Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1
I have a very strong personality. I’m a fixer and a doer. I’m a creative problem solver. So, for me to sit back and let God take control or direct me has been one of my greatest challenges. A few years ago, I was working in a school counseling office. There were two of us with essentially the same job. When my co-worker left for greener pastures, we hired a new, young woman as her replacement. She was fun and interesting. And then she stopped showing up on time for work. And at times not at all. Then she started spending what time she was in the office on personal phone calls or social media. The bulk of the work fell on me to accomplish.
I jumped into fix it mode. Trying to help her figure out a better work style. Talking with our supervisor about how to discipline her. Each morning as I headed into work, I created all the conversations I wish I could actually have with her. I became angry and bitter. I might or might not even jokingly asked God to take her out with a bus.
Fortunately, my faith was maturing. One morning during my commute, the Holy Spirit whispered to me: “This battle needs a different approach. Try praying FOR her.” And so, I did. For one week, every morning I prayed that God would intervene in her life to help her be more successful at work. And that whatever was happening in her home life would not deter her from doing a good job.
And after one week she stopped showing up completely. Two weeks later it was determined she had “abandoned” her job. Essentially, she had fired herself. And in the next hiring process I was able to recommend someone else who was amazing!
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues people under me. Psalm 144:2
You see, I was fighting the battle all wrong. I focused on myself rather than God. It was an in-your-face lesson delivered by the Holy Spirit.
Since then, I have faced other battles. I’m remembering to pray before I enter the battlefield for God to direct me and protect me. Because I recognize that I can be a bull in a china shop with my “Miz Fixit” personality.
“When I release my weaknesses and blind spots to God, He uses them to help me grow up spiritually.”Crystal McDowell
I love the visual from 1 Peter 1:13 to “gird your loins.” The saying comes from the concept of tucking your tunic up into your belt so that it doesn’t get in the way while running.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:13
And in this verse, it specifically reminds us to pull our thoughts together and have a disciplined mind so we can rest our thoughts on the grace of the returning Christ. We escape from the perils of the worldly mind – trying to fix everything ourselves — with the teaching and guiding hand of God.
Before we make that difficult phone call, head into that important meeting, sit down with the wayward family member we need to “gird our loins” and seek God’s battle plan. Stand confident in prayer and listen to what He really wants you to say or do. For me, He reminds me I need to be silent at times and let Him do His good work.
Most of us are “can do” people. And when it comes to conflict or issues in our lives we so often want to take back command of the battle. But like Joshua before us we need to be fired up and bold in our faith that He will be our deliverer.