Friday, March 6, 2009

Anxious about nothing

Philippians 4:6-7
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Believers in Christ are YOU anxious? What a puzzle that the children of Almighty God should have anything to worry about; allow me now to just throw out some things that have been on my mind today concerning this issue.
Let us first put aside all RARE medical exceptions--including the absurdity of using Spurgeon as an example of 'depression'---> very few men EVER had to suffer through what Spurgeon did, very few ministers ever received such opposition, very few were so alone on the stands he had to make, very few ministers had such an individual concern over each member of his massive flock, he had intense physical illness, his wife an invalid, etc etc (in other words he's NOT a good example of depression).
Anxious about what? About the future, your investments, your finances, your job, your home, your health, your children, your friends, your reputation, perhaps your eternity?
Well if you are IN CHRIST then you need NOT be anxious about anything. God is sovereignly working out everything- Joseph had this perspective when he revealed to his brothers (who sold him into slavery-which put his life in danger, which also put him in prison and stained his reputation) that the one second in command to Pharoah was he. check out the account:
GENESIS 45:4-8
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
What an awesome example of "God working all things out", not God FIXING what happens, but CONTROLLING, ORDERING, PURPOSING all things according to His will!
Paul later says he learned how to be CONTENT in whatever circumstance he was put in, in whatever he had to go through, WHY?
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me
Paul is not saying 'throw this on your business cards, throw this on your graduation cards, throw this on whatever dream you have', NO NO NO the context is not about that!, The point is that regardless of what i might have to endure, i can go through ANYTHING, because Christ will give me strength.
In other words, Paul declares that with all that God ordains in our lives, in our nation, He has ALSO provided the power to go stand in it, the power to FLOURISH in Christ amidst any and all trials or blessings.
Paul (as a tool of God's mind) says that if you want to be free from anxiety then you MUST depend upon God CONSTANTLY and in ALL things- He says bring it all to God, surrender every thought to the Lord. Approach the throne of God with all your doubt and receive faith!
Paul even tells you to control what you think about in order to nurture such 'peace' within you, he tells you to think MUCH of the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, the grace of God!
Yet let me ask this? IF you are anxious then you must also expose it's root, do you know it?
Could it be that you are anxious due to your greed? Due to your misunderstanding of what true blessings are? Are you looking for MONETARY blessings only and exclusively?
I Timothy 6:6-8 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Do you believe this? Do you pursue godliness as your chief aim? Is this something you see as your greatest investment? Paul says 'Do you want contentment?, then you must pursue CONFORMITY to the image of Christ and if you keep that in view then you'll live in the light of the conviction that God is using every circumstance to shape you into that image, which is wonderful!' Why be so concerned about what won't last? Why be impressed with that which will fade? What security is there in what could be taken away in a moment? Seek rather to accumulate, to stack up, to store up treasures that will last. Live as though you were reflecting back over your life while upon your death bed, what would you be mourning over (certainly not wishing you worked a little more overtime, bought one more car, added one more addition to your house)?
Perhaps you are UNGRATEFUL, you might have a very LOW view of salvation. A view that doesn't lead you into daily worship of the wonderful grace of salvation. A view that makes you almost asking 'yeah, but what ELSE do i get?' You need to spend more time in the scriptures, you need then to consistently examine yourself and realize not only the grace of God that was displayed to who you used to be, but the awesome grace of God be displayed to what you are even now!
Perhaps you are prone to complain (of course you don't call it that), you murmur about this bill, about that paycheck, about taxes, about the house issues, about the checking account, about your stocks, about your job, about your sickness, about traffic and everything else in between.
In other words, you are prone to PRESENT a STINGY, MEDIOCRE God. You are sinning against the very character of God, you are bordering if not actually blaspheming the goodness of you Father. You are also ignoring what Christ went through- as my one friend Chris used to say 'look at Christ, you don't HAVE A RIGHT to be offended or complain'. How odd as well that those in such a prosperous nation could act as such spoiled brats and scream bloody murder at a prick in our finger. The need then is to REPENT. The remedy is to pray 'with thanksgiving', you unredeemed flesh needs constant KILLING and a wonderful way to do that is to call to mind frequently the many blessings of God. Make you worship (prayer) time, a time full of praise for specific blessings to you from the Lord, specific answers to prayer, specific deliverance's, specific reminders of His wonderful love towards us. Lastly beg the Lord to BRIDLE your tongue, to control your lips, be quick to listen and slow to speak. Chose those words wisely, keeping in mind this "what am i implying about MY good, wise, and powerful God with these words?".
Your anxiety could also be an attack upon the Sovereignty of God-to NOT be content with what God is doing, with the lot God has given you in life; might mean that you think (according to your wisdom) things should be different. "Deceitfulness of riches" ? what's that? It is the promises of security, of joy, of impact etc. Deceitful because the ONLY one who can provide these things as defined by God is God. He is NOT bound by such things, that's why He gives you a peace that 'surpasses understanding' , it's a peace that doesn't make any natural sense. DO you think or profess that 'if only things were different then i could do this or be this...?' then that's it, that's your problem- you have come to the conclusion that if only the ball was in your hands you could do it better then God. Then spend some time in church history, in reading about missions and the many sufferings of the family of God; while paying close attention to 'contentment', 'joy', and 'peace' which surpass all understanding.
Let this suffice for now-- seek the Lord and allow Him to provide the comfort you CAN'T find in any thing, person, or circumstance.


Ryan Kasza

I need to hear this every week/

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