Continued Anxiety Is Sin

February 16, 2013

Friends,
The Lord heals the mind and emotions and heart and spirit by revealing to us sin in our lives, helping us eliminate it all, not by man’s methods, but through obedience to His Spirit and Word, and then by comforting us and making us strong warriors for Him as we feed off of Him, the Word. Why then should we remain in a state of anxiety?

If someone continues to battle against anxiety and the fear of man, this reveals there is a problem of sin in that person’s life. (See 1 John 5:18) For such things come from a lack of faith (see v. 4) which is disobedience (see v. 3), which then continues to all the more block the free flow of faith. More sins then come in such as ungratefulness or discontentment, and these, plus the lack of faith itself, make a person move his eyes from the Lord down to the level of man. It is to look at men, rather than Christ. Who cares if someone doesn’t like us? To fear what others think about us is to fear them, and to fear man is to step into a snare. (Prov. 29:25) True, we don’t want to be obnoxious, or purposefully try to be tactless or annoying to others, but if we’re doing our best to please them as unto the Lord, and if we are walking in the will of the Lord, then we should be free of all anxiety. If anxiety does slug us, we are to immediately call out to the Lord in our distress and believe that He does rush to our side (Ps. 120:1), yank out the spear embedded in us, and then envelope us with Himself –He who is our shield.

We are, without question, not to adhere to worldly, antichrist philosophies. However, to disregard advice that is just plain wise advice only because it overlaps with commonsense advice (which even unregenerate men are able to give), is wrong. The book of Proverbs attests to this. For there is much wisdom there which of course comes from the Lord, but there is also there the kind of wisdom which God has placed into all consciences –if they haven’t given themselves over to depravity so as to lose that natural God-given wisdom. (See Rom. 2:14,15 w/ 1:21 & Eph. 4:17-19) In other words, God’s wisdom would caution us about rebuking someone we work for, but common-wisdom would advise the same. There certainly is some overlap. This is why talking ourselves through some things is just plain generic wisdom. I’ve written several times about speaking to ourselves, not listening to ourselves, for this is a God-ordained way to walk in faith, as verses like Ps. 42:5 and 62:5 and 103:1,2 and Lam. 3:24 reveal.

People seem to listen to Self and feelings way too much. Instead we should ignore our fears and other negative feelings and say, “Self, you’re dead. So get out of my sight and quit blocking my view! I’m looking at my Strong Deliverer, my God and Rock, Jesus the King of kings!” Then we’re to praise the Lord (aloud if possible). We are wise if we’ve been memorizing a Scripture verse (or more) every week so that we can immediately use that exceedingly powerful Sword. For there is nothing stronger than the Word of God in our mouths by the Spirit, except God Himself.

Relying on God to do everything for us is what the Calvinists teach. Did God win victories for His people as they lay by the banks of the river? No, He told them to do a particular thing. It may have been to break jugs and raise torches, it may have been to walk around the city and then shout, it may have been to take up bow and go into the fray, it may have been to use a sling and a stone, it may have been to praise and sing so that the chains would fall off, it may have been to pray that an angel would come and lead one out… But never did God tell a person to do nothing at all. Even standing firm means: Be strong, don’t run, have faith, and exalt God for the victory which is about to come.

Eph. 3:20 is a very important verse of doctrine, for it teaches us that God, who can do anything, has chosen to do wonders through our cooperation. We need to meditate on that verse often, as well as on 2 Peter 1:3,4. A Spirit-controlled person does not have “efforts of the flesh” any longer. Every effort we make (which we are to most definitely make) is done in the Lord’s power. That does not mean, though, that we lay down and let Him do it all. Quite the contrary! WE are to train ourselves to be godly. (1 Tim. 4:7) WE are to submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, and purify our hearts. (James 4:7,8) WE are to beat our bodies into subjection. (1 Cor. 9:27) WE are to take up our cross daily. (Luke 9:23) WE are to put to death whatever belongs to the sinful nature. (Col. 3:5) WE are to rid ourselves of filthiness. (Col. 3:8 // James 1:21) WE are to put on Christ, our new self. (Rom. 13:14 // Eph. 4:24 // Col. 3:10) WE are to continue working out our salvation with fear (of God) and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)

We are to live just like Jesus did. (1 John 2:6) There were times when He wept or prayed in anguish of spirit, but did it last more than a few hours? No. For as He spent time with the Father alone in prayer, He was rejuvenated in spirit and body, and went about in calmness and confidence, even through the worst time –his trial, beating, and death. To be anxious and fearful is to fret, and to fret leads only to evil. (Ps. 37:8) We are commanded not to fret or fear or be anxious, nor are we to care if we are pleasing men, as long as we are pleasing the Lord. (1 Thes. 2:4)

Satan, at God’s allowance, may attack our body or circumstances, or he may tempt us, but how can he have his way in our mind, heart, emotions, or spirit? God’s Spirit resides and rules there, giving us a mind of life and peace. (Rom. 8:6) Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21), meaning that, if this is the case, we (our decisions, etc.) are under the rule of the Spirit of Christ. (Rom. 8:9) Though the evil realm was allowed, for a day, to have its way (it thought) over Jesus’ body, when did He ever give the evil realm its way over His mind, heart, emotions, or spirit? Never.

We are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) born from above (John 3:3) of the Spirit (v. 8 ) and we’ve been given the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16) How then can a saint claim to have his mind staggering under perpetual attack? The only explanation is that such a person is sinning against the Lord somehow, and as a result the devil’s darts are getting in. To deny that sin is the cause, is to basically be saying that God’s Word is not true, His promises not reliable. Are we not to obey Phil. 4:6 (and other verses) which command us to be anxious about nothing? If we continue under anxiety, we are, in essence, denying that the peace of God does come to the person who obeys verse 6. (v. 7) That person’s mind is not thinking on things excellent (v. 8 ), but instead on fearful things, with thoughts that are self-centered, not God-centered. This doesn’t mean we don’t examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5), of course. That’s different.

God’s Word definitely teaches that those who are in-dwelt by the Spirit of God are expected to walk, not as unstable, insecure, and frightened weaklings, but as strong, confident, and mature followers of Christ.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: