Jun 4

SLL Week 9, Day 2

SLL Ch 8

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Choose Your Weapons

After reflecting on our key verse yesterday, Isaiah 43:1-3, we have the promise that God will be with us no matter what may come our way. I want you to keep this in mind as you dive into Chapter 9.

I am certain that no one would debate that we all have trials and stresses in our lives. There are a multitude of possible “weapons” at our disposal that we can use to combat our stresses. For example, I used to be a stress-eater. When difficult times came my way, I would turn to food. It became a comfort to me. However, this decision only led to more problems instead of solutions. As my faith grows, I know there are much better “weapons” for me to select.

In Chapter 9, Tracie talks about the weapons we can use to battle stress:

  •  God
  • God’s Word
  • Spiritual Vitamins
  • Prayer
  • Victory

I love how she ties it all together at the end of the chapter, “Choose God, his Word, prayer, and spiritual vitamins. As you fight the battle with these tools, you will also be simultaneously choosing victory” (page 196).

 

Your Turn

As you read through Chapter 9, I encourage you to make notes about what stands out to you about the various weapons.

I would love for you to share what you have learned from the chapter in the comment section.

My challenge to you this week is to go to this list of weapons as the trials and stresses come at you instead of dealing with it in another way. If you are accepting the challenge this week, please let me know in the comment section. I want to specifically pray for you that you would feel God’s presence in the midst of your circumstances and that God would grant you the wisdom to select the appropriate weapon for battle.

 

*Your next assignment will not be until Friday, so you have 3 days to complete this. Be sure to come back Wednesday to hear about another fabulous aspect of Proverbs 31 Ministries and Thursday for the Blog Hop.

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. URGENT: I need prayer. Really bad. The enemy is throwing so many darts at me that I feel like I am going to drown or throw up. Health, Marriage, Children, Dying Mom, etc. All of it has just been picking picking picking and I have been doing really good resting in God and finding my strength in him. But I have had some huge blows today that have topped off this last week. I am just not getting why I cannot stay in a place that things don’t knock me off my rock. Help! :(

    • Praying Shephanie, when they say step by step, I say one word by one word, God is listening. Start throwing darts back by using Gods words. :)

      • Elaine Ledlow says:

        Praying for you Stephanie. When it gets hard just start repeating Jesus Jesus Jesus. The darts of his name will help stop the others. I am on facebook and if you would like to talk friend me and private message me and I will be happy to talk. Where two or more are gathered His will shall be done!

    • Stephanie, you are in my prayers tonight… I understand how it feels to become so overwhelmed from so many directions.

    • Thank you Ladies! His mercies are new every morning, and the prayer of his warriors are priceless. It was a hard night. But the hardest part is that I kept my mouth shut. I have a history of regretted words when I got angry at my husband and kids. I told the truth, but left out the really harsh ending that usually always happens. This is new territory for me. I will not say I went to bed with a clean attitude and no anger, but I went to bed with Jesus on my lips and asking for help. This morning is a new day and Jesus was the first word that came to mind.

    • Praying right now, Stephanie…God, Steph is dealing with so much, too much. Would you scoop her up from going down and hold her safely in your mighty right hand until all fear and all threat has passed? Amen

    • Praying Stephanie. I can’t imagine just like no one else can ever totally get what you are personally going through. We all have those times where we just feel like we can’t take anymore yet we wake up to see that we are still standing the next day. I am praying for you to find peace and strength quickly. Love in Christ, my friend.

