Thursday, April 2, 2009


"be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God," (phil 4:6).
anxiety is a sly and clever thing.  it slips into our hearts with little indication of its presence.  it wears many guises one of which is the guise of the master planner.  while some respond to stress by worrying or fretting, others respond by throwing themselves into planning and organization, but neither response is the one ordained in this scripture.  though, outwardly, planning and preparation seem to be positive responses to stressful situations, the Lord would have us lay aside all of our carefully laid plans, checklists, and goals and spend the first-fruits of our time in prayer and supplication.

it is a well-worn quote but true nonetheless, "you can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do anything more than pray until you have prayed."  Jesus says in john 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches.  he who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."  Christ came to offer peace beyond all understanding or human experience.  He does not want his children rendered useless in worry or in a pointless frenzy of activity.  though, it goes against the grain to, in times of stress, hold your peace and "waste" your valuable time in prayer, these are the times when it is vital that we labor in prayer.  just as we deny our flesh by abstaining from drunkenness, deceit, pride, and sexual immorality, we must also deny this fleshly desire to rely on our own strength in these situations realizing that except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it (psa 127:1).

when facing the temptation to allay your anxiety through busyness, it is important to take time and realize the magnitude of the God we serve.  simply running through a few of His many names can do much to assuage our fears: Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher of my faith, Faithful God, the Good Shepherd, Prince of Peace, My Refuge, My Hiding Place, My Shield, the Rock that is Higher than I!  when we put God back on the throne of our lives, we realize that His purpose stands, as it has always stood, through all the storms and deluges this world can conjure.  do not let your spirit be tossed in the wind needlessly, for His purposes and end of your life was written long before your birth and His plans stand firm.  He reminds us to "remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring from the beginning, and from ancient times, things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure'" (isa 46:9-10).

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