DELIVERANCE FROM ANXIETY…


Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  NASB

Anxiety is a problem all have, have had or will battle!  I am incredibly grateful to the LORD for His wonderful grace and goodness.  This passage has tremendous meaning to me, it was the passage the LORD used to reach me.  Later, He used it to teach me some wonderful truths and bring victory! 

I have discovered that in the human mind there is an element which requires divine help to overcome and rid ourselves of its torment.  That is Anxiety or Worry!  I have defined ‘Chronic Worry’ as misapplied trust and misdirected confidence.  It is trust in the wrong direction and in the wrong source.  Until this problem is overcome it will deal almost continual misery to the person affected or afflicted by it.  Worry or Anxiety is one of the most effective tools of the devil in hindering our spiritual progress and the development of faith.

The writer of Proverbs gives a simple but powerful pathway to the victory over Worry.  It is worth our time to consider and hopefully, that consideration will lead to a new place of victory in our lives.

Worry – – Causes a person to be sick physically, depressed mentally, and hinders them from rising to that place of victory and power that is promised to believers in the Word. 

Worry – – Hinders prayer by putting more trust in the arm of flesh that can be seen than in the Omnipotent God who cannot be seen. 

Worry – – Is a deterrent to faith.  It causes one to lose hope before the victory arrives because it is rooted in the natural realm rather than in the supernatural.

You were not born worried!  It is learned not inherent in our DNA.  Parents teach their children to worry by their lives, their words, and their actions.  People become good at worrying because they practice and practice it. 

Worry – – Can be overcome by learning to rely on God to perform His Word. There are two types of things we should never worry about:  Those things we cannot help and those we can.  Most of us find ourselves worrying in one of those dimensions from time to time. 

This passage gives us a pathway to spiritual victory and that pathway is incredibly simple although not always easy.  I ask that you join me in the journey of discovery of our Promised Deliverance from Anxiety. 

First, we must “Trust in the LORD will All our Heart.”  That implies complete and total trust.  That implies placing our lives totally and completely in His hands.  That is simple but not always easy.  We are to live a life of expectancy and obedience.  Could I remind you that each of us had to Trust God for our salvation?  We had to place our confidence in His ability and faithfulness to keep His Word and Forgive us.  Likewise, we are to Trust Him in Everything! 

We trust His faithfulness in times of joy and in times of grief.  We trust Him in our tears, storms, valleys, and mountains.  In all things!  We trust when the bills are paid and when they are not.  It is easy to declare that we “Trust God” when things are secure and there is no drama or trauma in our lives.  We are to trust Him when we are sick and when we are well.  We are to trust Him when we are prospering and when we are in want.  We trust in times of Spiritual abundance and in times of Spiritual drought. 

We are to put our total confidence in God.  In 1 Peter 1:5:7 we read, “Casting all your care on Him; for He careth for you.”  Isaiah 26:3 reminds us of His Power and Promise saying, “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace because he trusts in Thee.” 

Therefore, the first step to receiving “Deliverance from Anxiety” is to Trust God with our all.  Our heart, mind, body, and soul resting in Him.  That may not be easy, but it is the objective and the first requirement in attaining victory over Worry in our lives! 

God bless you as you proceed on the pathway of Freedom from Anxiety!

PHASES OF A DEVOUT SOUL…


Psalms 25:1-7 – “To Thee, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in Thee I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none of those who wait for Thee will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4 Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; Teach me Thy paths. 5 Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, For Thou art the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, Thy compassion and Thy lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Thy lovingkindness remember Thou me, For Thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.”  NASB

To me, these are some of the most beautiful and touching words found in the Psalms.  They provide a sense of understanding as to why God would call David a man after His own heart.  The true character of David shines forth in the Psalms he wrote.  The reveal his heart powerfully.

When I consider the progression or phases of a Devout Soul I see, in verse one, the Soul Rising to God.  “Unto Thee, O LORD, I lift up my soul…”  David is allowing his soul to ascend into the presence of God in devout thoughts (v.1), in gratitude (Psalm 103), in adoration toward God (Psalm 48).  This is David’s personal exertion of his will.  No other person can lift your soul into the presence of God, but you!  It is an exercise of your will and the surrender of your heart.

Then in verse two, I see His Soul Trusting in God.  “O my God, I trust in Thee…”  Trusting in God reveals his dependence on God.  It expresses his complete awareness of his human inability and God’s ability.  It expresses a belief and confidence in the sufficiency of the Almighty.  It is an expression of the confidence and recognition that God is Sovereign and with Him, there is nothing impossible.  Therefore, he trusts and rests in God.

Then, we see in verse 5 the Soul Waiting on the LORD.  “For Thee, I wait all the day…”   This is echoed in Psalms 27:14; 62:5; Proverbs 20;22; and Isaiah 40:31. To wait expresses patience, hope, confidence, and trust.  In waiting, we learn to serve.

Next, in verse three, we see the Devout Soul Reaching out to God in Prayer.  “Let none that wait on Thee be ashamed…”  The prayer recorded in verses 3-7 fall into two categories.  It is a Prayer for Self.  He reveals his confidence in the power and willingness of God to deliver him, guide him, and rests in the security of knowing that God will not forget him but will Remember him!  It is also a Prayer for Others.  He prays for the success of the good, the righteous, and the godly.  He also prays for the defeat of those who hate God, reject God, and reject His people.

I see the Psalmist expressing a progression of his soul in the development of trust and confidence in God.  He reaches out to God and seeks His presence.  He Trusts in God and rests fully in His Power, Person, and Purpose.  He Waits on the LORD, listening for the direction he is to take, and Prays!

May the LORD be with you as you grow in His Grace and Seek His Face!

FAITH IN FORCE…


Psalms 16:8 – “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  NASB. [Read verses 1-11 for the full impact of this truth.]

I love the progression of truth revealed in this Psalm.  It is here that we catch a glimpse of a faith that comes or grows to maturity and is rooted and grounded in God and His Word.  The declaration of verse 8 is nothing short of incredible!  It is with purpose and intent that the Psalmist focuses on God.  It is not a casual reference to a timid superficial belief in a creed or a creator, but a declaration of Total Confidence in God!

David declares that God is the portion of his inheritance and his maintainer.  He declares that God is his counselor and because of his view of God, he has developed a faith that is in full force, alive, and active!  It is a faith that produces life, peace, joy, and hope!  That should be the objective of each believer.

Here in Psalm 16, we hit the high-water mark of religious life in two aspects.  It is revealed in an ardent devotion to God and it holds a clear certainty of eternal blessedness beyond the grave.  That is powerful!  It is Faith in Full Bloom that is being expressed and demonstrated in this Psalm.  There are three facts or factors that I want to briefly call your attention to and hope they are inspirational as well as challenging.

Notice the Effort of Faith expressed in the words, “I have set the LORD always before me…”  This is a personal exercise of faith.  He is making a conscious effort to keep himself continually in touch with the unseen creator of all things.  This is, in my view, the essence of true religion.

His whole soul cleaves to God.  He has developed an intelligent, reasoned, and the reasonable decision that God alone is all that he needs, as expressed in verse 8.  He is making a determined decision to totally surrender all his heart, mind, body, and soul to God, as is expressed in verse 2.  God was always in the forefront of his mind and always before him or he kept himself always before God.  He brought his thoughts into captivity to the obedience of the Creator.  It was not based on feelings or emotion but Truth!

Next, consider the Friend of Faith as described in the words, “He is at my right hand…”  God is the Object of Faith.  This is the result of effort and God honors it by giving his aide, protection, and wisdom.  David expresses that by his effort of Faith, he becomes aware in a new way, of the presence of God at his side.  He discovers God as the Friend of Faith.

The divine presence is the source of his strength and if God is at his ‘right hand’ then the words of Psalm 91 become visible.  We are in the shadow of the one who is protecting us, guiding us, and guarding us.  He is our Protector, Director, and Friend as well as our Savior!

