Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety robs us of our peace and joy, spawns other negative emotions and adversely affects our physical health. It is a “killer”. God has a tip for us to use to receive freedom from anxiety.

 

He advises us not to allow anxiety to enter our soul on any level (Philippians 4:6). He shows us the futility of worry by pointing out that anxiety cannot change anything anyway (Matthew 6:27). Then He tells us a secret.

 

We can avoid these debilitating, negative emotions. The first step is to continually rejoice in the love of the Lord and to realize that He has His best in store for us regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:4).

 

When we realize that the Lord is near to us, even dwelling in our spirit within, we walk in gentleness and peace (Philippians 4:5). We lift up every concern to God in prayer.

 

In faith, we thank God for dealing with the issue before we ever see the first sign of evidence that He cares about our immediate problem. We lay out our burdens and leave them in His capable hands (1 Peter 5:7).

 

He gives us the wisdom to know how to deal with the issues our self, or the courage to leave them for Him to resolve in His way and time. He may just give us grace instead of resolution, the way He did Saul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthian 12:9).

 

When we compare our distress with the weightier matters of life, or the reality of eternity, we may see our anxiety evaporate before our eyes. The magnitude of eternity’s reality erases most concerns from our troubled soul (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

 

God provides for the birds and flowers of the field; and He cares about us so much more, because we are made in His image. As we make His Kingdom our priority, He works out everything else for our good (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us close to You and never let us go. Remind us of Your saving grace throughout our lifetime and build up our faith with this continual evidence of Your goodness and provision for us. Flood our soul with a waterfall of Your love and allow it to vanquish our fears (1 John 4:18).

 

The fruit of Your Spirit replaces our carnal nature and we find it easier to walk in Your Spirit and to trust in Your goodness rather than to fear the future. Remind us to ignore Satan’s lies and our negative self-talk, which pull us away from faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You for giving us Your freedom from anxiety concerning the temporal issues of this life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Consumed with worry, we cannot enter and remain in God’s rest; yet, if we walk in the center of God’s will, we abide in the happiest place on earth. – Hebrews 4:10-11

 

Let Your Insides Out

 

Who are you behind the masks you wear? Do you wear your feelings on your shoulder for other people to see who you really are? Do you try to act one way when you really feel another?

Or have you learned that it does not matter what other people think about you? Are you free from the tyranny of their opinions? Do you let your insides out?

Our fears and insecurities define who we really are inside. Due to our spirit and soul, we may have a strong spirit, but a very wounded soul. We appear strong, yet most of us are really weak.

When people reject us for our weaknesses, we feel worthless and damaged, which increases our fears and insecurities. We feel too vulnerable and build walls around our heart.

My former husband disdained the inner me. My adult children tolerate the inner me. My current husband dwells with the inner me with patience and understanding.

The good news is that Jesus died for the inner me and His Spirit is transforming the inner me into a new creation from one glorious stage to another (2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17).

He slowly peels away the bandages, which I applied to the wounds of the inner me. He exposes the raw emotion and anxiety and puts the salve of God’s unconditional love on each one of them.

He teaches us that the only opinion of us which really matters is God’s, which frees us from having to hide behind masks. He continually encourages us to let our insides out.

Prayer:
Father God, we can love and live with a person, but only You completely love, live with and accept us just as we are. Sometimes we have idols in our life, but they are not really perfect. Jesus is the only one who belongs on the throne of our life. Only You completely and unconditionally love the inner us.

We will leave the significant others in our life when we die, but we will live with You for eternity. Your love is ours now and forever and ever. As we keep You as our best friend and the lover of our soul, we will have Your blessings in our life and Your love will flow over us like a waterfall every day of our life now and always (Matthew 16:26).

Thought for the Day:
No person can completely understand or accept us for who we really are inside; Jesus lives inside of us and He knows and loves us better than we can even know and love our self.

Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

A Changed Attitude

At any given moment of the day, when we least expect it, circumstances arise that cause fear and despair to darken our attitude. Heaviness shrouds our spirit and joy flees in retreat.

Eventually anger may arise to shield us from impending pain and we explode and strike out at those around us. For the smallest offense, we react with severe sharpness that leaves the other person cut to shreds.

