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. Virginia says:

    I am accepting the challenge this week.

  2. Lakecia says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am accepting the challenge ! I am committed to dealing with stressors,trials, and storms in a way that draws me closer to God and not further from him.

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Lakecia, you will be so glad you’ve chosen God’s weapons. I don’t do this perfectly even though I know it for many years, yet when I do, I have such peace that is seems “unnatural”. And it is unnatural. The way of the world is stress and fear. The way of God is peace and strength.
      God bless you on your journey to Stressed-Less Living my sister. God bless you with His strength and peace.
      B. Prince OBS small group leader

  3. I also accept the challenge! I try to fill myself with Gods word instead of food and I will have a refill and a refill… I will also tr to pray more in terms that I will speak with God more about everyday things. I always tend to wait till all is done and quiet and then I am mostly too tired to form a clear thought. I want to make it a habit to talk with Him through my whole day. Wishing eveybody well in taking up this weeks’ challenge.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Saskia,
      Me too! Especially before any decisions throughout the day or before posting anything on social media.

  4. Jessica Z says:

    I too am accepting the challenge!

  5. Mary (OBS group leader) says:

    Accepting the challenge, big stressful week and month ahead for my family! I will choose my weapons with care! :) God first always! He has this! TRUST!

  6. Good morning! I too am accepting the challenge and cannot wait to read this chapter. I have already been doing some of this but had some set backs even in the past couple days. I hate that when things seem more normal I so easily revert to my natural tendency to exist and go through the motions. So I choose life and living in Jesus today, in this moment truly alive because of Him. Amen

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Liz, I know what you mean. Sometimes, when things are going well, we can forget the source of our life is still God and His Word. Then when trouble does come, we are depleted.
      I wish you well in sticking with the Word of God and talking to God on an everyday basis.
      Love and prayers,
      B. Prince OBS small group leader

  7. I’m accepting the challenge. I tend to be a stress eater and I agree it just leads to more issues and problems. The “comfort” is very short lived and then is followed by more stress at what I just did. This week I choose to turn to God and use the weapons mentioned to work through the issues.

  8. Janet F says:

    I am excepting the challenge, I will go to the Word and not food when stressed and I will go to prayer when I feel like my anger is going to control my emotions. Praying for all of us on this challenge!!

  9. In researching for words to share with my small group regarding today’s blog – I came across this: WEAPONS – may be construed to include anything used to gain a strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary.WOW, how awesome to go right along with our blog today!!! It is GREAT, GREAT, GREAT this morning! I am loving it! Awesome challenge and God’s perfect timing! Awesome teaching this week!!! Thank you!

    My (Stress) adversary is TIME and WAY TOO MUCH TO DO in a very short period of time. My daughter graduates tomorrow, my pool is not clean – struggling in big ways with it – I have to get party food and decorations tonight – will then come home and have to begin preparing and cooking for tomorrow – as well as I still need to do some cleaning in my house – HOW IN THE WORLD! And I have to work all day today and 1/2 day tomorrow til 12 – graduation at 2:30. YES, today is going to call for some very strategic and damaging weapons in order to stay calm and not totally lose it over all of this!!!!! As I was searching for the perfect verse for today I found this one also in Isaiah, it spoke to me because it’s going to take lots of internal strength and might to get through the next 30 hours!

    “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29

    Praying each sweet Jesus girl here reaches out to our Heavenly Father to gain the strength and might needed to fight whatever your stressor may be! I will be doing just that!

  10. Accepting the challenge this week! Focusing on prayer and reading God’s Word daily. Clinging to Jesus!
    Love and Prayers,
    Beth A. (OBS Group Leader)

  11. Love this!!! This challenge came at the PERFECT time as stresses in my life have increased so much this past week.

  12. Accepting the challenge to find comfort in God’s words instead of eating, shopping, complaining, or being apathetic. I havent read the chapter yet but should be able to get to it today!

  13. I am accepting the challenge, too. And it couldn’t be more timely. Just when I think the breathing room is coming, we’ve been hit with a little tsunami of potential stressors. I’m choosing to sit and be quiet with God for 5 minutes each day. I’m choosing exercise over the doughnut (some mornings, it. are. hard!) I’m choosing to start my morning off with prayer BEFORE those busy feet hit the floor in the morning. I’m choosing to do what I can and then stand back, while I watch God do the heavy lifting. (He gave us permission and I’m taking full advantage of that, this week!) Feeling blessed to be redeemed and ransomed by our God!

