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

 

Relinquishing Our Hold on This Life

We have no need to fear death or to cling to this life. We can relinquish our desires to succeed in this society, because it is only a vapor on a cold winter’s day (James 4:14). It quickly dissipates.

 

Our dependence on earthly advantages leave us insecure at best. As we value our temporal life with less importance and put a higher priority on our spiritual life, our levels of stress, fear, anxiety and depression about our life on this earth diminish.

 

Satan’s lies and negative self-talk, which comes from significant others in our life and fills our mind, attempt to rob us of our confidence in God’s love.

 

It is important for us to reject these negative thoughts and attitudes as they pop up and replace them with God’s truth (Philippians 4:8). We agree with what God says about us in His Word.

Click to access ANDERSON_WhoIAmInChrist.pdf

 

As we develop a habit of prayer, this proves our dependence upon God. It humbles us and glorifies God who holds all power, glory and honor in His hands.

 

Only as we snuggle in the palm of God’s hand are we safe. He prevents life from separating us from His love (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39). We are sealed in Him by His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

 

As a child of God, Christ is in us and we are the temple of His Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There is no need for us to belittle our self or to believe these negative lies.

 

God cares about our heartaches and He bears our burdens as we share them with Him (1 Peter 5:7). He helps us in all of our troubles (Psalm 46:1). We go to God with every distress and He keeps our tears in His bottle to revenge in His way and timing (Psalm 56:8).

 

We can pray in our own words about the real issues which affect our life. Our needs, feelings, wounds and failings are His concern too. We can trust Him to meet all of our needs as we make His Kingdom our priority in this life (Matthew 6:33).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our God, and You save us and preserve our life as we trust in You (Psalm 86:2).  You already know the end of time from the beginning; and Your purpose will stand through it all as You carry out Your pleasure (Isaiah 46:10). As we read accounts of Your goodness throughout Your Word, it builds our faith. We sing joyfully of Your righteous choices in the affairs of our world.

 

You are compassionate and gracious, a good, good God; and we are loved by You. You are slow to anger and great in loving kindness and You never send judgment without first sending ample warning and time to repent. You are good to all; and we see Your tender mercies through Your works in times past, as well as today (Psalm 145:7-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

God is the Lord of hosts and is exalted in all the earth, our God who is holy in all of His righteous decisions; and when we pass from this life to Heaven, we go immediately into the presence of God.

– Isaiah 5:16

 

 

The Divine Life of Christ in Us

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit, as a branch to a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

 

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Daily, we live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal, triune Godhead living within us (Romans 8:4).

 

Sin no longer has power over us, because of God’s grace ruling in our heart (Romans 6:14). Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live a life of holiness (John 8:36; Romans 6:18).

 

His divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, spiritual calling and family relationships through His divine life within us (Colossians 1:27). The fruit of His Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:15-25)

 

God’s Spirit also enables us to have the courage to boldly share the gospel with everyone we meet. Not in a preachy or condemning manner, but in the spirit of love and peace with the words He gives us (Ephesians 6:19).

 

Jesus delivers us from our sinful nature, which used to serve sin; and He gives us a mind, which is now a slave to God’s nature, principles and Kingdom (Romans 7:25).

 

As slaves of God, we are set free from the slavery to sin in order to reap the blessings of holiness and eternal life (Romans 6:22). We belong to Christ, who was raised from the dead, so that we will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Romans 7:4).

 

We pray through any rocky stretches of road by the direction of God’s Spirit and we petition Him to meet our needs and for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of the spirit of sin and death (Romans 8:2). When Christ sets us free, we are truly free (John 8:36). We bask in Your presence and praise You for including us in Your eternal plans.

 

Thank You that we are no longer strangers and pilgrims in this world, but part of Your universal family. We are fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God and Saints in Your holy presence. Our love for Your Body is very important, because You prepared us for a holy dwelling place for Your Spirit. Jesus is our chief cornerstone and You are building us into Your eternal dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave us Christ as our redemption, not so we can sit back and continue living a life of sin with the false hope of escaping eternal judgment, but so that we can enjoy an intimate union with Him filled with all of His glory and the greatest measure of His spiritual presence. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Our Spiritual Ears

Preoccupation with the affairs of this material world will dull our spiritual ears to heed God’s Spirit in the spiritual realm (Matthew 13:15). This opens us up for Satanic deception, worldly influence and fleshly temptations.

