Week 5 – Day 2 SEEKING GOD’S GUIDANCE
Focus: Following God’s direction by setting goals to take better care of yourself.
Scripture: Prayerfully read and meditate on Philippians 4:4-13. Ask God to reveal to you His desire for your physical care.
NOW OR LATER
Diane is exasperated. It is early evening, and she has just gotten home from work. Much of what she wanted to accomplish during her day at the office is still undone. She is tired, and her body is beginning to ache.
Recently Diane’s doctor told her that her physical discomfort and emotional depletion were direct results of stress. He encouraged her to find a hobby and get regular exercise – anything to keep her mind off work when she wasn’t there. He gave her a pamphlet about the benefits of a regular exercise program and suggested she get started right away.
“It will take a commitment of time and may even interrupt your schedule but the benefits you will experience will be well worth the inconvenience, he said. Then the sobering words, “If you don’t start taking care of yourself now, you’ll pay for it later.”
Have you ever had an experience similar to Diane’s? If so, briefly explain.
STRESS MANAGEMENT IS REALLY SELF MANAGEMENT
While it is true you can often do little about your external circumstances you are rarely powerless to do things that will help you make it through difficult times. You are responsible for taking care of yourself by exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep.
Do you agree with this statement? Yes, No or Undecided Explain
Let’s take a look at a typical weekday, dividing morning, afternoon and evening hours. Besides each division, list responsibilities you have during that time. Include meals, exercise, breaks and family time.
Looking back at your list, answer the following questions True or False (T or F)
¾ On a typical workday, I get the proper nutrients in my diet.
¾ I enjoy a regular time of Scripture study and prayer
¾ I generally get enough sleep
¾ Each day there is a time that I unwind and reflect.
¾ Exercise is usually a regular part of my day.
¾ At the end of the day, I usually feel frustrated and depleted.
Sometimes we don’t consider the amount of stress we heap on our bodies. We must understand that stress has physical consequences. For example, if I allow stress to keep me from eating right, I may run out of steam and lose concentration.
But I do have control over my eating patterns. Realizing that getting the proper nutrients can affect the way I feel, look, and behave should help me want to eat properly.
Yesterday I asked you to determine areas in which you need to set some goals. I hope by now you are realizing the importance of taking care of yourself physically. By honoring God in taking care of your body, you can more effectively serve Him because you feel better.
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST
Through our relationship with Jesus we can set manageable goals and make them a priority. Through prayer and Bible study, the Holy Spirit will lead you to set the goals God designs for you. He will also help you stick to them. “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
Write weekly goals for each of the areas listed. Keep them simple and specific. At the end of the week, evaluate your progress. You may want to make some changes for next week or continue with the same plan. The idea is to move into a lifestyle of taking care of yourself physically.
Exercise: Four days next week, I’ll walk briskly for 20 minutes
Diet/nutrition – I will snack on fruit instead of candy
Sleep/rest: I will take 10 minutes every afternoon to deep breathe and get my mind off work.
What is God revealing to you during today’s study?
As you close today’s study, start your prayer time with this prayer:
Dear Father, Thank You for caring for my physical needs and for helping me make these goals priorities in my life. Give me a spirit of excitement about this part of my journey with You! I love You.