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

 

Entering God’s Rest

All during our lifetime, we love to create on God’s behalf through our vocation, hobbies, parenthood and church ministry. However, we fail to heed God’s advice to take times off to rest (Genesis 2:1-2:3).

God gave us an example of how to spend our time by taking a day to focus on rest. We usually use our “day off” to catch up on chores around the house, to stock our pantry and to prepare for the coming week.

During the most hectic days at work, home and with family, we often wish we could fly away on the wings of a dove and be at rest (Psalm 55:6). Yet, we fail to use our days off to relax and breathe.

Most of us enjoy our work, and realize that no matter what our vocation, it is God who actually pays our check (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25). This helps us not to be anxious about our livelihood.

God gives us our job and keeps us there until He has another place for us to minister for His Kingdom (Acts 8:39). Regardless of our vocation, God has His perfect plans for us (Ephesian 2:10).

There is no reason to feel worried about any aspect of our life. We take all of our cares to the Lord in prayer, because He cares about us (1 Peter 5:7).

God’s peace guides us, not through our human mind, but through our spirit. He guards our emotions and mind from worry and stress, because we abide in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Jesus modeled this peace through storms, Satan’s temptations, persecution and His crucifixion (Matthew 8:24). God is humble and gentle with us and gives us rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-29).

Pray:
Father God, remind us that You offer us a fulfilling and passionate relationship with You, which keeps us in peace because of Your faithful provision for all of our needs (Romans 8:28). This requires regular quiet times in order to enter your rest (Hebrews 13:5).

As we pray with our children and model a Godly walk for them, they too will learn the importance of trusting You with their life. Help us to enter into Your rest and to abide under the shadow of Your wings (Hebrews 4:10; Psalm 91).

Thought for the Day:
Pray as a single person, as a couple and with your children to inspire anticipation for the miracles ahead, as well as faith in God’s faithfulness, which both inspire us to rest in Him and to walk in His peace in every situation.

With All Our Heart

When we quiet our body and soul, seek the Lord with our whole spirit and soul, and enter into God’s rest, we have the opportunity to experience the wonders He prepared for those who love Him (Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Jeremiah 29:13).

God asks us to revere, obey, love and serve Him with our whole being (Duet 10:12; Mark 12:30-33). The least we can do for God is to comply with His wishes. As we keep His precepts, we will live fulfilled lives, full of God’s blessings (Deuteronomy 30:16).

At times, we are bombarded by worry, stress and expectations. Our mind wanders from God. However, we can resist the world, the flesh and the devil, and wait on God to direct our steps throughout the day (Psalm 130:5).

Our old carnal nature is crucified with Christ, but now we live in Christ who lives in and through us. We no longer entertain the desires of the flesh, but we submit to God’s will for each moment of our day.

We come forth from the grave of sin with the power of God’s Holy Spirit. We walk in union with our Father God, cleansed by His Son and led by His Spirit. We are totally one with the Trinity.

This is not something, which we conjure up in our human effort. We simply completely surrender to God’s will each moment of the day and He will live His life through us (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Romans 8:9).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we no longer live, but that Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Teach us how to allow Christ to manifest Himself through us during every waking and sleeping moment of our life.

Help us to live with the realization that Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We no longer want to be concerned with issues of this life, because we are living to further Your Kingdom and to honor Your name in all we think, say and do.

Thought for the Day:
Through us, Christ has a greater impact on our day, accomplishes more for His Kingdom and truly blesses those with whom we come into contact. – 1 John 4:6

Take No Thought

How often do we worry our self sick over some issue in our life? We fret and plot and plan, trying to come up with a way to prevent some imagined or real impending doom.

Jesus advises that we take no thought for tomorrow (Luke 12:22). He tells us to ask, seek and knock, and He will provide our needs (Matthew 7:6-9).

He reminds us to pray in the Spirit as we make our requests to Him (Ephesians 6:28). Effectual prayers are persevering and bathed in gratitude for all that God already did for us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

We are confident that He not only started His work in our life, but He will also finish it (Philippians 1:6). We live a surrendered life for the praise of His glory, and He sanctifies us in stages (Ephesians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We are not occupied with this world and the desires of our flesh. Instead, we dwell in the Temple of our God and enter His presence through the outer court of Salvation, and minister to Him in the Holy Place (Psalm 135:2; Revelation 3:12).

However, there is one step further in our intimacy with God. We encounter the glorious presence of God in the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:3). Everything pertaining to life in this world is absent from this cherished place of abiding.

We dwell in this holy chamber, within our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). We never leave God’s presence as we walk in the Spirit and do only those works, which God calls us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, although we have lost yesterday, never to get it back again, You have not lost it, because You are not limited by time as we are. We look forward to all of our tomorrows as we walk in Your Spirit and put aside the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We trust in Your faithfulness to work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

Our most meaningful and intimate times of worship will not be the dark days of trial and tribulation; but our times of loving fellowship with You alone, in the Holy of Holies within us. Once we surrender our life to You, You keep our heart from breaking and we never feel lonely or abandoned again, regardless of whatever experiences we encounter in this temporal life.

