I sometimes hear people say in one way or another, "I have tried everything to overcome anxiety but nothing works." We can feel for these people. They feel trapped. They must be gently steered away from this victim mentality. The Lord is the great Deliverer!
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being, declares the LORD. But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
The key to this kind of problem is ones heart. The way to confirm this is to follow the two following instructions. Remember, please, only a Christian or a person becoming a Christian can do this. A non-Christian basically asserts his way is best. Unlike a Christian he cannot be freed from anxiety.
A good disciple of Jesus Christ is always prepared to face difficult circumstances. This is done in two ways.
1) Give your life to the Lord.
There are no such things as magical prayers. God is only interested in humble and sincere hearts open to the truth. God delights to hear us cry out to Him for help. We have seen the vanity of trusting in ourselves or others.
Give absolute control of your life to the Lord through prayer. First, read aloud Romans 12:1-2. Read it several times. After this offer a sincere prayer, again aloud, including the three items below. Afterwards, mark down what you have done and when.
- Willingness to go where He sends
- Willingness to do what He wants
- Willingness to die when He chooses
This is a bold step that strips one of his idols and clearly asserts the Lord as ones Lord. Make this step with Romans 8 in mind. Let me share with you a something that happened to me.
Meeting the Surgeon
Each year in my life around the New Year, I have tried to think what the Lord might want to work on in my life. That one year's theme became very moving. I actually forget what that year's theme was. I know what He wanted though. I was there in my study dedicating myself to the Lord when all of a sudden He was communing with me. I heard no audible voice, but I knew He was speaking.
He said that He wanted me to lay down. He was going to be my surgeon that year. When I laid down, it would be like giving Him the scapel and the permission to do whatever He wanted to do in my life that year. Oh how moving. I can remember the tears flowing down my cheeks.
I knew the agreement was that He could cut away anything in my life. I remembered that He could take my wife, my children, my job, my ministry, etc. I thought to myself that I don't want to lose any of these things. But if I don't give them to Him, then they are not safe. He is the One that watched over these things anyway. At the end of that somber meeting, I didn't know what to expect to happen. Interestingly, I don't remember anything 'bad' happening that year. I could trust Him to care for all my concerns as my Loving Father.
2) Die daily
There is one thing the Lord likes to hear even more. This is to regularly see you express your desire to be His. He loves to hear His people wholeheartedly give themselves to Him without any outside pressure. In a sense this is like taking a risk a risk of trust. But this is where Christian living really begins! We trust the Lord to care for everything that we might need. Basically, we refuse to worry. Instead we trust in God's control of our lives. This is His original design for our lives. Trust or faith destroys anxiety.
Each day we do this on our own through a special but sincere prayer. Above, we discussed how we might dedicate our whole lives to the Lord. But it is important to do the same each day. This reminds us of what we have already done. Paul the apostle said that he himself did this. He died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). He died to his own interests and therefore could live for the Lord's interests. There are two important parts to this.
I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1 Corinthians 15:31
- Acknowledge and deny ones sin nature. (Refuse to serve it).
Each day through prayer we recognize ourselves to be virtually dead to our old nature. We acknowledge its presence but deny its control over our lives. Our old lives have died with Christ on the cross.
- Acknowledge and embrace the risen Lord's will for your life that day no matter what might come.
Now we live for Christ. We acknowledge Jesus as Lord and wholeheartedly commit our selves to serving Him. That is, our old man (i.e. selfish nature) has died with Jesus on the cross. He no longer has authority to control us unless we give it to him. If we give the authority to rule our lives to the Lord, then we can focus on the Lord's purpose. We can trust Him to care for what we need.
|A Sample Prayer
Dear Lord, I come to you with gratefulness for all that you have done for me on the cross through Jesus Christ. Please cleanse me of all sin. I now die to my old self - the old (your name). This is no longer me. The new me, the new (your name), is yours. I am your servant. By the power of the Holy Spirit let me for your glory live to carry out all the tasks you have for me today. In Christ's Name I pray, amen.