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

 

God’s Divine Purpose

 

Without Christ in our life, we know something is missing. We optimistically search everywhere to find it. Since the time of Adam and Eve, the spirit of man is dead at birth, buried under layers of sin (Ephesians 2:1-5).

 

We all have a living soul – our mind, will and emotions – which often fails under the weight of life, because circumstances beat us down relentlessly.

 

Our dead spirit and our unhealthy soul affect our body as well. What we lack is the vital power of God. Without the Spirit of God rebirthing and dwelling in our spirit, we are crippled in life.

 

No one is intrinsically good except God (Mark 10:18). However, when Christ moves into our life, we daily die to our carnal flesh and we grow in His good judgment and nature (Galatians 2:20; John 12:24; Luke 9:23).

 

We start to make wiser choices, which last for eternity; rather than desiring options, which are carnal, temporal and momentary.

 

Over time, Jesus becomes our only life and we have no meaningful existence outside of Him (2 Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 3:3). This does not mean that we sit in a meditative state all day, every day.

 

Jesus and the apostles interacted with people. They were anointed with the Holy Spirit and with God’s power. They went everywhere the Spirit led them, and they blessed people with healing, wisdom and deliverance (Acts 10:38).

 

Once we come to Christ we are totally complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). We live and move and have our existence in Jesus each moment of our day (Act 17:28).

 

We come to realize that if we do not have something we think we need, it is because God knows we do not need it at this time. He has other plans for us. Accepting His will with joy brings us ultimate fulfillment.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we realize that Christ actually does Your work through us. Our true identity as Authentic Christians comes from Christ living in us. Christ expresses Your character through us, which is the fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

We are all united with Christ in His Body. You utilize us as individual members of this Body, each with unique gifts and talents, in a ministry to a corporate, church Body. Thank You for using us to fulfill Your purpose in the earth (Romans 12:15; Ephesians 1:22,23; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

 

Thought for the Day:

Salvation is the beginning of our walk in Christ, but the next step is to develop awareness in our conscious thoughts of the reality of Christ living within us.

 

True Contentment

When life is free from stress and trials, we tend to forget God, to take credit for our successes and to change our focus from Christ-centered to self-centered.

God gives us room to follow our carnal desires and to experiment with our own plans and goals (Romans 1:24); so that when we fail or get the wind knocked out of us, we will run back to Him.

A trial brings us to our knees and reminds us that only as we are weak can we be truly strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). We no longer find fulfillment in a sinful lifestyle. God is our exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4, 149:4).

When God delivers us from various trials and temptations, our faith increases and we grow spiritually. We realize that we are now dead to sin and alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4).

Regardless of our circumstances, our soul finds true contentment, which comes from God alone. We gradually stop depending on our self and depend only on God. He becomes the very air we breathe.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We realize our utter dependence on His Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us strength for each new day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As we decrease, He increases (John 3:30-35) and draws us into a deeper walk with Him. We devour His Word, and this life-giving source fills us with faith and wisdom for living in this insecure world.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to find serenity, joy and contentment of soul in You alone. Nothing that this world offers to us equals to what You give us through Your mercy and grace. Through our total dependence on You, we find Your strength for each moment of the day as we rise up to meet the challenges life throws at us.

We can rest in You, because You have all things under Your control. We want to tell the world what you mean to us. Give us daily opportunities to be a friend in order to win a soul to Your love. Take pleasure in us as we hope in Your steadfast love (Psalm 147:11).

Thought for the Day:
Our delight is always in the Lord, because we find our true contentment and fulfillment in God alone. – Psalm 37:4

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

Puzzling Pieces

When I assemble a puzzle, I start with the corner piece; then I build the frame of the puzzle before attempting to find all of the inner pieces. This brings order and clarity to the puzzle.

Our walk as Christians follows this same principle. Jesus is the main cornerstone on which we base the rest of our life (Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 21:42). He helps us to line up the other three corners and to build the framework of a successful lifestyle.

We use God’s Word to place the parameters within which we frame our thoughts, words and deeds. These are not restrictions, but a simple plan, which gives our life order and clarity.

The inside pieces are a beautiful tapestry, which God weaves throughout each moment of our day by His sanctifying process; adding brilliant colors and beautiful scenery which enhances our existence.

Each new piece that He adds makes the panorama come to life and brings logic to some puzzling pieces that made no sense in the past. The enigmatic life experiences in our future fall into place with ease when each new aspect is added.

With the safety of God’s spiritual border around our life, our fears and insecurity fade, anger diminishes, earthly focus switches to spiritual focus and dependence on God replaces self-reliance and codependence.

