Jun 18

SLL Week 11, Day 2

Hey there!  Stephanie Raquel here again today … thanks for joining us and commenting with your awesome ideas yesterday on how you shared Romans 8:26!

Speaking of that verse, check out the gorgeous Pin we have with it today!

pinterest pin 11

Thank you, thank you to Samantha Evilsizer & Amber Oatman!  :)

It is hard to believe we are nearly to the end of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles.  Bittersweet, isn’t it?  Sweet to be drinking in all of the fantastic teaching from this book.  And yet … bitter to know our time together will soon be ending!

However, we’ve got two chapters left, so let’s make the most of it!!  And if you’re still here with us today, I want to commend you for sticking it out.  Give yourself a big high five from me!  You are almost to the finish line … just two laps to go!!  :)

~ ~ ~
Chapter 11 is fantastic.  
Super short and unbelievably practical — as it’s filled with six action items to help us “reboot” our lives.  (Which I love.  Give me perspective and head knowledge, sure, but at the end of the day, I am a “So what?  What’s the bottom-line?” kinda girl!)

If you’re anything like me and crave applicable wisdom, then you’ll love this chapter!  So, today’s assignment is to read Chapter 11 and enjoy!  

To summarize:

  1. Realign your life to God’s word.
  2. Recognize your need for God’s help.
  3. Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances.
  4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Remember the one who’s praying on your behalf??) :)
  5. Be faithful in your prayer life.
  6. Believe God is Who He says He is.

I love the way Tracie describes many women of faith on p. 216:

“When life gets hard we tend to start doubting that God is God.  We dabble with the lie that, just maybe, he isn’t really in control.  We wonder whether he is big enough to fix our problems.  Or, at a minimum, we wonder whether he is taking time to see our problems at all.  But God is who he says he is, all the time. …

“Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God; faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but that hits me right between the eyes.  The enemy of this world, Satan, totally wants us to lack faith, and be filled with inescapable doubts.  The enemy wants us to put aside the truth of who God says and is, and focus on the lie that we don’t really need God anyway.

Let me assure you, God IS big enough to handle everything that comes our way!!   And I say that as someone who’s dealt with cancer, unemployment, divorce & addictions with extended family, and more …  Not only have I gone through a lot personally, I’ve also ministered to others battling major issues.

So to conclude today, let me encourage you with a powerful song from Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) which reminds us that God is there for us, helping us fight our battles and completely conquer stress so we can live stressed-less lives!  (Incidentally, the background & scriptures for this song are pretty amazing as well!)

I hope it encourages your heart!

 

YOUR TURN!!
We love to hear from you!  Share your thoughts on one or more questions below in the comments section, and be entered in to win an autographed copy of our next OBS, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.

  1. Which of the 6 steps above encourages you the most?  How can you take a step today to reset your life?
  2. How can you realign your life to God’s word?
  3. What would you try to accomplish for God, if you fully believed that the “God of Angel Armies” is by your side?

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Bree (OBS Facebook Leader) says:

    One way to realign my life to God’s Word is to soak in, believe, and treasure that His promises apply to my own life, not just the lives other people.

  2. Stephanie! I am loving, loving this blog! GREAT job girlfriend! This chapter is already resonating all over my life. What I have learned through this study and I’m afraid what has taken me 10 chapters to get is that we have to work at WHATEVER our stressors are – we have to put in the effort to change them – they are not going away without that. These steps ARE full of wisdom and they are REAL! The past 2 1/2 weeks I have realigned my life with God’s Word in my weight loss journey AND have adjusted myself to turn to God instead of circumstances – these 2 things have brought much needed change in my life! I have been exercising regularly 4 days a week 1-3 hours a day, eating healthy, and things are coming together in this weight loss journey of mine. My point is, we cannot expect a magic pill for our stressors to go away, we can’t wave a wand, we can wish upon a star – we have to put in the hard works….the key to how to relieve our lives of our “stressors” is in the 6 steps noted above – it may be 1 of them or 10 of them….but just reading them won’t get us where we need to be – we need to take action. Thank you for sharing this week! It’s only Tuesday and it’s been awesome! <3

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for sharing this! Your commitment to getting healthy and surrendering it to Him is such an inspiration to me. I have the same goal but am floundering in carrying it out. I have been trying to do it on my own strength instead of relying on Him to first change my attitudes about food and eating and then to give me discipline for the journey. Thank you for reminding me that it’s only possible through Christ!

