Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 05-23-99
Tree of Life for 05-23-99And, human viewpoint such as worry and fear actually blaspheme the character and nature of God. What we need is the perspective of grace and truth and that comes only one way... through the consistent study of God's word.
There are many areas which cause worry in the believer's life. For example, human security is a great cause for worry. Those who obsess over their future security do so due to ignorance concerning their "future". This is not to say we can look into the crystal ball and know what tomorrow holds but yes, we do know what our future holds. For the believer in Christ the future is "eternity" with God!! What more could you "strive" for??
When the believer has enough doctrine in his soul and opts to apply that doctrine to his life experiences, is when his worrying is kept in check, 1SA 17:47; PSA 55:22; ISA 26:3-4; 1PE 5:7. And... when truth is present with the believer Satan sends even more of his messengers to distract the believer and cause worry. Satan always tries to twist our motivation in order to neutralize our effectiveness in the spiritual realm thereby robbing us of our peace. The last things our enemy wants to see is the believer operating in faith-rest while leaving all concerns in God's hands.
Satan especially increases his onslaught after we have had some type of spiritual victory. It is after success that we are most vulnerable to failure because our guard is down. We need to always keep in mind that we are never beyond being "human". Satan will cause doubts to enter into our minds concerning the wisdom of our decisions. And even the mature believer will at times entertain these doubts but it is important to quickly rebound and advance forward. We often turn and look back to our own demise. Condemnation, guilt, worry and doubt about past decisions will only serve to consume and destroy our present stand. Prolonged stress and anxiety can even lead to mental illness! This is why the word of God commands us not to worry! "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be know to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." PHI 4:6-7 When we worry our Christian testimony is clouded. Worry is simply the perpetuation of self induced misery. Worry, anxiety, and stress are all self-inflicted. Remember, adversity in life is inevitable, but the conversion of that adversity into stress in the soul is optional. We are the ones who convert problems into stress through walking by sight. "Sight" being, what human viewpoint conceptualizes as true.
We have over seven thousand promises in the Bible! You'd think perhaps a few of them might be taken seriously. To continue to view things from human viewpoint equals misery. To believe in the promises and doctrines of God's word brings confidence, peace, and power. The question is, do you believe that God is able to accomplish that which He promises? And, are you willing to wait on His (perfect) timing? We must let God come through for us in His time. The problem is, man insists on getting in God's way by helping things along in accordance with man's timing and man's power.
Abraham was 85 years old when God promised that he would have an heir. Abraham believed God's promise and continued to do so. But as his age advanced as well as the age of his wife, he began to grow concerned. And, as he approached the age of 99 and his wife, Sarah, the age of 90 he knew that they were both sexually incapable of fulfilling this promise which God had spoken of 15 years prior to this point. Perfect! Just when the situation seem utterly hopeless is when God can really work His promises with no question to where it has come from! At the ripe age of 99 Abraham's son, Isaac was born to him by his 90 year old wife, who by the way, had already gone through menopause. This proves that when God promises a thing, it does not matter what sight dictates! What matters is what God's word claims to be so. Sure, there were many times Abraham doubted and failed but he continued to pick himself up and carry on in faith and patience, waiting for God to come through in his life. The problem most people have is "their own schedule or agenda". They will wait, but only so long. Things must move along at "their" own pace. They enter into the attitude that God is taking too long so I will just help Him along by marrying this one or accepting this (premature) blessing, and so on.
We must keep alert to the fact that Satan also has the power to bless man. This is shown to us in LUK 4:5-8 when Satan offers the kingdoms of the world to our Lord Jesus Christ if Christ would just worship him. Many today are in effect worshipping Satan for the power and riches that they could have had even greater of if they had only waited for God.
God never fails us. It's a nice statement and one which many Christians murmur, but in their hearts they do not stand firm in such faith. We insist on worrying as if such an insertion will effectively help to remedy matters. Abraham kept worrying about his heir to the point where God literally spelled it out for him in three object lessons found in Genesis 15:5-7. This again caused Abraham to rebound and get back into fellowship with God but his faith was weak and when the sun went down again he worried. After he rebounded Satan sent a counter attack noted in GEN 5:11 as "the birds of prey", Abraham cleared them away but it didn't last too long, he again doubted. We see these "birds of prey" or messengers of the devil also noted for us in Matthew chapter 13, verses 4, 19, and 32. When these messengers or temptations come, most fall prey to the inducement of doubt and worry. Many Christians, through worry, find themselves in the lions mouth, 1PE 5:7-10; 2TI 4:16-17. This is why we are commanded to keep on the alert. We have been delivered from the power of the lion which is representative of the devil, but it takes knowledge and faith to appropriate this power. It is only when we are no longer worried that we will drive away the birds of prey. The enemy stands no chance against the believer who stands firm in his faith and utilizes the power of God!
The knowledge of the future, i.e., our eternal state with God, gives us the assurance for the present. This knowledge even offers sweet sleep to the believer, PRO 3:21-26; 6:20-22; 19:23. So, the cure for worry is to learn more Bible doctrine and to believe what God's word claims and then apply the word of God to one's life experiences! Otherwise you will flounder from worry to worry to doubt to fear, wasting away your opportunity to glorify God in this life and never receiving what God has for you... His highest and very best! What a chance to pass up by worrying.
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries