371. Abstract vs Specific Concerns

371. Abstract vs Specific Concerns

We carry many concerns in life. There are issues we cannot help but think and worry about. Pastors also worry and are concerned about their ministry. Things can be genuinely time-sensitive, and we can feel anxious and concerned at the moment. But there are times when we are not sure whether our concerns are from God or not. I had a chance to have a coaching session with Pastor Chai early this year with other house church pastors, and he gave a clear guide on this. He said,

If it is abstract, it is from Satan. If it is concrete, it is likely from God.

God always specifies what we need to do, and provides specific guides so that when we obey, there is a sense of “release”. For example, we can feel a sense of guilt that comes from God, he specifically tells us what to do or what not to do to solve it. It is called “Godly sorrow” (2 Cor 7:10) which leads to “repentance”. But our enemy puts unspecific, abstract anxiousness, fear, and guilt, which are not easily cleared or removed, no matter what we do. This is from the enemy that puts us in bondage.

For example, when we rest, Satan makes us “restless” by pointing out what else we “could be” doing. The primary emotion we feel is fear of being left behind. This restlessness doesn’t go away easily simply by doing more things. But God gives us “rest” by pointing out that our world will go fine even if we take a break. Because God is leading our lives, we don’t have to carry all the burden on our backs. We shouldn’t be lazy, but we also don’t want to allow our fear to drive us, either. We are to be led by our sense of purpose, not fear.

So, examine if you are dealing with unexplainable anxiousness, worries, or guilt. If that is so, recognize that these do not come from God but from the enemy. Reject them and ask God to specify what you need to do at the moment. God always provides a specific way for us to experience a release, whether through a new belief, new attitude or new course of action.