This morning I could not get out of bed. For the past two days my body temperature has been "off" and I have been so cold, and I can only guess it has to do with menopause. My temperature has been reading 94.6, then 96.5, and finally before bed last night, 97.6. After praying to God this morning, I felt better about missing church. I always feel guilty when I can't make it to church. I know that is the "Pharisee" in me, and I would like to see that legalism in me "bite the dust". If I let it, it can really eat at my faith. But I must confess, I didn't go to God with this condemnation right away. I tried to defend myself to myself--and got nowhere. I don't have the power to stop my condemning thoughts by myself. So I went to the Lord with it, and I have surrendered it to God, choosing to fill my mind with His Word and His love for me. That's how I continue to walk in freedom in Christ.
I came across something I wrote in my journal in December and it was so appropriate, I thought I'd post it today:
As long as I'm resisting what's happening in my life, I haven't surrendered it to God, which means I can't receive the help He wants to give me. Every trial is an opportunity to live by faith in God. Whether we exercise anger or fear or exercise love or faith is up to us. We exercise faith by surrendering the situation to God and then clinging to Him so our spiritual eyes will be open when He begins to reveal Himself in our midst. Clinging to Him means praying, staying in the Word, meditating on Who He is, and not taking a step without His direction.
It is human nature to try to take control of a situation and fix it ourselves; and then if that doesn't work, go to God in prayer. But God wants us to live by His Spirit and not our human nature, which means bringing everything to God first. When we do that, it shows Him that we believe we are His children, that we love Him and honor His counsel above all, and that we have faith that He will act on our behalf. It also gives us a confidence we can't possess on our own and peace of mind (Phil. 4:6-7). Praying creates a backdrop in our minds for us to see our God as high and exalted, greater than anyone or anything we have to face. We can start looking at problems as opportunities to invite God to do what only He can do-- bring power, glory, and peace into our circumstances--or to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us so we can deal with our circumstances in a manner that brings Him glory and honor.