Our soul pours forth a storm of abuse that drenches the recipient to the point of drowning! Then we feel guilty for over-reacting and causing someone else pain and unhappiness.

Our anxiety and depression deepen and we withdraw into a stoic abyss. James did not believe in his half-brother’s deity until after His resurrection.

However, God used James mightily to further His Kingdom in Jesus’ footsteps. He remembered things Jesus taught and shared them with the Body of Christ both then and now.

One very famous concept was something very similar to what the apostle Paul taught. James reminds us that when we are tempted to sin, we can consider it a joyous time.

This occurs because we know without a doubt that when our faith is tried, the circumstances allow God’s Spirit to use our faith in Christ to work patience into our life.

As we learn patience, we lose much of the anxiety and grief which circumstances used to spawn in our life. Life is much simpler; we want less of this world and more obedience to His Spirit.

We realize that regardless of issues we are experiencing, we have need of nothing. God is our supply, and He has everything in His control (James 1:2-4).

Prayer:
Father God, You are the same Creator who made the majestic mountains, the depths of the sea, the myriad of galaxies in the heavens and the variety of species of plants and animals on this earth. You also have a wonderful plan for each of us, filled with love and peace through our Rock, Jesus Christ.

Most people prefer to make our own rules and live according to the dictates of our own heart, rejecting You for much, most, or all of our life. Some of us totally spurn Your offer of love and lead a hate campaign against You. Others attempt to earn our salvation by our good works.

A few of us will receive Your free gift of salvation through Christ (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Even then, we look to You to forgive us each day for transgressing against Your will and way for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of His Holy Spirit and having the nature of God as we readily and fully surrender to God’s sanctifying process.

Complete Trust and Rest

Our work in our own self-effort actually hinders the work of the Lord (2 Chronicles 5:14). We spin our wheels by attempting to make things happen on our own. We end up frustrated, anxious and even angry at times.

 

Yet, if we put our needs and the direction of our life into God’s capable hands, and allow His Holy Spirit to guide each moment of our day, we end up in the right place at the right time.

 

If we do not have what we want or what we think we need, we can be sure that God does not think we need it at this moment of time. We often get bored and want a change or feel desperate in some area and decide that we know what is best for us.

 

Yet, when we release all negative emotions and wait on the Lord’s direction, we end up receiving even more and infinitely better than we ever had in our whole life (Ephesians 3:20-21).

 

My sister-in-Christ needed a new house. She combed the papers daily and worked with several rental agencies, desperate to find a new place to live. She falsely believed that it was up to her to relocate her family.

 

After many months and an inordinate amount of stress and time of spinning her wheels, she gave up, prayed for God’s will and timing and entered His rest. She listened to His Spirit each succeeding day. Within a week, she had the perfect home for her family.

 

Another Believer had a similar story with a job. When she decided to abide in God’s rest, she lost her desperate drive. She joyfully turned down a few jobs that God made clear to her were not His will for her. Within a month she had the best job in which she ever worked in her entire life and is so fulfilled and joyful now.

 

A widowed Believer strongly desired a new husband. She tried every avenue she could think of to find a husband. Once she surrendered her need to the Lord, she had peace and enjoyed her life as a single person.

 

Two years later, she met her new husband at the sickbed of a dear friend. The ailing woman highly recommended each of her single friends to one another and they started dating.

 

Within a few weeks, they realized that they were very much in love, enjoying the complete peace of the Lord and were married at the bedside of their dying friend. Years later, they are still head over heels in love with one another.

 

As we cease from our striving and trade our self-efforts for surrender to God’s will, we start to serve God from a position of rest, daily obedience to His Spirit’s guidance and an uncompromising desire to live in the center of God’s will (Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for teaching us to cease from living life in our own wisdom and strength, and from running through life with anxiety and stress, which make us unhappy and unfulfilled in every way. Help us to be grateful to You for every aspect of our life and to be satisfied with Your provision and timing.

 

Enable us to enter into Your complete trust and rest (John 14:27). Help us to be more concerned with Your will than our own, more eager to seek Your Kingdom than our own, and realizing that You will give us everything we need in Your timing and way (Matthew 6:33).

