Gregg Matte is the author of this post. He is the Senior Pastor at Houston’s First Baptist Church. This was my devotional this morning in the You Version Bible App on my phone. If you have that app the name of the plan is Growing In Our Faith Through Anxiety. It’s a 5 day plan, and I had to share this entry with you. The Scriptures that follow were listed with this plan, and I’m including them in the Message paraphrase.
God, the one and only- I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62.5-6
Take my side, God – I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day. Not a day goes by but somebody beats me up; They make it their duty to beat me up. When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can more mortals do? Psalm 56.1-4
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living in not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
Do you want to be a deep person? We have a very shallow society that is imploding. We are self-destructing before our eyes. We don’t need any more rich or smart people. We don’t need any more singers, preachers, or whatever talent you want to throw out there. This world needs more deep people. People that walk deep roads, ask deep questions and answer profoundly. No more superficiality. Deep questions develop deep people.
We have the opportunity for growth. The author of the book of Hebrews says that we have an anchor of the soul that is firm and secure. Anchors go deep to the places we don’t see. There’s a bridge that you pass as you go to the Niagara River that has a big sign. The sign on the bridge asks two questions: Do you have an anchor? Do you know how to use it?
Do you have an anchor of depth in your life? The answer is Jesus Christ. He came from Heaven to die for your sins. It’s not your will power, money, talent, or knowledge. It is the good news of the Gospel. He lives inside of you and can save your soul. You can place your sin on Him and in return, He gives you righteousness and forgiveness. You can walk and live in greater depth through Him.
A lot of believers have Jesus as their anchor, but do not know how to use it. Let’s learn to see anxiety and fear as a place for deep, spiritual growth.
Three things on this place of depth
- Pour out your heart to Him. There’s a Psalm David wrote that says to pour out our hearts and trust Him at all times. Be honest with God. His Word says He is our refuge. Morning will come.
- Feel the feelings. The book of Psalms is all about feelings. David in times of fear would write down his feelings. You don’t have to think others are worse than you to be grateful for the food on the table, or the roof over your head. It’s okay to feel the emotions you’re feeling.
- Process Forward. Don’t just worry about something over and over again. Take a step with it. Ask yourself what is stressing you, and how can you move forward. Journal your thoughts. Journaling can help process forward. Just like David would cry out to God in his Psalms. Write down your prayers. Tell God you need Him. There are songs that have the exact lyrics you need to hear to process forward. There are problems that will require total surrender to God to move forward.