Hi, darling. I hope today is finding you well. Today, we are talking about how it’s okay to take a step back. How am I doing? I’m hanging in there. Why is it so easy to feel overwhelmed? Well, I got to thinking about it. I set some super high expectations for myself, and for life in general. I’m definitely not proud of this. At any given moment, I’ll feel totally defeated and worthless.
My mind blanks for a moment and I have a breakdown. Then, the spiraling thoughts of fear and anxiety start swirling and manifesting. These thoughts don’t come from God, they come from the enemy. I realized it’s okay to take a step back, present my current emotions and insecurities to God, and let Him take the wheel. It’s okay to take a step back.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s healthy to have and set expectations for yourself… to an extent. The pressures of overbearing and unrealistic expectations are sure to be a fail from the start. God doesn’t expect us to achieve greatness in one day, one week, one month, or even one year. He’s walking with us through every season, good and bad, guiding us with His love and grace. Why do we put these hard expectations on ourselves if God isn’t pressing us? After all, these priorities of ours are most likely earthly and, I really don’t like being a Debby Downer, not Kingdom Work. It’s okay to take a step back.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” If I’m being totally honest, every time I hear this, my heart sinks. While I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off, agonizing about checking boxes off of my to-do list, I forget how gentle and patient God is with me in my walk. Here, I realize it’s okay to take a step back. God is sovereign above all. I need Him to be sovereign over my life. It’s okay to take a step back.
The enemy is waiting to attack at all times. I have to remind myself every day to put on the Armor of God. I’ve started to read this passage from Ephesians 6 daily:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
The other day, I read an amazing article by John Rinehart titled “What God Thinks About You.” The entire reading is absolutely amazing. Here is an excerpt that stood out to me and tugged tightly at my heart strings:
“Therefore, walk in a manner worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1). You are no longer darkness, but light in my Son. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14). I have called you (2 Peter 1:3).”
I write this today because, friend, it’s okay to take a step back, let God take control, and relinquish your expectations. Jesus has already won our battle and we can rest assured that the Holy Spirit is working hard in our hearts to advance us towards the Kingdom of Heaven.
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