My Perfect Checklist

Weekend Series: Unfazed

DreamTeam Writer: Julie Estep

Friday, September 15, 2023

Have you considered the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit and what he offers? The world offers a whole bunch of distracting alternatives to bring us peace, but God offers himself through his Holy Spirit. We are bombarded with a variety of good and bad circumstances every day. Do they leave you feeling anxious and aggressive? Or do you maintain peace of mind and heart?

John 14:27
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

If I’m honest, the past year left me feeling anxious and aggressive. I suffered from losing health, time, relationships, and more. I searched for meaning and purpose, but I was afraid of failure. When it came to my faith, I felt like an imposter.

In times like that, I know my best defense is to seek God, rely on what his Word says about me, and listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks into my heart. Otherwise, the world and my circumstances fill me with terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair.

So, I worked through my formula—my perfect checklist. I went to church, read my Bible, prayed, did good to others in the name of Jesus, and gave generously to those in need, but I still didn’t feel like I was making any difference. I wasn’t receiving the peace I so desperately desired. Still, I didn’t give up—I couldn’t! I believed the Holy Spirit would remind and teach me, because that is what God’s word promises!

Finally, I had a breakthrough!

I was escaping into TV, watching a Christian movie called The Perfect Stranger on my Tubi app. Well, it turns out it was a trilogy, and I enjoyed the message so much, I watched all three! I really identified with the character in the third movie—she had a formula, too. As Jesus helped open her eyes to his works and the Spirit’s gift, mine opened too. By the end, neither the character nor I were feeling so troubled or afraid anymore.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

In the process of seeking to numb my reality, God brought me to a point of healing. Instead of trusting the Holy Spirit, I had been trying to do it on my own. Fortunately, I now understand that God doesn’t want me to work a checklist. He wants me to surrender to his will and enjoy a wonderful life-giving adventure and journey with him.

Bottom Line: God’s Spirit keeps us steady.

What checklist or formula do you use when the world leaves you feeling anxious or aggressive? What do you hope to accomplish when doing it?

Next Steps:
Continue to read your Bible, do the daily devotional, come to church, and trust the Spirit with the results. Accept the free gift of peace of mind and heart that only the Spirit of God can give. Share your journey with others.

Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit who brings us peace of mind and heart. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me of your good and perfect ways. Help me to surrender feelings of anxiousness and aggressiveness. I trust you, I love you, and I surrender to your perfect and pleasing will in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Series Theme Verse:

John 14:26
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Devotional.

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