About a year ago, God really convicted me in the area of my words and how I react to stressful situations. I am a planner. I like to know all of the details and have a plan of action. The more information I have, the better I am. So when stressful, last-minute things happen…well, let’s just say I don’t always handle them very well. Through the past year, God really helped me to learn this about myself, but He didn’t just point it out and say good luck with that. Instead, He helped me figure out a battle plan. I have been trying not to be quick to react out of stress and anxiety, but rather pray first. For those of you who are like me, my battle plan consists of going to a place by myself, putting on worship music, journaling, and seeking God. Once alone, I take a deep breath and ask God to help me. It has made a huge difference. Just ask many of the staff members I interact with on a daily basis. I really have come a long way in this.
Then last week happened. Some very stressful things were happening, and I forgot my battle plan and felt like I took five steps backward. I began to get really down on myself, and allowed satan to throw lies in there. It’s discouraging when you feel as if you have made great progress in an area, just to be reminded of how far you still have to go. But instead of staying in that place, I allowed God to use my husband to speak truth into my situation. He reminded me that in the past I wouldn’t have recognized it, but also in the past, I would have stayed in that place of discouragement. Even after the incident happened, I caught it quicker than I would have in the past and didn’t stay there. I messed up and that’s okay. What is important is I have indeed grown and I AM making progress in this area. I still have to fight what is natural for me, but with God and my battle plan, I am gaining the victory.
God reminded me in this moment that it is not perfection He is after. He never tells me I have to be perfect, rather just to be obedient. He convicted me of actions in my life that were not honoring to Him and I became obedient. I didn’t just stay there, but asked Him to help me overcome this bad habit. I’m still a work in progress, and I still need God to help me win the victory every single day. Yet I continue to pursue Christ and to live for Him. Instead of dwelling on what happened, I choose to press on. I choose to keep working toward the goal for which Christ has called me. I continue to press into Him. My friends, you are a work in progress, too. If you have a moment of weakness, I encourage you to get up, dust yourself off, and try again the next time. Develop a battle plan and ask God to help you in whatever area where He has convicted you. You may stumble, you may mess up, but there is always redemption in the arms of Jesus. Try again and press on, my friends!
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV