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Cease Striving

 

I was reading Psalm 46:10: "Anabel, cease striving and know that I am God." (I put my name in these scriptures that are special to me. It makes that scripture mine. It is relevant. It is real.) He has knocked the ball into my court, hasn’t He, which means that it’s now my move. So here are my thoughts.

Cease striving

What kind of a picture do you draw up when you think of someone "striving?" I see a very restless person. Nervous. Pacing. I see a face covered with perspiration, flushed, determined, furrowed brow, and muscles stretched to the limit. I see a person pulling or pushing or lifting frantically. Struggling. Maybe it is someone who looks unperturbed on the outside, but on the inside there’s frenzied movements causing nausea and tremors and shortness of breath. I see someone with their head buried in their hands and their head is slowly turning from one side to the other — they are striving with what’s going on in their world.

So what is He saying to me? Be still, Anabel. Sit down. Unclasp your hands. Loosen your fingers. Take deep breaths. Stop planning, organizing, and analyzing trying to figure things out yourself, you’ve been doing that for the last three days (or months or years).

What do you replace the "striving" with?

First of all, begin to set your mind on what you know about God. Look at Him in His Word — the portrait He has given you of Himself. Listen to Him. Spend time with Him. Plan things that will bring you closer to Him. Set your mind on Him, His comfort, His love, His peace. He promises in John 14:27: "My peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

The peace He gives is yours — it is mine. He says that He has given it to me. Do I believe Him? It doesn’t mean emotional peace or having my hurtful, difficult, or even tragic circumstances wiped out. It means controlling my thoughts so that His peace can invade those tumultuous thoughts and replace the striving. This will happen only as I set my mind on Him, thanking Him for the peace — the gift He gave me.

My enemy is tenacious — persistent — determined and he does everything in his power to keep me from resting in the peace that God has given to me. In others words, it is a constant battle. I have to refuse Satan’s thoughts of worry, anxiety, and judging the people around me. Cease striving means to rest, to wait, to trust, to hope in the Lord. I choose to strive or to rest. Like I said, the ball is in my court. Am I going to hit it back to Him and let Him take over or am I going to run around like crazy chasing it, trying to hit it — striving?

How do I do that?

I’ve been striving for so long. What you say sounds good, but how can I do that?

You can’t! Only through knowing Him and His power within you can this feat be accomplished.

"Lord, You are the only One who can give me victory in this battle between the powerful and those who have no strength. Help me, O Lord God, I am depending on You. I trust in You, and in Your name I come against this enemy. Don’t let him prevail against me, Lord" (Paraphrase of 2 Chronicles 14:11).

And with those words I hit the ball back in His court — where it belongs. Whew!

For since the world began
no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours,
who works for those who wait for Him!

– Isaiah 64:4 TLB

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.