Then, notice the Stability of Faith expressed in the words, “shall not be moved…”  If God is there, close at my side, what can move me?  Notice verse 10’s promise that we will not be abandoned.  Consider verse 11’s promise that God will guide us and reveal to us the pathway of life He has chosen for us. 

The secret of a quiet heart is to keep near God.  In abiding in the shadow of the Almighty we find that no storm can wreck our ship and our anchor will hold in Jesus!  Real communion with God is the guarantee that the man who develops it and receives His grace will never die.  Oh, he will in the natural, but not in the eternal.

Therefore, it is imperative that we seek to keep near to God.  We need to keep Him ever before us and in the forefront of our minds and consciousness.  We need to allow our faith to rise and we will discover that we can stand no matter what comes because of His Presence.  We need to keep God ever before us in our Thought Life, Prayer Life, and Devotional Life.  If God is for us who can be against us and what difference does it make if they are?

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in His Grace!

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, Read The Directions – Part Two…


2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”  NASB

Yesterday we discussed the first instruction in ‘reading the directions’ and the benefits of that action.  It was “Seek First The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.”  I suggest that the next revelation in ‘Reading the Directions’ is we Discover How We Are To Fit Into God’s Plans.

Directions are worthless unless read and followed.  It has been a strategy of the enemy of our souls to insist that the Bible is so complicated that only the select of the elect can understand it.  If you cannot understand it, why bother investing your time and energy into reading it?   In Isaiah 35:8 we read, “And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it.”  God has a plan and has given us a road map to spiritual victory, we err in failing to utilize it.

It is easy to tell someone else how to run their life. The Bible gives directions for all.  I am reminded of a story I heard years ago.  A boy was walking in the woods and saw a man with a gun.  The boy asked the man what he was hunting, and he said bears.  The little boy said, “If I was a big as you, I’d hunt bears with my bare hands.”  The man smiled and said, “Son, there are a lot of little bears out here too!”  God’s word deals with the big and the small in life.  Maybe you cannot kill a big bear, but you can find one your size and handle him if you read the directions.

In life, the small things are not unimportant and cumulatively they have a major impact on both the quality and quantity of life.  If you see an automobile driving down the road you see the exterior and the eye appeal but all of that would be worthless without the internal parts that make it function.  Paul said that even the little parts of the body are important and necessary (1 Corinthians 12:22).

I have met people who, because they are not the lead or have a major role in something, they do nothing.  They want the glory, the recognition, the prestige rather than helping the objective become a reality.

Additionally, reading God’s Directions informs us How We Can Be Spiritually Healthy.  That is not an insignificant blessing and benefit.  A person can eat nothing but healthy nourishing food but if he sits idle and does not move or exercise, he will wither away.  The saying, “Use it or lose it” is a truth that is unavoidable in many areas of life.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 55:17 to take one spoonful of Communion with God before each meal.  If you question that let me quote it, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  Sounds a lot like what I suggested doesn’t it?  We are to take a tablespoonful at bedtime in Ephesians 4:26-27,” Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.” 

Many people would not dream of going to bed without a shower, a bath, or brushing their teeth but think nothing of going to bed with a soiled conscience and bruised relations.  The Bible teaches us to be cautious because many things are habit-forming.  For example, if you allow yourself to engage in telling little white lies or distorting the truth in a minuscule manner or tasting the morsels of gossip you will find that it becomes easier to expand them and even enjoy them.

When all else fails ‘read the directions.’  In 1 Thessalonians 5:22, the directions warn us to “shun the very appearance of evil.”  The enemy will try to convince us that this or that is not harmful, but the Bible warns in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death…”

A few years ago, many were rocked by the news that a father had put poison in some Halloween candy and gave it to his son.  People asked, “How could a father do such a thing?”  As I lamented over the depth of that depravity in any human being, the thought came to mind, “Millions are doing the same thing spiritually.  There are fathers and mothers who are murdering their children spiritually by listening to and believing the lies of the devil and not guiding their children in a life of godliness.”  The Bible tells us to ‘train the children.’  Train them in the way they should go and when they are advanced in years that will come back to them and help keep them on the right track. 

