Saturday, March 30, 2019

Do you clam up?

How good of a test-taker are you? I have met individuals who really struggle with this one because as soon as they get that exam in front of them they kind of 'clam up' and shut down. They just cannot focus and their efforts toward studying / preparing for the exam all go out the window. They are frozen in time. They have an anxiety moment that initiates the 'shut-down' and then they cannot seem to 'reboot' to get back on track. The testing challenges of life can sometimes put us into a mode where we find it hard to 'reboot' and get back on track again, right? There are just some challenges we don't imagine we will ever make it through, but let me assure you of this - you are prepared more than you will ever know!

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. (James 1:12 MSG)

Let's face it - testing is hard - even a bit of an insurmountable challenge at times. We might think we are prepared, but in just a short amount of time we find out just how 'unprepared' we were mentally and/or spiritually. We did all the 'book-work' ahead of time, studying scripture and thinking we know exactly how to counter every attack about to come our way, but alas - - - something comes up we didn't count on. There we are floundering and finding we just don't have all the answers. At that moment we can choose to just 'shut-down' and be 'frozen in time' by the challenge, or we can take it to the altar and get God's perspective on it!

When we are loyally in love with Jesus, we find it a whole lot easier to bring those challenges to him and get his perspective. When our loyalties aren't so well-established, what scripture refers to as being double-minded, we find we kind of get pounded by the challenge and then we just 'clam up' because it overwhelms us. We don't possess all the wisdom, nor all the power to overcome those challenges alone. We aren't made to face them alone. We ARE supposed to prepare. We ARE supposed to do what we know to do. We AREN'T expected to know it all, nor are we supposed to do it all in our own effort. There are just some challenges that are met head on by the wisdom and power we get ONLY by being loyally in love with Jesus (with him clearly in control of our lives).

The 'head-on' moment comes more frequently than we'd like, but when you are about to enter into that challenge it isn't like a game of 'chicken'. It is more like a gladiator in the ring! We find we have power far above our own power, wisdom exceeding our ability to have studied and prepared. Why? Jesus is there with us and he is fully in control of the challenge's outcome - not us, not the devil, not the world system. Live life loyally in love with Jesus and see just how differently you can face those challenges. You might just realize your days of 'clamming up' come to an immediate end! Just sayin!

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