  14. I am accepting the challenge tooo…:)

  15. Christel says:

    I accept your challenge!

  16. Karen R. says:

    I definitely am accepting the challenge! In fact already this morning I have had to go to God with something that I would have let it eat at me, then called a a friend to complain, and then irritate me some more! Today I took a breath and told God!! So I am ready to chose God, God’s Word, Spiritual Vitamins, Prayer, and Victory today!

  17. Barbara Prince says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. I know how important this challenge is to accept and not just to accept for a day or a week, but to make it my life. Help me Lord Jesus.

  18. Love this, Jamy! Accepting this challenge with all my sisters here! God is reminding me that He has to be first. He has to be the One thing I desire above all others, the One who I turn to first in any circumstance.

  19. Tristine says:

    Hi Jamy good to see you! Thank you for the beautiful picture I have set it as my wallpaper on my phone. I have read and highlighted the whole chapter but I want to go back through it. I accept the challenge and I accept your help. as you know I have been the caregiver for my husband who had a massive stroke last year. I was told that many times the caregiver end up sicker than the patient. The Lord has been good to us. He’s answered prayers and my husband just ran a mile. He is gaining good ground in his mental capacities and physical. I’m so proud of him.

    As for me and the challenge I am still battling a smoking addiction. Yes I’m just throwing it out here-something that some would be ashamed of the in this arena. Physically I’m healthy in every other way. I’ve tried over the past year to quit smoking and I keep falling off the wagon. Yes this is an unhealthy weapon I’ve used when getting stressed for most of my life and it is the hardest thing for me to quit. I prayed for deliverance I pray everyday but I can’t help but think of that song that says that devil just won’t let me win.

    God has blessed me and my husband. We are on vacation in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. No stress here, except in my mind because I keep beating myself up for not being able to quit. Possibly is not in God’s timing which I cannot understand.

    God has made great progress with me in many other ways of which I’m very grateful. I already use a lot of the the Godly ways she suggests but I think I need a bigger weapon. My mind knows that I can do all things through Christ Jesus, but I have not yet achieved victory.

    Thank you Jamy

    Tristine

    • I am accepting the challenge this week and the weeks that lay ahead of me and my family. :)

    • Hi Tristine enjoyed reading your post lovely to hear how our God is answering prayer with your husband being able to run after a massive stroke -I will be praying for you I can’t say I know what it’s like to smoke because I don’t but what I do know is that there is nothing too hard for our God – he loves you and me just the way we are faults and all -that doesn’t mean we just carry on as we are no but what it does mean is that he has given us everything we need to overcome are struggles – you need to stop feeling guilty and leave it with The Lord and when you be obedient and believe that God will deliver you from this then you will be able to say with confidants I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. God bless look forward to hearing in the weeks to come how God has delivered you from this addiction. xo

      • Tristine says:

        Thank you so much for your encouraging and positive words. i cannot express how much it means.

        love in christ,

        Tristine

    • Tracey Knafel says:

      Tristine,

      I have the same addiction and threw it out there for the world a few weeks ago. I want to stop too. Every night before I go to bed I make a plan for the next day. I’m not completely there yet but persevere I will :)

      I will be praying for you…

      • Tristine says:

        Thank you for your support and sharing. It is good to make a plan for the next day right? As long as we never give up.

        Thank you for the prayers and I will be praying for you.

        Love in Christ,

        Tristine

  20. I am accepting the challenge! The last couple of weeks have brought on more giants and more stress than I can handle. I need to choose God’s weapons to get me through.

    • Tristine says:

      I am sorry you’ve had such stress in your life. I am so thankful that we all get to do this all together through this study. I can so relate and look forward to using God’s weapons.It is my prayer that you do the same and come thru shining like a star, giving God all the glory.

      Love in Christ,

      Tristine

  21. I am accepting the challenge!

    Over the past 3 months I have made a conscience effort to begin each day with prayer, Bible reading, and quiet time with God. In that time I have seen a dramatic change in my approach to life. I have had more inner peace and less personal turmoil. I have also seen God at work within my life. He has made me aware of his personal message for me throughout my day and throughout my week. He has given me opportunities to share that message with others. For the first time, in a very long time, I truly feel God’s presence with me, guiding me, and helping support me. I think I just needed to put more of myself into the relationship and my daily sessions with him have done that!

