Are you going through a real stressful time? Do you feel like you are about to "FREAK OUT?"
Well that's not good. "Freaking out" is a sure sign that fear has taken over and is digging its tentacles into your mind to torment you. 1 John 4:18 says,
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. NKJV
Faith works by love and the bible says that perfect love casts out fear. There is a good kind of fear (ie. fear of the Lord, sharks, climbing a mountain, entering a combat zone etc.) that heightens our senses and leads to wiser choices. Then there is the bad fear that torments and causes us to freeze up. That is the kind of fear we want to avoid.
Working Out in the Spirit
Some stress is good! That's what causes muscles to grow. You just need to make sure you strike a balance between fear, rest, and God's nutrition. Allow the thing that is the catalyst for fear (that's the thing that first concerns you) motivate you to take action. Fear can be like a heavy weight that can immobilize you. So, let's think of this like a workout.
Are You Staying Hydrated In the Spirit?
Are you getting enough water? Are you staying hydrated? If not, you need to spend more time in God's presence praying and worshiping in the spirit so you can tap into that well of living water that flows out of your inner most being (John 7:38).
Are You Eating The Right Food Frequently Enough?
Over the years I've developed a habit. It's called eating! We need that to live and grow. Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35). We need to partake of His word daily. You need to make sure it is a well balanced diet ensuring you partake of the meat found in the Old Testament, fiber (roughage) found in the prophets, and the milk, fruit and meat in the New Testament.
Mathew 4:4 says that "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." I see this like a protein drink. It's like a super charged drink of God's presence as you spend time talking with Him daily.
Are You Getting Enough Rest?
I will never forget my days as an athlete in high school and college. I played defensive end and outside line backer. I had one problem. I was to skinny. I had the worst time gaining weight (muscle). I later discovered that it was because I worked out to much and I did not give my muscles enough time to rest and repair the damage done by the stress. Even if I gave myself the proper nutrition, I did not allow enough time for my body to repair itself thereby building muscle.
One of the keys to growing spiritual muscle is to know when to work and to know when to rest. That's one of the reasons God established a Sabbath rest. The Sabbath was made for man. (Deut. 5:14, Mark 2:27).
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him...
Fear can disturb your rest. Have you ever had a night where you kept running a situation over and over in your mind? I have! We've got to learn to cast all your care upon Him. 1 Peter 5:6-11 sheds a great light on this subject.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." NKJV
Cast all your care on the Lord. Why? Because our adversary the devil prowls around seeking whom he can eat up with fear. We've got to resist the devil through God's word and part of the way we do that is by rolling our care, fear and concerns on the Lord.
I'm not saying you should not be concerned. I am saying we just need to take it to the Lord, discuss it, give it to Him, then pray and obey whatever He says to do. He will wait until you are properly yoked together and then He can help you lift it.
Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. NKJV
We need to work with the Lord from a place of rest. So once you are in this place, yoked with the Lord, let Him lead. He will set a good pace for you and over time you will find that you will grow stronger and stronger as you grow more and more like Him.
Use Your Burdens in Christ to Develop Spiritual Muscle
Don't be stuck weighed down by fear. Turn your weights, concerns, cares and fears into a spiritual gym. Christ has an amazing way of making all things work together for good. I pray God give you wisdom! If you need some extra help go ask your pastor, elder, or an older brother/sister in the Lord to be your work out buddy! Then you can do Ephesians 6:10-18 and:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — "NKJV