 

We may even miss the coming of the Lord. He will come when we least expect Him, as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4). That is why God calls us to watch and pray.
We open our spiritual ears, watch and prepare for His guidance, comfort and coming. We live in holy anticipation and expectation. Our sole desire as we function in His calling for our life is His will.

 

A sign of the end times is spiritual apathy, which starves our spirit. We are so focused on our flesh and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – that we are spiritually asleep.

 

We put other pursuits ahead of our Bible reading, gathering with God’s Saints, prayer and obedience to God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day.

 

Circumstances constantly affect our fulfillment and contentment. We suffer from spiritual anemia. We measure our self-worth from our human accomplishments.

 

The future frightens us and we feel compelled to abandon the spiritual side of life in order to make provision for our physical and emotional needs first (Matthew 24:38).

 

We forget that we are created in God’s image as triune beings and that He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). As we take care of His business, He takes care of ours (Matthew 6:26).

 

His Kingdom is our inheritance and His immortal provision will replace our mortal existence if we will place His will above our own. He calls us to occupy the earth for Him until He comes (Luke 19:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, spur us to release our desire to settle for mediocrity in the spiritual realm in order to excel in the carnal world. Help us to take our foot out of the earthly realm and to plant both feet firmly on the Rock of Christ.

 

Remind us that there is no salvation in pretending to be a Christ-follower. Only a life dedicated to the pursuit of Your will can bear any lasting, spiritual fruit. We want to receive Your free gift of salvation, sanctification and glorification by faith and abide in You forever (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in spiritual completion allows us to persevere in times of trial and tribulation by the power of God’s Spirit within us. – Colossians 2:10

 

 

Waiting Continually on God

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

Mirroring the Heart of God

The Spirit of God urges men and women to enter into the purposeful ministry of prayer for the godless portion of humanity, which co-habitates this earth with us – in both big cities and country towns alike.

 

He gives us the burden of His heart for these dear souls who need to hear about Jesus and respond to His invitation to come just as they are. He also floods us with His peace and joy as we obey and pray.

 

God burdens our soul with His intense love for humanity and His concern for their eternal destination. He moves on our heart by His Spirit to dedicate our life to prayer and intercession until we actually mirror His heart back to Him.

 

God knows the intents and desires of our heart and answers our petitions as He brings circumstances to bear in a person’s life. Of course, it is still that person’s choice to reject or to accept God’s love.

 

Daniel, Ezra and other prophets of old such as Nehemiah served in this ministry of intercessory prayer for people in their day and time. They and we mourn with the burden of lost souls around us.

 

The Holy Spirit fills us with the burden of the sin all around us; and sometimes even in us, if we are not thoroughly cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We mourn for their lost condition and their separation from God who is all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

 

As we quietly trust in God’s goodness, mercy and grace, His love shines in our heart and transforms us into the mind, character and nature of Christ in us; and we enjoy His unbroken fellowship.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we completely and wholly surrender our motives, goals and heart to You. We consider it such a privilege to partake in Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Your precious Son, Jesus Christ. We will stand with Him in that final hour as one Body, one Bride, one Army and deliver the Kingdom to You.

 

From the rising to the setting of the sun, we relinquish to You our life with all of its sorrows and joys. We walk in Your will and reap the benefits of serving You even now. We prove our love to You by dedicating our life to one of prayer, and obedience to Your Spirit and Your Word.

 

Thought for the Day:

Filling God’s ear with petitions, and demanding that He honor His myriad of promises in our life is not prayer; it is simply a spoiled child giving an ultimatum to our Heavenly Father. Instead, we enter the true life of prayer, which mirrors the heart of God back to Him.

 

Fellowship with God’s Trinity

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and delights in hearing our own words (Luke 16:15).

As we mature in Christ, God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness and natural disasters, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other distresses caused by this sin-cursed life.

God gives us His heart and lays His burdens on us a bit heavier as time progresses. When we faithfully pray, the intense weight is terrible at times, but the fact that God trusts us with His heart is joyful and spurs us on to persevere in prayer.

As we acknowledge our dependence on Christ in all things, especially in prayer, we pray in the Spirit as well as with our human understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). We see mighty answers to our prayers from a God who delights in bringing us joy (Psalm 149:4).

We stop limiting God by our doubts and carnal thoughts. We follow our Lord Jesus’ example and pray the prayer, which never fails, “Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 22:42)

God already knows our needs, but He delights in our dependence on Him. Our Father savors the words of praise and adoration, which we pour out in our prayers.

He delights in our companionable silence when there is no immediate need to lift up in supplication. We bask in the warming rays of His continual presence.

We yearn for intimacy with Him, and He snuggles us under the shelter of His wings as He showers us with His love (Psalm 17:8). We even experience the fullness of His glory from time to time.

We pray without ceasing all through the day, regardless of the circumstances in which we find our self. We look for His seed for a miracle in the negative aspects and rejoice in His provision and blessings in the positive experiences.

Prayer:
Father God, as we take time in Your presence more and more with each passing day, Your love shines in us and through us as a beacon to the lost and dying world around us. Your Word shows us that the Saints of old persevered in their anointing by abiding in Your presence. Help us to fully surrender to Your Spirit each moment of our day.

Remind us in the midst of our infirmities that the ministry of prayer and intercession is the most powerful task You share with Your Body. When we allow You to remove our need to stay busy, You use our whole being in this vital ministry. We do not need to be bed-ridden to be effective in prayer; it is simply a matter of priorities. Prompt us to cry out day and night for Your Kingdom to reign over all the earth.

Thought for the Day:
When we pray without ceasing, we abide in fellowship with the Trinity and access their power in every circumstance in our life.

Successful Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is our lifeline to the Trinity. We continually communicate with God in prayer through each moment of the day (Matthew 7:8). We do not need a quiet place to kneel and pray.

We pray through the storms of life, the serene times of play, the busyness of our own making and the unforeseeable issues, which life unexpectedly throws at us.

Prayer changes us, the people we pray for, the circumstances surrounding us and the spiritual principalities and powers all around us.

In chapters nine and ten, the Bible records Daniel’s experience concerning answers to his prayer. One was a quick response and the other a delay of about three weeks.

In the later, when God’s archangel finally broke through Satan’s lines of hindrance drawn in high places to prevent the answer from being delivered, he explained all of this to Daniel in detail.

These are some of the most amazing verses in the Old Testament. It enables us to realize the spiritual warfare going on around us as a reality and an entity to take seriously.

These verses encourage us to “pray-through” in every situation and to persevere until God delivers His answer, rather than to give up after a weak attempt to petition our Deliverer.

Sometimes, our prayers are carnal and self-centered; designed too heap on our self the riches of this world (James 4:3). God does not always provide what we want, especially if He knows it is not for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Yet at other times, Satan steps up his resistance in order to discourage us from believing in God, trusting Him with our life and walking in His order for our day.

God inspired James to tell us that if we submit to God’s will and resist the devil, he has no option but to flee from our presence (James 4:7-9). This is the secret to successful spiritual warfare.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for deigning to form an intimate, personal relationship with us – the Creator with the created. You desire our continual fellowship while we live on this earth and look forward to our death when we come to abide in Your presence forever (Psalm 116:15).

Your angels rejoice when one sinner repents and crosses over from eternal death into life, adding yet another Saint to Your Kingdom (Luke 15:7). You rejoice over us with singing and You love us with an everlasting love (Zephaniah 3:17). We can barely grasp the full meaning of this relationship, which You offer to everyone ever born on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Most people never avail our self the opportunity to enter into this intimate union with our Creator and King, because we despise the shame of the cross and resist the opportunity to totally surrender our will to His.

End to the Beginning

End to the Beginning

Whenever I read a book, I always read the last chapter first. That way I eliminate the mystery, suspense and unpredictability of the story line. Then, I can read from the beginning, without the stress of not knowing how it will turn out.