  22. I totally bombed today. Screechy voice came and had a hay day during only one home school class with my three teenage boys. I just didn´t stay calm and I am so ashamed. I felt so out of control. I hate it when I get like that. Praying to be able to see when this is happening and stop it.

    Need to finish chapter 8 still.

    Dani

  23. I will be reading the weapons and taking the challenge too! I so need it.
    Lord help us all to give HIM control.

    Dani

  24. Challenge accepted! My current “stressors” hit me first thing this morning. This time I gave it to The Lord and asked Him to take handle it. I may still feel a little anxiety, but I also feel Him.

  25. Nancy Miksad says:

    Challenge accepted! And put to use today! Satan ain’t gonna win!!!!

  26. I, too, accept the challenge this week. Although I am waiting for my copy in order to read chp 9 (I just recently joined the group) so I am not sure what Spiritual Vitamins will entail. I am going to continue praying to God every morning and when I feel my worries overtake me. This month is full of my family traveling and I am stressing over their safety. I really need the calming reassurance that God has them in His hand keeping them safe.

  27. Constance says:

    I accept the challenge. With four kids one never know what stressors are waiting around the bend. But I choose to use God’s weapons when dealing with difficult situations. I will read God’s word and pray each morning (struggling with this) and take those spiritual vitamins!

  28. I accept the challenge. I grew up in Church but I never really learned how to pray & actually communicate with God. I’ve started meeting with a Biblical Counselor – we pray, ask God what he has to say to us about whatever we are discussing & then we stay in that quiet state allowing God to be a part of our thoughts & expose his will to us. It’s become a powerful weapon. Seems silly but it’s harder when life is easier. I find myself just wanting to get on with life instead of taking the time to listen to God. I’ve made it a point to schedule my devotional & prayer time hoping that at somepoint it will be just a part of my day like brushing my teeth.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Dodie,
      What a powerful story:-) This sounds wonderful. To just dwell quietly in His Presence. Now that is Stressed-Less living. Thank you for sharing this and I pray that we all obey God and seek Him first.

  29. I LOVE this challenge & will accept it. I know one weapon right off hand and that is GRATITUDE. Often times when I get stressed it’s WAY too easy for me to focus on the negative so when I purpose to talk my thoughts captive & replace it with GRATITUDE it (whatever it is) doesnt feel so unbearable.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Yes. Yes. Yes. I have seen some power in praise and thanksgiving.

  30. I am accepting the challenge. Pray that I could stop and think before engaging in previous coping strategies.

  31. Bree (OBS FB Team Leader) says:

    Accepting!

  32. Renee D. says:

    I am with you all Ladies, I am accepting the challenge as well!! I know it will be a challenge because it’s so easy to go off habits, that easily turn to negativity or thinking the worst. So far in reading through Ch 9 the one thing that stands BOLDLY out to me is ” we simply need to give the control back to Him (God) it’s His anyway. God is in control of everything” I realize this daily! I never realized how much “I” was trying to hold onto and control life in general! Oh how much I have learned through this OBS :-) thank God!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Renee,
      Yes ma’am you are right. I also hold on and even continue to control when I realize it. Daily, we must take our thoughts captive and let God do His job. Thanks for sharing.

    • As women we feel that we have to be in control in all things or seem to be in control but it is so nice to know that we don’t have to be because God’s got this.

  33. Teresa T says:

    I am accepting the challenge and recognizing that it will be a challenge. This chapter has really been good so far – how often we forget that we are in a spiritual war.

  34. I’m just at the beginning of the Chap., but I like what Tracie says about how God defines strength. My definition of strength often leads me to being stubbornly independent, not asking for help, not giving in or forgiving, etc. What I might views as being weak, God sees as being strong. I’m trying to be strong in prayer…praying more, asking for God’s presence, help, insight, guidance.

  35. Rebecca says:

    I really like what Tracie says about using scripture and spiritual vitamins. Going to the scriptures helps a lot when dealing with trials and I also like her metaphor about how to keep healthy we take vitamins and so to keep ourselves spiritually healthy we need the spiritual vitamins.

  36. jackie s says:

    prayer and bible study – always need more.

    really like that this chapter mentions giving “honor” to God; we (me included) are so wrapped up with our needs that we forget to give honor where it is due – our purpose for being here is bringing honor to God.