    • Karri (obs leader) says:

      PRAYING Hard for you!!! Remember our verse of the week!! (((HUGS)))

  2. I except the challenge. Great timing, I really need to focus on the word more. By doing so it calms all my tension.

  3. Christine says:

    I accept the challenge! God’s timing is perfect, because I’ve been struggling for a while now with trying to have my regular devo time everyday. Most days I try getting up earlier, but my two little ones somehow sense I’m up and then my time alone with God is blown! Then I become irritated and bitter, not a happy camper. Sunday morning, I got up earlier, same thing happened! And you all know what a horrible place it is to be on your way to church and you’re just not in a good mood! Just like Tracie asked in one of the last chapters, do I keep trying to do something the same way expecting a different result? I know how important time alone with God is, yet I’m struggling to find it in my life!! So I decided that I will hide, and I will have my own prayer closet, yes I’ll hide in my own closet so no one can find me! There is something freeing about closing the door to the stress and chaos of the house, getting down on my knees, and just pouring out my soul to my heavenly Father. I’m praying for all of us to choose God and his weapons to battle the stress in our life. Pray for me that my “hideout” idea works!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Christine,
      Your story sounds like mine. I have to get up at 5AM to have quiet time to ensure my girls aren’t up. I am still struggling with this because I can’t do anything in my strength. For me I feel very convicted to have quiet time first thing in the morning before anything else. I love the closet idea. I go on the front porch after dinner and shut the door:-) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I accept this challenge and Praise God that I am feeling much better tonight. The last few days I haven’t felt up to participating much. I am so thankful that God is healing my body so I can be about His business and be free from distraction. God is Good!!

  5. Dawn H. says:

    I need prayer too! I am sitting here typing through my tears. And, I need you all to know that I hate that I am asking for prayer and that I am “drama”, right now! My husband battles depression. He goes in and out of it and has had a very long stint of good! Right now he is on a fast downward slide and I don’t like the looks of things. His perspective is off and he is angry. He just yells and goes far away from all of us in his mind – getting his attention is hard! When we do get it, he is angry! This is a terrible thing to say, but his timing to have this slide is not good. Our oldest graduates from High School on Saturday and we have a huge onslaught of family coming into town in two days – all staying with us! It will be hectic, crowded, emotional and expensive. All of his favorite things – NOT!! We just need prayer…I need God right in the center of my everything! I do not want to lose sight of Him and I want to hang on tight through all of this! Could you all please pray for that? Thank you….

    • Elaine Ledlow says:

      Father God I ask that you wrap both of these sisters in your loving arms. As the trials hit them hold them close and remind them that you are with them Amen. Dawn, never be apologetic for asking for prayer. Yes God knows what is going on but often we need to put the pride away and just ask! Congratulations on your oldest child graduating and understand that part of his anger may be that he feels like he losing a special part of him. Ask God for peace and mercy as you go through this time. I will continue to pray. From one sister to another Love you and know that he is with you! Elaine

    • Dawn, am going to lift you up in prayer today and write it on my calendar through the weekend so I remember to pray. We have an adult son w/severe emotional swings due to a disease and his go to mode when he gets super stressed is anger too. So I get that about your fella and how it affects the family. We wasted too many years worrying about what extended family might think/do if they witnessed his unbridled emotions or if he would “ruin” another major holiday/event but in the end we have all come to understand he doesn’t mean it, is filled w/shame & regret afterwards & needs our support/cooperation when it starts happening. Together…siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, girlfriends No long place expectations on him that he can’t meet if it is within our power to do so and when things DO go haywire during special celebrations we seek strength & grace for and with him to understand and forgive. Hope that makes sense. It is not an easy ministry but it one that God has given.

    • Dawn we all find ourselves in places where drama surrounds us. I have battled depression myself and have dealt with my father’s depression for many years and he has the same types of anger issues which seem to pop up when there are other stress going on within our family. I am praying for you and will continue to do so. When life feels the most hectic try to focus on deep breaths and God’s promise of peace.

      “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalms 91:4

  6. Mindy C says:

    I accept the challenge..I have found over the past few weeks that as I dig deeper into the world the more peace I am finding in my life. There is still stress, there are still problems, I still have two young toddlers but I can laugh when a can of pop is spilled everywhere, I can smile when my daughter is screaming over a scraped leg.

