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Reversing Anxiety Consequences, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2021 7:00 am

Reversing Anxiety Consequences, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 26, 2021 7:00 am

Even though we know that worry does nothing but eat us up inside, sometimes we cannot seem to stop. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he explains how easily anxiety can turn into a trap and spells out how that stronghold can be broken.

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If you are consumed by worry, you don't understand God.

You don't understand His nature and you don't understand His providence. Dr. Tony Evans spells out God's plan for overcoming anxiety. When you have one master and he's first, worry does not have to be the controlling element in your life. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.

People passing the scene of an accident often can't resist the urge to stare. Well today, Dr. Evans explains why we often do the same thing with our problems and reveals how to shift our focus to something healthier. Let's turn to Matthew chapter 6 as we join him. Three times we're commanded in this passage not to worry. Verse 25 says, For this reason I say to you, do not worry. Verse 31 says, Do not worry then. Verse 34 says, So do not worry. Three times there is a command not to worry. Therefore, to worry is sin. If something is a command and you disobey it, it's called sin. Most people do not look as wary as sin.

They look at it as natural. Look at it as something that is legit given the circumstances that I am facing. Yet, the Lord in this passage gives a command and He couples the command with this statement, O ye of little faith, you believe I can take you to heaven, you just don't believe I can cover you on earth. You believe I'm good for eternity, but I'm insufficient for time. Well, He says in introducing this section, For this reason, and then He tells you don't worry. For this reason. So before He tells you don't worry, He says there's a reason.

So you can't understand not to worry unless you understand the reason. So He says for this reason, which means we have to back up a few verses, and in verse 22 this is what He says, The eye is the lamp of the body, so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.

If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth, because one of the big worries of life has to do with resources. He says if you want to get over worry, you got to get rid of one of your masters. Worry will track you down if you've got more than one master. He says if you've got God over here and something else in control over there, since the definition of worry is to be torn in two, and you've got two different masters going in two different directions, then they will keep you worried because they will keep you torn.

One of the reasons why we stay worried is we stay divided between masters. He says you cannot serve two masters, and when you do, you will be worried because you will be divided. He says if you are consumed by worry, you don't understand God. You don't understand His nature, and you don't understand His providence, and you don't understand His priorities.

Notice what he says in verse 25. He says, I say to you, don't worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or as to your body as to what you will put on, is not life more than food and body more than raiment. He says folks get worried about the wrong thing. You get worried about what you are gonna eat. You ought to be worried about whether you're gonna get up to eat anything, because life is more than food. You worried about food, but you are alive, because if you don't have life, you don't have to worry about food.

So if you have life, you can assume food. He says the body is more than raiment. The body is more than clothes. We worry about old clothes, new clothes, torn clothes, sewed up clothes. We worry about clothes. He says you're worried about the wrong thing.

You need to worry about whether your body is intact to put your arms through those sleeves. What I have discovered is, at the core of this thing of worry, is we really don't know who we're dealing with. We have lost the awe of God. God is a great person up in the sky somewhere. We don't know who we're dealing with. And because our view of Him is so small, we worry when there are things in our lives that are out of our control. I am not suggesting that life does not get hard.

I am not suggesting that. We all know better than that. Jesus said in John 16 33, in this world you will have tribulation, but then He gonna bounce right off of that and say, be of good cheer.

Say, what? You just told me I'm gonna—I can expect trouble, and then you're gonna tell me, cheer up and sing. When we understand, when God allows trouble in our lives—I'm not talking about trouble we create now. I'm talking about trouble that He allows that would create the insecurity that drives us from concern to worry, that what He is creating in your situation is an opportunity to see that He's God. So the next time you are tempted to worry, you must now look at that as an opportunity for God to let you see how much God He is. Paul put it this way in 2nd Corinthians chapter 1. He said, God gave us a great ordeal of affliction, so we were down to the point where we didn't even know whether we were going to live.

It got that bad. But then he adds a phrase, and He did it so that we could see He is the one who raises the dead. He did it so He can let us see He's God. You ever notice in the Bible all the time Jesus would lead His disciples into a storm? And they said, carest thou not that we perish? Don't you care?

You sleeping and we're struggling out here? Oh ye of little faith. When worry is seeping in, that is a call to faith in the midst of the legitimacy of the concern. So what do you do?

What do you do? Verse 32, for the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. When you worry, you have now joined the ranks of pagans. The Gentiles, the non-believers, the pagans, He says they break their necks, mismanage their priorities, because they got to make it happen themselves. They seek. They seek to control it.

Why? Because they are their own gods. But you got a daddy, your Heavenly Father.

