A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Teaching, Training & Commissioning
Chapter 12 Episode 9
REMOVING THE OBSTACLES OF WORRY & ANXIETY
This final episode, on the removal of the obstacles of discipleship and of following Jesus, is one of the longest and most difficult. It requires prayer, faith, trust, self-discipline and obedience to God’s Word, in the midst of a storm. Read carefully, trust God, then do what He says.
Worry brings doubt; worry and doubt are sin; sin separates us from God and brings destruction and death.
We must repent of our sinful thinking and ways, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Therefore, if you confess with your mouth what you believe in your heart, and you will be saved; for it is with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10-:10-11)
(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)
Episode 9: Removing the Obstacles of Worry & Anxiety requires that we Seek, First, His Kingdom and His Righteousness.
Matthew 6:25-34 says, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
”Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing?
Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?
You of little faith!
“Do not worry, then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things;
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
“Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I will use the example of God’s servant, Job, to help understand how to remove the obstacles of worry and anxiety.
Job, according to the Bible, (Job 1:1-3), was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Job had seven sons and three daughters, he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; The Bible says that Job was the greatest of all the men of the east. In other words, Job had it all!
But, Job worried. (see Job 1:4-5). He worried that “his sons had sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” So, Job would pray and consecrate them, daily. The Bible says, “Job did this continually.” The Hebrew word for ‘continually’ is a complex word, but, in essence could be compared to our modern word describing an obsessive and compulsive behavior, stemming from worry.
Now read carefully what comes next, because, because it is not a coincidence; it is a result of compulsive worrying:
Job:1:6-12 says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
First, notice, Job has ‘left a door open for evil’ through his worry, and Satan will enter Job’s thinking and his life.
Secondly, ask yourself, “Is God not omniscient? How could God not know this?” But, God did know, and He was revealing the intentions and activities of Satan for all to hear.
Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?
(Once again, God is making Satan confess)
God goes on to say, “For there is no one like Job on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.
Then tragedy struck. In one day, Job lost all his possessions and all of his children. (see Job 1:13-19)
But, it does not end there. Once again, tragedy strikes and Job loses his health. (see Job 2:1-6)
Then, Job, crying out in pain, laments. Sadly, Job’s confession of lament confirms only and solidifies his condition. “Afterward, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” (see Job 3:1)
Next, Job utters the realization we must remember, in
“For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”
What follows in Job’s life are distorted relationships, tragedy, pain and suffering. (see Job chapter 4 through Job chapter 37)
Then, the most amazing of all miracles occurs. God speaks directly to Job in Chapter 38 and verses 2 and 3, and says,
“Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
“Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
(In our contemporary language, we might hear, “Who do you think you are, clouding the truth with ignorance? Now, hike up your pants like and man and face Me! If you are so smart, tell me what you know about Who I Am!)
Job, after receiving instructions about his own ignorance of the matters of God, utters A NEW CONFESSION that begins the process of removal of the Obstacles of Worry and Anxiety from his life,
” Then Job answered the LORD and said,
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
“Therefore, I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”
The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.
Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.
The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.”
- Worry brings doubt; worry and doubt are sin
- Sin separates us from God
- Sin brings destruction and death
- Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand
- Confess with your mouth what you believe in your heart, and you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10-:10-11)
Knowing of these things and not doing them, make empty words. But, if we do as John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Believe it! Do it!
Your Brother and Friend,
Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)
(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along. You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)