How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, June 8, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #23 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All.”

I recently heard on the news that the use of anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs has skyrocketed. This news saddened me because we don’t have to depend on drugs to handle anxiety. There is a better way, and I want to share that better way with you today. It is found in the Holy Bible.

The Bible was given to us by God as a manual for life. Sadly, however, most people haven’t read their manual. Then they wonder why their lives are not working right.

You see, we all need instructions for navigating our time here on earth. Sure, we can do things our way, but in the end, our way will fail. Why? 

Because, truth be told, we are not that smart! 🙂

When we think we are smarter than our Maker, we get into all kinds of trouble. And one of them is anxiety.

You see anxiety comes from our failure to trust God and to live according to His commands. Why don’t we trust God? Because we have not taken the time to get to know Him. When we get to know God, we will discover that no one is more trustworthy than He is. In fact, He is perfectly trustworthy, precisely because He is God and, as God, He is perfect.

Sadly, most people today want to be their own god. They don’t want God telling them what to do. As the old Frank Sinatra song goes, they want to do it “their way.”

Are you one of those people? Are you someone who wants to do it your way instead of God’s way? If so, what has that gotten you so far? Has your way given you peace? Freedom from anxiety and fear? Joy and blessings? Or has doing things your way made you anxious, worried, and fearful?

Chances are doing things your way hasn’t gotten you very far, especially during these challenging times when the world seems to be crumbling around us; when you don’t know if you will have enough money to feed your family or to pay your bills; when your heart is filled with anxiety.

So, let me ask you a question. Are you ready to start doing things God’s way? Are you ready to start putting your trust in Him by giving Him your burdens, as He commands us to do in the Bible? Are you willing to surrender your life to Him because He cares for you?

If so, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I’m ready to conquer anxiety once and for all, but I know that I cannot do so without You. So I ask You to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  You can Alsop urchase this book at the link below if you are reading this as a blog post. 

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Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Watch my video on overcoming anxiety here:  https://youtu.be/IFsZTww2_tM

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Now it’s your turn:  “What steps have you taken to overcome perfectionism?”  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles
for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here.  

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below on the PODCAST LINK to today’s blog post:

PODCAST: “YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Today we’re going to be exploring a very common problem, one that affects a lot of people in varying degrees. In every case, however, this problem ends up in some way hurting them and those close to them. What am I referring to? I am referring to the problem of worry. 

Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself dreading the future, wondering what bad thing is going to happen next? Are you continually uptight about your finances, your health, your marriage, your children, your job?–to the point that you have a hard time relaxing and having fun? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, I have good news for you!

You can conquer worry!

We all know that with anything we wish to accomplish in life, we have to start with a desire to accomplish it. The same is true of conquering worry. You have to want to conquer worry before you can begin doing so. Now, you may be wondering: Who would not want to conquer worry? After all, worry robs us of peace and joy and keeps us in a constant state of inner turmoil.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many people who, deep down inside, do not really want to conquer worry. Strange as it may seem, worry has become for them a sort of status symbol, a sign of “responsibility.” In other words, these people feel important when they worry.

Or, for some people, worry is like an old shoe. They’ve grown comfortable with it and are reluctant to part with it. In fact, some people absolutely refuse to part with worry. It has become so much of a habit in their lives that they cannot imagine living without it. Still, other people hang on to worry because it is a means of drawing attention to themselves. They feel so insecure about themselves that they resort to unhealthful behavior patterns to affirm their worth. By worrying, they attract the attention of others and, in a sick way, that attention satisfies their need for affirmation.

All of the examples I’ve just given are obstacles that keep us from conquering worry. To achieve any level of success and freedom in life, we have to be willing to part with those things that are holding us back. In other words, we have to move out of our comfort zones–and I’m not saying this is easy to do–but it’s absolutely necessary if we are to grow. We have to push through the pain of growth, because on the other side of the pain, we will find freedom.

The same is no less true of conquering the worry habit. You have to want to conquer worry before you can conquer it.

Okay. Let’s assume that you truly want to conquer worry. What then? Well, the next step is to make a decision to conquer worry. You can have all the desire in the world to conquer worry, but unless you decide to do something about it, nothing will happen.

Let me give you a simple illustration. Most of us at some point in our lives have struggled with losing weight. For instance, after I had my second child, I weighed ten pounds more than I weighed before I became pregnant. For years, I kept saying, “I want to lose these ten pounds. I have to lose these ten pounds.” I kept expressing the desire to lose those ten pounds, but I never made the decision to lose them. Consequently, those ten pounds stayed around right where I didn’t want them. Every time I looked in the mirror, there they were, mockingly reminding me of their presence.