Some of you may enjoy horror movies and suspenseful mysteries, but they cause my psyche too much anxiety. I love to watch Hallmark movies, because as my husband derisively points out, the endings are predictable. There is very little stress and suspense in these wondrously sappy romances.

I did this with the Bible too. I read Revelation first. This colorful depiction of symbolic drama gives us a bird’s eye view of the culmination of time as we know it.

Revelation confirms the prophetic books of the Bible, such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah – as well as the New Testament letters such as the gospels and Thessalonians. They report to us God’s intention for creation, redemption and restoration.

When we know how the end plays out, these facts remove the guesswork from life and give us a fool proof game plan to follow in our walk of faith through the Son of God.

God made His will plain and stress-free for us through the Biblical account of His clear timetable of events leading up to His final return to earth and His eternal plans for humanity.

God does not dwell in time. The 6,000 years since creation are all in the present to Him. He is not restrained, directed or controlled by the hands on the clock like we are (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

Our Creator and King dwells in eternity. He invites us to join Him in this place of unhindered existence through salvation in His Son. Jesus won this privilege for us by taking on the form of a man and dying in our place (Philippians 2:6-8).

God also provided us with His Word in order to afford us hope for a joyful future and instructions for living in a peaceful existence through every moment of each new day regardless of our circumstances (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your Word, which takes the guesswork right out of life. Remind us to check with You before we do anything, so that You can direct our plans (Proverbs 3:5-6). When Satan attempts to hinder us, teach us to use spiritual warfare through the power of Christ in us to withstand his onslaughts.

Thank You for always answering our prayers, and for not always giving us what we want, but what is in our best interest. We squirm under the pressures of life and often feel like we know how to alleviate these trials; but we often jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Keep us in the center of Your will and walking in the fruit of Your righteousness.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father is God and there is no one like Him; He declared the end to the beginning. – Isaiah 4:9-11

Prayer Journal

Contrary to popular belief, God cannot answer the prayers of an unrighteous person. Even if we are Born Again, if we harbor unconfessed sin in our heart, God will not stay in our presence (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 15:29).

Otherwise, there is no sin too horrific or concern too trivial to bring to Him in prayer. We can talk to God about anything and everything that is on our mind, and then sit in companionable silence to listen as He speaks to us.

So many people are intimidated by the concept of prayer. They hesitate to speak to God, because they think that He is too busy with the rest of the world to be bothered by our petty concerns.

They would never, ever pray in public, because they are afraid that people might judge their efforts and find them lacking. Yet, prayer is as easy as talking to your best friend. Jesus is our very best friend (Proverbs 18:24).

The only perfect, righteous man ever to live on planet earth bore the shame of the sins of every person ever born. Yet, He is our Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:11).

He willingly gave up His life for our eternal security (John 10:16-18, 15:13). He loves us without measure. He gave us His Word as our comfort and our guide.

Praying Bible verses gives us the life-giving power of the Word behind our prayers. These verses were well written by people who felt just like we do. They inspire us to pray using our own words too.

We can journal in a notebook as we pray, in order to record the issues on our heart. Then, when God answers those prayers we can record the date in our journal, which will increase our faith.

Taking time to listen to God’s answers as we pray allows Him to communicate with us in His still, small voice in the center of our being – in our spirit.

The more we sit in those quiet moments, the more we will hear from God, and the more we will come to recognize His voice (Psalm 46:10). He will lead us throughout our day in this same way.

Prayer:
Father God, prayer is the opportunity to speak to You, the God of the Universe. There is no being higher than You and Your ways are beyond human reasoning, because You already know the end from the beginning.

Listening to Your truth through Your Word and by You speaking to us in times of prayer is the greatest opportunity we can ever experience on this earth. We find our true joy only in Your presence in our life.

Draw us ever closer to Your heart and remind us that You are waiting to hear our voice in praise to Your glory, in contrition for our sins, and in wonder, both for who You are and for all that You do for us each day.

Thought for the Day:
Although God may not give us the answer we requested in our prayers, He will always give us something better; even if it does not seem like it at the time.