If your life is in shambles or if you experience overwhelming difficulty in life, let me encourage you to “Go to the Direction Manual and Read it!”  God has Promised to hear all who call and never leave or forsake us. 

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, Read The Directions…


2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”  NASB

Reading God’s directions should not be our last resort but the first order of business.  A few months ago I was driving through a small town in East Texas and saw the church marquee that had a picture of a Bible and these words, “When all else fails, read the directions.”  I laughed and said, “Amen!”  Then the Holy Spirit quickened my heart and I heard the question, “Why wait until all else fails?” 

Many men and some women have a tendency to attempt something first before reading the enclosed directions.  In putting together purchased items I have found that sometimes the directions are about as useful as a screen door on a submerged submarine.  However, the point is well taken that reading the directions can save time, heartache, and produce a much better, finished product.  Men are notorious for not asking directions when traveling. 

God has given directions for life in His Word (Bible) and failing to read those directions opens the door to many difficulties, disappointments, and hardships we could have avoided.  I have dealt with countless people who kept trying to ‘put their life together’ before turning to the LORD only to discover that no matter how they tried, failure was the result. 

If we want to put the pieces of our life together, I suggest that the Bible is the best and first place to turn for instructions and guidance.  There is clear guidance in God’s Word so let’s consider some of the directions we all should be reading and applying to our daily lives.

First, “Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God.”  (Matthew 6:33).  That should go without saying, but too frequently that is not the first thought of our minds or hearts in life.  If we put money before God, money will become our god.  If we put pleasure before God, pleasure will become our god.  If we put business before God, business will become our god.  First things first is not just the best approach but the only viable approach to anything.

In doing construction work much of my life and building things, I quickly discovered that if you are going to build a house you do not start with the roof or even the walls.  No, you begin with the foundation which is needed to support both the walls and the roof.  Unfortunately, even though we know simple rules for building in the natural we omit them in the spiritual realm.  If God is not first, He will become an afterthought or addendum in our lives and that leads to spiritual tragedy and emptiness.

We need the Living God to sustain us, guide us, equip us, and empower us in life.  If you are in financial difficulty try praying to your bank for help or your business or your stash of cash.  But, if we call upon the LORD God Almighty, He can and will bring us the help that we need. 

A few years ago, suicide was the number two killer of college students.  At that time there were over twenty-five thousand people taking their lives each year because things had become so fouled up.  There are millions addicted to drugs or some other substance trying to cope with life because they have trusted something other than God. 

It is God’s desire to give us Perfect Peace and Keep, Protect, and Provide for us.  He wants us to seek Him first.  That command has incredible promise attached to it and should be the cry of every heart to “Seek God First and Above Everything.”  As we do so, we find that His blessings abound and are abundant.

I want to deal with this a bit more and will continue in the next devotional.  But, until then may the LORD richly bless you and guide your footsteps. 

Have a rewarding and blessed day in Him!

SOMETHING BETTER THAN MONEY – Part Two…


2 Timothy 2:15-19 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.”  NASB

1 Corinthians 8:3b – “…if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”  NASB

Not only does being Known of God afford us His Protection it opens the Door to Heaven’s Resources.  That too, is far more valuable than money!  Without being known of God we would have no access into the throne room of heaven or God’s storehouse.  The storehouse that is full beyond measure is open to us.  He has given us an open requisition, that is beyond our ability to truly comprehend.

We are the sons and daughters of the Most-High God.  We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus.  The Bible informs us that the Blessings of Abraham are ours through faith and through Jesus.  That is far beyond anything money can buy. 

