D.O.R. is a term used by the Navy Seals, the Navy Flight School, and the Officer Candidate School...It means Drop On Request! When a candidate has reached their limit and cannot handle the training anymore...
And they are ready to resign their position...To admit they can't handle the load! They ring a designated bell three times to signify their decision!
Admiral William McRaven, U.S. Navy, had this comment about a D.O.R...
“It is easy to quit in SEAL training. All you have to do is ring the bell three times and you're out. You don't have to talk to anybody. You don't have to do anything. You ring the bell, you take your helmet off, you down put it, and that's it.” - Admiral William McRaven in interview with Eames Yates, May 2, 2017, 9:00 AM, https://www.businessinsider.com/navy-seal-commander-explains-how-he-learned-never-give-up-william-mcraven-2017-4
You don't normally hear anyone telling you to improve yourself by resigning your position... By quitting...But today you will see that the most Scriptural answer to one of life's toughest problems...Will actually be, "To ring that bell!" Last week we studied how relationships can be one of the biggest sources of distraction from God...
Simply because we are not following God's Plan for our relationships!
Today, we will look at what is probably the all-time BIGGEST reason for miserable lives in this room... And distant relationships with God! One that so many people in this room are probably experiencing to some level right this moment...That each of you will think I am talking to you personally! One of Satan's greatest tools in his arsenal against Christians and non-Christians alike... Is fear and anxiety!!! Many of us fight a private battle with overwhelming fear and anxiety that grips us constantly...Often completely crippling our ability to focus on work, play, people or God...Stealing our ability to function as we lose concentration, desire and hope...And just like the marital problems of last week... Often occurring in our own private hell because it is hard to admit or talk about !I believe there are at least TWO major directions from which stress can flood in and overwhelm us...One is stress over things we fear may happen which are completely out of our own control...
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)
The second is a fear of things WE CAN control, and yet we are conflicted and divided over which path to take...
James 1:8 (NKJV)
Several of the things in life which seem to top the list for people gripped in fear and anxiety are:
Think you are alone in this horrible place of anxiety and stress? Not even close! Listen to the results of a worldwide study just a few months ago, summarized in Psychology Today this year:
"In fact, worldwide stress levels have reached a new record, with the U.S. leading with some of the highest rates in the world... The percentage of Americans who experienced stress was 20 points higher than the global average... It comes as no surprise that younger Americans are having the hardest time. About 65% of people between 15 and 49 reported stress and 51% reported worry... but children have rising levels of stress and anxiety as well. Current estimates put the rates of adolescent anxiety at 32% in the U.S." - Psychology Today, Alison Escalante M.D., U.S. Leads in the Worldwide Anxiety Epidemic, Gallup reports worldwide negative experience is at a record high, Posted Apr 26, 2019, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/201904/us-leads-in-the-worldwide-anxiety-epidemic
That’s almost…7 out of 10 people 15 to 20yrs old in anxiety and fear…3 out of 10 children! Our Creator, Who knows us best... Also knows our weakness in this area! That is why the command, "Do not fear" is one of the single-most given commands in all of the Bible!!! So from the start, please acknowledge this one fact...
God never COMMANDS us to do something that we have no control over! Are there chemical and medical reasons for anxiety that require assistance and/or medication? Absolutely!! And no one should ever be embarrassed or hesitant to receive such help when needed...Anymore than I have medical help beating high blood pressure! But for the vast majority of the rest of us... It is a matter of allowing Satan and our own flesh to control our thoughts and lives! And if this is where you find yourself living right now...It is not of God... It hurts Him to see you suffering... And He DOES HAVE a BETTER WAY!
What Anxiety Has Done For You So Far?! Before we discuss how to overcome this terrible addiction...And it DOES often become an addiction! Let's first discuss all of the “benefits” worry and anxiety have contributed to our lives thus far...Can you change anything with your fear and anxiety over situations? NO! Will it add to your problems by greatly and negatively impacting...Your mental focus and effectiveness? Your mood and emotions? Your very physical health? Your ability to pray and hear God clearly? Your ability to enjoy and even help other people? Your witness to others as you live in defeat rather than faith? YES TO ALL!
And please understand this fact: The vast majority of everything you have anxiety over will never even occur!! The few things that DO occur, are usually never as bad as they seem...And can be handled much easier than feared! And God is in control of that small amount that DOES occur when it seems overwhelming!! He will give you what you need, IF and WHEN you get there...He will use it for His Glory and your reward...
SO WHY DO WE EXPERIENCE EVERYDAY... WHAT WE PROBABLY WON'T HAVE TO EXPERIENCE EVER? AND IF WE DO...IT WILL BE WITH GOD BY OUR SIDE... FOR HIS GLORY... WITH HIS POWER!
The only REAL BENEFIT to anxiety and fear is that it makes one important thing very clear about our lives... IT IS AN UNARGUABLE SIGN THAT GOD IS NOT THE CENTER AND HEAD OF YOUR LIFE!!
Did you get those three attributes? POWER... LOVE... SOUND MIND! So if we have all of these terrible repercussions from anxiety... And no benefits...Why are we having such a hard time coming out from under its influence?!
