Can you be obedient to God? And not anxious? This pastor thinks so!

Satan wants to drive us compulsively, but God wants to draw us compassionately. Satan wants to take advantage of our compulsions and use them to drive our lives.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

If you feel overwhelmed or confused about a decision that you’re trying to make, you’re probably caught up in yourself and not God’s voice. The Bible says, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33a NIV). He is not the author of confusion. So if you’re feeling confused, guess what? It’s not God’s voice speaking in your life.

If you’re a parent, do you want your kids to feel pressure or confused when you ask them to do something? No. You want them to understand what to do and then respond in obedience. God the Father wants the same thing for and from us.

The only time pressure could be legitimate is if God’s told you to do something, and you keep saying “no.” Then the pressure does build. But there’s always peace when you say “yes” to what God’s asking you to do.

Satan wants to drive us compulsively, but God wants to draw us compassionately. Satan wants to take advantage of our compulsions and use them to drive our lives. But God is our Good Shepherd. He wants to draw us in toward himself and peace.

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Peter Lord used to say, “Ninety percent of what God wants to say to you is encouragement.” If all you ever hear from God is negative messages, something’s wrong. The wires have been crossed.

If you feel like God’s told you to do something but you have increasing anxiety because of it, then the wires are crossed. Something’s not right.

The Bible tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).

Talk It Over

  • What decision do you feel troubled or anxious or worried about? Do you believe this is something God told you to do?
  • According to Philippians 4:6-7, what do you need to do?
  • What has God told you to do that you haven’t obeyed? What has been the effect?
Rick Warren
Dr. Rick Warren is passionate about attacking what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. His goal is a second Reformation by restoring responsibility in people, credibility in churches, and civility in culture. He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist.

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