It is imperative that we study God’s Word so that we can ‘rightly handle’ His truth.  In studying the Bible, we discover that the Foundation of God’s Promises, Precepts, and Principles are Absolutely Sure!  Even after centuries of attacks, the error of false teachers, and teaching the Truth of God has not been weakened one iota.  It is Sure!  God knows those who know Him and has promised to Keep Us and as Paul declared in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  How many of our needs?  ALL OF THEM!

For any of this to be truly valuable to us we must:  Know God.  That is step one and a step that cannot be omitted.  We must study the Word of God and search our His promises, instructions, and directives.  Then we must apply those precepts, principles, promises, and truths to our daily activities.  Having a million dollars in the bank and never making a withdrawal could leave a person living like a pauper.  You would be rich but those riches would be of no value because you did not use or access them. 

Being known of God is more valuable than anything this world has to offer.  God’s grace and gifts cannot be earned and are assuredly not deserved.  They are the gift of love!  Tragically, too many times, we live beneath our privilege in God and never enjoy the Abundant Life that Jesus came to give or the Kingdom that Jesus said was our Father’s good pleasure to give us. 

How do we appropriate the Promises and enjoy the Provisions?  By being known of God!  If you have a need, any need God is the Provider! He is Jehovah-Jireh!  If we need protection in any situation, God is our Protector!  He is Jehovah-ROI and Jehovah-Tseboath!

The LORD wants to fight our battles and provide for our needs.  I have learned that when we move past guilt and self-doubt into confidence that God knows us and smiles on us, we move from doubt and fear into faith.  It is my prayer that each of us will rest in His incredible love and enjoy His unimaginable peace.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

SOMETHING BETTER THAN MONEY…


2 Timothy 2:15-19 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.”  NASB

1 Corinthians 8:3b – “…if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”  NASB

In today’s world, it means something to be known.  It opens doors that otherwise would be closed.  Being known can save tremendous hassle, confusion, and difficulty.  It helps to gain access and acquire privileges and considerations not afforded to others.  It is valuable but it is not money.

If the President knew me personally, I would be able to obtain considerations based on that acknowledgment.  If my earthly father had been a famous person, the consideration and recognition I would receive would be great.  There are times, in life when being known is more important than what you know, your socioeconomic status or experience.  People, in all walks of life, strive to be known by important and influential people.  It is frequently a prize to be desired.

The world craves recognition, but the most important recognition in existence is being Known of God.  Our text informs us that “God knows those that are His.”  That is powerful and afford credentials unattainable through our own abilities or efforts.  There are a number of ways that God knows those that are His.

He knows them by the need they have of Him.  He knows them by the love they have for Him.  He knows them by the trust they place in Him.  He knows them by their labors for His kingdom.  The Bible makes it clear that there is a record of every detail of our lives, so truly “God knows them that are His.”  This speaks of an intimacy with God and being known of God is far more valuable than silver or gold.  It is of infinite worth!

Being Known of God Affords Us God’s Protection.  In Psalm 34:7 we read, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”  You cannot buy that kind of protection.  In 2 Chronicles 16:9 we discover, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”  In Psalms 125:2 we are encouraged by the words, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forward.”

God is our fortress, our hiding place, and our refuge and as Psalm 91 so articulately and eloquently declares, He protects us as a mother would her young.  I saw a story a few years back where a mother hen was burned in a fire, but under her wings were her chicks protected from the smoke and flames.  In WWII there is the story of a young Lieutenant that carried a Bible in His pocket.  He was shot and the bullet stopped at Psalm 91 saving his life.  “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.”

I know from personal experience the divine protection of God.  I know it from my youth, Vietnam, my young adult life, and His protection from dangers and even cancer.  God’s Promise is to Protect Those Who Are His.  Does that mean that if you are a Child of God you cannot or will not suffer problems, danger, or even be killed in an untimely fashion?  No!  I am simply saying, that we can both expect and ask for His divine protection because we are His.

I want to address this a bit more and will do so in the next devotional but until then may the rich blessings of the LORD be yours!  

May God guide, keep and protect you as you enjoy this beautiful day in Him!