  7. Elaine Ledlow says:

    I think that one of my biggest ahas was when Tracie talked about the Spiritual Vitamins. I really had never thought about scripture being a vitamin, but when I started thinking about it it makes perfect sense. Scripture builds our healthy relationship with God and when you are taking the vitamins you are in the word and talking to God. My prayers are often chats with him because I just talk to him and ask him what I need to do. I am amazed at how often a word or phrase will show up to get me going in the right direction. I am going to take this challenge and claim victory in my daily battles with stress.

  8. I am accepting the challenge. I used to turn to being busy and trying to “save the world” when I felt overwhelmed and often I would turn to anger to serve as my fuel. I did have a small victory today that I would like to share. My sweet daughter has been struggling with keeping her room tidy and neat (she shares a small room with her brother). Usually I would explode upon finding it a huge mess. But today God whispered into my ear that I should be gentle. So I sat down and sorted her mess into piles and hauled the extras off to the living room. When I picked her up from school I prepared her gently for the work ahead of her. At home I sat on her bed and gently helped her to properly deal with all the piles. Instead of yelling and crying, we had a sweet time together. She said that cleaning the big mess with me was fun. She then changed her sheets and made her bed all nice. This was a huge blessing and a victory because I was able to listen to God’s voice and choose gentleness. This eliminated stress for her and for me and we had a sweet bonding time.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Eva,
      I absolutely LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so hard not to get angry or to figure out how to discipline. Before any discipline I have been trying to quietly go to God first. This was something I needed to read.

    • This is an awesome message out of an everyday mess. Praising with you.

  9. Jenifer says:

    I accept the challenge. I have had a spiritual battle going on with people from my daughters school and church. I need to go to the weapons mentioned instead of letting the devil get a strong hold on my heart.

  10. Novella Pope says:

    I am taking the challenge.
    Stressed Less Living & Proverbs 31 is such a beautiful blessing.

  11. I am just starting the chapter, but would appreciate your prayers as I to struggle with stress eating…I am ready to lose it for life!! God Bless you.

  12. I accept the challenge to use these tools in dealing with the stressful and uncontrollable circumstances. Thanks so much!

  13. Oh boy, I hope because I didn’t do this yesterday that I am not too late to get your prayers! I don’t want to miss an opportunity like that…that is paramount to saying no thank you to an offer to do all my laundry & ironing! 😉 I accept the challenge to lay down my useless weapons of control, busyness & worry and turn to real weapons like God, His Word, prayer & whatever spiritual vitamins are (can’t wait to find out :-) )

  14. I accept the challenge. I am starting today. As school is winding down (Im a teacher) I have less to keep me busy so my mind is starting to wonder. This can be dangerous but I am determined to handle this differently.

  15. Melissa Sorenson says:

    This chapter was especially timely for me. I had actually fallen behind the past two weeks and decided I better get back on track, so figured out which chapter we were on and couldn’t believe what I was reading! You see, I just went through an extremely stressful even that involved some women in my church and it really knocked me off my feet. But instead of turning to the Godly ‘weapons,’ I fell right into my old patterns of dealing with stress. My pattern is to freeze up. Can’t think, can’t do anything when I get like that. All I can do is lay in bed and watch TV. And eat. SUGAR. Anything with sugar. Sure, I prayed and prayed and prayed, but couldn’t get myself to open the word or even focus on the scripture I already know…so after three days of this, I started to reach out to certain people around me that I knew I could trust. Little by little, I was able to take away something that helped and encouraged me from each conversation. I was also able to get back on track fairly quickly, praise God, because I have enough Godly women in my life to help me, as well as a great Pastor who I talked with during this time. But then I read this chapter and thought ‘Wow’! I really could’ve done things differently. So my plan is to work hard and be prepared for the next time. I want to deal with stress the ‘right’ way, rather than falling apart and then doing damage control. So I am really grateful for this Bible Study and this book!

    • Stress can catch us so off guard and you sound like me. I don’t know what it is about TV and food but that is the first thing I turn to when I can’t focus or my head hurts or I feel the least bit stressed. I think the TV just distracts me but it doesn’t comfort me in any way so I don’t know what that pull is and food is another issue all to itself. I think when I am so stressed I have such a hard time focusing on reading the word or praying because my mind is running in millions of directions and that may be why I turn to those things. I too am grateful for this study it is wonderful.

