Articles

#8 – Dealing with Doubt, Fear and Guilt, in Prayer


So Eric, as we are talking about the inner
life and about prayer, how do you deal with things like doubt, or fear?
I’m talking about spiritual things now that arise in your heart while you pray.
Maybe it’s conviction of sin or whatever. Yeah.
These things that, that tend to rise to the surface when we begin to touch spiritual things.
How do you deal with them? Well for me everything is begins and ends, with adoration. If I enter Him through adoration I remain
in Him through adoration. So if I, I notice fear, anxieties coming up
in my heart, then I know what I need to do. I, I’m looking somewhere other than Him.
Fear is giving attention to something other than Him.
Anxiety is giving attention something other than Him.
So I recognize when those feelings come, that there — there are feelings internally that
come from the kingdom, and there are feeling internally that come from being apart from
the kingdom. And these doubt, fear, these things, they
have to do with not being connected to that great rule on the inside of me.
So I recognize somewhere He’s not sitting on the throne.
Somewhere I’ve taken back something from Him. So I choose right here, right now, to turn
my attention to You and worship. Worship has a way of destroying worry.
Worship has a way of destroying the scatteredness of the mind, you know.
So worship really is the submission of the mind, you know?
It’s giving everything over to God. So how do I deal with these things that pop
up constantly, or even constant temptation? You know, constantly going to Him, constantly
looking to Him, Jesus says, “He who comes to me –” and the tense that He uses is keeps
on coming. We live coming unto Jesus.
Our life of rest, which is a life free from worry, a life free from anxiety, is a life
of continually coming unto Jesus. A life that has full — it is full of doubt
and full of anxiety, is a life that does not consistently come unto Jesus.
Jesus is the answer, period. And what does that mean?
Not just knowing about Jesus, but the living individual that we live by.
He is — He’s the source of life and He is the answer to all the questions of life.
And what does that specifically mean? It means His presence and His person.
Now you used a word that I love that you used was “adoration”.
Yes. But then you — later on you used the word
“worship”. Right.
I understand you to mean those things are synonymous.
But I love the way that you use adoration instead of worship because a lot of times
when people hear “worship” they immediately think music, they think of worship service,
they think a band. And when you say “adoration” it’s a distinction.
It says, “This is not about music, this is not even about necessarily what word you’re
saying, this is a posture of the heart.” Is that correct?
Oh definitely. You see, the first mention of worship in the
scripture is Abraham. It’s the first time we see worship.
And the law first mentioned in the scriptures is, “This is what worship is.”
We see it first in Abraham’s life. There was no song, no tambourine, no drums,
no ibo, there was nothing there. It was literally just offering up the thing
that was most precious to him. It was the surrender of himself to God: “Lord,
do you want me to slay my son?” “I will go to the heights and do it.”
“I give you all that I am.” And that’s what worship truly is, adoration
truly is. Now, worship as music as a means by which
we can express our affection to God, but to confine worship to music is to enter a real,
a real deception. We don’t need music.
Music can be a means to be used, but adoration in and of itself is simply defined by what
we see in Abraham, and later defined by Paul. It is your reasonable living sacrifice.
It’s laying your life down. It is, “Lord, here I am, I give you all that
I am.” Yeah, and it’s a posture of the heart, not
necessarily — I’m making this distinction for the person that’s watching.
Yeah, sure. You’re not necessarily saying that you’ve
got to go out and obey and do something to prove adoration.
That would be the natural outflow. Right.
But in prayer the posture of your heart is one that lays everything down, one of surrender
and one of total focus on, on the presence of the Lord.
Yes, yes, the internal disposition of laying everything at His feet.
And that, you’re saying, is the key to overcoming fear, doubt, guilt, you know, all these things
that may arise. Yeah, see he’s so bright that when you look
at Him you can’t see anything else. When you enter into the cloud — I once was
coming to prayer here — at 5:00 in the morning I was driving through this city, and I — there
was such a big cloud on I-4 that when I actually got into the cloud on I-4 I forgot that I
was even in a city. If the, if I didn’t enter — if I didn’t see
the city before I went into the cloud I would have never known I was in a city because the
cloud had shrouded the city. And that’s exactly what it’s like going into
the cloud. Going into the glory of God, going into the
face of the Lord, His presence, He blinds you to all those things so that you can go
to places of the world that is scary. You can go into situations in this life that
are harsh and still be victorious, not just make it through, but actually be victorious
by the, the brightness of His face or the shrouding of His cloud.
So at the rest of being redundant, if a person says, “Look, when I go into prayer is starts
out great and then I start wondering if I’m really saved, and I start remembering things
that I did a long time ago, and I, I suffer with these things.”
“And it’s a constant torment to me.” “What is the problem and how do we fix it?”
Yeah, you just described self-consciousness. And self-consciousness is removing your attention
away from God at some point, somewhere this is where the issue was.
You turned your attention away from Him; you started thinking about yourself, your sins.
And look to Him, give Him all your attention. The moment we look at ourselves we are no
longer blinded by the brightness. We actually see, with great clarity, all the
problems. But when we will look to Him, and give Him
all of our attention that’s when the brightness blinds us.
The radiance of the face of the Son of God is all that a man needs in this life.
May that look to Him actually become the same, may become radiant, yeah.

Comment here