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Friday, October 14, 2016

day 14: brave in my anxiety

fight fear with joy

Nehemiah 8:10 "the joy of the Lord is your strength" 


Nehemiah is an example of someone who did not let worry or fear determine his actions.
Was he fearless? No, I don't think so. Was he brave & determined? Absolutely. He took precautions, and didn't rush into risky situations. He wasn't aggressive or combative. But he stood his ground and he kept at the work God had given to him to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. 


As I was growing up my mom would tell me that I cam from a long line of worriers. My grandmother was a worrier, my mom struggled with worry and had verses up around the house about trusting God and not giving into worry and anxiety. It has been a long journey for me to learn to trust God instead of running to worry when life has gotten a little janky. 


Look up the words worry and anxiety in a dictionary. Write down the definitions that catch your eye. How are worry and anxiety the same? How are they different?

Worry: to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.
 (Meriam-Webster.com
)

Anxiety: an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it. (Meriam-Webster.com)


My option is that while worry is primarily a mental response anxiety is primarily a physical reaction. 

How would you say you experience fear primarily worry or primarily anxiety? 

I think of worry as a mental rut. The more I travel down that path the deeper the rut becomes. My goal is for that path to become overgrown.  


Read: Nehemiah 1-3
What stands out to you about these verses?

How is Nehemiah feeling in this difficult situation? (2:2)

How did Nehemiah act? (2:4)

What was Nehemiah's attitude? (2:4-8)

Who is the center of attention at the end of these verses? (2:8) 

I'll go ahead and give you my answer for that last question - it's God. He "gets the glory" He is the center of attention in this story. It is not Nehemiah. That should be so freeing and gloriously liberating. I am not someone who naturally seeks the spotlight or wants to be the center of attention, except for in my own mind. God in the spotlight sounds good to me, He is the one taking the bow at the curtain call. If I am the center of my own attention then I am going to get so wrapped up in my own little side-plot which means that worry is going to throw a party in honor of my massive problems. I need to get my perspective correct. Stop navel-gazing and start star gazing. 

2:9-16 - Nehemiah took precautions and was strategic in his actions - what do you think is the main difference between caution & worry? 

P.S. One of the things I really love about Nehmiah chapter 3 is reading all of the times it mentioned a family building the wall in front of their house. There were some families who did more and some families who did less, but a big "amen" rises up within me when I read about what a huge undertaking was completed and many of the families simply repaired the wall in front of their door. I want to be someone who does that. 

Is there a circumstance in your life that is equivalent to building the wall in front of your house? If nothing comes straight away to mind then sit with God for a moment. Ask him to show you the wall in front of your house - what are the different bricks? Are they sturdy? Crumbling? Somewhere between the two? Do you have some patches that are strong and others that are weak? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight. Feel free to reach out to a friend to talk about how they see this. Do you see your situation as part of a plan that is bigger than you?

How are you feeling about your circumstances?

How are your feelings influencing your attitude & behavior? 

What behavior is God calling you to?

What should your attitude be?

Write out Matthew 6:19-34 in your own words as a prayer back to God. 

Additional verses: 
Isaiah 26:1-4, 40:27-31, 41:9-10, 17-18
Psalm 103:4-5
Psalm 105:4-5
Psalm 84:5-7 & 11
Psalm 34:4-10, 18
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
1 Corinthians 1:26
Romans 16:25-27


Listen: "it is well" Bethel

1 comment:

  1. I have been nudged more than a few times by the Lord to invite others who are home all day, as well, to my home. I have not wanted to do this IRL... my house is just never as clean as my grandmother would like it to be... you know? :) Today, I am simply going to be obedient and send out an invitation for a day next week, Lord willing. This line of yours from this post: "God in the spotlight sounds good to me..." is the one that convinced me. *The introvert in me has avoided this gentle nudging, especially since I have not been a committed church-member, or -goer, for several years now, but I want Him to be the center of everything in my world. Amen. |Thank you, again. Looking forward with great anticipation & excitement to the rest of your series here. I've had a beautiful time with the Lord, while reading it over the past couple of hours. ~

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