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Oh, Wednesday. We meet again. Is it just me, or does today seem like the longest day of the week? Surely the clocks tick slower and the day is a few hours longer. Anyone else with me?

I’m so thankful that on this gloomy, humid day in Columbus, Ohio, the Son is shining brightly in my spirit this morning. It didn’t start out that way, though. Overcast with a 100% chance of storms was the spiritual forecast in my soul when I woke up this morning. I simply felt worn out in every way. But, I chose to begin taking my thoughts captive unto Christ…admittedly out of sheer obligation at first. Slowly, my heart followed my mind until I desired that my thoughts were His thoughts for me and suddenly, the storm clouds in my soul began to dissipate, revealing glorious blue skies and the radiant Son shining! Thank You, Jesus!

As the Son began to shine, the Lord began to speak. Convictingly, yet lovingly. So often, I position myself for defeat and then wonder why I feel so worn. Sometimes, it’s just the fact that this world isn’t my home, and isn’t supposed to be heaven-like, that wears me out. Jesus did say we’d have troubles in this world, after all! Faithful as always, He spoke to my heart. He encouraged my spirit. And it’s time to make some changes. Maybe the forecast for the days to come won’t be so gloomy after all.

Perhaps you’re feeling a little less-than stellar this Wednesday morning. Quite possibly, you are in need of some refreshing as well. Are you ready to let the Sonshine in? I pray so. And I hope that the Lord’s encouragement to me this morning encourages you in your walk with Him today as well. Lord willing, at the end of the day today, neither of us will feel quite so ‘worn’!

1. God can’t pick up what we don’t lay down. There has to be an exchange of hands. A transfer of possession and ownership. He’s too much of a Gentleman to just yank it from our hands like a mean-spirited parent. We have to loosen our grip and let it go. Then, worry will cease and gratitude will increase. The safest place for our worries, not to mention the obedient rightful place for them, is in the sovereign, capable hands of the Father.

(“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6 NLT)

2. God provides divine opportunities every day, all around us. Some are precious moments of fellowship or revelation in an intimate setting – just us and the Lord – and some are meant to be shared with others through an act of service or conversation. These opportunities pass more quickly than they unexpectedly appear. They cannot be delayed, nor recalled. Seize them in obedience when it’s evident that it’s from the Lord.

(“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG)

3. The measure of our endurance in the race of life is equal only to our preparation therefor. We can’t just start running a marathon without proper training and equipment and expect to be successful and ask God to bless our remnants when He’s worthy of our first-fruits. When we’re not prepared, we become panicked, reactive, and controlling to overcompensate for where we’re lacking, only leaving us to wonder why we’re so depleted of energy, inspiration, confidence and peace. It’s imperative that we suit up in our spiritual armor…the terrain of this earthly life is rough, inflicting many wounds that a Band-Aid or tourniquet are insultingly insufficient for treating. We have to suit up – we have to prepare – to finish well.

(“God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” – Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG)

PROMISE:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6 NLT

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG

“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” – Ephesians 6:10-18

REFLECTION:
1. Upon what do you need to loosen your grip? What is holding you back from relinquishing it to the sovereign, capable hands of the Father? What is the “worst” that can happen if you surrender to Him? Receive the blessings of gratitude and peace that are yours when you surrender to Him through prayer.

2. Are your days carefully scheduled, your tasks and conversations meticulously calculated, leaving little room for the Lord to work therein? Do you often find yourself questioning where God was at work in and through you at the end of the day? Offer your thoughts, actions, words, and time to Him to use at His divine disposal today. This is your offering of worship unto Him (Romans 12:1-2). Intentionally look for opportunities for spiritual growth through today’s circumstances. Willingly choose to be used as His vessel of hope, comfort and truth in every conversation, and in every setting (at home, at work, at the grocery store, in the car, etc.) in which you find yourself today. Live today with purpose!

3. What elements of your life’s race are lacking? Are you spending time in prayer? In reading God’s Word? The Word of God is our ‘indispensable weapon’; our only offensive weapon in this ‘life-or-death fight to the finish’. Today, begin to fortify your armor. Begin to suit up to finish well! Choose a Scripture verse that is meaningful to you in this leg of your spiritual race. Write it down, and begin to commit it to memory. Pray this promise over each day, as prayer is ‘essential in this ongoing warfare’. Once this promise has been claimed by memory, begin the process anew with another Scripture verse.

WORSHIP:
Are you feeling “worn” today? Spend a few minutes in worship through this powerfully transparent song by Tenth Avenue North titled “Worn”. Climb into the lap of your Heavenly Father and let the lyrics of this song become the cry of your spirit in prayer. Tell Him that you’re worn, and find comfort in knowing that He cares, He comforts, and He soothes the aching and longing of our souls. Ask Him to open your eyes to His perspective and the purpose in your current situations. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Be free, and refreshed!

http://tenthavenuenorth.com/

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