Be Anxious for Nothing, Nothing...Nothing!
by Bobby Conner
 

American culture is a cauldron of fear, stress and anxiety. Nervousness and worry plague our business lives, home lives, social lives-and even our church lives. We live with silent murmurs in our souls: What if I lose my job? What if my child goes astray? What if he doesn't...she can't...we don't...?

We seem to work harder and longer every year-but find less and less peace. We face more and more unanswered questions-and find more and more reason to fear. We worry that war and terror attacks may occur at anytime and anywhere. We worry about whether our struggling economy can recover. We worry about aging and health. We have stress at our job or stress about our lack of a job.

Our families can be a place of comfort-or a place of anxiety, especially concerning our children. Someone once said, "A mother is only as happy as her saddest child," which is true for fathers, also. We all carry loved ones in our hearts-their battles becoming ours, adding stress and anxiety to the load we already carry. Indeed, anxiety seems to be the American Way! And even the way of Believers. Fear, depression and worry are common in the daily lives of most Christians-but, according to the Word of God, none are welcome in the soul of the Believer!

The Bible commands us to be anxious for nothing. The Bible commands us to fear not. Survey the Bible and take note of the many times the Lord commands His people-indeed, even the great heroes of the faith-not to fear:

Genesis 15:1: "Fear not, Abram"
Numbers 21:34: "Moses, fear him not"
Joshua 8:1: "Joshua, fear not"
Daniel 10:12: "Fear not, Daniel"
Matthew 1:20: "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not"
Luke 1:13: "Fear not, Zacharias"
Luke 1:30: "Fear not, Mary"
Luke 5:10: "Simon, fear not"
Acts 27:24: "Fear not, Paul"

The Lord instructs all His people, the sheep of His pasture, not to fear:

Isaiah 41:14: "Fear not...ye men of Israel"
Joel 2:21: "Fear not, O land"
Zephaniah 3:16: "Jerusalem, fear thou not"
Luke 12:32: "Fear not, little flock"
John 12:15: "Fear not, daughter of Zion"

Note also the many times righteous men and women of faith encouraged God's people not to fear:

Genesis 50:19: And Joseph said unto them, "Fear not..."
Exodus 20:20: And Moses said unto the people, "Fear not..."
Joshua 10:25: And Joshua said unto them, "Fear not..."
1 Samuel 12:20: And Samuel said unto the people, "Fear not..."
2 Samuel 9:7: And David said unto him, "Fear not..."
1 Kings 17:13: And Elijah said unto her, "Fear not..."

We needn't come under condemnation if fear and anxiety are engrafted into our souls, but we do need to find the cure that will eradicate these besetting sins-once and for all.

Stress is Not a Sickness-but a Sin

We see commercials promising relief from stress and depression, and we can buy pills for almost any ill, mental or physical. Stress-related anxiety has become so familiar, so accepted, that it has become part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, we no longer recognize fear and anxiety for what they are: sin. We medicate stress but do not change the habits of fear that caused stress in the first place. Do not be deceived: fear and anxiety are sin. At its core, fear is a stubborn refusal to trust the goodness of God or rest in His power. Anxiety is a by-product of unbelief. It is a spiritual "terror attack" from Hell that is silently killing tens of thousands every day.

You will not find the cure for anxiety in a pill. A pill may numb uncomfortable feelings and adjust brain chemistry, but it won't address the spiritual root of the physical problem. Your serotonin may be depleted...but it is your faith in God that is also depleted. You will not overcome fear through a self-help book. Soulish teachings may adjust cognitive and behavioral patterns for a season, but the soul cannot cure itself, no matter how determined we are to change. The belief that we can exert our will-power to change or redeem ourselves is exactly what the Lord came to overturn at Calvary.

And, unfortunately, you will not conquer fear and worry through a divine impartation or anointing, or even by attending another glory conference! Some Believers develop a dependency on others' anointing, or even on godly counsel and prayer, when the Lord is asking each of us to learn to drink from His well within us, looking to the Holy Spirit as our Teacher and Comforter.

What is the lasting antidote for anxiety? How do we repent and be healed from this besetting sin of fear? How do we rise above stress and abide continuously in the divine peace that Christ won for us on the Cross? Where do we turn, then, to find the antidote for anxiety? Where do we find the lasting cure for fear?

The antidote for negative thoughts or emotions is simple: we must obey the Word of God. The only cure for fear and anxiety is abiding in the Word, the person of Christ Jesus. Paul declares in Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace (shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Amplified Bible)

Consider this passage in another translation, from The Message Bible:

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

The answer to stress and anxiety is not medication, but the Master! This is the pattern we need to learn: as we turn our inner focus, our will, to Christ and place our affections on Him, adjusting our thoughts to the Word, we will discover abiding peace. This is the Enoch walk of the overcomer! Christ's Presence within us is our assurance that we can live in peace, even in times of pressure and turmoil. The promise is much more than just merely getting through the tough times; He promises us perfect peace and constant contentment!

