When you get stressed out, what do you turn to for relief?
This is one of the key questions that I ask when helping a person figure out their flesh patterns.
Answers are wide ranging and vary from things that are beneficial to things that are addictive and debilitating.
The reality is that it doesn’t really matter what a person answers.
When we, as Christians, choose to deal with stress in our own strength, we are walking after the flesh.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the mind set on the flesh is death; the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
That’s quite a contrast, isn’t it?
Everything we use to handle stress in our own strength will lead to death, in other words, it will not cause us to experience the life of Jesus in us.
When faced with stress, Paul exhorts us to pray, and even cry out if we need to, and follow those with thanksgiving. What is the power in giving thanks?
It reorients our mindset onto the character of God.
It causes us to recall how He’s always made the way for us in the past and on His great love for us.
We are led to realize that whatever we are facing He will deal with through us for His glory.
What happens when we set our mind like this?
His peace overcomes our perceived need to understand how God is going to deal with it.
It is enough that He loves us and will overcome whatever we are facing with His goodness.
Dealing with stress in our own strength (flesh) only robs us of life, and there is no life apart from the life of Jesus within us.
Every morning we should be setting our minds on Jesus in us living His life through us.
This means that everything we face, He faces in and through us.
When we depend on Him to establish our thoughts with His thoughts, we will be quick to pray and praise, and His peace will enable His essence to flow through our mind and emotions so that we make decisions in line with His life in us.
So, beloved, when faced with stress, put off your flesh and instead, dialogue with Jesus through prayer and praise and His life and peace will conquer your stress.