Would you believe this went on until my daughter was eighteen years old! Finally, at the end of those eighteen years, I said to myself not only that I wanted to lose those ten pounds, but also that I would lose them without fail. And surely enough, I lost those ten pounds. What made the difference? The difference was my quality decision to lose weight.

A man I highly respect once said that a quality decision is a decision from which there is absolutely no retreat. In other words, I decided to lose those ten pounds, and there was no turning back from my decision.

Conquering the worry habit–or any habit, for that matter–requires the same kind of unflinching determination. Without that kind of determination, you will cave in when the going gets tough.The good news, however, is that once you’ve made the decision to conquer worry, you have won half the battle.

The next thing you need to do is to recognize that worry is a learned habit. No one is born into this world a worrier. So, since you once learned the worry habit, you can unlearn it.

“Worry is a learned habit.”

When endeavoring to unlearn a bad habit, it also helps to determine the root cause of it. So let’s explore the root cause of worry. In this world, there are  two basic forces at work: the life force of God, called “Faith” and the death force of Satan, called “Fear.” Worry is really a form of fear and, therefore, comes from Satan. It is not God’s will that you worry. God makes this very clear in the Bible, the operating manual He provided for us when He created us.

For instance, in John chapter 14, verse 27, God says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Elsewhere, in Matthew 6, verse 34, He says, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.” These two statements are not suggestions; they are commands. And God’s commands are not to be taken lightly. To do so results in bad things happening.

Since God commands us not to worry, this means that we have the ability not to worry. You see, God never commands us to do something we are incapable of doing. If He did, He would be unjust, and God is not unjust. He is perfectly just.

Moreover, if we disobey God’s command not to worry, we become guilty of sin. Yes, worrying is a sin!

Now, before you get totally down on yourself, let me encourage you. Maybe you feel that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stop worrying. You wish you could, but worry has a grip on you that you cannot seem to shake. What can you do?

Here are five steps that have helped me when I have been tempted to worry:

Step #1: Decide and determine that you are going to obey God’s command not to worry, no matter what the cost. Do you know that you can choose not to worry. Yes, you heard me right. You can choose not to worry. Sure, you may be thinking, that may be easy for you to say, but you don’t understand my situation. I just lost my job, and I have five mouths to feed. How can I not worry? Or, my husband just walked out on me and left me with two kids, and you expect me not to worry?

Let me say right upfront that I certainly empathize with you. I know what it feels like to face a seemingly impossible situation and be attacked with worry. I’ve been there, and it’s not a pleasant place to be. But I also know from personal experience that we can choose not to worry. You see, God created us with a free will. Our will is that part of us that makes decisions. With our will, we can decide not to worry, no matter how we feel. And this brings me to my next step for conquering worry.

Step #2: Do not give in to feelings of worry. Resist them! To give in to feelings of worry is to feed those feelings. To resist feelings of worry is to starve them. Worry is like a raging forest fire. The longer you let it go unchecked, the fiercer it grows. By the same token, when you resist feelings of worry, it’s like putting water on that fire. If you keep resisting feelings of worry, you will find that, eventually, the feelings of worry will be quenched.

Step #3: Realize that worry is a malfunction of the imagination. At any given moment, our imaginations are being controlled either by faith or by fear. When we worry, we allow fear to have the upper hand. This is the reason God instructs us to keep our minds filled with thoughts that build and inspire faith. In Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, He says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. And the God of peace will be with you.” Here, God is telling us that when we think good and right thoughts, we will experience His peace. And God’s peace includes the absence of worry.

Well, what are good and right thoughts? They are thoughts of hope, not thoughts of dread. Thoughts of faith, not thoughts of fear. Thoughts of trust in God’s protection, not thoughts of doubt about His protection. In short, good and right thoughts are those thoughts that line up with the Word of God. You see, what we think about affects our feelings. If you constantly think that the worst is about to happen, you will constantly worry. If, on the other hand, you continually think pleasant thoughts, you will continually be at peace.

Step #4: Realize that worry is not a sign of responsible behavior. Many people believe that if they do not worry, they are not acting responsibly. On the contrary, to worry is to act irresponsibly, for when we worry, we cannot think straight. Worry clouds logical thinking and results in poor decisions. 

Step #5: Understand that you will never completely conquer worry in your own strength. You need God’s help. Happily, that help is always available. God tells us in Psalm 46, verses 1 and 2, that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear. God is eager to help you conquer worry completely. In fact, He has already made a way for you to do so. That way is His Son Jesus Christ. Only by receiving Christ into your life will you completely conquer worry and every other sin in your life. For when you receive Jesus Christ, you receive His power to overcome. And you receive the total restoration of your relationship with God the Father.