God gets insulted when we question His capacity, His ability, and His intentionality to cover the needs of His people. Now I'm not talking about every want. I'm not talking about every desire. He's talking about He knows you need these things. He's talking about the needs of life. He says, stop being pagans because He says, I'm talking about your daddy. But your daddy has also got to be your master. You can't be divided.

You can't have divided loyalties. I love Jeremiah 17, 7, and 8, because He says, God will keep you from worrying in a drought. A drought is when there is no rain, so there is no growth.

A drought is when the work stops, when the pink slips are being handed out. He says, He will keep you from worrying in a drought. He says, stop acting like the heathen.

So what do I have to do? Verse 33, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. The key word is first.

First. There are some things God can't do, okay? God can't sin, okay? We all agree God can't do that. He can't sin, okay?

But let me tell you something else God can't do. He can't be second. He can't be number two.

You put Him in the back of anything in your life and you just lost Him. Not if He's God. You can't have God and Him number two.

See, He can't be second. That's why references to God are always first. Seek ye first the kingdom of God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart. That's the first commandment. You got first. Give the God the first day of the week. First, first, first, first, first, first, first. Because He doesn't know how to be second. And the moment you make Him second, He says, well you can have the other thing completely. Because I'm not a number two kind of God.

Who else you know create universes? Dr. Evans will share a time management secret for overcoming anxiety when we return in just a moment. Stay with us. Words cannot express my gratitude to God for His faithfulness. Who would have thought He would have taken this urban kid out of Baltimore, Maryland, given him the opportunities, allowing me to earn a doctorate degree and to build a church ministry that would model what we've been doing nationally and internationally through this ministry, that He would build up and give us a staff who are committed to getting this truth out, reaching hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people with the truth of God in all manner of ways, and to impact individuals and families and churches and even communities with the worldview of the kingdom agenda, the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God of every area of life. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us to keep us being able to get God's truth into a needy world. I praise God for 40 years of His favor on us. And as we continue to celebrate God's 40 years of faithfulness to and through the ministry of the Urban Alternative, I wanted to let you know about Tony's new book that explores what it takes to turn your life in a whole new direction.

Even if you've spent years struggling in the areas of financial responsibility or substance abuse or issues that he's been confronting today like worry and anxiety, you'll be able to discover how to reverse those flaws and failures that you thought were irreversible. The book is called U-Turns, Reversing the Consequences in Your Life, and it was designed to perfectly complement Dr. Evans' current teaching series. For a few more days, we're bundling the book and all 12 audio messages in the U-Turns series on both CD and digital download, and sending them to you is our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help continue Tony's ministry. Just visit TonyEvans.org to get the details and make the arrangements. And if you want to explore the subject of spiritual turnarounds even further, or perhaps prepare yourself to lead others in these life-changing truths, be sure to look into the companion Bible study and DVD kit Dr. Evans has prepared to accompany the U-Turns book and audio messages. Again, that's TonyEvans.org or let one of our resource team members help you day or night at 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222.

I'll have our contact information for you again after part two of today's lesson and this. We have a common enemy, racism, and now we have a sensitivity in the society to respond. But Dr. Tony Evans says only a biblical response will do. God created the races. He has explained how He wants the races to work. Tony's book, Oneness Embraced, attacks racism at its roots and points out the path toward reconciliation. Even gives a plan for how any community can see transformation take place.

Oneness Embraced, available now at TonyEvans.org. One of the reasons why we're not seeing more of God is He is somewhere down the line when we get to Him. When I have enough time, when I have enough money, when I have enough patience, when I have enough this, when I have enough, we get around to it later and worry all along the way. Seek ye first primacy, priority, the rule and the standards of God as your priority.

And then He closes with this zinger, and it is a zinger, because it's so hard to do. He says in verse 34, So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Well yeah, God, you can say all that.

You God. Okay. We are troubled by the problems of the past. We are troubled by the struggles of the present, and we are troubled by the uncertainty of the future.

All those, and sometimes we trouble about all three at the same time. He says, I need to teach you, the Lord says, how to manage time. Most of us are crucified between two things, yesterday and tomorrow. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Okay, and I know I missed somebody with that one. Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. So yesterday you were worried about today, but you're making it today, even though you worried about it yesterday, which is the tomorrow that you were worried about yesterday, when you were worried about today.

I know you got to graduate from high school to get that, but you ever notice when you worried about tomorrow, when you get to tomorrow, then you're worried about the next tomorrow? He says, when it comes to living, you have to learn to do it one day at a time. Lamentations 3, 22, and 23, His mercies are new every day. And let me put it this way, He's not going to give you tomorrow's mercy today. Today He's going to give you for today.

