Rabbi Schneider - A Cure to Anxiety
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I'm going to press on now to the next verse. Continuing in verse number nine, we read this: "You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.'" So think about your life, understanding that there's application for you. That the entire Hebrew Bible was not written just for the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but it was written for us also, Paul says, upon whom the end of the ages has come. That you who are once far off, Paul says to the Gentiles in the book of Ephesians, have been brought near. You are now grafted into Israel. And so this word is for you.
Listen, Lord says, "You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.'" Some of us can remember what it was like before Father revealed Jesus to us. I know that for some of you you were raised in church and you remember believing in Yeshua for as long as you can remember, and your salvation experience was just a gradual process. But for many others like me, we were in the farthest parts of the earth. We were living in darkness. We were living under the tyranny of satanic oppression. We were trapped in fear. We were addicted. Some of you were addicted to drugs, some to alcohol, some of you were addicted to all types of illicit sexual relationships. You were living in depression, walking with people that were so far away from God.
So that's what the Lord is saying. He's saying, "Consider from where I brought you from. Consider from where I redeemed you from. With an outstretched arm I delivered you out of darkness". So the Lord says to you, "You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant...'" In other words, when there was only darkness upon us, when we only felt separation from light and from life, God broke into our world and said to us, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you".
Some of you can remember that day when your world turned from darkness to light. And we should never forget that. We should never forget that. Because sometimes we can forget where we've come from and we can stop being grateful. Sometimes we just begin to take for granted what we have. You get something new in your life and you're so thankful and so grateful for it. But after a while, the newness wears off and you just take it for granted. You forget to be thankful to the Lord. But the Lord is saying to all of us, "You need to understand what I saved you out of. You need to remember where you were before I redeemed you. And you need to always stay fresh in your thankfulness to Me".
And so Father, we just want to say to you right now, thank you, Father God for these words, for reminding us that, Father, we were so lost, we were so far away, we were so much under the oppression and the tyranny of Satan and demonic powers before you redeemed us. And in the midst of that darkness, you broke in and saved us and called us Your servant, Your chosen one, and Your friend.
I remember the story of a friend of mine, a worship leader. He was going through a terrible time in life. He was a young man in his 20s, didn't know the Lord, wasn't walking with God. His girlfriend broke up with him and for some reason he just went down into a tailspin of depression. He was thinking of committing suicide. And all of a sudden, he was driving in his car one day, and the light of Hashem, the glory of Jesus broke into his world and saved him as he was driving in his car, and his life changed 180 degrees. He's running after Jesus now. And he was never the same again. He was on the road to committing suicide and yet God redeemed him and broke in, giving him a brand new future and a brand new life. And the good news is, beloved, as you and I continue to look to Him and seek Him, the Lord is going to continue to bring us into more and more realms of His glory and His light.
So let's continue on. He says, "You," he says, "whom I called from the remotest parts of the earth and said to you, 'You are My servant". What a privilege and blessing to be the servant of the Lord. We're going to serve somebody. We're gonna either serve ourself, we're going to serve man, we're going to serve sin, we're going to be the servants have some type of addiction we have or we're going to serve God. Jesus said if we will serve Him we'll be free indeed. He continues on and he says this: "Do not fear for I am with you".
When we really know... I mean, deep down we say in Hebrew and Yiddish, akishkas (our guts). When we really know deep down in our inner man that God is with us and for us, that He's gonna defend us. Like David said, "You are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You're the defense of my life; who shall I dread? When my enemies came upon me to devour my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, I will not fear. Though an army rise up against me, in spite of this, I will be confident".
When we really know that Father God is with us and will defend us, that He's going before us, that He's going to protect us, when we really know that, beloved, we're going to have such confidence, such joy, such God confidence. Many of us can recite this verse. We can go to Isaiah 41 and we can read it. "Do not fear," verse 10, "For I am with you". But do we really believe it? Isn't that the point? We can read it over and over again-The Lord tells us over 100 times, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you".
We know that Jesus said, "I am with you even to the end of the age", but do we really believe it? And if we believe it, do we know what that means? To know that the God of glory, the God of power, the God of might, the God that sovereignly reigns that He's for us, that He is for us, that He's always going to see us through. That regardless of what mountain, what challenge, what obstacle, what trial, what difficulty in life we're facing, God is with us and for us, and will always every single time overcome ascending over the trial, getting victory in the battle because God is with you and with me. We are His friend.
So the Lord says here, "You are Abraham My friend, you are Jacob My chosen one, you are Israel My servant. I am with you". This should bring joy and confidence and laughter. And we need to rebuke the spirit of unbelief. We need to break off the foul spirit of doubt. And we need to believe and affirm what God says. "I am with you. Do not be afraid". If we're afraid, it's like a foul spirit that is like a slap in God's face. Because God says, "I'm with you, do not be afraid. I've made you more than a conqueror". So the Lord continues here, "Do not fear, for I am with you". And then He says, "Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God". Listen to that again. "Do not fear, for I'm with you; do not anxiously look about for I am your God". What could this mean? What is God saying when He's saying to you and to I, "Do not anxiously look about, for I am with you"?
What He's referring to as we're looking about in the world fearful about what's going to happen, anxious about what's going to happen. We begin to have all these musings, these ponderings, these vain imaginations, these thoughts that exalt themself above the knowledge of God. And we worry about this scenario happening, we worry about that scenario happening. We worry about, you know, getting robbed. We worry about our tire getting flat on the road. We worry about getting in an accident. We worry about our children or our grandchildren. We worry about somebody breaking off a relationship with us. We worry about getting fired from our job. And the list could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on.
