How to keep the Stress Out of Life: Your spirit made alive by your faith in Jesus is a key to living a peace-filled life.
We want abundant life, as peaceful and free from stress as the life Jesus led. But we don’t generally experience that, do we? Why not? And if not, how can we get to the sort of peaceful existence Jesus lived?
Our flesh is powerful. The mind, and in particular our will, doesn’t always want to cooperate with God’s Holy Spirit. When we are surrendered to God the day runs smoothly; when we choose to control our day, it can be rough. We don’t live in a vacuum; we can’t control our circumstances nor everyone around us. Control is an illusion and trying to maintain it is like rolling a very large boulder up a very steep hill. Trying to stay in control creates stress. On the other hand, surrendering our will to the supernatural sovereign God of the Universe allows for His timing and His encounters. In my experience, I’ve accomplished more and had a more satisfying close to the day when I’ve lived with a plan that is surrendered to God.
We can say we surrender… but how do we stay surrendered to God beyond a moment of prayer in the morning (or the night before)?
Fortunately we are not on our own. We stay surrendered, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
1. Select a passage of God’s Word and read it. It might be a single verse or a chapter; the length doesn’t matter.
2. Rest in His Word. Read it and read it again.
3. Fight an urge to resist “resting” by telling God – out loud – that you surrender your will to Him today.
4. Recognize a key step….
Did you surrender your will to your spirit and then your living spirit to God’s Holy Spirit? We have a soul and we have a spirit. Your spirit and soul are not the same thing… Here’s how: Our soul is our mind: will, intellect and emotions. But our spirit is another part of us – the part of us that makes us different from animals. It is what completes us in God’s image.
God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27, 2:7) and it is our spirit which enables us to live and move and have our being in Him. It’s a huge topic for future posts. But here I’ll split a hair… (for more see LarusWalk post The Soul and Spirit within)
Just as through our faith in Jesus we have been given eternal life, so our spirit has been given new life. The Holy Spirit is God’s comforter, helper and convicts us when we need it. In between our soul and God’s Holy Spirit is our living spirit, surrendered to God and empowered by Him. Our spirit is unique to us, ready to enable us to walk, not by might nor by power but by His Spirit. Surrendering our will to our spirit is a key to walking in Life, Love and Peace – daily. So, knowing this…..
5. Surrender your will to your spirit, and your spirit to God. Inviting your spirit to have leadership over your soul makes surrender a whole lot easier.
6. Wait. Listen internally for God’s prompting. Perhaps during the waiting you’ll feel a spontaneous urge to sing or to praise Him in some way; go for it! Or maybe there will be a sigh. It is all a part of your private surrendering process.
Go: Now go, give your day to the LORD, and see how easy the day – even with all it’s responsibilities – can be.