Thought for the Day:
We want nothing more from life than to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, and to rest under the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1

God’s Inclusive Love

Authentic Believers have no desire to sin; however, the world, the devil and the flesh cause temptations for our body and soul, which are often hard to resist.

The good news here is that God gives us a way to escape any temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations also sharpens our faith and work patience into our character (James 1:2-4).

Satan may bombard us with doubt and anxiety, but if we look to Christ His perfect love will cast out all of our fear (1 John 4:18).

Some people refuse to admit they are sinners; however, they are living in deception, and calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10). Anyone willing to repent is quickly forgiven by God and cleansed from all iniquity.

Jesus is our advocate with our Father when we do sin, because He paid the penalty of our sin (1 John 2:1-2). This proves that God has nothing but love for us.

God is love, and when we abide in God, we abide in His love (1 John 4:16). In God’s love we have no fear. His love for us gives us confidence in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, You are with us, and that is all we need. We rejoice in our weakness, because then You can show Yourself strong through us. People see Christ’s power within us rather than our own abilities and adequacy (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We actually exult in our insufficiency, because we realize that we need to depend on You in every moment of our day to make us strong. Our attitude in our weakness is actually a testimony of Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:
When we succumb to temptation, we fail to avail our self of the escape, which God always supplies; and we ultimately disappoint our Father God. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Worry Never Helps

Worrying is the world’s favorite pastime. Our emotional, spiritual, physical and mental powers diminish when we give in to worry. We make our self sick in body, soul and spirit by worrying.

Doctors write a score of prescriptions each day for anxiety-related illnesses, such as: anxiety, apathy, headaches, decreases in our immune system, increases in blood pressure, insomnia, and even bad habits such as grinding teeth and biting nails.

Worry is a negative emotion and is very self-destructive. I believe that worry comes from a subconscious fear that we are basically vulnerable and unprotected.

Worry influences our thinking, decisions, opinions and reactions to life. People who worry cannot relax and enjoy life. We fail to trust God with our life (Matthew 6:25-34).

Most worriers grow up in dysfunctional households and/or have traumatic negative experiences in life. Worriers have low self-esteem caused by one or more shaming incidences perpetrated by our parents or someone we respect or love.

Worry takes our mind off the here and now and keeps it as either a prisoner of the past or trapped in an imagined future full of worse case scenarios. Surrendering them all to God is our only hope.

Understanding our worries can diminish their intensity and possibly eradicate them completely. Ask yourself, “What is causing me to worry?” “What is bothering me right now?” “What happened to put this fear in my mind?” Journal the answers and pray about God’s resolution for each one.

Prayer:
Father God, we worry because we believe that we have to maintain control over every aspect of our life in order to keep our self and our loved ones safe. Parents worry about children, wives worry about husbands and career, husband’s worry about their family and work related issues, and everyone worries about having their basics needs met.

Remind us that the best way not to worry is to follow the advice of Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (TLB) Lord, we trust You to make even the bad events in our life to work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
Worry can paralyze us into inactivity and limit our productivity and inventiveness.

New Creation – Part 2

God started a good work in me and continues to make me a new creation (Philippians 1:6). Introspection was an affliction, which contributed to my low self-esteem and introverted tendencies. God’s Holy Spirit healed this burden by ending my negative self-talk and filling me with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I tended to be one-track minded and had no skill for multi-tasking, until my children were born – what mother does not learn to multi-task?

Fighting depressive thoughts and looking at the glass as half-empty were two other melancholic traits, from which God delivered me. He taught me to focus on the eternal rather than the earthly; eventually worldly cares and concerns stopped bothering me so much.

Feeling like a victim or a savior were two other traits, which God freed me from by reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and Jesus is the only Savior the world needs (Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:14).

Holding grudges caused me problems until God taught me about forgiveness – not only about forgiving others, but about forgiving myself as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Mercy and grace became my guide stones.

Worry is another weakness, which plagued my life until God taught me to have faith in His faithfulness and that He would eventually work out everything, even the most negative situation, for my good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, these negative natural tendencies crippled my life and gave me a pessimistic outlook. I could not see the joy You created all around me. As you transform me to have the mind of Christ, all of nature, each person I encounter and every detail of my day become an adventure and a blessing in my life. I look forward to each new day in Your presence. Thank You for making me a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
Transformation is a voyage of discovery of who we are in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s Presence In Us

We often implore our Heavenly Father to give us more patience, love, peace, joy, compassion, faith and strength. What we do not realize is that we already have all of the fruit of the Spirit resident within us through our salvation in Christ. God’s Spirit and all of the attributes of God are already available to us.

