The Antidote for Anxiety – Part 1 – Bobby Conner – December 1, 2009

Be Anxious for Nothing, Nothing…Nothing!

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 any time 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 we 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:

Gen. 15:1: “Fear not, Abram”
Num. 21:34: “Moses, Fear him not”
Joshua 8:1: “Joshua, Fear not”
Dan. 10:12: “Fear not, Daniel”
Matt. 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:

Is. 41:14: “Fear not…ye men of Israel”
Joel 2:21: “Fear not, O land”
Zeph. 3:16: “Jerusalem, Fear thou not”
Luke 12:32: “Fear not, little flock”
John 12:15: “Fear not, daughter of Sion.”

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

Gen. 50:19: “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not…”
Ex. 20:20: “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not…”
Joshua 10:25: “And Joshua said unto them, Fear not…”
1 Sam. 12: 30: “And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not…”
2 Sam. 2:9: “And David said unto him, Fear not…”
1 Kings 17:3: “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.

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

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.

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 (Matthew7:24-27). 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 (Phil. 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” (Phil. 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.

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