  37. Lynn Graham says:

    iI learned that I need to guard my heart above all else for it determines the course of my life. God’s desire for me is to surrender all that is weighing me down and if I choose only one weapon to fight of stress let it be God’s word. prayer is a weapon that nobody can take away from me. God calls us to use itwithout ceasing. the spiritual vitamins had becamemy most recent weapon against stress, discouragement and frustration and they were helping me win the battleagains the enemy.
    Prayer Request: I’ve been having alot of anxiety and this past sunday at church I had a panic attack. the weapon I’m using is prayer and yes I”m accepting the challenge.

    • Lynn,
      You are so right that prayer and God’s word are both weapon’s that we can use and no one can take that away from us. That is such a comfort isn’t it.

      I will be praying for you about your panic and anxiety. I have suffered since I was 15 years old with panic attacks and anxiety and no one can truly understand the power those things can have over you unless they have ever had one. One thing I have always done when I had and still have mine is write my favorite songs on paper especially if I am in public and can’t sing. So I write the lyrics down and focus on the words and it helps to calm the storm of panic sometimes. I will be praying for you.
      Love in Christ,

  38. I am accepting the challenge. Starting the morning out with prayer and short devotion, reading the Proverbs 31 Daily Devotion when I get to work, and ending each day reading God’s word and writing down my joys and concerns, then laying them under a cross on my bedside table to symbolize giving them to the Lord. I’m learning to go to Him throughout my day as negativity creeps into my thinking, too. It’s not easy to break this habit, but I’m working on it.

    • Tristine says:

      What a great idea Kim!Thanks for sharing.

      love in Christ,

      Tristine

    • I love the idea and symbolization of using the cross Kim. What a way to get rid of our burdens and really lay them down. I love it. I went to a prayer retreat last weekend and they talked about putting some type of alter near or around your home so that you can actually go there and put peoples names there as you pray so you can focus more. Thank you so much for sharing.

  39. Tracey Knafel says:

    I’m accepting the challenge too! I will be more diligent with my spiritual vitamins and staying in God’s Word. It was a great chapter :)

  40. I am accepting the challenge. I am still reading the chapter so I have not yet figured out which tool will be my main one to use but I am excited by all I have read so far.

  41. Vanessa says:

    I love this and have been using scripture for a very long time as a weapon against the enemies schemes to throw us off. I do have a question I’m gonna throw out there hoping maybe someone can give me some advice. At what point do you realize you may need counseling or medication? My doctor tried to put me on zoloft three months ago and I refused and started paying attention to when I felt emotional. The past couple of weeks I have been an emotional basket case and today just wondered if I’m possibly having a medical condition that needs to be corrected due to hormonal changes at my age. I’m 47 and don’t want to just assume that everything medically is okay when God may be trying to give me help in dealing with my mom passing last year and not being able to have a relationship with my little two year old granddaughter. I have trusted God and I truly believe He can help me it’s not that. It’s just when I started my monthly this morning (glad we are all girls on here lolI thought back over the last couple of weeks and knew that some of the emotional stuff I was facing was not my normal character. Does anyone have any clue about any of this or ever faced the fact that sometimes we do need medical help when we don’t seem to be getting through some issues. I’m not sleeping at at night either and this really concerns me, I have never had a problem with sleeping… Just looking for maybe a few suggestions.. Please don’t think I’m crazy for throwing this out there, I’m just being real!!

    Thanks
    Vanessa

    • Martha F. says:

      Hey Vanessa,
      I had hormonal changes start in my mid-40s & I’m menopausal now. I had to accept some medication help but didn’t want to. Then I thought that God wants us to be our best selves & if this helps me, then it is to His glory. Why suffer if something can help. Talk to your doctor because there are a lot of options. I’m praying for you & send my sympathy for the loss of your mother. (((Hugs)))

      • Vanessa says:

        Thank you Martha for sharing.. It’s great to hear from sweet sisters who give the truth!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      Most of us go through emotional roller coasters. You are not alone! God gives us resources for a reason. Maybe you are suppose to take this doctor’s advice or maybe not. This is something you need to cry out to Jesus for. I mean get on your knees and pour your heart to our Savior. I don’t know anything about hormonal issues but I do know that if there is a chemical imbalance then medication can be required. Not being able to sleep is probably causing a lot of issues in itself. It is by faith we stand and we don’t have to live in doubt. We can ask in faith and without doubting. Phil 4:11 tells us that we know that whatever state we are in that we can be content because God won’t leave us there forever.

      You are not alone. I am praying for you sweet, sister. There is something very beautiful in sharing your heart and being vulnerable. Thank you for sharing. You never know who you have helped by sharing your story.