You see, Christianity is not a religion. It’s a personal relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus Christ can we have this relationship, for Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John chapter 14, verse 6). 

So, if you’re tired of allowing worry to dominate your life–in fact, if you’re tired of allowing any other problem to dominate your life–turn to Jesus Christ today. He alone can set you free. And not only is He able to set you free, He is willing and eager to set you free. In no other name than the Name of Jesus Christ is there power to deliver you from bondage. 

Perhaps you want to be free of alcoholism or drug addiction, or smoking, or a bad temper, or an addiction to pornography–whatever it is–Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ can set you free. Ask Him to do so right now. He has been patiently waiting for you to ask Him for His help. For some of you, He’s been waiting a very long time. Don’t let Him wait a moment longer. And don’t allow yourself to remain in bondage a moment longer. Join me now by repeating this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I believe that You are the Son of God, that You died for me, and that You rose again on the third day. I invite You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born-again Christ-Follower. I invite you to write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your Christian life.  Also, I invite you to pray for Holy Spirit to lead you to the church of His choice for you, the place where you can serve God with your gifts and where you can be fed on His Word so that you may grow and become more and more like Jesus. 

Finally, I invite you to visit my website at www.maryanndiorio.com

If you are in need of physical healing or prayer for any other need, please write to me as well and I will be happy to pray for you. 

A wise person once said that “worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” Don’t let worry empty your today of its strength. Instead, replace worry with trust in God. When you do, not only will all your todays be filled with peace, but so will all your tomorrows. Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and He will help you to keep on winning with the Word!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Do you struggle with worry? What has helped you to overcome worry? Please share your comments in the Comments Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (Click to Tweet)

 

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by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

 

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

Living in a Violent World”

“How to Handle Offense”

Is the Apocalypse Near?” 

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“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

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Copyright 20111-2019 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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HOW TO RECOGNIZE PRIDE IN YOUR LIFE

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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PRIDE. How do we know if we’re guilty of it. By its very nature, pride does not see itself. So, let’s ask ourselves these seven questions to determine if there is pride in our lives. And if there is, let’s repent and drive it out in the Name of Jesus:

1–Is there strife in my life? “Where there is strife, there is pride” (Proverbs 13: 10a). Strife is always the fruit of pride. Indeed, there can be no strife unless pride enters first. As we eliminate pride from our lives, we will eliminate strife as well. 

2–Is there fear or worry in my life? Fear and worry reveal my toxic reliance on myself instead of on God. Fear and worry reveal that I want control because I think I can handle things better than God. This is pride. 

3–Do I worry about what people think of me? The Bible says that people-pleasers cannot serve God because they are more concerned about what others think of them than about what God thinks of them: “If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1: 10). Whenever we elevate man above God, we are guilty of pride.

4–Do I have an “entitlement mentality”? Do I think that the world owes me something? Do I think I deserve to have this or that? The truth is we deserve nothing but Hell were it not for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An entitlement mentality is a clear sign of pride.  

5–Do I think I”m better than someone else? Pride exalts itself and diminishes others. The Bible says this: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2: 3).

6–Am I a hypocrite? In other words, do I act one way at home and another way in public? “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men….” (Matthew 23: 5). This, again is pride.

7–Do I resist submitting to God-given authority? Do I buck my husband, my boss, my pastor, my parents? Do I refuse to submit to them or do I give them a hard time? Let’s remember this word of the Lord: “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15: 23).

Every day I must examine myself for signs of pride. It is an insidious sin and the one that got Adam and Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden. They questioned God’s integrity, deeming that they knew better than God. To question God’s integrity is pride–plain and simple.

My Prayer for Us Today: “May God reveal to us any areas of pride in our lives, and may He give us the grace to renounce it once and for all.”

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Do you struggle with pride? If so, how do you overcome it? Please leave your valued comment in the box below. 

TWEETABLE:  “HOW TO RECOGNIZE PRIDE IN YOUR LIFE” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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Learn how Don Franco overcame pride in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy.

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Are Demons Destroying Your Destiny?”

“How to Live in a World Gone Crazy”

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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PRAY, THEN GO PLAY!

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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Whenever my grandchildren scratch a knee or a finger, they run to their Mama for comfort. She kisses the boo-boo, prays for healing, and then bids them go play!

As I recently watched one of these scenarios transpire in my kitchen, Holy Spirit spoke to me. “When you come to me with a problem, do you pray and then go play? Or do you pray and then go fret?”

The Lord’s words brought me under conviction. Too often, I pray and then go fret. Too often, I continue to carry the burden I thought I’d laid at the Lord’s feet.

