Heavy burdens creating anxiety are weighing down the Lord’s people. If there is a common thread in prayer need right now, I am seeing this is it. Anxieties are not just weighing down; they are crippling, stealing breath and sleep and livelihood. As God’s people, we know this should not be so and that adds an even greater weight to it all.
Everyone’s situations are different. God’s people have children who are astray; children recklessly risking their lives in various ways, family with long-standing health issues that are paralyzing and overwhelming loved ones. God’s people are weighed down with personal anxieties too. Faith walks are crippled, tossing back and forth due to unbelief. Some are trapped in a debilitating cycle of sin and self, boxed in a stronghold of self-destructive behavior. Some are stuck in mourning feeling blinded by sorrow, loneliness with hopelessness selfishly hoarding all of their thoughts. Some are under intense spiritual attack, the enemy very intent on killing your faith. For God’s people, staying stuck in muck and mire, paralyzed in a state of dread reveals a deep spiritual need not being met. We are not to live in a slimy pit; there is ALWAYS promise God will rescue.
Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Waiting patiently implies expectation of God’s intervention. How do we wait? (Click here to read about waiting.) If your definition of waiting does not include extended times in His presence, you probably have a deep spiritual need not being met and anxiety is getting the better of you.
When I was around 6 years old, my parents took us camping somewhere along Lake Ontario. My brother and I and some cousins were in a shallow part of the lake, maybe waist deep. Suddenly we noticed our feet sank with each step. Someone said it was quick sand; and we had to get out or we would drown. I remember the panic I felt believing this were true; and how suddenly my feet felt cemented in the water, my breath escaping me as I desperately made my way towards tree roots jetting out from the shoreline. Those roots seemed to be my only hope to hold on and not die.
There was no quick sand. But just like envisioning drowning in quick sand, often our reactions are based upon our own skewed perception. And then sometimes our reactions are based upon ugly realities. The diagnosis that comes. The debt that looms. We then project a terrible outcome and our prayer language reflects it. God hears our drama instead of hearing prayers based on His ability to intervene.
In my studies I’ve learned that the Hebrews defined the future as behind and the past as in front. Why? Because what is in front can be seen, it is in plain view. The future cannot be seen; therefore it is hidden behind, unseen. If God is part of our past, His former faithfulness is in front of us. Looking to the past is clear vision towards the unseen future. We are called to see His former help and anticipate His intervention for now circumstances. He has been faithful, merciful, and powerful to rescue. He does not change. Our future is always dependent on the One who does not change. He alone is the place for anxieties to be stilled.
Beyond remembering former acts of God's faithfulness to you, assess your current state of faith and the soil in your heart. The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 is a good place to do so.
It mentions a wide range of circumstances. Off path. Seeds of faith devoured. Rock ground. A tender plant scorched. Withered. Choked by thorns. Troubles. Persecutions. Worries. Deceitfulness of riches. Calloused hearts. Ears not listening. Eyes closed.
Jesus says to his disciples (not everyone) in this parable, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” He goes on to explain that good ground will produce hearts that not only perceive; but understand, to bring forth an inexplicable multiplication of fruit and harvest.
“But I can’t see and I am having trouble hearing!”
How did we get in the place that we stand? What choices have led us to where we are? Some have gotten where they are by faith. Now there is realization that we can’t save ourselves or others. If this is you, you are in good company. You are a disciple. Christ leads his disciples to places that illicit high anxiety simply because they followed Christ. He doesn't leave you there though.
Is it a coincidence that the miracles in Matthew 14 are placed after the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? If you have followed God out into the wilderness and can’t feed yourself or others, if you are standing on water by faith, Jesus is right there with you. Yes, he is challenging and stretching you. But it is His power alone that miraculously multiplies supply, it is His power alone that heals the wound that won't stop bleeding.
Gospel accounts are resolved quickly and this frustrates our prayer life. In Matthew 14, Christ prays over scraps and within hours thousands are miraculously fed. Peter cries out and Jesus quickly reaches out his hand to save him. Momentary cry, immediate rescue. Yet our cries echo in our head, circumstances drag on, situations worsen. “Where is the immediate rescue?” we question. This is the battle of flesh against spirit.
If I only focused on negative, my anxieties would be crippling me right now. I MUST walk on higher ground of God’s promises. All throughout scripture, God always presented supernatural intervention as possible outcome. Supernatural outcome DID NOT happen where flesh choice rejected spirit walk.
Where we cannot see in the physical, He says we can see in the supernatural. He says blessings come in seeing and hearing Him. This supernatural promise is either true or false. My seed and yours doesn’t need to be devoured, scorched, or choked. It can be miraculously multiplied. Do we believe or not? Will we venture forth with eyes of faith and hear promise of rescue?
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. – Hebrews 11:1
The conviction of their reality… faith perceived as real fact. I love the Amplified version of Hebrews 11:1! I can see if I trust God! You can see outcome too! Quick resolution in the Gospels was allowed for merely a few when Christ walked the earth. They were evidence of His authority and power.
Now He is in Heaven and in all his fullness is in us who believe, His Spirit daily wrestling our flesh, which will win? Flesh or spirit?
He is not a father who holds out arms only to step aside at the last minute, letting us fall, laughing as we struggle in waters too deep for us. He is the father that rescues and delivers. Your current struggle could be about learning to trust in Him alone. He’s called you to this trial of faith, now position by faith. Anticipate His intervention. Daily watch and persist with Him. Anticipate Him entering with a strong hand to deliver and rescue. Waiting is the hardest part; but we must wait so He can get the glory.
Your current struggle could be about spiritual warfare. Are you fitted with armor? What is penetrating your heart, mind, and soul? Stand firm fitted with spiritual armor and persist in prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20). Battle. Linger longer with God and boldly claim promises.
To those whose anxiety weighs down due to poor choices, God is merciful. Return to Him. A humbling and confession is necessary, as is a high-tailed sprint into the Father’s arms. He is looking for you, running towards you at the slightest indication you are turning back to him, Luke 15:20. He will clean you up, celebrate, and provide abundantly in ways you do not deserve.
Claim, "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing." Psalm 23 is filled with visuals, sounds, promises and supernatural outcomes based on faith. Draw nearer! Come to the meditation tomorrow morning at 9am at Webster Recreation, room 302. Sign up on the calendar page. It’s a unique time with God to perceive His Shepherd heart and rest in His supernatural care. Don't be fooled. Without staying close to our Shepherd, following His voice, the world and all its attacks and cares will destroy us. Our flesh will create our outcomes. Instead may you claim Jesus’ blessing… “Blessed are your eyes for they see; and your ears for they hear!”
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Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"