  16. melissa says:

    To leave or to stay? I have been with the same guy for 17 years. We are not married. We are living together. Sometimes we get along great other times… not so much. I caught him cheating 3 years ago. The trust never came back because I keep catching him with phone records, etc. The confrontation is worse than the cheating so I don’t say anything about it anymore. I really love him and don’t want to leave but it’s really hard after all of these years. He is the biggest stressor in my life. He also has a drinking and gambling problem. The list goes on. I know I am not perfect either. Neither of us can seem to leave each other alone. If I look at my life, the biggest stress in my life comes from him. Whether it’s fear of attitude, actions, money spent, etc.

    • Marie (Ree) says:

      Oh Melissa when I read your post I felt I could have been reading my own. I’ve been right where you are now. I was divorced from my first husband and living with my boyfriend. We got married after about 6 months, even though I still struggled with whether it was the right decision. He had similar issues with drinking and we both abused or credit cards to the tune of a small mountain of debt. My job was stressful, and there was no refuge at home either. So I prayed! I decided to continue to do what I knew to be best for me. I went to church, I sang in the choir, and when I didn’t get to church I often watched Dr Charles Stanley and Joel Osteen on television on Sunday nights. My husband travels for a large corporation and was always packing for the week on Sunday night….little did I know that he was listening to the sermons on TV as well! God got a hold of his heart and totally turned him around! He began to download Joel Osteens podcasts on his phone so he could listen to them on the plane. The Lord transformed him right before my eyes! He is my best friend, an awesome Father and son to all of our parents. He was going thru a lot back then too, his Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and he wasn’t dealing with it very well and using alcohol to numb the pain. I wouldn’t have lasted in that situation if the drinking had continued. We worked through it together and with God’s help, Today…15 years later we are still Happily Married and blessed beyond my wildest expectations! I don’t condone living together, even though I did it for a while too, God has a better plan and it requires commitment, to Him and to each other. I will pray for you and your boyfriend to make good decisions regarding your future with the Lord leading the way! God Bless!

      • melissa says:

        Hi Ree,

        Thanks for your response. I know living together isn’t the right thing to do. It’s just hard to leave after 17 years. We have talked marriage over and over but I am kind of scared to marry him. I really love him and if he didn’t have all of the “issues” he would be a good guy. His parents treat me as his own. We also have other problems as I am white and he is black. His family accepts me fully and my family does not accept him at all even though it’s been 17 years so I cannot bring him anywhere with me, but he brings me everywhere. That causes conflicts in our relationship big time. It’s because of the wrong things he does (because they have no idea!), they just don’t accept interracial relationships. My family is Christian and I was raised correctly and so was he, we both just strayed away from living right. The thing that I cannot handle is how he can continue cheating on me. He thinks that since he has limited his cheating to text messages only it’s not cheating and he doesn’t know that I am counting his messages that he sends out daily from his phone bill online but it doesn’t show the numbers. When I get home and look in his phone he may have like 4 messages for the day when his phone bill says there was around 100 everyday. At first when I caught him, he had her call and block her phone number so the phone bill was full of unavailable calls. Once he figured out that I wasn’t going to let that fly, now they just text each other. The emotional part of the cheating hurts worse than him sleeping with her, which he denies but I don’t believe that part either. Anyway it’s this crazy bondage that I am trapped in everyday making myself sick to my stomach worrying about him. When I confront him it starts an angry rage so I go from being hurt from being cheated on plus fear from his anger and treated badly for snooping on him. I would rather just internalize it. Plus every time I confront him he tells me I am crazy and that it’s not true and then he finds a better way to hide it. If I just play stupid maybe I will catch him redhanded. I don’t know. Please pray for me. Thanks so much.

  17. Lauren Beach(OBS Group Leader) says:

    Accepting the Challenge because I need it and I want it! I am loving Chapter 9 and the reminder of the amazing weapons we have available to choose from!

    This is a fresh start ~ I choose God as my weapon and today I am taking the step to letting it go and realize I can not have the victory with out the help of God!

    Love this from pg. 195 ~ If God is ruling over our hearts, victory is possible!

    Lets allow God to be the most powerful weapon in our lives and Rule over our hearts <3

  18. I am taking the challenge. This is a blessing and I feel it will help me to grow more spiritually and stay focus on God who is in control. Thanks Melissa

  19. Stephanie M says:

    I will definitely be taking this challenge. I have a difficult decision to make this week, and I will need these weapons! I have accepted a new position at a new company, but now my old company is offering me more money and a promotion to stay. I need God’s help in determining what I should do. Please pray that I listen to God and make the right choice.

  20. Yes I will take you up on this challenge. For me I think it is a mixture of weapons I need. satan has really been on my back lately. he knows my weaknesses and he uses them against me.

  21. I give all my problems to God.He will not leave me I can’t do it alone!

  22. I am going to carry this book with me today, and turn to the the spiritual weapons when things come my way. I know by taking this stance today I have opened the door for the enemy to attack, but my God is mighty to save!!!

  23. I accept the challenge. I need more fellowship time with other believers. I also need to trust God more as he protects me from n’hood drama. I’m facing opposition as I’m trying to start a n’hood bible study as well. I need to memorize the verses that Tracie listed in this chapter!

  24. Lucretia s says:

    I accept the challenge! I need to work on my list of weapons…. God weapons, not my weak “band aids”.

  25. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I just got finished reading the portion of Chapter 9 on choosing God and what struck out to me is the camera that God has and all the photos he is taking of his children. I bet his refrigerator is filled with his loved ones doing what God has called them to do and when I read about the man who gets three jobs because he loves his family so much I was wishing that this was my husband. Also it said that this man did not have resentment in his heart. I know without a shadow of a doubt that mine does. He wants me working and him lounging at home doing nothing but sleeping. Also I have discovered that he blames me for alot that has gone on in this house hold. Blame Blame Blame and you know I am tired of it. The big one so far is the bed. Blames me for snoring, for not giving him enough room in the bed–sorry I am airing my dirty laundry with this, but I feel like it needs to be said. Should I be stressed out? Oh yes I am stressed out about this whole situation. How can one–me– let go of this stress that I have? I need answers and help. I am going through Barnabas at church however we will be ending in July with the book we have done. So please be praying for us when we come to mind. Thanks for letting me share this today.

  26. I accept the challenge. This is going to be (was, currently is, and will continue to be)an exceptionally stressful week. Please pray that I don’t lose sight of the list!

  27. Courtney says:

    All I can say is, “WOW!” Chapter 9 opened my eyes and showed me that we have many weapons to use during stress and spiritual warfare. I just thought about prayer and God’s word as the only sources. I realized today that God gives His word, which provides the spiritual vitamins, teaches us how to pray, and will ultimately give us the victory! I totally accept the challenge and will use this list as troubles arise.

  28. I accept the challenge. Thank you for your prayers

  29. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    I really never realized how insidious chaos can be–it can sneak in and make itself at home and remain unnoticed if I do not guard my heart with His Word. I am accepting this challenge–I want to use His Word, to imporve my use of prayer, and to really believe in the victory He has already won.

    We will be leaving for vacation in beautiful Colorado tomorrow morning, and I am hoping for a stress-free time with my hubby and boy!

    Blessings!
    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  30. I’m trying to take this challenge but have failed so far the last two days. The pain gets so bad I give into moaning and complaining, and then I remember “oh yah, my weapons”. I’m just taking it moment by moment and trying to use my weapons.

    • Karri (obs leader) says:

      Praying for you! I’ve been chanting in my head our memory verse and saying to myself “devil leave me alllloooooonnnnneeeee!” I pray you find comfort! (((HUGS)))

  31. Three sentences spoke to me in Chapter 9:

    1. P. 178 -“Real strength results from PERSISTANT communication and fellowship with Him and allowing his Word to guide us through each day”. Key word: Persistent. I need to talk to Him throughout my day, not just while reading His word or praying.