How can this be true? It is true because the Kingdom of God is within us. The Prince of Peace abides within us! We have a blood-bought right to walk in uninterrupted shalom, free from all anxiety and fear, because of the living, breathing presence of Christ in our temple.

Does this sound too good to be true? Despite how your mind or heart may argue, the Scriptures are always true, and are filled with examples of people living in peace in overwhelming situations. Abraham believed God, even as he raised the knife over Isaac. Caleb and Joshua believed God's promises after 40 years in the desert. Mary believed God's Word, having never known a man-and her soul rejoiced!

Christ Himself believed His Father even as He was crucified. When He overcame sin, fear and death at Calvary, we overcame them in Him. We were united with Him in death, then united with Him in His resurrection. The Cross stripped the power from fear and anxiety: they no longer have legal mastery over our souls-unless we let them rule.

We must repent from allowing fear and anxiety to rule in our lives. We can and must experience the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding. In our union with His resurrection, we have been given open access to perfect peace. How do we abide in this peace as a daily, lived experience? By keeping our mind, will and emotions fixed on Christ.

Whenever the emotions stray from peace, ask for forgiveness and return to the heart of your Beloved, found in His Word. Whenever the mind strays from peace, ask for forgiveness and return to the truths of your Beloved, found in His Word. Whenever the will strays from peace, ask for forgiveness and return to radical dependence on your Beloved's good will, found in His Word.

Ponder the promise in Isaiah 26:3-4, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength."

Never doubt that God is good and He does good (Nahum 1:7): "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him." This is the Rock on which you can stand when the storms come your way-and they will indeed come (Matthew 7:24-27). Despite the storms, however, God's plans and purposes for you are wonderful (Jeremiah 29:11): "'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,' says the Lord, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'"

You must distinguish between the truths of God and the facts of your existence-and choose to trust the Lord, no matter what you perceive or feel. Look not at the facts of your life, think not about the facts of your life and do not place your emotions upon the facts of your life...but upon the truths of these marvelous Scriptures, and you will abide in peace.

Instead of worry and anxiety, recall this to mind: The Lord's compassion and mercies are overwhelming (Lamentations 3:20-24). When I recall this, I have hope. I am not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!

Your battleground is not the circumstances of your life. Not at all. The true battlegrounds of the enemy are your mind, will and emotions. Keeping your thoughts and heart focused on good things will prevent darkness from overtaking your soul.

Philippians 4:8-9: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul wrote, "Be anxious for nothing" (Philippians 4:6). We must stay focused upon Christ and His unchangeable Kingdom if we are to have abiding peace during these days of chaos (Matthew 6:33-34): "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

There is no greater warfare than our abiding with the Prince of peace. The God of peace will crush our foe under our feet (Romans 16:20). The moment you feel the loss of peace, repent and ask for the Forgiver Himself to flood you with His peace. Have no doubt-He will bring peace because He always keeps His promises.

Media Madness

One of the most powerful avenues for confusion and chaos into our soul is the media-television, movies, newspapers and magazines. Much of the mainstream media has an agenda that is far removed from God's plans and purposes, with an agenda to mold the minds of the unsuspecting. Much of the media is motivated by political agendas: reporting the whole truth is no longer honored, no longer the highest aim of journalism.

Although the Scriptures admonish us to keep our mind on that which is holy, we are constantly bombarded with bad news, chaos, misinformation, censorship and conflicting reports. We have but one source of Truth, one that can bring stability and hope to every heart, and that Good News source is the Word of God. The Word of God is powerful and perfect.

Psalm 19:1-11: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.

Now is the time to present the real Truth that will set the anxious heart free: Christ stated that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free. Yet many are anything but free, living in panic, having watched too many news broadcasts that predict doom and gloom. This is not a time to run in fear, but rather, to stand firm in faith. We do not need to stumble in the dark but rather leap in the light (Psalm 119:130).

Choose to set your mind on the Good News-not on broadcasts of despair. Choose to let your emotions glory in the Cross-not the losses on Wall Street. Choose to turn your will to stand on His promises-not on the slippery slope of what if.

In a world shaken by financial, environmental and political upheavals, we must remain calm as followers of the Prince of Peace, constantly pointing men to the solid Rock of Christ. During this time of shaking, we must remain steadfast: nothing takes God by surprise. God is not sitting in Heaven, ringing His hands, saying, "I never saw that coming!" On the contrary, God has everything under His control. I've read the back of the book, and it's no surprise: we win! Christ has won! In Christ Jesus, you are more than victorious (Romans 8:37). You are called to live as more than conquerors, not as victims (1 John 4:4). The promise from Isaiah 54:17 states that no weapon that comes against you will work.

Choose this day to believe the Word and to turn from doubt, fear and unbelief. Choose this day to repent-for fear is sin. We are accusing God of a lack of faithfulness, of being unkind, of ignoring us, forgetting us, not loving us. Repent of fear and receive the lovingkindness of your Father, who will never forsake you. His perfect love-no matter the circumstance-casts out fear. Love is stronger than death itself.