 

Thought for the Day:

Let gratitude for God’s daily provision, as well as the peace of the Lord, fill your heart to overflowing, trusting God to work out all things for your ultimate good. – Colossians 3:15; Romans 8:28

Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety is a horrifying malady. It strikes when we least expect it and has some sources that are subconscious and not apparent to the conscience mind. The healing process for anxiety often eludes us.

Anxiety may have its roots in unresolved conflicts of our past and is fueled by lies, which Satan planted there. Often our medication taken for medical issues will also trigger unexplained and unfounded panic attacks.

We chastise our self for these feelings, believing that we should be able to overcome them. The exciting truth is that anxiety cannot harm us. We have authority over the attacks in Jesus’ name.

Focusing on the anxiety only increases the fears within us. Instead, we can focus on Christian music, fellowship or memorized Bible verses until the attack passes (Isaiah 41:10). Herbal relaxants also calm us.

Human faith is limited, and dependent on our five senses and physical circumstances. Faith in God replaces our fear of life’s uncertainties (Isaiah 43:1). This supernatural faith understands what our human senses cannot even perceive (Hebrews 1:11).

God’s Spirit is right there in us and with us, protecting us and guiding us through the travesties of life. His fruit replaces our carnal nature with the character of God (Galatians 5:22-23).

Hearing God’s Word and standing on Jesus, the firm Rock of our salvation, also increases our faith in God (Romans 10:17). They renew our mind and heal us from past trauma by helping us to expose Satan’s lies and to resolve those issues (Proverbs 12:25;  http://www.theophostic.com )

Regardless of our experiences, God strengthens our resolve as we trust ONLY in Him, obey His commandments and believe without a doubt that He is always only a prayer away (Psalm 94:19).

There is no human way that we can control life, regardless of how much we obsess or attempt to keep our self and our loved ones safe. As we trust in God instead of our self, we experience His supernatural peace which exceeds all human comprehension (Psalm 56:3).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of our experiences, either past or present, or our fears of the future, there is no trial that You will not walk through with us. You carry us through the rocky roads and the fire scorched earth to a place of safety tucked away in the cleft of the Rock of Christ (1 John 4:18).

You teach us that our mind is Satan’s battleground, which he uses to take control of our life and to make us ineffectual for Your Kingdom work on the earth. Thank You for strengthening our resolve to deal with, or to turn over to You, the source of any negative thought or emotion in our life, and to put our trust in Your control over our circumstances (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:6-7).

Thought for the Day:
The result of sitting quietly in God’s presence is a renewed sense of intimacy with Him, spiritual power to take authority over Satan’s interference in our life and peace that surpasses human understanding.
– Philippians 4:6-7; James 4:7-8; John 14:27

My Soul Waits – Part 1

In our stressful lifestyle in this modern society, we are often too busy with too many responsibilities to find a place of solitude in our spirit.

We maintain the illusion that we are satisfied with our lifestyle, but our soul is dying within us, because we are spiritually bankrupt.

We care so much about this world that we starve our soul and spirit. The cacophony in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – is deafening and dulls our spiritual connection to God’s Spirit.

The remedy for this is to develop a deeper connection with Christ through His Holy Spirit. We can quiet our soul and focus on Christ dwelling within us, even through the storms of life.

Throughout each moment of the day, our soul waits in silence for God alone (Psalm 62:1). Our focus changes from earthly goals and desires to spiritual ones.

God’s Spirit transforms our thoughts into the mind of Christ, fills our emotions with His fruit and directs our choices to walk in God’s will (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Christ is our all in all (Colossians 3:11). Nothing this world has to offer compares to the joy and peace, guidance and fulfillment that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord.

Listening for God’s voice requires that we still our soul and enter our spirit, where God’s Spirit abides. We totally surrender our will, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations to the will of God.

Silently waiting on God throughout our day reduces our anxiety, silences the negative self-talk, teaches us patience and reshapes our mind into the mind of Christ.

He nourishes our body, soul and spirit as we meditate on His Word, trust Him for our daily bread and enter into union with His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us how to empty our soul, still our mind and wait on Your Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. Silence the negative thoughts and emotions, which Satan uses to distract us from Your will for our life.

