Quit what?” you may ask, with inquisitive wonder. Quit my job? Quit volunteering? Quit speaking out? Quit keeping quiet? Quit wasting time? Quit consuming things that are harmful to my body? Quit bad habits? Quit the expectations? Quit fearing the future? Quit holding on to the past? The list could last forever...and ever...and ever!
Instead, I charge you to restate your thinking… redirect your question…What am I doing that needs attention? What am I doing that needs to stop?!
Maybe those two little words, just quit, immediately pierced your heart like an arrow with an intense sting and you know exactly what you need to surrender or halt! After you have asked, trust the Lord to give you strength to sustain and carry your through with the tough choices you are making or about to make.
"Trust in the Lord
with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him
and he will direct your path."
Psalm 3: 5,6
Quit and fear are two buddies that seem to continuously walk hand in hand on the same winding journey with me. My guess is that they walk along side you, too! When each stands alone they are not always considered bad. Both can be identified with two opposing sides and we do need to quit some things; however, we don’t need to quit out of frustration! Fear can be a good thing to keep us away from trouble, but when we let fear control us, it can inhibit us from freedom living. When quit and fear are coupled, often fear is the leader! It is the thing that motivates our actions or paralizes us.
I fear that if I don’t quit….blah, blah, blah…..
If I quit, I fear that…Blah, blah, blah. You fill in the blanks!
See how fear tends to lead?!
There is no need for me to “enlighten” you on the danger of living in fear. You know it is a strong vaccum that will suck all life from you. When this happens, you are living a defeated life! Just quit! This is not the path believers should walk. Their way is one of victory which is coupled with faith. Victory that is gifted to everyone who fears (reverential fear, trusts) the Lord!
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world;
and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."—1 John 5:4.
This week I have heard more people use this phrase… “I’m afraid of….I’m afraid that…” I even recall me saying it many times throughout the week, but more often, I have caught myself thinking it because I’m too afraid to speak what I’m thinking about out loud! Fear has even caused me to procrastinate and then I experience a greater fear from not doing the thing that needs to happen. Been there? My struggles have even been having a lack of faith. All we need is faith the size of a tiny mustard seed! We both know that! But what are we doing about it?
These last two weeks have been really tough for me as I am preparing for all of the new in my life, new students, new part-time job, new issues with organizations in which I help lead, new study for Restore retreat, new relationships, new deadlines and new timelines, new…new…new! September always seems to stir up anxious feelings and struggles with feelings of inadequacy. I know that to be true of most teachers as well. FEAR has been defined as False Emotions Appearing Real. I actually had forgotten this acronym, but in my case, the definition is correct. The fear is real but the emotions that are causing the fear are false! The attack is on my mind and travels to my heart like a drug dampening my spirit. It causes me to shut down, give in, be less creative, and feel powerless.
give us a spirit of timidity
(of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear),
[He has given us a spirit]
of power and of love
and of calm and well-balanced mind
2 Timothy 2:7 AMP
I like that this translation in the Amplified Bible includes a calm and well-balanced mind, discipline, and self-control. By His spirit we can just quit the anxiousness, and false emotions. He can cause us to have a well-balanced mind and give us the discipline and self-control we need to survive our day to day tasks!
I was awakened by the Lord the other morning with a new acronym for FEAR. How sweet of the Lord to begin my day with a tender whisper in my ear. He told me, “Forget Everything And Rest.” I did think that was kinda funny because as I was asleep, I was resting and forgetting everything! I rolled out of the bed to write this one down before I forgot it. I knew it had come from the Lord. Slowly moving down the stairs, I began to chew on its meaning. Forget everything, let go, stop harboring, release, surrender…these phrases were like a breath of fresh air in my lungs. I deeply inhaled and released a strong sigh and felt the tension in my body release. I repeated forget everything and rest! While I was now sipping my coffee and pondering His tender words I thought about the word rest. As Kathy and I have been preparing for the new retreat about the gifts of abiding in Christ, the word abide has been premier in my thinking and study. Abiding is resting, and it’s hard to rest when you are battling and resisting evil and desperately trying to solely trust in the Lord! These were my thoughts and then BING, like light bulb suddenly piercing the darkness, I connected REST….Resist Evil, Solely Trust! Yeah God…and thank you! When I trust in nothing else but You, I am able to resist and even repel evil thoughts (fear and inadequacy) that come from walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Ps. 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - The meaning of this in the connection in which it occurs is this: "God will lead and guide me in the path of righteousness, even though that path lies through the darkest and most gloomy vale - through deep and dismal shades - in regions where there is no light, as if death had cast his dark and baleful shadow there. It is still a right path; it is a path of safety; and it will conduct me to bright regions beyond. In that dark and gloomy valley, though I could not guide myself, I will not be alarmed; I will not be afraid of wandering or of being lost; I will not fear any enemies there - for my Shepherd is there to guide me still." (Barnes Notes on Ps. 23:4)
Honestly speaking, I admit it again that I struggle with fear. I have to tell myself to just quit! Quit living a defeated life! I will not live in defeat! I am thankful to the Lord for giving me two acronyms that will serve as a reminder:
FEAR = Forget Everything And Rest!
REST = Resist Evil, Solely Trust!
So what about those of you who began reading this blog and your heart was pricked to just quit something?! You know deep within your soul how God is speaking to you. Are you afraid? Remember the two buddies that walk hand in hand…quit and fear? Fear leads! This is how we walk in defeat! Walking in victory is achieved by stepping out in faith.
Remember that walking and stepping are verbs…showing action! Take the Father by the hand and let Him lead you into all truth. Listen to the Spirit of God and not the voices of evil. Remember that you are an overcomer! (Rom. 8:37)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
Fear, to some degree, is a battle that most of us face on a daily basis. It causes worry and worry causes stress. When we are consumed with it, it can cause havoc on our physical body! When we are physically weak, our guard is down leaving open doors for the enemy to shoot those fiery darts.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
So I urge us all to JUST QUIT! Quit living a life of defeat! Quit leaving out of fear! Quit living in disobedience! Quit trying to rationalize! Quit walking without faith! You know what to do...Cling to His promises, sing aloud His praises, magnify His name! The enemy will run! REST (resist evil,solely trust) in His truth! The Father is with you!
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lordyour God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
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