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Thanks for your sweet words! And you are soo right about working out the stressors in our lives by taking action. Progress, not perfection, but a step in the right direction still gets us closer to becoming more like Christ! =)

  3. The two parts of the Reset process that fill me with the most hope are steps 2 and 5: Realizing my need and being faithful in my prayer life. I was raised by a hard-working, determined mother. If something needed doing she did it herself. If there was a problem, she tried to fix it. I think that rubbed off on me. I have always felt the need to try to take care of all of the things in my life and in my family’s life. Most of the time, the “problems” are so small that I thought, “Why bother God with this? There are so many others that I know who are in need.”

    Sure I would take time to pray for THEM: friends with sickness, homes that were burned, people who needed comfort. I didn’t feel the need or the right to bother God with my stress, my lack of energy, the washer that was on the blink. Now I know that I really DO have a need- a need to involve God in the day to day process of just living. I can pray about those things without feeling guilt. There are no LITTLE THINGS with God. If it bothers me and gets in the way of me having a spirit full of God’s love and grace, then I really CAN pray about it. He is there and he will help me deal with it. God doesn’t want me to worry about ANYTHING- He is always there to comfort me, to ease my pains from stress and strife- I just need to make room for him to do it and invite him to be involved in that process.

    • Stella, I those 2 steps were the ones that spoke most loudly of my need, too. Thank you for the reminder that there are no little things with God. If He numbers the hairs on our head, then I’m thinking I should just go ahead and go right to Him about All Those Little Things!

  4. “Recognize your need for God’s help.” – From Tracie Miles words … to my heart & ears. I often get stuck trying to “fix” painful & heartache situations for those I love. I don’t like to see my loved ones hurting! But the majority of situations I cannot “fix,” and I also cannot make heartache go away or heal, only Jesus can. So I am working on seeking God first, rather than putting into action my remedy to “fix.” I am praying like never before – putting hurtful situations into God’s Hands and consciously seeking Him in what is happening so that He will remain in the mix, and ultimately be glorified in the end. I am believing that God is Who He says He is – each & every day. And I am choosing to focus on Him and consciously seek Him in all that happens. I know He is always there!

    • Lori K (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Jean, I find myself trying to do a lot of the same things you shared. To be honest, I’m not doing too well at it either. So, I not only recognize my need for God’s help, but that I also need to adjust my focus. The first step I am taking to reset my life is to let God be God in my life and the lives of those I love!

  5. “Adjust your focus on God, not your circumstances” means the most to me. Before reading this book and doing this OBS I had definitely lost my focus. I know that in every situation, big or small, I need to rely on Him and draw my strength from Him. He is the one who is in control.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Dawn,
      You are exactly right. The enemy will attack at times we are not on guard. We must be intentional and deliberate with our faith. I am praying for you sister. I am praying for you to truly surrender control to our Loving Father. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Meg Derosier says:

    Be faithful in Prayer life. I need to be more diligent about this.. O lord help me to be more faithful in my prayer time!

  7. Constance says:

    I loved Chapter 10! All the action Items are important and powerful!

    The ones that speak most to me are:
    Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances. – As soon as a stressful situation appears it is so easy to automatically focus on the circumstance. I really need to learn to consciously focus on God instead!

    Be faithful in your prayer life is the other one – I really struggle with this one and need to focus on it. I’m sure the enemy tries to keep us from praying by any means since he knows how powerful it is!

    • I struggle with prayer too Constance. I never thought it was the plan of the enemy to keep me from praying until I read this quote from Beth Moore, “What victory the enemy has in winning us over to prayerlessness. He would rather we do anything than pray.”. When I read that I committed to revise my prayer life (or lack of!). Blessings!

