Anxiety is a huge struggle for everyone, even the hardest of hearts. Probably for them the most. But the key, I believe, to overcoming anxiety/fear (and I say this from experience - and very recent experience as well) - is not having bigger, more productive or even more faith. I believe the key is asking to see how big The Lord is in a certain situation. Our job is not to have more faith by, as a devotional I read this week said, confessing unbelief. I don't disagree that is a sin but I don't think all situations where we are anxious or fearful are a result of us committing the sin of unbelief.
I think, as a maturing Christian, it has to do with more about having the eyes to see Him at work. I have been heavily influenced by the study I am doing (Blackaby - Experiencing God) - radically so. I believe the mindset of continually confessing our sin of unbelief still puts the focus on us, and that is always the wrong. Romans 8:1 declares we are no longer under the law of condemnation and consistently feeling remorseful for lack of unbelief can lead us (1) to believing we can do something about it in our own power and (2) gives room for the devil to work us into a cycle of guilt and shame.
To me, the shocking part is not our unbelief. That comes with the territory of being humans with limited minds to wrap around the eternal. The shocking part, to me, is that Jesus knows we are built that way, He lived within our human constraints for 33+ years. Yet, He still loves us anyway and He has positioned Himself to be the only answer to any problem that causes anxiety for a believer.
Grace didn't come cheap but since He is working to transform us, I think He would rather us focus on Him and what He can do, rather than our meager attempts to admit the fact that we have trouble believing.
I believe worry and doubt should propel us so powerfully into His arms at the moment they appear. They should move us to seek His face -and to me that is the heart of what the possessed boy's father, in Mark 9:24, was saying. SHOW ME, Lord. I know I can't see it, I need you to show me!
Show me Lord that You are large and in charge!
This is an opportunity to go deeper - as I like to say - go vertical. Rule over your world (as I just heard Tony Evans talk about) - your emotions and feelings and see them as a trigger or signal we are to horizontal and focused on this world.
I don't believe in prayer formulas, but I do believe The Lord gives us insight into how we can see Him large and in charge. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 holds a method for this. I'll let you read it, but I'll summarize the concept I got from it:
1. Humble yourself - we can't see Him at work unless we are facedown. We have to remember who is in charge first.
2. Pray/Ask - Ask to see Him at work, talk to Him, tell Him how you feel, admit it and then ask Him to be big.
3. Seek - Look, search out His answer - in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, in service, in worship
4. Repent/Surrender - Bow to His will and however He is going to do things. Acknowledge we are not seeing things from His perspective and then ask for a revelation of Himself.
Ok - so you got me, here I was lobbying against always repenting but in the end, we have to do that. It's always part of relationship because we know we get out of hand (a lot).
I just feel strongly that we are free people and we need to ask for Him to search us and reveal any sin, at the same time, we can't let it bind and gag us again to where that's all we ever pray about - such as how little we believe Him. He knows (and there are probably other sins we have to deal with too!) :)
This are only my thoughts, to stir up conversation - mostly to dispel the power anxiety and fear have on us - one of the enemies favorite flaming arrows (and I'm discovering a generational sin in my family!). 'Do not fear', like gravity, is not just a good idea - it's the law!