In our series on Joshua we touched on the subject of Anxiety and how Joshua dealt with the immense load a new leader has leading over 2 million of God’s people into the land that God prepared for them. He did so by the Promise of God. Josh 1.1-10
We can only imagine the pressure and responsibility upon Joshua as he took up the lead of God’s People. It could be that he secretly struggled with some aspects of fear hence the many times in chapter one he was affirmed: “be strong and very courageous”
Joshua had the opportunity to live in Anxiety, to internalize it and allow it to paralyze him, but he discovered something about the Presence of God and His comfort. Joshua had an Eternal Purpose that delivered him from any anxiousness and the disorders that anxiety produces.
In this short article I’d like to address Anxiety, some of it’s disorders and how we as God’s Children overcome it. This is not an exhaustive treatise on the subject of Anxiety nor am I a qualified psychologist or physical that can make professional diagnosis on the subject. But God’s Word certainly has a say on this matter and that is what we will focus on. The following are notes from last Sunday’s message.
Anxiety is an undefined, abstract fear that is caused by the suppression of unresolved issues, these unresolved matters remain unresolved in the subconscious & unconscious mind - remaining unresolved to God’s Viewpoint. In this state we feel separated and isolated from the security of purpose we were created for and suffer dissatisfaction, boredom, and nervousness.
God’s Gracious Thoughts and Purpose - Jer 29.11, Rom 8.28:
We are different creatures than in the animal kingdom: God has put His Spirit in us - He has placed Eternal Purpose in us: "He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy” - Eccl 3.11b (Amp)
We are created for purpose - Eph 2.10 - For God’s good plan, not pleasure alone. Too much pleasure and entertainment steal purpose, it intoxicates and spiritually stupefies.
The godless world system we live in ("Kosmos") seeks to nullify the eternal purpose in a believer’s life - Forget the Illuminati, the Masons, "alien shadow government" - it’s called “spiritual wickedness in high places” - Eph 6.12
People say: “It is what it is”, but that is a defeated attitude towards things that people are not able to resolve themselves.
3 Major Unresolved things in people's lives:
Sin - It’s crucified, buried, forgiven & forgotten. Gal 2.20, Romans 8.1
Conflicts with people - Preferring one another in love. Rom 12.10
Relationships - unresolved problems in relationships healed by trusting God for people - We can’t change people but we can trust God for them who can turn the hearts of even kings! - Prov 21.1
Not understanding our value and unconditional love in our lives. Jude 20,21
Rejecting the Purpose of God such as Jonah did causes misery - Jonah 1.1-3,17;4.1-10. Anxiety Disorders compound in complexity when the Purpose for which we were created is rejected and we go our now way. The result is dissatisfaction, and a process begins that medication cannot thoroughly address. When Jonah rejected God’s Purpose he entered into a process:
> Rejecting the Call to Nineveh.
> Suppressing unresolved obedience to God’s Purpose.
> Suppressed issues leads to Anxiety
> This lead to loneliness & depression
"Psychomotor Agitation” complex ensues with resulting symptoms:
Fidgety, nervousness, restlessness, no inner peace
Panic attacks - something inside, the inner man fears for his existence
Depression - middle aged & elderly especially experience this.
Physical & Eating disorders
Eternal Purpose never changes though Life Situations & Dreams Change
Dreams and endeavors may change dramatically & tragically but His purpose is always the same: Phil 3.10 & Job 14.7. 3 Aspects of our Purpose in every Life Situation:
To know Him and the power of His resurrection
Count everything else as worthless compared to Christ & His Calling
Determine to Win Christ in every conflict.
How to get an understanding of your Eternal Purpose:
Total Surrender of ourselves and all of our "stuff" at the Cross: - Rom 12:1 & Lev 1
Daily yielding - personal cross - Rom 6:13,16,19
Daily quickening in revelation of Jesus Christ - Acts 26:15
Daily participation in the Body of Christ - Rom 12:10
A prayer-life - God tells the man who cares - Acts 9.11
How to Function in your Purpose:
Get a personal Rhema about your purpose and that revelation will keep you when times get tough
Understanding our Eternal Purpose produces concentration which leads to consecration. Oftentimes more than not, people lack concentration in their life because of a lack of consecration.