These Days were Prophesied

I'm rather shocked to see how the Body of Christ has been shaken by the current economic and political situations-as if the Church has been caught off guard. Did we not read the Word of God? It should come as no surprise that we are facing the end-times. The Word of God informs us that in the last days, the world would face untold problems and perilous times. Why are we surprised by global disasters, wars, earthquakes and pandemic diseases? Over and over again, the Bible gives us clear warnings concerning the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-5: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

These days were prophesied, but Jesus said, "Do not be terrified" (Luke 21:9). As followers of Christ, we must not panic. Christ also warned that, because of world conditions, men's hearts would fail them "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26 NKJV). This, unfortunately, is taking place in our day. Not only will these events generate fear worldwide, but the expectation of difficulties will cause men's hearts to fail.

Indeed, doctors are reporting that heart failure is the number one cause of disease-related deaths in North America. Stress and strain resulting from the cares of this world are very real; however, God invites us to come to Him and cast all our cares upon Him, reminding us that His yoke is easy and His burdens are light. We must slow down and focus on Christ. Psalm 46:10-11 admonishes us to "Be still and know...God."

I am not suggesting we become passive; however, we ought to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God. One title for the Messiah is "Immanuel," which means "God with us." Jesus promised to be with us "even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). At some point, we must accept the wonder and power of Christ's promise. He is with us always! To mistrust this promise is to reject the very character of the divine nature. It is not a minor issue.

Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

My friend, let us come to Him! Cast your burdens upon Him, for truly He cares for you!

Break your addiction to stress. Repent. Repent. Repent! God's Word promises that the God of peace will crush satan beneath your feet (Romans 16:20). Believe that. Trust Him. Repent from fear and anxiety by admitting that all fear and anxiety is sin.

Break the bondage of fear and anxiety in order to walk as sons and daughters of God, who are anxious for nothing. You are not called to face these dark days with dark hearts. On the contrary, you are called to have hearts filled with divine light! Do not be afraid of the dark, little children: our God reigns.

You are not alone-you are not facing the future without the help of God (Joshua 1:9). You are a child of God, called and commissioned to live in the light (1 John 1:5-7). Never, never, never forget you are called to be the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13). The foe of your soul is attempting to get your focus on the problems and away from the promises of God.

Turn away from problems. Turn to the promises. Turn away from any thought, feeling or intention that does not bring peace.
How do you turn away? Repent. Repent and the Forgiver Himself will flood you with His peace. Without fail.

The nightly news reports continue to paint a dark picture and it is easy to feel the gloom seeping into our culture right now. But we must set our mind on things above. We must think on good things. Arise, come out of the murkiness, shake yourself from the fog, focus on Christ. This turning of our soul to the Word of God will drive away the spirit of fear and cast out anxiety.

A Time of Great Potential and Possibility

Yes, times are rough, yet while these are hard times, God is still working all things for good. His Word and Promises do not change just because the stock market is down and your 401k is not what it used to be. "Hard" times do not mean "bad" times; it just means that we must apply faith, keep listening to God, and-for Heaven's sake-keep our joy, for the joy of the Lord is truly our strength!

Times of darkness are actually when the leaders of tomorrow are being forged. If you see light while others see gloom, your faith will inspire others to follow you into the future (Isaiah 50:4). These will not be easy times, but we must stand strong on the Word of God: "Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward" (Hebrews 10:35). The reward will be great for those who trust God.

We are on the brink of many new breakthroughs in the natural realm and also in the Kingdom of God, especially in the next three to five years. Consider technology. The Spirit of God is releasing wisdom and insights! New sciences are developing energy sources that have zero emissions and are utilizing resources that are abundantly available. Oil will still be necessary-and the news reports stating that we are running out of oil are wrong. Huge oil fields offshore in Brazil and also in the upper Dakotas and Canada offer hope for lower energy costs.

New breakthroughs are also emerging in medical research. Health cures for many of mankind's most devastating diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer's Disease, are on the horizon. I was encouraged by a vivid vision recently; I watched as a formula slowly made its way in front of my eyes. I inquired, "What is this?" I was told this is the cure for AIDS. Expect to see a genuine breakthrough in this area. These discoveries have the potential to be as stunning as Jonas Salk's vaccine in eliminating polio.

Do you want to partake of these wonderful breakthroughs-not only in science but in the arts and media? Also in government and, indeed, in every part of culture? Contend with the Lord that you may prevail, even in the knowledge of "witty inventions" (Proverbs 8:12). As we obey the commandments of God, the blessing of God will overtake us (Deuteronomy 28:1-20)-but know this: you will not prosper in this time if you continue to abide in the sin of anxiety rather than the peace of God. It is as we seek first the Kingdom of God that all these other things are added to us (Matthew 6:33).

Pray this prayer with me, with all your heart: Lord, forgive me for my sin of anxiety. I renounce fear. Forgiver, come to and through those places of fear and anxiety in my emotions and thoughts. I turn my will to follow after You, to fix my heart and mind on You. I declare that my soul is Your property. I choose this day to believe Your Word, and trust that You have promised to care for me. I believe this promise. I come to You and entrust all I am into Your love and care. In Jesus' Name. Amen.