Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 07/01/01.
The Doctrine of Worry. PHI 4:6
In our study of the book of Philippians, we have completed verse 5 of chapter 4, which reads "Let your supergrace mental attitude be known to all men. The Lord is near."
This verse teaches that every believer has the opportunity to experience the intimacy and nearness of the Lord. This near grace, as we have seen, makes it possible for the supergrace believer to advance to ultra-supergrace. Once a believer arrives at this point, they will begin to experience something very unique, an intimacy and a nearness to the Lord. The believer at this point now can truly apply verse 6 to their life, because of this intimacy and the nearness of the Lord "Be anxious for nothing [stop worrying about anything], but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
PHI 4:7 "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
In this phase of spiritual growth the believer must deal with something that he is not well acquainted with. Although filled with more spiritual enthusiasm and love and having something greater than all the pleasures of the earth, although each day his love increases and he is finding that all that once burdened him is now meaningless, there are still periods of dryness. But these times do not cause him to fall backward but rather to move forward in the spiritual life. The believer must realize that living in the Pre-Designed Plan of God (PPOG), when God gives times of rest, it's wise to build, 2CH 14:7. This time of rest, when you experience the intimacy and the nearness of the Lord, is simply another level of spiritual growth and is mentioned in our next verse, PHI 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
The Greek word "merimnate" means to be anxious, unduly or overly concerned, to worry or be nervous or troubled. This verse tells us that we are to be that way over nothing. As we keep moving out into no man's land between supergrace and ultra supergrace, we cannot be worried or overly concerned about the things of this life.
We should translate this in current day English, "Stop worrying about anything or stop worrying about a thing"
Proper English would be, "Stop worrying about anything," but the literal translation of the Greek says "have anxiety about nothing."
Before we continue in this verse, we need to look at some principles concerning worry.
1. Worry is a mental attitude sin, which is self-induced and therefore soulish torment or anxiety regarding anything in life. As we have seen many times, adversity is inevitable, stress is optional.
2. Worry is a distressing and painful state of mind involving undue concern over something in life. Worry separates the believer from his inner resources of grace and cuts off the reception of divine logistics. Worry is the way the supply line is cut, not by God, but by thinking the wrong things, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You are out of fellowship with God, outside of the Pre-Designed Plan of God and therefore, you do not have that protection of the "wall of fire."
When this occurs you are neither quartered, supplied or transported, which is the military meaning of logistics, that's the way you get hung up in no man's land.
Being Quartered means you have life and residence in the Pre-Designed Plan of God. Being Transported means you have the filling of the Spirit and are walking in the Spirit as you advance in enemy territory, the devil's world.
Being Supplied means you have the divine provision of near grace or greater grace, a supercharger performing the same function as living grace except that the provision is intensified in the advance. The problem is simply that worry manifests failure to use the faith rest technique.
3. Worry always envisions the worst, and so becomes it then brings apprehension, anticipation of danger, misfortune, trouble, or uncertainty.
4. Worry is a state of restlessness and agitation that produces mental disturbance, uneasiness, anxiety, and a painful uncertainty.
5. Worry is a destroyer of the soul. If unchecked, it results in mental illness. You get a warning first, often it is with a physical problem. Worry in the mind causes shock to the body, PRO 12:25 "Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad."
Worry unloads Bible doctrine from the launching pad of the souls' right lobe.
6. Worry is a satanic device to lead the believer into reversionism and the sin unto death, EZE 4:15?17,12:18?19. Worry is a great weapon in the hands of Satan because the forces of evil take over the soul as a result of worry. Worry makes you vulnerable to the enemies especially attack in no man's land. More sacrifices of your time, talent, treasure and exercising of your spiritual gift is required in this no man's land, therefore, there are more subtle attacks made against you to try and cause you to doubt the laying down of your life to serve and honor God. This is why the perpetuation of the function of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine becomes absolutely necessary to put muscle on your faith. This is the principle of PSA 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the supergrace believer to be shaken."
Worry short circuits the Faith Rest technique and causes the believer to be pinned down in no man's land. If a believer gets pinned down too long in no man's land they move into reversionism, fall by the wayside and go backwards. You cannot afford to be pinned down and you cannot afford to retreat after you have reached the adult stage of the spiritual life, because the fall is great and the misery that follows is very self-destructive. If you retreat, you do not go back to your previous stage of spiritual growth, you're out of fellowship, you're out of the Pre-Designed Plan of God and you go back to reversionism. There is the use of the faith-rest technique in no man's land.
PSA 37:4-5 "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart."
Delight yourself means to make love to the Lord, be occupied with the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your right lobe.
PSA 37:5 "Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, He will do it, that's divine logistics in the principle of near grace. If you are concerned about something, any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. This is why after the first part of PHI 4:6 which says "Stop worrying about anything," the next part says "but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
7. Bad news causes worry, JER 49:23-24 "Concerning Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, For they have heard bad news; They are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, It cannot be calmed. Damascus has become helpless; She has turned away to flee, And panic has gripped her; Distress and pangs have taken hold of her Like a woman in childbirth."
Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years of life. If something is wrong, fix it if you can, but train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
8. Worry causes hysteria, LUK 10:41 "But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;"
Everyone has an area in which they are prone to worry. However, if you stop worrying about the potholes in the road, you will begin to enjoy the journey.
9. People can cause worry. People are always worried about other people. Worriers have to have an object and one can always find an object to worry about.
10. Economic disaster is a cause of worry. There are so many people, especially in the United States, who are wealthy but yet fearful of economic disaster. The pursuit of money keeps one occupied with the things of the world. Solomon was one of the richest men that ever lived and he tells us in ECC 5:10 "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity."
Solomon also said in PRO 11:24 "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."
This is not an attack nor is there any attack throughout the Word of God on those who have money.
This is an attack on the lovers of money. The Bible says "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" and then let the Lord worry about whether or not He's going to give you a million dollars.
1TI 6:9 "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction."
PRO 30:7-9, "Two things I asked of Thee, Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, Lest I be full [rich] and deny Thee and say, "Who is the Lord?"
11. Sin causes worry. People worry about sin which causes guilt, PSA 38:18 "For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin." Worry is a sin according to ROM 14:23b "whatever is not from faith is sin."
12. Therefore, we are ordered to stop worrying, LUK 12:29 "And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying."
13. Worry characterizes reversionism, ISA 57:11.
14. Worry does not solve problems, MAT 6:25?34. Logistical grace offsets worry.
16. Therefore, blessing from God includes freedom from worry, JER 17:7-8.
It must be noted that there is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem while a concerned person solves a problem.
Worries fall into three categories.
1. Worrying about personal sins, (the guilt complex).
2. Worrying about the problems of this life, and these run the gamut from security to retaliation situations, etc.
3. Worrying about death and dying - about what is beyond the grave.
The field of worry is nearly unlimited and affects both believers and unbelievers. One might worry about how they will die, what the future holds after death. Others might worry about some past sin or failure, or some pressure or adversity that exists. Still others may be worrying about the future of this country or the future of their children or even their own personal happiness. Some might even worry about their own salvation by doubting it, or doubting God's promise of eternal security.
Not only is the temptation to worry great, but the opportunity is always present. But in Ephesians 5:1 we are commanded to become imitators of God, so as believers we should never worry because God does not worry, Ephesians 5:1">EPH 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;"
Remember that concern is legitimate. We can be concerned, but when it comes right down to anything in life, our contentment depends upon our attitude, the right attitude regarding anything is that it is God's.