Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Our God Given Antidote to Stress

Stress is such a successful tool for the devil because once he can get us to engage with stress; we self destruct!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)

Today I was on my instant messenger and up popped an advert with a slim fast product [a fat burning pill that promised results in just one week!] with the usual clever marketing, various tributes and a doctor to legitimize the product...! Admittedly it was all very tempting to believe; nonetheless all “short cut” make me dubious. Why? Because they usually don’t work long term! Even something as important as salvation you can’t jump the fence! [Luke 13:24]

As far as weight loss is concerned only the right kind of lifestyle that beats stress can also conquer the waist line! As experts say that the liver produces fat when under stress; proving the point that no amount of expensive creams, pills or other products can change us outwardly when the change we need is inward. Even scientifically proven products are a waste if we are stressed out all the time. Stress will still increase those signs of aging no matter how much you spend on that cream! And while every effort should be made to improve our lives; without proper inward adjustments, all outward adjustments are sure to be counter-productive!

But this all opens up a deeper topic for me; the feel good factor and everybody trying to be the next “feel good guru!” Quality of life is important and that sense of genuine well-being... After all we are meant to live life more abundantly and it is the good news that we advocating and not the bad! But consider how thin the line is, that exists between the feel good factor and compromising the gospel altogether! If global persecution towards Christianity hit tomorrow, will we be amongst those who “love not their lives unto death” (see Revelation 12:11) or will we side with the popular notion; “well this just does not make me feeeeel good; if I’m not happy doing it then I am just not going to do it...!” how far will we take this feel good gospel without undermining the whole plan of salvation? And while every soldier who signs up has the opportunity to die, can he enjoy life in-between!? That’s the question! ....

What’s more you don’t have to be molested as a child to be stressed out as an adult (forgive the stark analogy...) in fact the average person today is stressed out and we all have different reasons for being so! Whole congregations today admit to being stressed out. It’s an epidemic! But as Christians we should never be stressed out, nevertheless stress is such a successful tool for the devil because once he can get us to engage with stress; we self destruct! In reality he needs to do very little while we do the rest. Little effort... big results...! Practically the entire body of Christ live under stress making us unproductive for Christ and ineffective in our witness.

What remedies this current paradox better for the Christian other than the fruits of the spirit? [See Galatians 5:22] Our best antidote is to seek first the Kingdom of God which is “...righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” [see Matthew 6:33, Romans 14:17]. Basically, stress free living is the result of living by the Spirit “...against such there is no law” [see Galatians 5:23] His burden is light and His yolk is easy and His joy is our strength... [See Matthew 11:30; Nehemiah 8:10]

Are we confused with inspirational speaking versus preaching? It is true that while we must encourage people to live life to the fullest and be happy, we must not sell-out or compromise the gospel in the process! And while precious people this world-over are dying for the sake of the gospel, there are others who just want to “feel good” about it! Do we really want to be that shallow?

Why be a Christian if we can’t overcome in life? However God’s provision of the fruits, enable us to walk in this life empowered by his Holy Spirit, and with His divine nature. We are not meant to succumb to the pressures of this world. God gave us his Holy Spirit to empower us, to do more than just speaking in tongues!

Empower me today Holy Spirit to live my life for the Lord Jesus Christ. To be a minister to my family before I minister to others... Empower me to qualify in this life; to be productive and not selfish. Empower me to please You today and not grieve You. Empower me to live for my heavenly Father’s Kingdom today and not just for myself. Empower me Lord to walk with you and for you; as I love others... Amen”

Lord my confession this day is that while I want to feel good about myself, I want to feel better about your Kingdom and your Gospel. Romans 8:28 says that we are called according to your purposes and not our own. I confess today that I am your vessel and your channel of righteousness peace and joy. My life will reveal your Kingdom to others, as I continue to live influenced by your Spirit; doing your will and not my own. Not my will but yours... let there be more of You and less of me! Today I purpose to walk by the fruits of your Spirit that others may come to know and recognise your divine nature through me. I choose not a life of stress but to live by the faith of the son of God. [Galatians 3:20]


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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