There are people in countries—you take Syria, you take Mosul in Iraq—and they're just glad to make it one more day. They can't be planning for the future, planning for retirement. God believes in planning. He believes in planning for the future, inheritance and all that, but you got to live today.

And if God has been faithful today, you got something to sing about, even if you're unsure about tomorrow. Now, what this means is that you got to hang out with people who are going to make the heavenly more important than the earthly. See, worry is like hanging out with other warriors, you know, because it makes them feel better about their worrying.

In fact, warriors like to hang out with people who are more warriors than they are so that they feel better about their worrying. It's like the guy or the woman who took her husband to the psychiatrist, and she said, my husband crazy. He said, what's wrong? He said, he crazy.

As he said, what's wrong? The man thinks he's a chicken. Your husband thinks he's a chicken. He thinks he's a chicken. Well, have you told him he's not a chicken?

No, because I need the eggs. See, you need to be talking to folk who are not as crazy as you are. In other words, you need to talk to folk who are going to—okay, come back, come back—you need to deal with folk who are going to take you to the spiritual. You don't need folk who are going to just rehearse your worrying with you. And, you know, one of the worst phrases in the world is you worrying and somebody come to you tell you, stop worrying. Well, if I could do that, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, right? You need somebody who will take you higher so that you can see that when you have one master and one father and he's first, worry does not have to be the controlling element in your life.

Now, here it is. When you are tempted to worry, as we all are, that is a very natural thing to do. When you—if you get laid off from a job, they're going to raise a question. It's going to raise a question in your mind, and yes, there will be concern. That is not what's being condemned here. Worrying is where that concern now owns you.

So here it is. Whenever you are tempted to worry, that is an automatic, immediate invitation to pray. On the spot, when worry shows up, you have then got a formal invitation in writing to pray.

If you don't believe me, all you need to read is Philippians 4, 6, and 7. Be anxious for nothing, but with prayer supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known under God. This is not a prayer in the morning only. This is a prayer whenever worry shows up its ugly head, God has just said, you and I need to have a conversation right now.

Excuse yourself. Go to the restroom. Close your eyes and just have a mental conversation with God.

Drive along and let people think you crazy while you're talking to yourself. But whenever the temptation is to worry, that is the invitation to pray. And guess what he says? And when you come to me, come with thanksgiving. I want you to give thanks in the midst of your request. And then he says, and the God of peace will meet you in that space. If you are consumed by worry, you don't understand God. Psalm 55 22 says, cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.

He will meet you in that place. Dr. Evans says your ability to do that may depend on what you do with one little word, and he'll come back to tell us what that is in just a moment. First though, I wanted to remind you that you can request your own copy of Tony's current teaching series, U-Turn, Reversing Spiritual Consequences. As I mentioned earlier, all 12 life-changing lessons in this powerful two-volume collection are available, along with his brand new book, U-Turns, for a limited time as our gift when you make a donation to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. The alternative is a completely listener-supported ministry, so we rely on your generosity to keep these messages coming your way each day. Visit tonyevans.org to make your donation and request your copy of the U-Turns series, and be sure to take a look at the U-Turns Bible Study and DVD Kit. This package makes a great addition to your personal study and includes tips and teaching guides for leading others in the study of how God can redeem the bad choices they've made in the past. Again, drop by tonyevans.org today or call our Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by to help with your request day and night. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. The world works overtime to sell us its broken version of sexuality, but tomorrow Dr. Evans will confront what our culture is saying with solid biblical truth as he brings us a message called Reversing Sexual Consequences.

Right now, though, he's back with a final challenge for today. So here's what I want you to do, all of us, me, you, us. We need to change the place we put B-U-T, because here's what we normally do. I trust God, but you don't know what I'm going through, girl. I love the Lord, but I don't know how I'm gonna pay these bills. I know He's able, but, but, you know, I'm gonna throw in the towel. No, let's start.

Let's try this again. I don't know how I'm gonna make it, but my God said He would meet all my needs according to His riches and glory. I'm sure struggling, but He's able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or think. I am so frustrated, but I've never seen the righteous or there's He begging bread. You got to put God in His rightful place, not reacting to you, but you reacting to Him, and when you start reacting to Him, then you'll see heaven, visit earth, eternity, visit time, you'll see God, visit you, and you can toss worry aside while you deal with your concern. Somebody ought to praise Him up in here, up in here. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-31 06:57:08 / 2023-12-31 07:05:35 / 8

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