Anxiety is a feeling that comes over us all from time to time. Anxiety is that feeling of not knowing the unknown and fearing its outcome. Anxiety comes upon us when there is nothing in our power to fix our situation. So where does it come from? Why do we experience it? I believe the Bible has some clear, truthful insight on this.
In Luke 12:22:23 Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” The statement here in Luke 12, “Do not be anxious about your life,” comes from Jesus directly! This statement comes from our Sovereign Lord who knows all things, He knows our past, present and our future! So why are we anxious? Well I can only attempt to explain this in my life! I become anxious when my faith is tested. My faith in God is often tested by questions like these, “Have I done all I can, will God come through?” ” Has God forgotten me, or is He punishing me for my wrongs, how long will he punish me?” These questions and many more bring anxiety and when you look at each one they are questions of doubt. These questions of doubt often appear right after times when all seems to be going great. It is then that I relax, I let down my shield, the shield of faith as it talks about in Ephesians 6 and when it begins to lower, reliance on myself begins to rise and the more reliant I become on myself, the more I give the devil an opportunity into my life. Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”. The shield of faith, represents our faith in Jesus! Jesus is our shield and protector and if we have our shields held high, the fiery darts of the devil will find no ground of accusation in us, they will not be able to hurt you! A real, genuine faith requires us to actually believe that God will provide for us. When we take the focus off of us and what we can do, it makes trusting in God and what He can do much easier. Anxiety is all about you and nothing about God. That is why we are commanded to stop being anxious. God has a plan for every step of your life. Anxiety is only a stumbling block and a hindrance to walking the path that God has set for you. Anxiety is a tool of the Devil!
Let’s briefly look at two examples of real anxious people in the Bible. The first one is in Exodus 3 starting in verse 10. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He asked Moses to go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. First of all, this was God physically speaking to Moses. You think that would have been enough for Moses to obey. Moses’ response is, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses was worried, he was anxious, that he was not going to be able to accomplish this task because he was a “nobody”. Further on in Exodus 3:14-21, God tells His game-plan to Moses about how Moses will come out victorious. Still Moses was doubtful and anxious about it all. Moses says, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice.” Then God gives Moses 2 signs to show that He is Almighty God and nothing can stop His will. He makes Moses’ staff turn into a serpent and then turn back into a staff again. Then after that God makes Moses’ hand leprous and then restores his hand to normal. After these two signs and more explanation from God, Moses says, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” God then reassures Moses that he will be OK because God will teach him what to speak. Moses then speaks his most anxious reply to God, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” You see Moses was focused on himself, instead of focusing on God. That is why he was so anxious and worried. Had he enough faith to believe God and move, this whole ordeal would not have happened. Of course God still accomplished His will and Moses did deliver the Israelites out of the hands of Pharaoh.
Now let’s look at Luke 10 starting in verse 39. Jesus was visiting Mary and Martha in their home, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. While Martha was focusing on herself and what she was doing she says to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” She was worried about making sure everyone was being taken care of. All the while she was missing an encounter with Jesus. Jesus replies to Martha with, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” There are two important elements in what Jesus said. He said “one thing is necessary” which is implying that worry and anxiety are not necessary. The second thing is that choosing Jesus is necessary because He is the “good portion”. Had Martha chosen to spend time with Jesus, she would have made the best choice. In both cases of Moses and Martha, Satan used fear, anxiety and worry to get the best of them. Regardless of your circumstance whatever it may be God is faithful, don’t be anxious, don’t let the fear of “what if” keep you from trusting in God! Pick up that shield of faith and chose Jesus! Nothing is out of the control of our God. He has promised that he will take care of us, He has our best interest in mind!
This anxiety is also why so many Christians today aren’t moving where God wants them to go. The anxiety of the unknown keeps us from experiencing Gods will in our lives. Don’t be anxious about anything if you are feeling God telling you to move. If God wants you to take a step in any direction, He already has your path set before you. All you have to do is walk on the path He has set. He will take care of you. Give God your worries in prayer and let Him lead you.
In Matthew 6:27, Jesus said, “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Friends anxiety does not add anything to our life. Actually, anxiety and stress have many negative effects on the body from high blood pressure and heart attacks to migraines and sleeplessness. Anxiety is nothing but trouble, it is a tool of the devil! We are commanded to not be anxious, bind yourself with faith to the truth of Jesus, His righteousness, His peace, His salvation, and His Word! Surrender and allow Jesus to be all these things to you and loose yourself from any works, false beliefs, or ideas about being able to take care or yourself! Alone we are no match for the devil, but the devil is no match for our Lord our shield and protector!