What Monsters Do You Fight?

Check Out Revelaytor Music Here

My friend, Jon the Revelaytor, just released a powerful song that reminds me that I have the ability to fight in the midst of fear.

To be honest, the struggle is real.  Whether somebody is messing with your head, or you have decided a wrong direction due to your own human programming, there seems to be a WAR INSIDE, lying beneath.

It is like you are FIGHTING MONSTERS that only you can see. Sometimes they are the reality of life, and other times, the scars of life seem to become those monsters hiding behind the door, late at night, when you least expect them.

This WAR can get the best of us and lead to extreme consequences.  

  • When we have been wronged, we jump to ANGER to lash out and solve a problem
  • When we see an injustice, protests turn to riots and buildings are burned down
  • When we feel restricted and anxious, we rebell and try to break free of whatever restrictions we are living under

Think about the WAR inside YOU.  How have you seen, living in your very own skin, the extreme reactions and consequences of your actions?

Sometimes the actions we take make us feel like the MONSTER. We feel like something else is controlling our thoughts and actions and can’t find a way out. Paul relates to this struggle inside us in Romans Chapter 7.

“What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.”

Romans 7:15 MSG

The TRUTH is that we have power in JESUS NAME to find freedom and push back in the fight. The struggles in our daily lives do not have to keep us captive to fear.

Paul goes on to say

“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”

Romans 7:24-25

Jesus Christ brings FREEDOM and CONFIDENCE to win the fight. In fact, he is the source of power that gives us the strength to pick up our heads and move forward.

WHAT MONSTERS ARE YOU FIGHTING TODAY?

LOOK TO JESUS FOR THE POWER TO PUSH BACK

Was Jonah Really Swallowed By A Big Fish?

‘Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord , out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord , and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord !” And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.’ Jonah 2:1-10

https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JON.2.1-10

Check Out more from Dr. Sean McDowell Here

OSM Video Announcement for NEXT WEEK

The Oakwood Student Ministry is BACK ON CAMPUS next Wednesday Night, June 3 at 6:30pm for both Middle School and High School.

OSM Video Announcement

Click on the Middle School or High School Links Below for June 3 Sign In.

(We have not graduated up yet. If you just finished 8th grade, you are still in 8th grade for now.)

MSM   www.oakwoodnb.com/msmconnect

HSM    www.oakwoodnb.com/hsmconnect

MUSIC ARTIST – PEABOD

Isaac Peabody, who goes by the stage name Peabod, brings to the Centricity label  (which is home to Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz and many more great artists) exciting talent and a unique sound: hip-hop. The 24-year old caught the label’s attention with his independently produced music, an assortment of meticulously crafted rap songs. Peabod puts a new spin on the genre, yielding infectious positivity and wordplay that connect with audiences of all ages.  He is a fun middle school-high school kind of guy that your students will love!

The Secret Weapon to Handling Mental Health Issues

Check Out Growing Leaders Here

I saw something last week that absolutely fascinated me. I don’t know if I would have believed it had I not seen it. Four university students were in the parking lot at our local grocery store just north of Atlanta. I heard them talking about how nervous they were about going inside to shop and how anxious they were about their future prospects. They all returned home early from their college campuses, three would not get an in-person graduation ceremony, and all of their job plans had evaporated.

The conversation shifted when one of the students said, “Maybe we need to get our minds off our own problems.” There was a pause. Then she continued, “I’m going to look for the next person I see in this parking lot who looks like they need help, and I’m going to help them.”

Moments later, the magic happened. 

An elderly couple drove slowly into a parking spot and sat in their car with the engine running. She approached the driver and said, “Are you OK? Do you need anything?” The driver, a man in his 80s, replied, “You must be an angel. My wife and I are terrified to go into the supermarket to shop. Could you help us?”

The young lady smiled and said, “Of course! Give me your list, and you stay right here.” The man handed her a hundred dollar bill and his shopping list, and she was off to serve as a personal shopper. 

As I watched, I eventually realized both sides had just won.

The Best Part of the Story

In essence, this young woman was saying, “I think the secret to beating my anxiety is to get busy helping other people.” I think she’s right. I am certainly not claiming that this is a comprehensive remedy for all anxiety or mental health issues. There is a place for counseling, management, and even medication at times. But so much of our anxiety during this COVID-19 pandemic stems from the fact that we’re isolated in our homes, watching the news, and feeling very uncertain about our futures. We’re consumed with “me.”

Greta Thunberg is another example. While I recognize she’s a controversial teen from Sweden, protesting climate change, she has openly admitted that she’s struggled with depression in the past. She acknowledged, however, that getting involved in her cause has helped her beat that depression. Service and involvement are saving her.

My own son made this discovery as a young man. He had his own battle with depressive moods yet told me one day, “I have much better days when I lose myself in using my gifts to serve others. What I focus on can make me or break me.”

Bingo.

Using This Secret Weapon

Especially during this season of self-quarantine, what if we all discovered this “secret weapon” and used it. It is crucial during times of uncertainty to focus on something outside of ourselves and invest our time and energy in the service of others. It’s what our world celebrates on TV these days as we cheer on medical staff and first responders, people serving on the front lines of this battle with COVID-19. So, here’s the secret:

  • Find something or someone you care about.
  • Discover if there is a need to be met or a problem to be solved. 
  • Determine what resources you have to offer.
  • Begin small and start focusing on meeting that need.
  • Watch to see if it morphs into something bigger. 
  • Enjoy the endorphins, those happy chemicals inside you, as you serve.

My wife and I have made our own fresh discovery of this simple, secret weapon. We’ve been able to find places to donate funds; she has found neighbors for whom she can deliver groceries, and we have called people we haven’t spoken to in years to check up on them and encourage them. This secret weapon should not be a secret.

FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD.

Building 429 Highlight

Take a Listen to FEAR NO MORE and Read a short word below.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  
2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV

I’ll never forget this verse as long as I live because it was the FIRST scripture I remember my mom teaching me when I was a child.  I don’t know why it was the first, but today I would guess that mom knew what I didn’t… that Satan would attack my heart with fear more than anything else in my lifetime.  She would be right even to this day.  I still hear all of the same voices today that I did when I was a child, but thankfully today I understand how to fight the lies so much better.  

  • Nobody loves you
  • Nobody wants you to win
  • They’re all laughing at you
  • God is ashamed of you
  • You’ll never make your parents proud
  • You’ll never be successful at anything

I still hear the same voices, but as my mother used to say: “Sometime’s you’ve got to tell the devil to SHUT UP.” I don’t know what fear you are facing today but this scripture has become bedrock principle in my personal fight with fear. When you feel fear, you can know that it is not God speaking those words into your ears. The mind God has promised you is clear, strong, and more than able to deal with whatever He allows into your life. You can claim that sound mind today. You can do this…. why? Because He said you could. So today choose to walk with the spirit of POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND.

Original Post Here