Without singleness of purpose we suffer distractions and wandering minds.
Make a commitment and be accountable to God’s Purpose such s Joshua did before the Children of Israel.
The Eternal Purpose of God is one and the same as His Love. To be in His Purpose is to experience His Love - and to experience His Love is to function in God’s Eternal Purpose. The result is that Love heals us from Anxiety as we begin to know that we are in a secure atmosphere of Love and Grace of Christ’s Purpose - Eph 3.11. God’s Love is that unifying factor that causes us to understand we are one with God hence healing us from the Anxiety of separation from our purpose. Whenever we apply Divine Perspective via the Word of God to circumstances in our lives we are allowing Ultimate Resolution in those matters. The result is inner peace, a sense of being loved, that "all is ok" and the satisfaction that the matter is not left unresolved. Our capacity to trust God grows for issues because of His Promise - as with Joshua - and things, relationships, and problems are not left unresolved. We can then relax and see the end of Anxiety in our souls.
"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." George Muller.
I read this excellent post by CHS in his devotional "Faith Thoughts" - it handles the subject of Friendship and deficient toxic friends that steal energy and cause compromise in people's lives. I am taking the liberty to quote the whole article on this blog today.
"John 15:12-15, Friendship is a blessing and a provision, but it must never be permitted to replace the priority of Christ's Lordship. The test of true friendship is whether it honors the Word. It does not lead to compromise, but builds up both believers in the faith and in the Body of Christ (the church). Friendship is not to be used as a support system, but as a communication of love. True friends may be separated for long periods of time, yet enjoy a closer fellowship than people who are together every day. Friendship does not compromise obedience to the cross, but encourages the daily appropriation of the truth of the finished work! Rather than a relationship centered around self-gratification, true friendship expresses the burden and heartbeat of Jesus Christ to redeem believers to Himself. Subjective, personality rapport relationships are destructive, but godly ones will result in doctrinal rapport around the principles of truth. Lonely people often seek gratification and fulfillment through friendship, but this is a selfish motive based on temporal needs. Friendships that are premised upon eternal values bind the hearts of men in spiritual oneness (2). This type of relationship is only possible because of the grace of God functioning in the heart of man. This is through identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus, we see that the Word of God is the basis for true friendship."
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. - John 15:12-15
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:16
This past Sunday we began a series on Joshua. We covered the 7 stages of preparation of Joshua before God could use him. Many have asked me for the notes so here they are.
The great promise to enter the promised land came after years of preparation - preparation of heart and inner discipline
Joshua wasn’t chosen then prepared but rather prepared then chosen. Many fail to enter into the land God has for them because they resist the preparation process.
1. Learned how Moses interceded for Israel in battle with Amalek - Ex 17.8,9 - The battle was won through intercession and the holding up of Moses’ arms.
2. Learned how Moses received from God - the Tablets - Ex 24 - Joshua though he was invited to go up with Moses, could not go all the way up because what Moses was to receive for Israel, came by intimacy and a relationship with God that Moses cost Moses much.
3. Learned how Moses dealt with the fallen hearts & failure of God’s people. - Ex 32.
4. How to dwell in the Presence of the Lord in prayer - Ex 33.11
5. How to deal with jealousy & God using other people - Num 11.26-29
6. How to walk by faith into God’s will despite discouraging circumstances - Num 13.16, (Num 13 is where Joshua’s name is changed from “helper” to Yehoshua - “Jehovah is Help”) Num 14.
7. Joshua is promoted with little fanfare & paired with Eleazar the priest - Num 27.12-23, 34.17
It's been an awesome year of growth, progress, learning, and adventure in the mission God has given my wife and I. We thank God for His grace and wisdom for 2014 and we look with great expectation in God to the new year 2015. Enjoy the video below of our year at Greater Grace Community Church