Friday, February 15, 2008

Notes from Study on Anxiety

Anxiety: root comes from word for "choking"...painful uneasiness of the mind as it works over impending fears... "to be divided...distracted."

You are not losing control - because you never had it to begin with..
Nothing happens to us unless God allows it to happen to us (His control)

Ps. 46 (Be still...or "cease striving!" and know that I am God)
Jer. 6 (God invites His people on a path of rest - they say, "we will not walk in it")
1 Peter 5:7 (cast all your anxieties...your "chokings")
Phil 4:4ff (Peace of God which "surpasses all comprehension" will guard hearts minds in Christ Jesus...what is it that guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus?...the peace....
Hebrews 4:1-11...

Sower...anxieties of the world - the desire for more...- "CHOKE" the Word..
We are an anxiety ridden society because we do not know how to rest.
Find one place in the New Testament where Jesus worried....or....hurried....

Matthew 11
" me.." not, "come to church." ...doesn’t say, "come to the doctor.."
"...all" ...everyone
"weary"...those struggling to find the truth, the way to go on...relief...the exhausted...
"heavy laden"...overextended...overcommitted...
"give you.." Not, "you’ll earn it..." or... "once you reach an understanding"....just, "give."
"rest" also translated, "cease..stop."...also - "relief, refreshing - of the spirit"
"yoke" - submission to something/someone - "yokes were called "easy yokes"... "it just fits"
(enter into...with yoked with Jesus)
"learn from me" ...learn how he coped/what he did, His connectedness to the pray...learn to forgive...learn to live with great disappointment.
"I am gentle/humble in heart"... easy to live with.. "God is easier to live with then most of us...He’s easier to please than our parents/spouses/etc.."
"find rest for you souls" ...

Explaining 4 reasons why anxiety is "destructive"
1. Anxiety highlights the human viewpoint and strangles the devine - we become fearful...
2. It chokes our ability to distinguish between the incidental from the essential - we get distracted
3. It twists so many worries around us so that we cannot relax - we become unfruitful...
4. It siphons our energy and joy and makes us judgmental - we become negative...we are the worrying "animal" - unable to take in dying...

I worry when I add, subtract, multiply and divide

add more things to an already full schedule...
add your expectations to my agenda...
add to what I already have to be...
subtract God’s presence from my crisis -
subtract his timing from my desires -
subtract prayer from my day -
subtract perspective from my difficulty
my problems by inserting my solutions too looking for a way out instead of the way through
multiply my fears with imagination
divide life into the secular and sacred...divide my day into thinking this is the Lord’s part and this is my own business

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Need to be Loved...

I listened to Jean Vanier on CBC radio yesterday; he is the founder of L'Arche (an organization that aids individuals with developmental disabilities). When asked in the interview what he has learned about human beings over the years since founding L'Arche, he says he's learned that the greatest human desire is not for control, power, hunger, sexuality, etc; the most basic human desire is for love. He went on to say that he has also learned that God's greatest desire is also to be loved. He used the illustration from the end of the book of John, where Jesus asks Peter three times, " you love me.." Imagine: God's desire is not for power, wealth, etc...the God of Heaven and Earth desires as we do, to be loved...could we even take it further and say that God needs our love, as we need the love of others?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Freedom in Christ

We, on our own - independant from the Living God - are in utter and absolute poverty...It is the recognition of this truth, however, that can lead us to a place of blessing (..."Blessed are the poor in spirit...for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"). Yet, we often live in shame outside this great blessing because we begin believing that God is apalled at our human condition (spiritual bankruptcy). The enemy then amplifies our shame by whispering the greatest of lies: you are the exception and are therefore unacceptable. Our reaction to this belief (the lie) is to erect walls - denying ourselves the pleasure of being truly loved by our Father.

The irony of this action is that barriers are built against the One who has totally removed all barriers. Lies that are sown and take root can become great spiritual strongholds, which can keep us in great darkness. However, God is interested, and determined to bring down these strongholds, which Paul says are "arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.." We use, "...the weapons of our warfare... not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]...mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds." Our weapon is the leading away of "every thought and purpose..captive into the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

Strongholds (lies which set themselves up against us truly knowing God) begin to be removed when "every thought and purpose [is lead] away captive into the obedience of Christ." It is God who must reach in, lead us to the healing cross of Jesus (where our shame was destroyed) ...He must captivate our very thoughts, and continually breathe the TRUTH into us that we are absolutely loved and cherished as we are. We, in our present condition, could not be loved any more than we are at this very moment. Nothing in all creation can change that.