Too often, I worry.

Worry is a sin. When I worry, I am not trusting God. When I worry, I am not acting in faith. When I worry, I am moving in fear.

What about you? Do you pray and then go fret? Or do you pray and then go play?

Play symbolizes freedom from worry. Play symbolizes peace and rest.

Play symbolizes faith.

Not long ago, Holy Spirit awakened me with this Scripture verse: “The servant of the Lord must not strive” (2 Timothy 2: 24). To strive is another way of saying to worry, to take matters into my own hands, to try to fix things on my own. Truth be told, I can’t fix a thing without God’s help, especially the big problems of life. In every case, I need His wisdom, His discernment, and His guidance.

In every case, I need to pray, and then go play.

Since observing the “kiss-the-boo-boo” scenario in my kitchen, I’ve chosen to switch gears. From now on, when I run to God with a problem, I will leave it there, trusting Him to take care of it. He is bigger than I am, and He can certainly handle the worst of problems. 

And then, I will do what He says. “Pray, then go play!”

Now it’s your turn!  What will you choose to do with your burdens?  Will you choose to pray and then go play? Please post your comment in the box below. Thanks!

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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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How to Stop Being Too Busy to Live

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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“Busy” has become today’s buzzword.

Have you noticed that when you ask people how they are, the first words that usually come out of their mouths are, “I’m so busy.”  Not only is “busy” a buzzword, it’s also become a badge of honor. The busier one is, the more important one is.

Closeup portrait young, happy, smiling, man showing a time out gesture with hands, isolated white background. Positive emotion facial expression feelings, body language

But the busyness lie has a way of finding us out. Sooner or later, our busyness will catch up with us and expose the truth that we are too busy mostly about nothing.

This happened to me when my children were small. I was complaining to the Lord one day that I did not have enough time to do everything I had to do. Expecting a little sympathy from the Lord, I was taken back when He said to me, lovingly but firmly, “MaryAnn, you always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.”

Whoa!

“O-O-O-kay,  Lord,” I replied. “Either I’m totally disorganized, or I’m doing some things You have not called me to do.”  In my case, it was the latter, as I am an organized person by nature.

As I asked the Lord what I was doing that He had not called me to do, I was surprised when He pointed out several church ministries in which I was involved at the time. Good things.

But not good for me.

Besides, other church members were called to those ministries, and I was robbing them of their ministries.

A bad thing!

So, I gave up those ministries and began earnestly to seek God as to what He had called me to do. As I let go of what I wanted, God gave me what I needed. A writing ministry to glorify Him, to get to know Him more intimately, and to teach me His ways in the process.

One of the biggest bonuses I received from stopping the aimless busyness was that I finally started to live. No longer was I barely keeping my head above water and merely surviving. I startd to enjoy my life. I started to smell the roses and to seize the precious moments of life as they presented themselves in quiet, subtle ways. 

In short, I began experiencing the abundant life Jesus died to give me (John 10: 10).

How? By making my time with Jesus the most important priority in my life. By sitting continually at His feet. By refusing to take a step without first seeking Holy Spirit’s direction.

In Luke 10: 41-42, Jesus is having a conversation with Martha. Martha, you may recall, was the sister in the Mary-Martha duo who was constantly busy. Her busyness kept her in a continual state of anxiety, worry, and stress. Sound familiar?

In talking to Martha one day while she was busy, busy, busy, Jesus said this: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10: 41-42

The good part Marthat’s sister Mary chose was to make spending time with Jesus more important than anything else. More important than preparing the meal. (Jesus fed five thousand without cooking, remember?)  More important than cleaning the house. (When Jesus is present, the dust can wait.)

More important than anything else we think we must do.

How so? Because when we spend time with Jesus first, He loves on us and we love on Him. Out of that love (BEING) flows His guidance (DOING). When we’ve spent time first with Jesus, we don’t waste time doing things He doesn’t want us to do. He shows us what is most important in His plan for our lives on that particular day–and every day. He spares us from needless worry trying to figure things out on our own, trying to figure out what needs to get done first and how to get it done.

Most of all, when we seek Jesus first, we remain in His Presence all day long, basking in His love as we listen for His voice and obey His instructions. Talk about living in peace and joy!

If you, like me, have struggled with busyness, yield your struggle to Him now. Then live moment by moment in His sweet Presence. Soon, when someone asks you the reason for your peace and joy in the midst of a busy-crazed world, you can say, like me, “I’m joyful and at peace because I live in a different dimension of time–Eternal Time!”

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: Do you struggle with busyness? How do you deal with it?

TWEETABLE: “How to Stop Being Too Busy to Live” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)
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