The issue preventing them from manifesting is our flesh. Our flesh often masquerades as God’s direction and we follow the wrong path. When seeking God’s will, we are looking for a billboard, a loud speaker or a flashing neon sign, but it never comes. Our human reasoning quickly drowns out God’s true guidance.

We second guess our first impression and miss God. God directs us from His Spirit within our spirit in a barely recognizable impression or thought. God’s is a still, small voice, which is often overwhelmed by the cacophony of life’s trials and demands. As we submit our desires and thoughts to God’s Spirit and obey His direction for each moment of our day, we live in peace and rest.

It is only as we decrease, that Christ in us can increase (John 3:30). The more we minimize the influence of our flesh, the world and the devil in our life, the more we are able to access the fruit, gifts and power of the Trinity within us. God already has our life planned out for us (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:16). We never need to deal with life in our own wisdom and resources.

Prayer:
Father God, nothing occurs in our life that is not already part of Your plan for us. There is no need to fear, attempt to control or to worry about our present and future circumstances. We can take a deep breath and exhale all of the tension and stress caused by negative emotions and life’s events; then breathe in Your peaceful presence in all of its fullness. Even negative circumstances are a new adventure, because You are in control. You are not bound by time and You have an eternal perspective. You know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us is our glorious hope for a fulfilled life and our eternal reality. – Galatians 2:20

No Idol Will Stand

What irritates you? What is your pet peeve? What steps on your last nerve? That is an idol in your life. Okay, maybe you do not daily worship at the altar of that idol, but when you are feeling that stress and negative emotion about that issue, you are. Anything that distracts us from peace with God is an idol. Lay it down at the altar.

King Jesus is the Lord, and it grieves Him for us to give our entire focus of attention to another person, activity or thing (Isaiah 42:8). Once we surrender that issue to God, His Spirit helps us to change our focus about it, or to let go of our penchant for worrying, complaining and being distracted by it.

When it stops bothering us, we see the Lord exalted on His throne of our life, and His holiness and glory will fill our life (Isaiah 6:1). As we recall the abundant goodness God provides for His children, our heart bursts out in song; and the petty grievances that once robbed us of our joy seem insignificant. God’s new mercies meet us every single morning and give us His strength as our stronghold.

In times of trouble, He is our refuge. As we elevate our loving God in our life, our heart is filled with praises to Him (Psalm 59:16-17). With His good name and His reputation as our main concern, we walk in His ways and wait for His direction for our day (Isaiah 26:8). This prevents us from thinking about, speaking of, or walking in any unrighteousness at all.

Prayer:
Father God, You chose us to witness of Your love and to serve You. Your counsel and wisdom for us in life are absolutely wonderful (Isaiah 28:29). You are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8). You already ordained every day of our life on this earth. Your purpose and pleasure are the only aspects we perform, which will stand for eternity (Isaiah 46:10). When we think about Your mighty works both for Israel and for Your Saints throughout all generations, we realize that You are God and there is no one like You (Isaiah 46:9).

Thought for the Day:
We understand and believe that Jehovah is our Almighty God and that no idol ever comes before Him or will ever come after Him. – Isaiah 43:10

 

The Eternal God in Us

God chose that His Son would come from the seed of Abraham; and that through Jesus, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Every Authentic Believer is justified through faith in Christ, and blessed right along with faithful Abraham (Galatians 3:8-9, 14). The greatest gift God gives to all of us is His love (1 Corinthians 13:2,13; John 3:16).

God showed His love for us, while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Then by faith, we received God’s Spirit through salvation by hearing and accepting the truth of the Gospel (Galatians 3:2). As we trust God, His Spirit ministers to us and works miracles in and through us (Galatians 3:5). Christ’s resurrection from the dead gives credence to our faith and frees us from our sinful nature (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17).

We gradually die to our carnality by surrendering every bit of our corrupted nature to God. We start to think as Jesus did, instead of with finite, earthly concerns and thoughts. We live as Jesus did with the fruit of God’s Spirit replacing the deeds of our flesh (Galatians 5:22-23). We dedicate our life to His service and we bask in His presence throughout the day. We are no longer carnal, but spiritual (Galatians 5:15-25).

Coming to an awareness of our rest in God, we relinquish our hectic pursuit of the world and we walk in the center of God’s will (Hebrews 4:10). Our desire to entirely surrender every area of our life to God increases with our spiritual maturity. He is our everything, and we want nothing more than our beloved God Himself. He dwells within us for eternity.

Prayer:
Father God, the law tutored us in righteousness, but it could never save us. Once we come to salvation, we no longer need the schoolmaster of the law, because we are Your children, saved by faith in Christ’s work on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 3:23-26). We cannot boast of our works of righteousness, because our eternal destiny is based solely on the works of Your Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). By faith, we have confidence that we will continually abide in You with joy (Philippians 1:25).

Thought for the Day:
We never need to worry about our life here on this earth, because God will never leaves us, and He will always sustain us. – Hebrews 13:5