We had been driving for 2
days. We were exhausted, yet we were on
the edge of our seats. And all of the sudden…there it was. The ocean.
I will never forget that moment.
It took my breath away.
It was my first time to see the OCEAN.
And for a girl from the plains of Texas, it was awe-inspiring. There
were, however, a few things I did not anticipate. I did not realize that the ocean is very
LOUD. The waves coming up to shore have
a rhythmic roar to them. We had to talk
loud to be able to hear each other.
Another point that surprised me was the strength of the water as it came
and went along the shore.
The next day, as soon as we
made our “home on the beach” with towels and toys and snacks, I grabbed the two oldest girls, and we headed to the water.We walked in a little ways and before I knew it, a small surge came
through the water.It may have been
small, but it was way stronger than I expected. I barely braced myself, grabbed the youngest, but it knocked my oldest girl smack down into the water.I pulled her up as the water started shifting
back.She was covered in salt water and
dead seaweed.She looked up at me with
an expression that said “Mommy, do NOT let go of me…!!”Sweet little sis had witnessed the entire episode and was
screaming.Actually, the remainder of
our trip, she cried out in fear if any of us even appeared to head towards the
water.Going down in the water was
I am reminded of the story of
Peter walking on the water.Peter is
being all super-awesome.He sees Jesus
coming, and he actually thinks to ask if HE can walk on the water.I would have just stood there, staring, with
my mouth hanging open.But he jumps out
of the boat and is walking on the water with Jesus.How cool is that??But then, the bible tells us, he “saw the
wind” (Matt. 14:29).And crash.He starts to sink.
Have you had moments in life
where you felt like you were sinking?I
can remember many a day thinking, “I’m doing all I can to simple stay
afloat…like I’m thrashing at the waters surface!But I look around and everyone else is making
laps in the pool.What am I doing
You feel overwhelmed.
And so the lie begins…
“This is too much.I am going to drown in the chaos.”
I don’t know about you, but
my life is all kinds of crazy.The
“busyness” can borderline ridiculous.I’m wiped out at the end of every day, only to wake up and do it all
I want you to take a look at
what the psalmist says in Psalm 42:7.The AMP version says: “[Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep.” Now look at the MSG version: “Chaos calls to
Can you relate?Do you have days, weeks, seasons where it
seems to be one moment of chaos, calling to another moment of chaos?Like the ebb and flow of the ocean?And sometimes those seemingly small ruffled
circumstances feel like they are going to knock you down on your face.And the roar of the waves…it can be
deafening.The noise around you, or even
the noise in your own head, makes it hard to hear anything else.
You feel overwhelmed.
You start to sink in the
But friend, you were not
created to stay overwhelmed.
In Christ, we have the power
In 1 John 5:4, we have the promise that “everyone born of God overcomes the
The difference is this: when
we are overwhelmed, the problems sit on top of us. We are down in the water,
bobbing up and down, salt water getting in our nose.When we realize we are created to OVERCOME,
we sit on top of the problem. We walk on
top of the water with Jesus.
How do we live as
overcomers?How do we walk in who He
created us to be?
First off, we need to know
that we can overcome only because Jesus himself is THE overcomer!In John 16:33, Jesus tell us that “in this
world you will have trouble.But take heart!I have overcome the world.”We achieve this only by the power of Jesus.I want to encourage you to read through the
practical tips today.We have formatted
them a little different. Feeling overwhelmed is a huge issue in our current
day, and we want to give you some very real tools that you can use.Please take the time to read through these
and let them soak in.
I want to leave you with
this:“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains
fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the
mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3).In those moments when the earth beneath you
is giving way, when the mountain tops are falling around you and the sea is
roaring so loud you can’t hear and the waves are crashing and surging so hard
you feel like you are about to be overwhelmed by it all…remember, God is
ever-present.He is ready to help.Psalm 18:16 – “He reached down from on high
and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.”Read that again… “He reached down from on
high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.”
You were made to overcome,
friend.You were made to walk on water,
not drown in it.Look up and reach out
for His hand.
Let’s take a look at Jesus in
Matthew 26:37-39. He is headed to the cross soon, and he knows what is coming.The scriptures say He tells a few of his
disciples that His “soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of
death.”I do not pretend that I know
what that is like... to be that overwhelmed.Although I believe there are some of you that have been there.Can I say this: Jesus understands.He has been there.Whether you are facing little overwhelming
moments…or big scary ones…Jesus gets it.He knows the feeling.But He
loves you too much for you to stay there.
So what did Jesus do in
He took a few close friends to support Him. (Matthew 26:37)Find someone you trust.The body of Christ was created to share each
others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2).I
promise you, I am in constant amazement at how many times I think to myself “no
one else could possibly understand what I’m dealing with,” only to find myself
talking to someone who has gone through something very similar.You are NOT alone.
But, there are occasion when you DO need to get alone.Here in Matthew, Jesus told His friends to
stay and pray while He had some time alone.Sometimes we need an “adult time-out”.It is not always possible, but when it is, it can help to step away from
the “chaos” for a moment.
Then, Jesus cried out to His Father.Oh friends.I think you need to
know that our GOD does hear you…!Psalm
28:6-7 “Praise be to the Lord for he has heard my cry for mercy.The Lord is my strength and my shield; my
heart trusts in him, and I am helped.”When Peter was sinking, he cried out “Lord, save me!” and “Immediately,
Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” (Matthew 14:29).Cry out to Him!Cry out for help, and know that He HEARS
Lastly, Jesus prayed for
God’s will to be done.Which to my soul,
means this:No matter what, remember
that God is good.No matter what
craziness we face today, God is still good.And because He is good, I will praise Him.I think this is key.Praise Him in the chaos.Praise is going to lift you out of the
waves.I love Psalm 42:11 (NLT): Why am
I discouraged?Why is my heart so
sad?I will put my hope in God!I will praise him again – my Savior and my
God!”When I feel discouraged and
overwhelmed, I need to tell myself…that I will praise Him anyway.
Today’s Verses For today’s verses, let
practice crying out to him and praising Him.I want you to take one of today’s verses and actually speak it out
loud!Speak the Word over yourself and
your situations today.Let your ears
Romans 8:37 “We are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.”
Repent. When you sin, you turn from God. God doesn't move. You do. So repenting is just turning your heart back to him...mind, will, and emotions.
Renew. Take this week's verses and do what we have shared with you the past 3 weeks. Read and write the Word. Listen and meditate on the Word. Practice replacing the old junk...taking every thought captive with the powerful, living and active Word of God. All of this is renewing your mind. Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed any longer to this world, but be transformed by the RENEWing of your mind..."
This week, we are going to practice the tips we have been
learning and apply them to the principal given to us in 2 Corinthians 10:5,
where we are told to take every thought captive and make it obedient to
Christ.So, to start out with…
I want you to pray over this week’s list of scriptures.Ask for Him to speak to you through His
Word.Pray that the Holy Spirit would
help you to be aware when a lie enters your thoughts so you will be able to
immediately take it captive.Ask Him to
reveal the truth.
Second, I want you to read through this list of scripture.And on a piece of paper or on your computer,
I want you to write out for every scripture, the sentence “I am
___________.”And complete the sentence
with the truth from scripture.For
example:The first verse listed is
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece.He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he
planned for us long ago.” (I am using New Living Translation).And in my notes, I have written: "I am God’s
masterpiece.”I also wrote “I am created
to do good things, which God has planned for me.”Many of these verses have several
answers.Write down what is speaking to
Now comes in 2 Corinthians 10:5.This verse applies to so many things (fear,
worry, impurity, sin, etc), but this week, we are going to focus in on applying
this to one particular area.This week,
I want you to be on the lookout for lies.The enemy loves for us to hear lies about who we are.How do you know if it is a lie?It will not line up with God’s truth.So pour over your notes from this week, use
it to recognize the lies, and immediately take the lie captive.Friend, the longer you let the lie linger,
the more sticky it becomes.Take it
captive and make it obedient to Christ by replacing it with truth from His Word.
WHAT IF....you find that you just don't fit in? Anywhere, with
WHAT IF...you find yourself trying to please others, be something
you are not, or take up residence in a place I like to
WHAT IF... you are living in fear, that you might be exposed for who
WHAT IF...you are the person that no one will like...if they really
got to know you?
WHAT IF ... you feel invisible?
WHAT IF...all of your weaknesses and insecurities are hidden behind
the scenes in the city of "Pretend-ville", with the illusion
that you have it all together, all the while, comparing yourself to others and always coming up short?
WHAT IF... you could pack up your so called weaknesses and leave "Pretend-ville"? For good. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
WHAT IF... you embrace your depravity and understand that through
your inadequacies and failures, you are in desperate need of a Strength
you cannot muster on your own? (Isaiah 40:31)
WHAT IF...you learned that the very things that make you different
or broken are in you for a purpose? (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
WHAT IF... your very DNA consists of extremely unique gifts and
abilities that fit perfectly into the family of God? (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
WHAT IF...you CAN walk in confidence in who God created and leave insecurity far behind? (Ephesians 3:12)
Every year my elementary school had a fall carnival. I was 6
years old, and I loved to dress up. I enjoyed being someone different, unique..beautiful. My mom had asked me what I wanted to
"be" for the carnival, and I wanted to win the prize for the best costume.
I decided I wanted to be a flower. My mom had bought a bright, kelly green
leotard and leggings and she had hand-crafted huge flowers from tissue
paper. They were the brightest yellow, orange, red and blue with long green
stems that would tuck neatly into my leotard. But what made the
costume even more spectacular was the fact that my Daddy made a large head dress
of a very detailed flower out of a poster board that framed my little
dark face. I looked in the mirror and for the first time I
felt...beautiful. I couldn't wait to walk down the street from home to school, show my friends and win the contest. As I arrived through the double school doors, I discovered very
quickly that my costume did not receive the response that I had longed for.
You see, I was a very shy and quiet little girl, that most kids didn't
notice and if they did notice me...well, they were not very kind. I had
thought that this costume would set me apart, win the contest and the
approval of my peers, resulting in friendships. I did win the contest but
instead of accolades, I heard laughter, snickers, and sneers. I quickly burst out of those double doors, hearing them slam
behind me and ran home, tears running down my face. I know that this story is not unique or uncommon for many of you. I
know that as human beings we all search for acceptance and love and more
times than not...find rejection. I spent the rest of my childhood and young adult life chasing and
seeking ways to find the approval of others, feeling inadequate.
I would mold myself to whatever seemed popular or attractive to "fit
in". I longed to feel loved and accepted. This, of course, led to behavior
and choices that would take me on a journey of self-destruction, far off the
path that God had chosen for me. It wasn't until years later that I
found myself (not on my own accord) in a small, women's bible study. It
was there I ran smack-dab into Jesus. I opened my dusty, "Precious
Moments" Bible and the words jumped off the page and landed right in my heart. The more I
read, the more I wanted to know Him. And the more I knew Him, the more I
began to find the real me. The one He created me to be.
In the Practical Tips section below are verses that describe the
real you. When you discover through the word where you stand with
God, then and ONLY then can you walk in the confidence of Jesus. You must understand what Jesus' death, burial and
resurrection purchased for you. It is in His sacrifice that your identity
lies and your freedom is found! When you discover the fact that you
have been made in His image, that you have been chosen, adopted and are now a son
or daughter of a King, it's a game changer, my friends. When you wrap your
brain and your heart around the fact that when God sees you, He sees His Son,
Jesus, everything changes!!! Now that's love y’all!!!
I know what your thinking...BUT!! BUT...I'm so messed up. I'm
so broken. I'm such a failure.
Remember, a transaction has happened. An exchange.
"...you are not your own...you have been bought with a price..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. YOU HAVE BEEN ADOPTED!!!
When you READ His word, WRITE the words over and over, MEMORIZE it and hide
it in your heart, you will begin to HEAR His voice and know what and who He
says you are. When you MEDITATE on what He has to say to you
through His word and His voice, you begin to renew your mind.
And when you renew your mind, transformation begins. And it's beautiful.
* Practice last week's tips for Reading, Writing, and Memorizing the Word.
* Listen to God's voice- This is where prayer & dialogue take place. God STILL speaks and you CAN hear his voice. His voice will always
line up with what the word says. He cannot and will not contradict
Himself. Also, His voice will convict but never condemn you. So this week, spend some time in prayer and practice listening.
* Meditate on His word and what He has to say to you. Chew on it.
Let it roll around in your head. BELIEVE that His promises are true
and He would never lie to you. Take one of this week's verses and really dig deep into what it is saying. Choose to believe it.
* Read the Word - This week, lets really get into the Word of God. If you have a bible, look up this week's verses. If you do not, we have linked them below so all you have to do is click on the verse.
* Write the Word - After you have read this week's verses, choose 1-2 that really speak to you. Write them down, either in a notebook, on a sticky note, or in the "Notes" app on your phone. Have it somewhere you will see it often.
* Memorize the Word - Take one of the verses you wrote down and memorize it this week. Practice saying it over and over. This is how we hide the Word in our hearts. And when it starts to feel like you can't endure your hard season...or if you start to think maybe you can't say yes to what God is calling you to do...you let the word hidden in your heart rise up.