Christian Anxiety

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            Reduce “Christian Anxiety”

                    Abide/Time
 

I recently attended a fellowship group that prompted me to do a word study.

Because the term “Abide in me” came up, that’s what I choose to dig into.
 
The discussion had the consensus that what John 15:17 says is both meaningful and true.
 
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be
done unto you."  (ESV)

But I could tell there was a problem.

While easy to give lip service to, this scripture is hard to completely believe.

We have all had experiences that would seem to be contrary to it.
 
We don’t get everything we ask for, do we?
 
This won’t be a rant about mistaking God for a vending machine.
 
The root of the problem is misunderstanding the term “Abide”.
 
The way most of us think of it is causing much anxiety that isn’t necessary. So, I hope to provide some clarity of meaning. Abiding in Christ, the vine, is so often confused with the back and forth we experience between flesh and spirit.
 
We are all too quick to say, “Well, I can’t walk in the light all the time, I have a body pulling at me.”
Looking deeper into the meaning of the word “Abide” leads us out of that error in 2 ways.

Our short-attention span, social media and fast food lives, trick us into thinking everything is either immediate, or it doesn’t exist.
 
Abide is like “Abode” in that it is where you live.
Abide carries a sense of time, over the long-haul.
 
Abide in me refers to having your life in Christ, which all of the born again have a right to.

My street address is where I live, because it is not temporary like when I’m on vacation.

It is the persistence over time that takes the emphasis away from this moment versus that moment view of abiding in Him.

Scriptures refer to your “coming in and going out” as normal daily activities.

Missing the mark is a normal daily activity, but it doesn’t change your permanent address,
does it?
 
              Anxiety
 
What drove me to write this is the desire to lessen the anxiety and stress that this misunderstanding causes. It is like the cumulative effect of being insecure in your eternal salvation.

 You know, the “saved one minute, lost the next” fear many miss-taught Christians experience. How can you ever partake of the privilege of participating in His REST living like that?

Your salvation is not hanging by the thin thread of whatever you did last. Neither is your right to abide in Jesus.
 
               Believability

That leaves us with the problem of believability. Abiding in Him means we are more interested in His will than our own. So, it stands to reason that when you ask for what is in His will, it will be granted.
 
I’m not minimizing the difficulty involved here. We might want to please our selfish desires with things like a private jet. I use an obvious example to say this…

You don’t really think God is obligated to give you just anything you ask. You know His having your best interest at heart, and the foresight of how things are going to work out, would keep foolish requests from being in His will.
 
                 Living it Out
 
Knowledge like this changes nothing unless it evokes action on your part. So how to put this into to practice is the question.
 
Consistency in awareness is the key.

Maybe the “pray without ceasing” idea should be addressed in it’s own article.

But here’s a start:

Before you even get out of bed make it a habit to ask the Lord what He wants you to do today. Knowing my own distractibility, I also ask Him to remind me throughout the day.

Try it for long enough for it to become a habit, then let me know the results you achieve. I’m pretty sure you’ll be using words like peace and rest.

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Power of Communion Book Cover

Whenever I run across a book that has had an impact on me, I like to share it with you.

Of course I hope it will impact you as well.

I always loved remembering Christ’s gift of salvation by taking communion.

I had already been freed from the mistake of thinking that communion can only take place in church, or be limited to monthly.

But it never occurred to look for more out it than that, like healing.

In remembering the price He paid at the cross, we can also be reminded of the fact that we are “healed by His stripes”.

As one who has been blessed with, and witnessed, many healings this holds special significance for me.

Reading this book will round out your appreciation for all He has done for us in other ways, as well. So, it is well worth the investment of time to read.

Please feel free to give me feedback on how you have grown from reading it.

Paul

You, US, or Them

You/Them/US

Have you noticed all the social media noise about personal pronouns? You know, the way people prefer to be referred to?

Well, this post is NOT about that!

I was listening to a podcast earlier today that gave me a new way of seeing something more simply. (Who, me?)

You or Them or Us describes the three ways a service can be delivered.

Either YOU do everything yourself, as in training that shows you how something is done, and stops there. This leaves you having to master all sorts of skills that you aren’t talented to do.

Or you let THEM do it all. (Called “Done for You” services.)

It sure would be nice to have a clean desk, so you could just do what you are best at. But the cost may be prohibitive. Especially if you are new to your venture.

The third option is referred to in the internet business as a “hybrid” service.

A Hybrid service is one where you collaborate with the expert, to meet your objectives, without doing all the work that he/she is better at than you are.

Think of the hybrid delivery method as a collaboration. No one can do the part of your mission that you are gifted to do better than you. But I’ve learned by trying to do everything myself, that there are many things I don’t do as well as others can do them.

So it looks more like this:

With the collaborative approach, you get some other very valuable advantages.

Accountability:

The biggest drawback to the do-it-all-yourself approach is lack of accountability.

Think of all the projects you’ve started but have run into an obstacle. The natural reaction is to change your focus to something where you can see more immediate progress.

Clarity:

Having an outside perspective will help you see what needs doing next, and help you be target focused.

Encouragement:

Having someone edify your efforts makes goal achievement much more likely.

(And more fun.)

So, whatever it is that you are called to do, get some help.

You may not need MY help, depending on what it is you are trying to do. But no matter what that calling may be, some level of delegation will accelerate your accomplishment.

Porn Addiction, Is it in YOUR Church?

Porn addiction, or even occasional use , is rampant in our hyper-sexualized society. Sadly, research shows that our churches are not immune. In fact, the usage of porn is nearly identical in churches as it is in the culture at large.

Think I’m exagerating?

Look at this:

I recently interviewed David Byron for my podcast, “3 Steps to Wholeness”.

He is a volunteer for the Nathan Project.net, an organization that provides tools to those who wish to eliminate this from their lives.

To get this information into the hands of YOUR church, just contact me.
Paul Silva, Founder and Mentor Paul@www.3StepstoWholeness.com
Cell – 518-232-0861

Blog – Give1st.org

Missed your invitation?

I have exciting news!

If you are reading this you have been supportive of my efforts. You also know I’ve been working on an internet based discipleship course called “3 Steps to Wholeness”.
Here’s the news, the beta launch to friends and family is going on right now.

If you didn’t get your invitation to opt-in for the emails that proceed the course it’s because I didn’t have your address. I don’t want to spam anybody, so to get the emails you need to go to this page…

https://courses.3stepstowholeness.com/SilvaRoster

Don’t worry, there is no commitment on your part. You can un-subscibe anytime.
The purpose is to get the bugs worked out before I go public with the course.

So go ahead. Opt-in and you’ll immediately get a free PDF called, “Get Your Prayers Heard”. (By yours truly)

I really look forward to hearing what you think.

Thanks, in advance. Paul

Are you a convert, or a disciple?

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, ,

There’s a big difference between a “mere” convert and a disciple.

I should first say that there is no condemnation, or even condescension, meant by what follows.

This important distinction came alive for me by reading, DiscipleShift , a book by Robert Coleman.

You might want to get a hard copy, but I used the Audible version. Here’s my brief summary of this point.

A convert has changed his mind to accept Jesus as his personal savior. Sadly, that’s often as far as it goes. Mental ascent is only the start to having an intimate relationship with Jesus.

I was there for a long time. Perhaps because the path to my conversion was primarily by logic and reason. I simply could no longer resist the preponderance of evidence.

The often quoted bit of “Christian-speak” we hear is that the longest trip is from your head to your heart. Certainly was true for me. I stayed stuck for about 20 years.

The shift from being a Christian by way of conversion only, to discipleship is huge.

Think of a disciple as one who has seen fit to submit his own will for that of the Lord. Think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Remember Paul saying without love, we are only clanging symbols.

Love starts with a decision, but grows into an attitude of heart. The life your were meant to enjoy in Christ can not be had through mere mental ascent.

Breaking through does not have to take decades. If you feel stuck in a place that is less than the full privilege of being an heir to Christ, please contact me.

I’ve discovered how to help people get unstuck in just 9 weeks.

Feel free to call me at 518-232-0861.
Or email me at psilvaslm@gmail.com.

We’ll have a chat about where you want to grow to become, and how to get there.

Murder and Riots

What follows is not a political position statement. Ready for a completely different perspective of current events?

Obviously, no right-minded person is happy about what is going on right now.

The different perspective I bring is that it highlights how people react. It got me thinking about people who take an event like this from the mindset of “an activist”.

I don’t mean rioters, but people who want to help the situation. It highlights something I learned from a book called “Sacred Pathways”, by Gary Thomas.

The premise is that there are more ways to worship than just in church. Some folks are predisposed to serve Christ by addressing social injustice. Those who are moved to take action by helping, not adding to the problem, are to be commended.

Just remember the example we are given by Jesus is motivated by love, not hate.