Jason Upton and the Antidote to Worry

So I'm really enjoying Jason Upton's Faith cd. I'm guessing I'd enjoy other ones too, but it seems like I'm kinda just locked in on that one for now. Anyway, here's a link to one of the songs if you want to start "tapping in" - as a friend calls entering the presence of God. I love the quote I heard - "If you can't tap into the presence of God with Jason Upton playing there's got to be something wrong with you." Not to insult you if, for some bizarre reason you don't enter His presence after listening for a bit, but man, this is some annointed music, imho.


It seems as Christians we like to give people lots of dos and don'ts. Do love other people. Don't be prideful. Do evangelise. Don't worry. And so on. The problem is that no one seems to ever tell anyone how or how not to do these things. I remember hearing messages where I would hear a hundred verses on how pride is bad, and I walk out of church resolute that I would not walk in pride, before realizing that I was walking in pride to think that I could beat pride by simply my determination. I've heard messages on not worrying where it becomes so hammered home to not worry that I'm worried about whether I will walk in worry again. Suffice it to say while every now and again if someone is in open rebellion they need to hear a message like that, perhaps most of the time it is a lot more of a "how" issue. How do I walk in love? I already have read 1 Cor. 13 a few hundred times. I don't think reading it one more time is going to magically make me apply it. Conviction without empowerment for change seems to me to lead only to guilt, not any true transformation.

While I won't venture to solve all of these issues at once, I'm certain that as someone really starts to scour the Scriptures the "hows" do appear. However, as with Jesus parables, generally they are not right on the surface but involve careful reading as well as complete dependence on the Holy Spirit to enable us to understand the Word of God. However, much of these "how's" tend to be linked to straight tapping in to the power source. If there is a disconnect with my relationship with God, than how is His power going to be flowing through me? Man seems too often to try to figure out in our strength and power how to do what we were never meant to do except through His power. Unfortunately, too often the things hindering people from fully being free are things they are not willing to change - like idolatry, contentment with sin because of its enticement, unwillingness to ask for forgiveness from one they have wronged due to pride, resentment, greed, lust, etc. So they wonder why the annointing is not there, and it is because of the disconnect they have created by refusal to submit to the Lord or abide in Him (and yes, I am not talking about 10 minutes, we need radical saturation with the Lord, not just a slight tweaking - I'm talking being consumed - little time with Him = little power, As Joyce Meyer has said, "the annointing goes with the love-walk").

Once one gets to the point of desperation - and I do realize people often are always here, I'm just talking about that desperation being for the Lord and freedom and not misplaced - then they are truly ready to do whatever it takes to take control of the "how". While trying the "hows" while not being connected they tend feel frustrated because they are not experiencing the results. Ah, but the Bible is true, the problem is the disconnect that needs to first be changed and then firm, resolute desperate dedication to the Lord regardless of what one is experiencing - sounds a bit like "fixing our minds on things above and not earthly things" (Col. 3:1).

Anyway, here is an example of a "how" that the Bible talks of that God blessed me with the opportunity to preach on a few weeks ago. I called it, "The Antidote to Worry."

Phillipians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Here we see that there are two mutually exclusive events, anxiousness and p,p, w/ t. There are a couple of things we should realize. #1. This is NOT a casual prayer like "God bless the meatloaf and take care of ______." This word for petition, or supplication as some versions have, is an INTENSE word. The Liberty Bible Commentary said it was "entreating, earnest pleading." It is hardly casual prayer like the type that sounds sweet and flowery but is more about sounding good to the people around then it is about talking to God. This is intense gut-level desperation to the Lord. It is militantly and boldly seeking the Lord in the situation through the power of the Spirit. When this Greek word is used elsewhere in cases of intense seeking like Luke 2:37 and 2 Cor. 9:14. Now after THIS kind of petitioning, comes thanksgiving. This kind of thanksgiving is not after the request is answered, rather it is before. It is included in with the petitioning. I'd venture to say it is the way we take thoughts captive while we trust and hope in the Lord about the circumstance. When the thought of worry comes to mind, we take it captive with truth, something like, "I thank you God for how this situation is in Your hands."

And THEN we see the answer to worry. It comes in the next verse, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It is HIS peace, not one we try to conjer up. Not the one that we try to do on our own and then give Him a token "thank you" for. No, that's man's way. God's peace "transcends ALL understanding." It guards our hearts and minds as we live in thankfulness and intense intercession over the issue.

I could give story after story of example of how this has occurred in my life, but this is getting long (feel free to ask me about them if you would like). Suffice it to say, I would say that a large chunk of answers to prayer God has blessed me with the opportunity to see have come as through God's Spirit, He enables me to do my part - p, p, w/ t - and He does what I can't do - guard me with peace and answers prayer in His time as He teaches me perseverance so that I may mature (James 1:2-4).

Oh, and here's an old school Disciple music video about this all that I just happened to be listening to.