    2. P. 183 -“I was unaware of the toll my feelings had taken on my spirit.” Key word: Spirit. I have been depressed due to my health circumstances, but need to remember “The joy of The Lord is my strength” Nehemiah 8:10

    3. P. 184 -“I had temporarily and inadvertently allowed the frustration to become my focus.” Key words: Frustration and Focus. I need to train my mindset to focus on His Word versus the frustration.

    I need to put into practice the above and write it on cards. Blessings to everyone everyday -:)

  32. Christine says:

    I accept the challenge! I’m about to dive into Ch 9 and can’t wait to see what’s in store. This whole study has been such a blessing.

  33. I know this must be something God wants me to hear b/c this theme has popped up numerous times in various ways over past few weeks….so, I am listening LORD! :) I’m struck, overwhelmed & perplexed by the simplicity of prayer….just talking to Him & Him listening & “talking” back. I’m also convicted about praying His Word back to Him because I believe in Him but right now, He is asking me if I believe Him. I think that’s where victory lies for me…believing Him & that His Word applies to me…it’s for me!

  34. Karri (obs leader) says:

    Holy Moly! You guys have no idea how God knew I needed this chapter this week……In a nutshell, hubby came out of left field and told me he was leaving because I wasn’t the “same Karri he married 13 years ago and that I didn’t have a backbone” well, keep in mind he has had 2 emotional affairs and 1 physical one (one while I was 7 months pregnant with our first child) It took A LONG time to forgive him and move on anyway, long story short…We talked for 6 hours on the phone (He’s in Chicago for 30 days for work) and he confessed that he has issues from his childhood that he needs to deal with and agreed that we would attend Christian Therapy together..I already go due to post partem depression so for him to attend with me is a huge blessing! He did say that he felt God didn’t listen to him anymore and I laughed and said, “We don’t tell God what to do, we listen, worship and let him lead us”……So yes, I have accepted this challenge and am using the weapons to fight the enemy from destroying our marriage……..This study could not have came at a better time! Love you all!!

  35. This is one of my favorite chapters. Go to God & Gods Word… “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Prov 4:23. It’s so important to remember this as Eph 6:12 says… We are not fighting flesh & blood, but evil spirits. Love the idea of “spiritual vitamins”. I read devotions & my Bible- maybe not every day but most everyday. I could up that. I struggle with praying daily. I like the idea of praying scripture. I once heard Beth Moore call this double dynamite to fight the Devil!

  36. uncteal says:

    I Like The Idea Of Spiritual Vitamins. So Often We Look For Magic Energy Drinks Or Solutions For Feeling And Looking Our Best. But How Often Do We Seek God’s Word In The Same Way? I Need My Daily Spiritual Vitamin Just As I Need My Multivitamin. God Can Make Us Feel Energetic, Healthy, Whole And Happy All At The Same Time If We Seek Him!!

  37. Katrina says:

    I accepted the challenge and just realized I never left a comment! Chapter 9 has taught me the importance of keeping a constant connection with God so that we are prepared for the battle of spiritual warfare. While I’ve been aware of the existence of spiritual warfare and even of it in my life, I’ve often fell victim to it anyway due to not being consistent with my connection to God.

  38. I accept the challenge. This chapter was the most powerful chapter in the book. Full of information that really opened my eyes like never before. It really made me understand more that I was trusting too much in self. Especially about the adrenaline, oh how I can relate. Also all the various ways I have allowed stress and chaos consume me that, I am blocked from God. I was slacking so much and fell off track and the enemy has been having a field day with my mind, heart and even my body. I can tell you how I have been impacted by this chapter 9. It was life changing. Thank you please continue to pray for me as I go forward to make changes in my life , that it will line up with the word daily and I can kick stress out the door because my redeemer lives and I have been redeemed.