    • What I struggle with the most, and therefore of the six steps I need to work on, being faithful in my prayer life. How do I do this? How do I stay focused and faithful? I’m reading a book on prayer now. Also, being filled with the Spirit. This is something growing up in church they didn’t really say much about. I need to pray every morning “Lord, in all I do and say today, in every decision I make or choose not to make, let Your Holy Spirit guide me. Let me be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen”

      What would I do to realign my life to God’s word? Read it. Believe it. Read it more. I’ve got to be faithfully obedient to his word.

      What would I try to accomplish if I fully believed God is by my side? Mission work. Write a book. Lead a women’s ministry. Start a business.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Indeed, the enemy wants nothing to do with us talking with the God of the universe, who made Heaven and earth, and who can change any circumstance for our good!!

      Prayer is like a muscle, though … the more you use it, the stronger it gets, so be encouraged that as you pray more, your prayer life will indeed grow stronger!! =)

  8. I desperately need to be filled with the Spirit. I pray about things and right after do things to change my circumstance or make the outcome go my way. Thank God I have not screwed up things worse than I have :). But thank God we have a God that gives us grace and forgiveness over and over and allows us to push “reset”. So with Gods help I can start praying then sitting back and allowing God to work in His timing and the way He wants. I want the spirit to take control of all I do. I want to see His power in my life rather than trying to do it on my own then in reality taking a step back. I am ready to move forward in the name of Jesus. Love all of you. God bless you all and thanks Stephanie. Really appreciate you words of wisdom :)

    • I am the exact same way :) I get so excited, convicted, and filled with joyful determination every time I pray. Then I go out and do the same things over and over. Part of that stems also from not always keeping my focus on God instead of my circumstances. They turn into something bigger for me, and I lose sight that God is actually bigger!

  9. Carol Thompson group 26 says:

    My God is bigger than my circumstance. I know that and I love Hm for showing me that a few years ago through Bible Study Fellowship. I must keep my focus on God. Like Peter when he got out of the boat, if you look at Jesus you can walk on water. When you look at the storm, you sink, but Jesus is right there to rescue you. Yes, I have been called out of the boat and have learned to rely on Him. He has taken time to fix things so that I become more dependent on Him.
    God never meant for us to be self sufficient. Dependable, yes. Responsible, yes. Confident, yes. Self sufficient, no.
    I am going to try to constantly remember this and keep my focus on Him.
    As we prepare to leave for Honduras next week, I must trust Him completely to work out the details of what we should do with the business.

  10. Janet F says:

    I need to work on all 6 of them. Self needs to STEP ASIDE. It seems to depend on my circumstances to how well I do any of the six things. I want God to be my main focus and to always be filled to overflowing with His Spirit. Always believing He is who He says He is, the Almighty One and then being faithful to Him in my prayer life so I do stay connected to Him every second of every day, recognizing that because I need Him and only Him, I need to daily realign my life according to His word!!! Not by the way I feel or by being swayed by friends or peer pressure. Lord help me to choose the right weapons that will help me live in the center of Your will only!!

    • Oh Janet – I LOVE your responses! Can I just shout “Self, STEP ASIDE!” with you?

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Love the humility in saying you “need to work on all 6 of them” … if we’re honest, that’s certainly true for us all, isn’t it? This side of Heaven, we’ve all got things to keep learning! =)

      Maybe over the course of the next six months, pick one a month to focus on and see where that goes? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

      • Janet F says:

        That’s a great Idea Stephanie!!! Thanks for the advice!!! I am so excited about being in Heaven one day with the Lord, YIPPEE is all I can say!!! and YES sweet Missy you can shout “STEP ASIDE” with me :)

    • Diane W. says:

      I love that “Self! Step Aside!” , too. That’s worth writing on a note card and putting it where I can see it. I seem to always get in the way, when God is trying to show me something!

  11. Since my oldest daughter has been able to communicate, she hums when she is really enjoying her food. I have always enjoyed listening and by that I know when I am feeding her well.
    In much the same way, I have a song playing in the background of my life when I am walking the path HE has chosen and can feel HIS companionship. I have noticed when I let my focus slip the music goes away.
    Praise HIS name, the song is back even though life is still trying at times. Most often these days it plays My Delight Is In YOU… Although sometimes it gears up for battles as is appropriate.
    Thank you Tracie Miles for all you have shared in Stress-less living! It has helped me find my harmony again 😀

    • Arla, what a beautiful visual for walking closely with God. That song is precious to hear. I’m praying our the wisdom in this study helps us stay focused so the music doesn’t ever go away.