Fill our soul with Your peace and help us to restructure our priorities to put You first and foremost above our soul’s pursuits. Remind us that Your Kingdom is the only true reality in this life and everything else is simply wood, hay and stubble to be burned up in the end (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Physical solitude is not necessary in order for us to wait on the Lord, because He is available any time or place.

Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.

Mind Over Matter

There is only one way for our mind to control matter, and that is through satanic powers. Most of us never try this; yet, every day we attempt to control our life by our sheer will power (Matthew 6:27).

This accomplishes nothing more than to increase our anxiety (Jeremiah 17:5). The phrase that “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible.

The only profitable result of us using our will power is that we eventually realize the futility of it, and we come to the end of our self-effort.

We quit trying to be good and to make things happen in our own timing and way; and instead, we trust in God’s will for our life (Isaiah 40:28-31). This allows us to enter God’s rest and for His Spirit to totally control our life (Hebrews 4:9-10).

God teaches us to separate our soul from our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). We disregard the thoughts from our mind, and listen to His leading in our Spirit.

Our human thoughts are centered on earthly matters – what we will eat, where we will live and how we will provide these items for our self.

The emotions, which accompany these thoughts are equally as carnal (Matthew 6:31). If we focus our heart on the temporal, we will work for and be controlled by the momentary issues of this life.

If we set our focus on things above, we have a spiritual context to our life, which lasts throughout eternity (Colossians 3:2).This way too, God will lead us in the center of His will.

In this union life with God, we realize in our spirit, rather than our soul – our mind, choices and emotions, what God’s will is for every moment of our day (John 17:11, 20-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17).

We follow His Spirit’s direction, even when it is contrary to the thoughts and feelings in our soul. As we recognize the union life provided for us by Christ’s suffering, we live for our Father every moment of our life (John 10:30, 5:19).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our heart is fickle and despicably wicked, and that we do not even know our own mind. Then, we will no longer allow our human heart and mind to dictate our activities and thoughts throughout the day; but we will focus on Christ and Your will for each moment (Psalm 57:7).

We will revere You and never be moved from following after You (Psalm 42:11; Ruth 1:16). You will cherish us in Your everlasting embrace, so that we will not even fear bad news, because we totally trust in You (Psalm 112:1-8). We know You provide a seed for a miracle in every trial.

Thought for the Day:
While we live on this earth, we have only partially tasted the goodness of the word of God and His powers, which will manifest in the age to come. – 1 Peter 1:23; Hebrews 6:5

Avoiding the Pit of Depression

Three major causes of discouragement in this life are when our plans do not work out for us, our expectations are disappointed and our perceived desires are not fulfilled.

We hope that our life will turn out a certain way, and when it takes a course outside of our control, we get depressed or we fight tooth and nail to gain control again, which is impossible.

The little nagging issues that arise, setbacks that occur and people who disillusion us will wear our nerves thin and gang up to overwhelm us.

These issues etch away at our positive attitude and tear us down to the point of exhaustion. Rather than to succumb to them, we come up with witty mottoes to discharge our anxiety, such as: “Trouble only comes in threes.”

The remedy for plans going wrong is to stop making them.

We can avoid so many negative aspects in life by walking in the Spirit and seeking God’s counsel for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We consult God for His plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Through prayer, we find out God’s desires and walk in His Spirit, accomplishing so much more through His direction, inspiration and power than we can through our own human strength.

God’s love, instead of our human compassion, directs us according to His will. When we walk in His ways, we find the resources, words and ideas we need to accomplish His list for our day.

We set our priorities according to Biblical principles, and we keep Jesus as our first love. As we rely on God’s agenda and wisdom, rather than on our human capabilities, we live a life centered in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to do only those works, which You planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). This means that we may say “No” to the good things and the dire needs presented to us, unless You tell us to say “Yes”.

Teach us that although we may feel guilty for not helping someone in need, even when we have the time and means to help, to obey You and not to step out of your will for them and for us by helping anyway.

As we wait on You, we never enter the pit of despair, because we view all of the opportunities, issues and demands in our life with the eyes of Your understanding and according to Your will for us.

Thought for the Day:
Rather than living under the tyranny of the next item on the agenda, or the next emergency, which presents itself, we dispel depression and stress by totally surrendering to God’s direction.