Sunday, April 30, 2017
"On Fire": Is Your Anxiety Making You DELUSIONAL?
"Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."---Philippians 4:5-7(AMPC)
Today is gonna be one of those "ouch amen" kinds of posts, yet I discern that if it's taken to heart, it can actually bring about quite a bit of peace (Proverbs 17:27).
The post about knowing who your husband is has brought A LOT of responses. Although each one is unique (because we all are), if there was a common thread in about 75 percent of them, it could be summed up in one word: "anxiety".
Before getting into what God is leading me to say about that, a few things real quickly.
1) God would not tell you that someone else's husband is your spouse. And, according to the Word (Matthew 19:11-12, I Corinthians 7:10-11, Romans 7:1-3), a divorced person who still has a living spouse is someone else's spouse. God does not contradict his Word or make exceptions. Believing otherwise? Therein lies deception (check out "The Role of Marriage in the Kingdom of God" and "Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper"). We are to be a stumbling block (Romans 14:13) for no one, covenants are extremely godly and none of us know/can predict the possibility reconciliation. If you're emotionally caught up in a divorced man, pray for the strength to get free.
2) God would not tell you to "hurry up and get married to make 'sin right". Translation? If you are involved in sexual sin with someone (check out "Sex and Glue: The Emotional Bond of a Physical Act"), *you are in a heart state of sin* and Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our heart---the center of our emotions---can deceive us (Matthew 24:4). Mark 7:20-23 says that evil thoughts, deceit, pride and foolishness can come from the heart too. In other words, when we're in a cycle of sin and trying to hear from the Lord, we often have, what I call "spiritual ear infections" (Galatians 5:16-17). Our flesh is all up in the way. If you want to really see what God thinks about the person you are with, as it relates to the long-term, *repentance* (I John 1:9-10) and a time of ABSTINENCE (Psalm 51:10, Romans 12:2) are what you need right now---NOT MARRIAGE. I read a tweet by singer Jhene Aiko last week and she's exactly right: "Remove sex from a relationship and you'll discover that a lot of people aren't as good a match for you as you thought." A guy by the name of avid Alan Campbell also brought up a good point: "Emotional attachment to sin does not make sin OK." They're both right. In order to hear clearly, sexual purity *DEFINITELY* helps (I Peter 1:16).
3) I Corinthians 14:33 states that God is not the author of confusion. This means he does not create it, including the circumstances that bring it about. And since God is not the designer of confusion, if you're confused about a person, place, thing or idea, that tends to be a *red flag* not a "marriage sign". Confusion means "disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos". It also means "lack of clearness or distinctness". The Word? It is VERY CLEAR. Black and white. Non-lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-16). Oftentimes, we find ourselves in "confusing situations" because we're not sure what the Word says on a matter. Or, we don't want to believe that it applies to us (see the intro to "14. Not to Abolish But to Fulfill (Matthew 5:17-20)"). If you're confused about what is going on in a situation, ask yourself why? Better yet, ask the Lord to reveal to you why (James 1:5). A time of prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21) may be needed...just so that you can *get still* (Psalm 46:10 & 77:6) and settle your mind, body and spirit down.
With those main points out of the way, in my prayer time, "ANXIOUS" is what God told me to write a bit about. Actually, an example of what can happen when we are anxious. It can *literally* make us delusional:
Delusional: having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions
One of my absolute favorite Scriptures in the Bible is the Message Version of Ecclesiastes 7:18: "It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it." Being realistic means "interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical" and "resembling or simulating real life".
In the article "Anxiety Is Often the Cause of Delusions", the author shares this:
Delusions are beliefs that you hold despite considerable evidence to the contrary. They're this feeling that you know a fact to be true even if others have more proof that the fact is actually false. It would be like believing without a shadow of a doubt that TVs have little people inside that are acting for you.
Delusions are linked directly to psychosis, but not all delusions are that extreme. In fact, anxiety commonly causes delusional thinking, simply because of what it's like to deal with anxiety.
This all makes me think of false pregnancies; women who want to be pregnant *so badly* that they can trick their body into creating symptoms. *We can want things SO MUCH, we can *create* situations that, in real life, actually don't exist*.
And in the spirit realm, some people can mistake delusions for "walking by faith" (2 Corinthians 5:7).
So, how can you tell the difference?
That's a book's worth but since this article and Philippians 4 both tell us that anxiety is *NOT* a good thing, then the first thing I would recommend is being honest with God and yourself about just how ANXIOUS you are to be married in the first place:
Anxious: full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous; earnestly desirous; eager
Eager: keen or ardent in desire or feeling; impatiently longing
Eager. A lot of us are WAY TOO EAGER about getting married...
If you know that you can relate to that:
"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."---James 1:14-15(NKJV)
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."---James 1:4(NKJV)
We're human and marriage is godly. That said, is there something wrong with wanting to be married? *Of course not*. However, if you're at the point where you're *eager* and *impatient*? You're entering into an emotional state of anxiety. And so, looking for signs of who you husband is doesn't need to be the focus right now; *prayer does*.
We know this because Philippians 4 tells us that the "spiritual prescription" for anxiety---eagerness---is prayer. Not just "God, who is my husband?" and "When am I getting married?!" prayers either. The Word tells us that we are to pray *with thanksgiving*! When's the last time you pondered (Proverbs 4:26) what was good about your single state and THANKED HIM for those things?
I'm a signs and wonders kind of girl (Daniel 4:1-2). Always have been.
Yet I have seen how anxiety can create delusions.
If you're anxious about having a husband...
Focus more on getting to a peaceful state *with yourself* and the Lord.
Things will get *SO MUCH CLEARER*...
About your season of a single woman (Ecclesiastes 3) and who God is TRULY bringing you to (Genesis 2:22).
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...