  12. Suzanne says:

    AMEN!!!! Sooooo what I needed today. I need to focus on God not my circumstances. Thank you for blessing me today. Your words were right on spot. I needed to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is praying for me. What an awesome reminder. ❤

  13. I love knowing that Jesus himself prays for me ! I will pray for others and when I do thank God that he does this for them so they will hear and take in that this is a truth that is awesome ! It is awesome that he prays for us and that he knows us better than we know ourselves! He knows what we have need of before we even know. I love what Tracie says on page 216: ” Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God; faith puts God between us and our circumstanvpnces. ” I need to hold onto this and pray for more faith as I don’t want my circumstances to be between my God and me!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Liz,
      Oh we all need this sister. I am praying for all of our faith to be increased. I am praying for your faith to be so great that you are fully convinced that His promises will happen in your life. Faith helps us find peace, protects us from the enemy, pleases God, and break down barriers in our life. Thank you so much for sharing!

      • Thanks I so appreciate your prayers! I pray God blesses you ! Love this study and am looking forward to the next one. :)

  14. Putting God first is a major goal of mine. It’s been a priority to work on my journey with God, but it hasn’t always been first and foremost. I know I need to put God first if I’m ever going to get a handle on all the things that stress me out. That way I will be able to focus on God rather than my circumstances.

    I also need to work on my faith. The devil is working hard at putting doubt in my mind. I have no problem believing that God can speak to me in small ways and be present in the little things. Even though I know in my head God is all powerful, it’s harder for me to believe God can work in the really big things. I have hope though as I continue to work to put God first and learn more about God along the way that my faith will continue to grow. I’m sure that as time goes on I will believe God more and more and the devil’s lies less and less.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Andrea,
      The enemy does that. He lies and destroys. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. Sister, I encourage you to really put your faith in the unfelt and the unseen. Trust that what God says is true. Trust He is who He says! It is all about trust. I am just learning this myself. Stay in His Word and keep your eyes on Him. The Lord is the ruler of our life and by Him we stand. God is a shield for all who trust in Him. Praying for both of us to truly trust the Lord! Thank you for sharing your heart today.

    • Meg Derosier says:

      Get some bible verses handy for those time too James is a good chapter for that and Ephesians 6!

  15. I need to readjust my focus to God and not my circumstances more. When I focus only on the negative it makes things so much worse. Focusing on God will bring the peace and comfort that we are all looking for in our search for stress free living.

    I can realign my life with God’s word by focusing, believing, and trusting in that sweet spirit that is always by my side. I love Chris’s song that Stephanie shared with us today. Isn’t it a comforting song to just listen to over and over.

    I think in my life if I could truly get it through my head that the God of Angel Armies is always by my side, then I would accomplish so much more. I would pursue my love of writing Bible Studies and speaking without fear. I would stand up for myself more.

  16. Stephanie W says:

    Focus on God rather than my circumstance is a biggie for me. Having recently experiencing a situation I wouldn’t wish on ANYONE, it seemed the natural thing to do to just let the chips fall and see what happened. Yet there was a loss of sleep amongst other things. It took my 9 year old sharing a scripture on patience to get me back on track. Not to mention spending time in prayer. That’s another biggie! No matter what we go through in life, when we’re on God’s team….WE WIN!!!

    • That spirit within you reminding you that when we’re on God’s team, WE WIN! is a beautiful testament to His great love for you (and us), Stephanie. I really love that statement! I pray God blesses your faithfulness, Stephanie. And big!

  17. Ok so I am responding to yesterday’s questions today…my husband is staying at 4 H camp this week so with a 3 year old at home and working, I am appreciating the time for devotion that I usually have as opposed to the little window I have this week. Frustrating!
    Anyways…Romans 8 is such a fantastic chapter with words that are full of power, strength, and encouragement that I know I need as a Christian. God is who He is…always has been and always will be. But my feeble human mind tends to forget that from time to time, so encouraging words, like those in this awesome chapter, that I can post around my house are good for not just my heart, soul, and mind, but my family’s as well. I intend to share the entire chapter with my husband this evening when he gets home from work. He tends to let anxiety take over his heart and mind, and forgets that God is in charge, not the world–I am not in anyway above doing that either…so hopefully these words will give him encouragement and strength as they did for me. These words make me feel like God is walking right beside me and knocks all bad things out of my path with a wave of his finger…making me truly untouchable as long as I have faith in His ability to keep me safe from harm. I’ll let you know the hubby’s response tomorrow! God bless and thank you for introducing me to this awesome chapter!

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      LOVE THIS: “God is walking right beside me and knocks all bad things out of my path with a wave of his finger…making me truly untouchable as long as I have faith in His ability to keep me safe from harm.”

      So true! God does walk right beside us! And even though we experience difficulties in life, God is there helping us to process and cope with it all!

  18. “Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances” … that is my new life statement… so easy to focus on the bad that surrounds us… which easily makes us forget how powerful our God is.

  19. I’m such a control freak which you may not realize if you knew me because I am also very unorganized and a tad messy when it comes to housecleaning. That’s only because I waste so much time and effort trying to control the outcomes in every other area, that I’m just exhausted all and have nothing left over to scrub tubs and vacuum. I know I need to let God take control and I’m getting better at this but it’s always something that I’ve struggled with. I always pray to God in painful situations something along this line. “God I hate the situation I’m in, please change it. If it’s your will for me to remain in it, than I want to want your will and glorify you but please show me how.” I feel better for awhile but then go back to dwelling on the drama. How to truly let go and trust God, I just don’t know how to do. I’m working on it each day and this study has helped a lot. I need to stop putting my circumstances above God and let Him take over.

  20. …and not Only is it easy to forget who God is, it’s easy to just forget God IS… in the busyness of life..I can so easily put Him on a shelf in my mind rather then keeping Him front and center in all things.

  21. …and not Only is it easy to forget who God is, it’s easy to just forget God IS… in the busyness of life..I can so easily put Him on a shelf in my mind rather then keeping Him front and center in all things.

  22. Heather says:

    To be honest, I need to work on all of them! I don’t say that to berate myself but each of the six steps work together to help us experience the fullness of Christ if we incorporate them into our lives. Sometimes I may be stronger in one area, such as taking time to pray and meditate on God’s Word but maybe need to focus more on reaching out to others. Right now, I’d say my struggle is to stop and spend time with God everyday. As soon as I wake up, my mind starts going with all the things I have to do today. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to spend time with God. Having that prayer and reading time everyday is going to be my goal. And doing it first thing so I can give my day to God.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Amen! Challenging, isn’t it?

      Heather, if and when my blog is running again (apparent web site issues with a cable getting cut two towns over — so it comes and goes), I encourage you to take a look at a post I wrote called “Championships” … talking about that very thing! http://stephanieraquel.com/2013/06/championships/

  23. Jeanie Kelley says:

    1. I think each one can encourage a person to go beyond the extra limits for God. I am trying to have a quiet time each and every day beginning today. Granted it seems like it is mid morning than early morning, but I am still getting this time alone with God and what he will be doing in my life. 2. By realigning with what Jesus has taught at church and the countless Bible studies I have had. To go back to where I fall in love with Jesus all over again and I need to do that in the worst way. 3. To trust in him more and to keep faithful to what he promised me. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel to some degree with Warren’s job situation and I do see him getting one. I need to be faithful to the promise of this now more than ever.

    • Jeanie, I’m praying that I can fall in love with Jesus all over again, too. Reading Tracie’s memory of her son’s response to receiving his first Bible… Oh – AMEN to that!

  24. Steps two and three speak to me the most at this point in my journey. As a fully independent woman it is very easy to fall into the trap of not asking for help in any aspect of my life…until it’s too late and I am drowning. And yet even in that moment, I still try and save myself as much as possible because I don’t want to look “dependent” on anyone else. I know I keep thinking I can simply do it myself! But I have also found incredible freedom in the realization of not being able to do things on my own and having to ask for help. Unlike people, God never says no.