Lord says, "What are you doing? What are you doing? I am your God, do not anxiously look about". I remember there was a time not so long ago that I was imagining some type of fearful outcome about a situation that I was dealing with. And the Holy Spirit spoke to me audibly. When I say audibly, I just heard His silent voice say to me. And he said one word to me. As I was worrying about this potential outcome of a difficult situation I was dealing with, the Holy Spirit spoke one word to me. He spoke the word "horizontal". Now, when I say the Holy Spirit spoke to me, I want you to know... don't take it lightly. I oftentimes hear the Holy Spirit speak to me. It's like a silent voice. I can't even fully explain it. But even as we have physical ears, the Lord has also given us spiritual ears where we can literally hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
This is why Jesus said, "My sheep, hear my voice". This is why Yeshua said in the Book of Revelation, "He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches". So when we believe in the reality of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh constantly speaking to us, because he's alive and he's here, and he exists to communicate the mind and the heart of Father and Jesus to us, when we're aware of that and believe in it, we're always gonna be looking up and listening, we're always gonna be paying attention to what's going on in our inner man, we're always going to be expecting and anticipating direction and leading from the Lord.
So back to my point. The Lord said here, "Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God". I in my own life some time back, a little bit ago, was thinking about an outcome of a situation that was facing that produced anxiety in me. And all of a sudden, I heard and saw very subtly, because the Holy Spirit's voice is usually very soft and subtle, so if you're not paying attention and don't have faith, you'll miss it. But the Holy Spirit said to me this word: "horizontal". And I thought, "What is God saying"? God is saying to me, "Don't look out there. Don't look anxiously about wondering what's going to happen on the surface of the earth, in your circumstances. Don't look out fearing about what's going to happen horizontally in your circumstances". But rather the Lord was saying to me, "I want you to look up. I want your thoughts to be vertical. I want you just to have faith and confidence in me".
So the Lord says here, "Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God". In other words, God say, "Don't wonder what's going to happen. Don't ponder what may happen in your circumstances. Don't think horizontally. Don't have vain imaginations about what's happening on the surface of the earth". But rather the Lord says, "Look up and believe in Me, for I am your God, and I am with you". And I speak beloved ones, the same thing over you right now. You might be in a state where you've been worrying about something, maybe it's your health, maybe it's your finances, maybe just the devil tormenting you about something. I break that off in Jesus' name right now. Those are vain, foul thoughts. God doesn't want us to be concerned about those things. He wants us instead to look up at Him, trusting in Him, trusting in His Word.
Jesus said, "Believe in God, believe also in Me". Yeshua said, "Let not your heart be troubled". This is vertical thinking. Rather than letting our imagination run wild, opening ourselves up to fear, we bring ourselves back to the Word of God where Yeshua said, "Let not your heart, My beloved one, be troubled". We have to take responsibility to some degree. Yeshua said to us, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Believe in God and believe also in Me". And so I encourage you, my friend, to fight the fight of faith. This is spiritual warfare we're in. And the devil works through the powers of the air, through the thought realm. We need to cut horizontal thinking off. We need to stop looking anxiously about, and instead, return to our center, return to God and look up, knowing that He is with us. "Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God". The Lord continues, "I will strengthen you. Surely, I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand".
God is promising that whatever battle you're facing, He's got a hold of you, He is going to help you, and you're going to be victorious. Listen again. Surely, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Let me read it one more time because I want these words to enter your soul with fire. "Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God. I will strengthen you..." In other words, God's gonna empower you to win your battle, whatever it is. I notice in my life sometimes that when I hit a battle, when I first hit the battle, man, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I mean, I feel it in my guts. I mean, it is so terrible there's not even words to describe to you, beloved ones, how terrible it feels oftentimes when the enemy blows at me with powerful winds of darkness. It feels terrible. But you know what? A few days later, I might be facing the same exact battle. But you know what? I'm living above it now. I'm feeling God's joy now. I'm feeling God confidence now. Same battle, but I'm no longer feeling overwhelmed by it.
Now I'm feeling, beloved, fortified. Why? Because God has strengthened me. And that's what He's saying to you right now. "Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will strengthen you". He's going to strengthen you, beloved one. Whatever you're facing, Hashem, my Father God and your Father God, He's going to strengthen you. "Surely I will help you". He's going to get you through. "Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand". I want to encourage you today to think like a victor because you are a victor. The Bible says, because of Father's love for you, you are more than a conqueror. Anything that you're ever gonna face in life, anything in the future that you'll ever run into, anything that the Lord will ever permit the enemy to throw at you, you know what? You might be reeling for a moment, you might be reeling for a day or two, but you know what's going to happen?
As you continue to look to Hashem, as you continue to open your heart to Him, by crying out Him for help, He's going to strengthen you, He's going to help you, He's going to uphold you by His right hand and you're going to walk right through the enemy, and you're going to come out the other end of that thing with your hand raised in Hashem and Father God victorious and a conqueror because King Jesus loves you. And He has promised to never leave you or forsake you because you are an overcomer in Him. This is Rabbi Schneider on behalf of King Jesus saying to you today, Father loves you and me more than you and I realize right now. And He's encouraging us to be faithful to Him even unto the end of that age.