Through our total commitment and surrender to God’s will we experience the richest measure of His presence, the multi-dimensions of His love, and the magnitude of His mercy, grace and peace (Romans 8:35-39; 2 John 1:3; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible)

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that our true identity is found only in Christ and that Your Holy Spirit continues Your sanctifying work in us. Teach us to follow Your voice each moment of the day and to do the works You created us to accomplish before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

The parameters of Your love give us peace and security and help us to experience the fullness of Your presence and Spirit within us. Give us Your wisdom and understanding to enable us to walk worthy to wear Your name, to please You completely and to bear spiritual fruit through every good work we do (Colossians 1:9-10).

Thought for the Day:
In the midst of the puzzling aspects of life on this earth, God gives us healing from our past, trust to face the future and clarity of thought in each new moment.

The Mind of Christ

Paul encourages us to adopt the same mindset about life that Jesus had. He goes on to explain that Jesus proclaimed that He was equal with God. With Christ in us, we too have His Godly nature (Philippians 2:5-6).

Even with His divine nature and character, however, Jesus did not use this fact to build His reputation. He did proclaim His deity (John 10:30, 17:21), but He did not use this fact to promote Himself.

We learn this same humility in our daily walk (Philippians 2:7), which allows us to also serve one another (Mark 9:35). Jesus obediently paid the ultimate sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and taught us to lay down our life for one another (Philippians 2:8; 1 John 3:16).

When we realize that our sin crucifies again the Lord Jesus Christ, we run from sin and live in the will of God instead (Hebrews 6:6; 1 Peter 4:2). We want to honor God with our thoughts, words and deeds.

Jesus fulfilled the law through His birth, death and resurrection (Matthew 5:17). He kept God’s commandments and He helps us to keep them too. We abide in His love (John 15:10), and He gives us His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Through His death, God exalted the name and person of Jesus above every name, and every tongue will eventually proclaim His Lordship over all the nations of the earth (Philippians 2:9-11)

Jesus did not abandon us, but He sent us the Holy Spirit of God to teach us all things and to bring them to our remembrance. God’s Spirit teaches us to change our focus from one of carnality to one of spirituality (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The Spirit serves as our comforter and guide (John 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; Acts 8:29, 11:12), and helps us to be like-minded, loving and living in one accord with the rest of the Body of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11).

Jesus’ life and crucifixion exemplified perfect patience (1 Timothy 1:15-16). With the mind of Christ in us, we find spiritual support, comfort of love, fellowship with His Spirit, affection, mercy and joy in our relationship with Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the mind of Christ, which helps us to make sense of this world of strife and confusion (Philippians 2:5). You inspire us to live in humility and to serve one another as Christ serves us. We look out for one another and protect each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3-4).

Although Jesus is equal with You, He still took the form of a man in order to redeem us from our wickedness and sin (Philippians 2:7-8; Matthew 20:28). We exalt His name in our hearts and with our lives and look forward to His rule and reign on this earth for eternity (Philippians 2:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
Once we learn to think as Jesus thought, then we can live, move and find fulfillment on this earth just as Jesus did in all of His humility, love and power. – Acts 17:28

Never Alone

We never go through a trial without God in the midst of it with us. He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). Christ and the Holy Spirit reside within us (Galatians 2:20).

Even through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us (Psalm 23:4). Whenever we feel that God is not with us, it is due to our behavior, not the Trinity. We leave them or grieve them by our choices and behavior (Psalm 13:1-6).

This causes us to lose courage, strength, joy and heart. We feel abandoned and forlorn. We have no will to go on any more. We may even feel betrayed by those who are supposed to love us, including God.

God is just waiting for us to completely surrender to His love. The Way, Truth and Life is always with us and in us, giving us wisdom and bringing us into God’s glory (Colossians 1:27; John 14:6).

The Lord wants us to accept His will without any conditions or self-will. Praise opens the gates of hell, which we are experiencing, and allows us to understand the freedom of our union with God (Act 16:16-40).

Praising God for the negative circumstances, for the seed for a miracle within the trial and for His goodness, even when we are hurting, is the key to spiritual victory.

Jesus knew Calvary awaited Him. He first requested that God save Him from the cross (Matthew 26:37-42). Then, He prepared Himself for this trial through a time of prayer in the garden with His disciples.

Jesus knew that the only way to traverse any trial is to embrace the will of God in and through it. Therefore, He changed His focus to the glory, which awaited Him (Hebrews 12:2).

We follow Jesus’ example and praise God regardless of His deliverance or blessings for us in this life, because we know the glory, which also awaits us in Heaven (Romans 8:18). We know that God will work out everything – even the most unbearable circumstances in this life – for our ultimate good.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to worship You in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Remove any hypocrisy in us and help us to live, move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28). Draw us close to You, because we know You will never, ever let us go.

We will pour out our love for You even when the flames of the fire, winds of the tornado, or destruction of the disease rip our life out of our clutches; because we know that our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven.

Thought for the Day:
The God of the universe never, ever leaves or forsakes us; so, what is there to worry about? – Hebrews 13:5