    I’m encouraged to know that it’s ok (and expected) that I ask God for help! It’s encouraging to me to know, without a doubt, that God wants to help me. And I’m even more encouraged that God will always listen and although I might not get help in the way I want, help is always given, and sometimes it comes in the simple peaceful feeling I get by simply asking for help. The burden is lightened at that very moment.

    As for step three (realign my life to God’s word), I was never one to read God’s word, but rather one that has a pretty bible sitting on my desk. Growing up Catholic, reading the bible was never really encouraged, so it never became a daily part of my life. I’ve tried many times to just “read” the bible, but it felt too forced to me, so I would quit, put it away and sadly, ignore it.

    Recently, I started getting emails that contain a verse, proverb, and a few daily devotionals that all include bible verses, but also how to apply those verses to my life now. Furthermore, they all suggest additional scripture to read and reflect on. And in reading that, I have found some amazing messages and advice and found a perfect way to allow God into my heart through His word. And I find the more I read God’s word, the more I want to read it. I couldn’t ask for a better way to realign my life and make God’s word a daily part of it.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Awesome. Love seeing where you are on this journey!! And it’s so true … the more we read God’s word, the more we crave it! =) Thanks for sharing your heart today!!

  25. Christine says:

    Well, the one step I struggle with the most is keeping my eyes on God and not my circumstances. I’m encouraged most by believing that God is who He says He is, bigger than my problems and more than capable of handling them if I’ll just hand them over!

  26. These comments are just keeping my heart fired right up! I love them! Being faithful in my prayer life has taken on an added importance in my life lately. I was struck by this quote in a tender place in my heart, “God created us with an innate desire to be connected to him. When we fail to do so, an emptiness forms in our hearts, and our enemy is more than glad to fill it with things other than God.” OUCH!

    I’m praying with determination to trust that God is exactly who He says He is. Always. In every circumstance, big or small. And that in everything submit my request to God. First and alone.

    Steph, your encouragement of us is a blessing this week.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      You are so kind! Glad your heart is being fired up!! =)

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Always love your thoughts, Missy. This is so true and I am praying the same thing!

  27. I just wrote on yesterday’s comment section, but this chapter really speaks volumes to me. Life has truly overwhelmed me and I have asked where is God? A son in jail having seizures, my younger son and I at Mayo Clinic for testing, my husband at home in the hospital. Life has gotten really hard and did cast doubt. I want to feel that peace and strength knowing he has his hand in all this. I just keep praying God help me, and my family. I want to fully trust Him.

    • Debbie W. (OBS Leader) says:

      Becky sometimes it does seem that we have too much to handle, but we can only do it with Jesus. I am so sorry you have so many burdens at one time. Lifting you in prayer!

      • Diane W. says:

        Becky, I am still remembering to pray for you and your family. Just wanted you to know that, dear sister.

  28. Thanks for your encouragement again this morning, Steph! I, too, loved when Traci said, ““Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God; faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”’ So true. And #1 …realign my life to God’s Word…is my focus. I know His Word, study His Word, share His Word, but often when it comes to myself I go to my own strength and abilities first when facing something difficult. I’m a fixer and a peace-maker so try to handle things on my own when my first response in any situation should be to go to the Word immediately. I’m a work in progress but I’m getting there :)

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      If we are still on this planet, we are ALL a work in progress. =)

      Keep leaning into the truth of God’s word … and it will make all the difference in your life!! =)

  29. Hey there~

    Many of you have asked questions about The Message Bible. Here’s a great link explaining more of how Eugene Peterson tackled it, born “out of anger” as he was pastoring in the early 80s in Baltimore:

    http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=253911&sp=65298&event=1003MSG|14764|65298

  30. Sherri J says:

    What a great chapter…
    Being faithful in my prayer life…this has been a weakness of mine and I’ve been working on having a more stable and consistent connection to God. I believe that having this cable connecting us will help realign my faith along with reading scriptures.

