Do I Press On, or Press Pause?

I shouldn’t have gone.


That’s all I could think as I pulled in my driveway that afternoon. I wanted to forget the whole day, let it go. But looking back I saw the destruction I left behind. The effects of my bad attitude would surely cause a ripple of negativity, and all because I didn’t respond that morning when something in my heart said…


Don’t go. Take a break.


Oh, I heard the voice alright. The gentle prompting that knew my fragile emotions so well. A loved one faced a tragic situation, and even though I couldn’t be there, my heart ached for her. At that moment, focusing on anything else seemed impossible.


But canceling the plans for the day made me feel weak. So I convinced myself to ignore the voice and just go. After all, focusing my mind on something else might be just what I needed, right?


Only I wasn’t anticipating the most stressful, frustrating day ever.


We’re told that life knows no limits. We’re challenged to break past any barriers that hold us back. But somewhere along the way, the lines that show us where to stop become hazy.


Knowing where these lines are drawn in our own lives will help us know when to plow ahead and when to take a break. (Tweet this.)


Sometimes God directs us to be brave as we face that mountain ahead. Step out in faith. Pressing past inhibitions draws us into a deeper trust in Him.


However, there are other times when we need to press pause. Take a moment to breathe. Giving ourselves permission to take a break shows wisdom.  


A limit can be defined as the “utmost extent” of something. God created our bodies with limits. We need rest, time to recharge and care for ourselves. When we get close to that utmost extent, God will give us gentle warnings, signaling us that it’s time for a pause.


Just like the warning I sensed in my spirit that day. I chose to push past it, and the result? I replaced contentment with a short temper. I chose harsh words over peaceful conversation.


But I have hope today. Hope that brings me to a new place of understanding. Paul’s inspired words teach us that the Holy Spirit is with us, and He is there to help in those times when we push ourselves beyond what He intended.


“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Romans 8:26a ESV


When we step into something we aren’t ready for physically or spiritually, we risk unwanted damage. But when the Spirit bears witness with ours, responding brings peace.


“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:16 ESV


I learned a lot about myself that day - the hard way. (That happens with me sometimes.) Maybe you've been there too? It's OK. In fact, it's better than OK, because we serve a merciful, forgiving God who desires to see us learn from His Word and grow in wisdom! So let's find sweet encouragement today in these promises from God’s Holy Spirit.


The next time we’re tempted to go, go, go without a reprieve, we can remember the verses above. May the God of mercy and grace continue to direct us as we learn when to press on and when to press pause.




Trusting God with Our Biggest Battles

What do you feel in that moment when you realize a battle is eminent?

Your enemy has waged war against you, and the news punches you right in the stomach. Is it fear? Shock? Uncertainty of where to go, or what to do next?

For me, when the report comes and I realize an attack is on its way, I immediately switch to defense mode. Sure, I pray. I ask God for help. I claim to trust God with my words, but my actions tell a different story.

Because there’s nothing quite so frazzling as that instant, when you say to yourself, “This is real,” but you feel like it’s a bad dream. You wonder if God hears you at all. And in a desperate effort to wake up from that dream, you start fighting the battle yourself.

We’ve all been there, on the front lines of impending battle. In that frightening place, it’s easy to see the magnitude of what we are facing and forget one important detail.

There’s a huge difference between the way we see the battle, and how God sees it.



King Jehoshaphat knew this.


When Jehoram, King of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to join him and go to battle against Moab, Jehoshaphat agreed. The king of Edom also joined with them. But after marching seven days with no water for their men or animals, Jehoram lost faith.

“Then the king of Israel said, ‘Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.’” 2 Kings 3:10 ESV

But Jehoshaphat wasn’t ready to give up so easily. He called for a prophet, so they could see what God had to say about it. God’s words to these three kings revealed a powerful truth that still applies to our battles today.

“And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.” 2 Kings 3:18 NKJV


What we see as our most difficult struggles are the simplest matters to God. (Tweet this.)



God spoke through the prophet Elisha, telling them He planned to fill every dry stream bed with water, so they would have plenty to drink. That was His first promise. Then He also added another minor detail.

By the way, I will also take care of this one other simple thing. I will deliver your enemy into your hands.




You see, God had a plan all along. King Jehoram couldn’t see it. All he could see was three armies of exhausted, worn out, thirsty men without water to drink. How would they ever be able to fight?

I hear you, Jehoram. I’ve been in that place of doubt. We all have. We look around at our circumstances, and our human minds can’t possibly foresee a good outcome. We’re exhausted, worn out, and thirsty. Yet it’s in those moments God calls us into a deeper level of trust. God’s got it handled.

“And when they rose early the next morning and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood.” (v. 22) They thought the kings had turned on each other, so they went after the spoil. But when they came to the camp, the Israelites rose up and took them down.


God used the water to confuse the Moabites and win the victory even before the battle began.


Just like Jehoshaphat, when we trust God with our biggest struggles, He will bring us to a place of victory in the most remarkable ways.

Are you facing a battle that seems insurmountable? Are you ambushed by feelings of fear, shock, or uncertainty? Instead of taking matters into our own hands, let’s take our trust to a new level today. Our biggest battles are God’s simplest matters.