November 20, 2010

A Single Cubit

When anxiety arises do you hold onto it or hand it over to God? Do you believe thinking and dwelling on something bad helps you think rightly? Anxieties have a way of suffocating you and cutting you off from your life. If you dwell on them they murder your life and waste time. Usually what you worry about never comes to pass and if it does it rarely is as bad as you imagined. The Powers and Principalities of this world and your own head successfully routed you into a diabolic runaround. You ended up chasing figments of your imagination. Thinking makes people believe that they have control over a problem. People figure if they think about the problem they are dealing with long and hard enough they can gain control over it. Why would we even need to do that if we have the One who is in control of if it acting as our advocate?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” ~Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians tells us exactly how to deal with the fears that creep into our lives and our minds. When we sense the anxiety coming on or fear surfaces we pray and petition. We pray in adoration, devotion and worship. If we focus on the goodness and greatness of God how can we focus on our fear and anxiety, right? RIGHT? We give thanks to God and present our requests to God. We also give petition and place our fears and problems at the foot of His throne. The peace of God can then descend on us. In place of these fears, anxieties and angst we need to assure our mind stays where it belongs...on God. Paul also tells us how to stay focused on Him.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

We often build mountains out of mole hills. We tell ourselves that the task(s) ahead of us will "kill us" when in reality it is not that big of a problem. As we chose our language we frame the problem in overblown words making it larger than it really is. Our minds go down every possible avenue that it conceivability can trying to figure out every possible scenario so that we can be prepared for the worst. Sadly, we worry incessantly gaining for ourselves nothing but more stress, doubt, lack of faith and eventually heart disease. It is all for not. God is in control. Yes, sometimes the problem is quite large and seems insurmountable but if we break small pieces of it off, sometimes we can "eat the elephant one bite at a time". We must remember that from God's perspective (He is so high) mountains can look flat to Him. Have you ever see a satellite picture or mountains from space? They appear quite insignificant. In terms of God's ability to surmount our problems, our problems appear the same to God. The problems appear small to God but they are important enough for God to be concerned for our benefit because He loves us as His children. There are no problems too big for Yahweh. He holds them in the palm of His hand and can crush them with a thought.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” Psalm 34:4

Instead of dwelling on the problem or stress that is reeking havoc in our lives we need to focus on Jesus Christ. We need to internalize Christ. When we internalize the mind if Christ it becomes part of us. He becomes part of us. I do not believe this is an accident.

"Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?" ~Luke 12:22-26

“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is foolish and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry and fear. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” (Dr. Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling, p. 66.)

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