  31. What I struggle with the most, and therefore of the six steps I need to work on, being faithful in my prayer life. How do I do this? How do I stay focused and faithful? I’m reading a book on prayer now. Also, being filled with the Spirit. This is something growing up in church they didn’t really say much about. I need to pray every morning “Lord, in all I do and say today, in every decision I make or choose not to make, let Your Holy Spirit guide me. Let me be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen”

    What would I do to realign my life to God’s word? Read it. Believe it. Read it more. I’ve got to be faithfully obedient to his word.

    What would I try to accomplish if I fully believed God is by my side? Mission work. Write a book. Lead a women’s ministry. Start a business.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Emily,

      That is a powerful, and yet “dangerous” prayer. Dangerous cuz God sees your heart desiring to do His will, and He will honor it, so be prepared to do some amazing things!!

      “Lord, in all I do and say today, in every decision I make or choose not to make, let Your Holy Spirit guide me. Let me be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen”

      Love what you’ve said you’d love to accomplish through God as well! =)

  32. Stephanie,
    I, too, love Tracie’s statement “Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God; faith puts God between us and our circumstances.” What I struggle with most is recognizing my need for God’s help and fully believing that God is who He says He is. As I ask the Lord for help strengthen my faith, I can have great peace in knowing that He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. As He tells us in Ephesians 1:19, believing that gives us access to “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” What a relief to put God and His great power in between me and my circumstances!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Kim,
      We need Him so much! We just can’t do any of this on our own. God is who He says He is regardless of our feelings or circumstances. Thank you for sharing your heart today and that verse. I am praying for us all to put God’s power in between our circumstances.

  33. I am late coming in on this study, and I don’t have the book, but I have enjoyed the lessons. I lead our ladies Bible study at our church through the school year, and then we take the summer off. I am enjoying just letting God’s Word soak in with out being concerned with what I am going to have to say about the lesson. It has been so relaxing and revitalizing! Thank you for your time and effort. One of my struggles has always been to really believe that God can work through MY life, no matter how inadequate I am. My husband says, “God is not trying to trick us. If we are following Him with a pure heart, He wants to use us, show us His path for our lives, and work through us.”
    Teresa
    The Pastor’s Wife

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Your husband sounds like a very wise man! Such a blessing!!

      And indeed, God can and does work through us best when we acknowledge our inadequacy. Exodus 4:10 comes to mind, where Moses tells God he’s somehow gotten things wrong, cuz he’s slow of speech. (My paraphrase…) =)

      Glad you are enjoying your summer, and MAKING time to relax and revitalize. This is the perfect season to do that!! =)

  34. I need to be faithful in my prayer life. I pray everyday but I don’t “pray”. Do you know what I mean? I ask God for blessings, I ask God to heal those I know and love, I ask God to take care of family and meet our needs. Is that really praying? Do I feel closer to God during that time? No. I don’t think so. Praying is giving up self and letting God really into my life and heart and knowing I can go to him with all my concerns whether personal or for others. I love God but sometimes I feel He just isn’t there. That He just isn’t caring about me or my family. I desire for God to take a hold of my hand and walk me through the narrow path to understanding and believing Him for all things. God, I love you and I pray that You will use me today for Your glory and that You will take all my worries and put them aside and help me to believe that You are there for me and beside me and help me to have the faith I need to follow you and lean on you. I know you are there but I need reassurance today that you are taking care of my needs and the needs of those others that I pray for and for all these ladies on this OBS. Please take my heart and heal it of all my doubts and fears. Take my daughter’s hand and walk her beside you today Lord. Heal her pain and bind her heart with your love and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

  35. Stephanie Raquel says:

    For anybody wrestling with this question: Is God really able to handle all that I’m dealing with?

    Two songs that might encourage your heart…
    “God Is It True?” by Steven Curtis Chapman
    http://youtu.be/4BFAT7bCN6s

    And “Big Enough” by Chris Rice …
    http://youtu.be/EjwGvCp6n3s

    Enjoy!! ~Steph

  36. Courtney says:

    Good morning my OBS sisters! I need to totally reset with number 3! Instead of focusing on the circumstances, focus on my God! Often I get so bogged done with everything that’s going on and get so overwhelmed! Then I get anxious, depressed, and start creating irrational solutions. All I need to do is pause, grab the book of life, wisdom, and instruction, and drop to my knees! Well.. Due to surgery, sitting and bowing my head will have to do for a few weeks.

    And I want to solely depend on God for all my needs! I know that He is my everything and He is my first line of defense. Not phone a friend, not going to buy a new outfit (but ladies lets admit, it sure makes us feel good!), not cry and ask why,but humbly submit to God and tell him I’m here use me for your glory.

  37. Thank you so much for sharing this.I have gone over the six steps. I am trying to put God first and know He will never leave me and He will lead me through my problems. I give my problems to Jesus!

  38. WHEN I HAVE QUIET TIME AND TALK TO GOD MY PROBLEMS ARE LESS. HE IS MY CONSTANT COMPANION!

  39. Renee D. says:

    The point that stands out to me the most is #3 Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances. This really hits home because so many times I focus on problems and all that is going wrong….instead of who can fix any situation I am dealing with….which is our God. I can begin working on this by anytime negative thoughts come into my mind, I can focus on God instead (always).

  40. I am grateful for Tracie’s six action steps in chapter 11. I will continue to look them over and ask for God’s help as I work to implement them into my daily life. Blessings to OBS.

  41. I’m just now getting to read Romans chapter 8, wow what a great chapter! I’ve read several of the verses before in the past, but didn’t really sink in to the words being said. Some of my favorite parts were; we don’t have to be a slave to fear, the Holy Spirit praying for me when I don’t know what to pray, God working everything out for the good of those who love Him. I still want to read a different version, and I would love to memorize the whole chapter.

  42. I have had the Whom Shall I Fear song in my head while reading chapters 10 and 11. What a powerful song. I need that constant reminder that there is truly nothing to fear with God on my side. Thanks for incorporating it into this week! It really tied it all together for me!

  43. I believe the “Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances” speaks to me. My habit is to focus on the problem and go on and on from there. It creates quite a spiral that only leads to depression. I need to focus on God’s verses and replace those negative thoughts with a memory verse repeated over and over. It will need to become a new habit.

    Love that song and love to listen to KLOVE at home and in my car!

    Have a great blessed day everyone!

  44. I love this chapter … I need to hit the reset button for sure but most of all I need to put God between me & my circumstances!!

  45. Diane W. says:

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks for leading us this week. You are doing an awesome job!
    I think I need all of these1-6 , but 1&2 resonate with me the most. I know I have been working on both of these and as long as I stay in the word and focus on God (3 too,) my walk has been so much stronger. OBS has really changed me from reading just the devotional every morning to really getting up and going straight to the word. I have been writing scriptures down on notecards, and leave little piles here and there. I sit down and pray these scriptures daily. I am holding Gods words in my hand. When a need or situation arises, I grab some of those cards and start reading scripture and I keep on, until whatever is bothering me has calmed down. I’m choose to Realign and Recognize!

  46. Rebecca says:

    I have to agree with what others are saying about going to God and not focusing on circumstances. I really need to focus on that more especially right now when I am dealing with some rough stuff and trying to keep my focus on God and how he will provide.

  47. Meg Derosier says:

    I have prayer requests.. I would like prayer for my jobs.. Also for my grandmother who is suffering from Alzeimers and isnt getting worse and its so hard for me to watch. :( Thanks you

  48. CarolAnne says:

    I *always* need to remind myself to do #3: adjust myself to God, not my circumstances! Thanks to all you Leaders who are helping me do just that. I pray for all of you and all the students each night. xo

  49. Crystal says:

    The action item I need to remind myself of the most is to recognize my need for God’s help, especially when I think I can do it without Him because I don’t want to do it without Him, and He doesn’t want me to do it without Him. This is a big lesson I’m learning this year, but I’m learning it :)

  50. most encouraging step for me?
    to be faithful in my prayer life
    How can you take a step today to reset your life?
    Meet to pray, pray continually…
    How can you realign your life to God’s word?
    check in with the word daily…use it as a guide to my days.
    What would you try to accomplish for God, if you fully believed that the “God of Angel Armies” is by your side?
    spread His word, teach others about my faith….