Jesus Leads The Way! Now, here is where we can all begin to praise and appreciate Jesus like no other Person in history!! We sometimes live in frustration, despair and even self-pity...Hoping God WILL HAVE SOME mercy on us in our plight!! Maybe even in anger! I have many times! But please get this...Not only is Jesus sympathetic for our us in our pain...HE IS EMPATHETIC! HE HAS EXPERIENCED EXACTLY WHAT YOU AND I FEEL WHEN WE HAVE ANXIETY... AND YES, EVEN FEAR!
If you are there… Try to fathom that God has truly, deeply felt what you are feeling! By CHOICE! We’ve talked on this subject before…But today will be different, because…If the Perfect God-Man experienced fear and anxiety even more deeply than we have...Maybe we should see how HE dealt with it... As a clue to our own struggles!
Matthew 26:37-39 (NKJV)
Mark 14:36 (NKJV)
Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
We have read this passage many times in this congregation...But please recognize the depth of what it means right now...Listen to all of the Gospels together...Jesus became sorrowful and was in severe distress...He was in literal emotional agony!! (Ever been there?!) So overwhelmed He felt He might physically die under the weight! He fell on His face to the ground, completely crushed...His capillaries literally bursting under His skin from the tremendous blood pressure He suffered from the mental anxiety! All through the Gospels at other times we see Jesus praying in confidence and power! Do you know of anytime in the Gospels where Jesus prayed for something more than once? But here... He pleads in agony... Repeatedly!!! Jesus faced unthinkable anxiety because of BOTH reasons we previously mentioned... Thoughts of what could and would happen to Him... AND because He was conflicted about His own will in the situation!
If we follow Jesus' lead...The first step to defeating anxiety and fear in your heart and mind...Is to bring it to God in heart-felt, personal prayer...Telling Him exactly how you feel! (BIGGEST!!!)
Psalms 34:3-4 (NKJV)
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
The second step...Is to RING THAT BELL!!!! QUIT! Resign your position as master of your own universe!! Think about it...Jesus WAS the Master of the Universe...But He didn't try to figure out a different way...He didn't question God, or His Plan, or His Love! He surrendered His life and circumstances to the control and will of the Father!! And asked no more questions…Pleaded no more changes... After that prayer…He rested in SURRENDER!
Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)
Thirdly... He did not try to resist His fear...He felt His fear... He admitted His fear... Suffered anxiety from the fear...BUT HE DIDN'T FOCUS ON, OR GET CONSUMED BY HIS FEAR! The goal is NOT to stop the fear from coming...The goal is NOT to pray, "Help me not to be afraid!" That is natural and unstoppable...
And the focus is still on fear! The goal is to pray, "Help me to focus on and trust YOU as I should!" The goal is to push forward, even in the fear...With A DIFFERENT FOCUS!! A focus on HIS LOVE, and HIS WISDOM... A focus on being dedicated and trustworthy to HIM! UNTIL THE FEAR IS REPLACED BY COURAGE AND RESOLUTION! THAT is how you, "FEAR NOT!"
Psalms 94:19 (NKJV)
Jesus, in reality said: "I feel like I am about to die in this anxiety..." "But I am focused on YOU, FATHER... YOUR WILL!" "I trust YOUR PLAN..."
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
Psalm 112:7-8 (NKJV)
Lastly... Jesus trusted God's Presence with Him...God's Love for Him...And God's Power to see things through His Way!! And He stood to His feet in peace, power and purpose! And walked on...Never to look back again...Never to entertain the fearful thoughts again! Ask yourself this question truly…“How BIG is your God?!” “How big is Satan?”
LISTEN! When you ring that bell...When you realize it’s not in your hands…You are NOT tapping OUT!!!
You are TAPPING IN...To the Greatest Gift God has ever given to you besides His Salvation! It is TAPPING IN to the very Presence living inside of you! And once you GRASP HE is literally walking with you... IN YOU...And you know His Plan is best...His Power is unstoppable by the likes of Satan...And whatever He calls you to... Is worth it...Is the best choice... Is the ONLY path you WANT!!! YOU will become COURAGEOUS and UNDIVIDED!!
Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
Psalm 16 is a prophetic, Messianic Psalm...Telling some of Jesus' innermost thoughts and feelings during His Crucifixion...Listen to HIS THOUGHTS in those last moments…Showing His confidence in the Trustworthiness and Presence of His Father!! YOUR FATHER!
Psalm 16:8-11 (NKJV)
There it is... Jesus' way through the anxiety so bad that made HIM sweat bloody sweat! Bring it to God in heart-felt personal prayer! RING THE BELL! Quit as Master of your own destiny!
And surrender to His Will and Plan... No matter where it takes you! Don't resist or focus on fear...But focus on God's Love and Wisdom…Focus on your dedication to Him...Embrace the Truth that you are in...
His very Presence, always...
YOU HAVEN'T TAPPED OUT...
YOU'VE TAPPED IN..
And then get up... Brush off... Don’t look back again!
And walk towards your fears in PEACE, POWER and PURPOSE for God!
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