      • Vanessa says:

        Thank you Krsity I did exactly what you said in this post I prayed yesterday with tears and ask God to show me His will and if this was His will for me to get counseling and help with medication than I’m surrendering to Him. I called my doctor and went and picked up my medicine and will start on it today. I was a afraid before but I’m not now because I knew God gave me peace about this. I talked to my husband and he thinks that it’s best. I think sometimes as Christians even though we are trusting God, we feel like we may not be by getting help but sometimes it really is a medical issue and God trains people to help us with those matters. I’m so thankful for this online bible study so we can get real and ask real questions and thank you for understanding!!

        Love
        Vanessa

    • Vanessa,
      I can totally relate as I’ve suffered from depression off and on for most of my life and in fact just asked my doctor about getting back on them. Whether its from difficult experiences, chemical imbalances or a combination of both, some of us are just wired this way and need medication. I think everyone has their own path to follow and while I can appreciate your hesitation about antidepressants, i think you are blocking off a possibly life changing avenue. Seek out a therapist, maybe even through the church who can help guide you on this. God does want you at your best and if that means taking Zoloft, so be it. If you had blood pressure or heart problems that required medication, would you hesitate long to take it? I doubt it. Good luck, I’ll be praying for you!

      • Vanessa says:

        Thank you!! I start on 25mg today. I’m not scared because I truly believe God guided this as a tool to help me get my life back!!

  42. Martha F. says:

    I love this post Jamy! I identify with all you said & suffer with the stress eating & then end up in the guilt boat like some of the other ladies mentioned! I will be praying we can all do well with the challenge! God bless!

  43. Tonya McCoy says:

    I am absolutely accepting this challenge! I feel like I have been in a major battle for about 5 days & I need some weapons. I think the core of the problem is just the giant in my life I call my attitude. Just when I think I am making progress it roars its ugly head &’makes me feel like I will never change!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Tonya,
      It is so easy to think that we “can’t” ever change. It is a lie from the enemy. We are children of the Most High. I also have been in a battle and I am choosing God. Praying for you, sweet sister. Thank you for sharing.

  44. Sandi B says:

    I will definitely be accepting this challenge. Looking forward to some serious self-evaluation about how I use–or don’t use–the weapons God has placed at my disposal.

  45. I accept the challenge! I finished the chapter but I need to go back and marinate in the pertinent parts. One thing that did strike me is that the troubles I have are part of a spiritual battle, something every person faces all the time. I may be frustrated and depressed about it but at least, as Tracy says, I am better of for knowing what I’m up against than blindly going where the devil leads. And oh let me tell you, the house of cards is collapsing all around me but i have to believe God is directing everything for His perfect purpose and I will be ok for “He has called me by name, he OWNS me!” Praying for all of you ladies as you fight your own spiritual battles.

  46. I am accepting the challenge!

  47. Brenda E says:

    Since my daughter died, I have trying to define the purpose of my life. This OBS has taught me to be patient and wait on God to define my purpose. My new habit is to ask God each day to help my live out my purpose for that day. I spend time studying, reading and praying each morning, for God to give me the appropriate attitude to live each day for Him. Living through faith, that I don’t have to understand or control the details but to let God be in control.

  48. Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

    I accept! I accept! My focus is hitting my knees as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning.Thanks to Stephanie Clayton, I have been convicted to pray with reverence to my Lord. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. While I can talk to Him like He is my best friend I also need to go in time of quiet and stillness. Praying is something that is on my heart constantly. I believe in the power of prayer. Praying is my job but answering prayers is God’s job. He knows the perfect answer and it might be different than mine:-) I am also choosing to take my thoughts captive and FOCUS on God’s Truth. This is very hard for me. I don’t want to limit God’s work in me because of my own faithlessness. Praying for all us OBS sisters to choose Spiritual Vitamins this week and really listen to our Father.

  49. Love the challenge this week!! Going to spend some time tonight thinking about the weapons I use to combat stress and what I should be using. Praying for an open heart and mind as I spend time in His presence.

  50. Accepting this challenge! Feel all out of sorts this week already. Today was my daughter’s awards day and her first of 3 half days. We were in and out of school this morning before 9:30. I keep thinking it is Friday instead of Tuesday. Trying to stay focused but can’t seem to concentrate. I will read the chapter tomorrow morning and I hope the message will sink in and I can use all that I am learning to focus on God so He can help me focus on what is important!