A Sudden Panic and An Old Man’s Prayer for Deliverance - Purity 712
Purity 712 04/22/2022 Purity 712 Podcast
Today’s photo of a boat heading towards the setting sun comes to us from a friend who was vacationing in Manasota Key, Florida and shared this beautiful sight back on social media back March 28th.
As we start moving toward the setting sun of another work week it is my prayer that all my friends efficiently navigate through the work before them today and find peace and joy tonight and this weekend.
Sometimes we can be so busy with our day to day lives that we can’t find a moment’s peace and sometimes when we think we are expertly handling matters we can face sudden calamities that expose the fact that we may have been hanging on by a thin thread that suddenly gives way. Outburst of anger is a good sign we may have been not patient as we thought we were. Likewise sudden moments of fear or panic can strike when we least expect it, leaving us to wonder what in the world happened!
On Thursdays, I host a Men’s Freedom in Christ Discipleship Meeting on Zoom at 6:30Pm. I typically return home and have something to eat, review the material that will be discussed, pray, and might reach out to speak to my wife to catch up before the meeting demands my time.
Yesterday, I was pleased to see that the mt4Christ247 podcast had reached the milestone of 6,000 downloads and wanted to thank the listener’s of the podcast with an announcement both on mt4christ.org and on the podcast itself. So when I returned home, I scrambled to produce, update, and share those messages before preparing dinner and having the meeting. But I got it done. I was a little harried but moved on to the next thing: to get dinner ready.
Believe me, it was nothing elaborate, I just had to reheat some left overs in the microwave and I would be good to go. So I through the food, some leftover turkey and gravy into the microwave and proceeded to use the bathroom.
Lately, I had noticed that the bathmat near my bathroom sink had been damp, really damp. In my busy life, I had assumed that my adult children had inadvertently caused this somehow and ignored it. But yesterday, I decided to investigate the dampness and to discover its source because my kids may not be the neatest kids in the world but even they usually keep the water in the sink.
So I looked at the pipes underneath the sink and realized that a good deal of corrosion was on the hot water pipe leading up to the sink. I was concerned but sort of hoped it was just condensation or something. But I decided to feel the pipe to see if I could find out where this “condensation” was coming from. And of course, my touching the pipe caused some of the corrosion to break free and suddenly, what was a couple of drips turned into a small but steady stream of a leak in the pipe.
Alarmed I ran into the basement to turn of the water flowing to that pipe and after a few moments of confusion turned off the water main and isolated which shut offs fed that particular pipe. So the leak was stopped. Not too long ago we had a similar issue with the bathroom sink’s drainage pipe, which needed to be swapped out. That repair caused my to buy some plumber’s putty. So I hoped that I could use the putty to seal this leak but the putty just got wet and wouldn’t really adhere to the pipe in anyway that gave me confidence that it would stop a leak of a pipe that had the pressure of flowing water behind it.
So I texted my daughter, Haley who works at Lowe’s to bring me home “plumber’s tape or putty” to seal the pipe. Things were a little harried but I was handling the situation and working out a solution.
But suddenly, I had what felt like an allergic reaction, as panic just flood my mind and body and causing my heart to race and sweat to just pour out of me. One minute I was fine and the next minute I am feeling light headed and just surreal as an overwhelming oppression of “all things going wrong” or impending doom cloud my emotions.
I texted my daughter to tell her I was having a full blown panic attack and that I had to just stop and relax. I was so overwhelmed by “the sweats” that I stripped down to my underwear and just sought comfort from this “hot flash” by grabbing the food I prepared in the microwave and some water and went to my room to sit down.
My panic turned my thoughts to my wife and I reached out to her via facebook messenger to let her know that I was a panic attack to inform her and to be comforted by her presence.
I sat down took some deep breaths, had some water, ate some food and slowly the panic and sweats dissipated and I became cold as I was sweat evaporated and I was sitting in my underwear. So I got dressed, combed my hair and thanked my wife for her presence and love as everything returned to normal.
My theory in this “panic attack” is that it may have been spiritual in nature. Although I was under stress when it happened, I was also preparing to lead a Christian discussion that would help others mature in their faith.
In my past experiences with recovery ministry, I had noticed that the strangest things seemed to happen on “recovery ministry Thursdays” that would cause people to miss the meetings. Car accidents, illness, injuries, relapses, relationship strife and even a murder where all incidents that I had witnessed on Thursday nights that I truly suspect where possibly caused or influenced by the spiritual forces of darkness.
Dr, Neil Anderson’s work as a Christian Counselor and his development of the Steps to Freedom in Christ was all inspired by the presence of disturbance in people’s lives that were neither mental or biological but were resolved when his clients proclaimed and confirmed their faith in Christ, renounced demonic or occult associations, sought and gave forgiveness to others, and repented of their sins.
Negative mind states, nagging thoughts and “voices”, and unexplained physical maladies have all been cured by the application of the Steps to Freedom in Christ demonstrating that there really is power in the name of Jesus and that there is an enemy who is to be resisted.
So when this panic attack, came rushing in I took some normal means to relax but when I realized that this episode might be spiritual I informed the enemy that this little episode was not going to prevent me from holding that meeting. After I made that intention clear, the panic was “cast out” completely with ten minutes left to spare.
While my coping mechanisms were working to calm myself, after I renounced the enemy’s attack and confirmed my intention to continue to serve the Lord, my state returned to normal as if it had never came at all.
I began the meeting calm cool and collected but as part of the teaching was about choosing to believe the truth of God’s word as a means to experience and maintain our freedom in Christ, I testified about the panic attack to they guys in the group to let them know that A: I was only human, B: There was a possible spiritual cause to this affliction, and C: our faith is enough overcome all the problems the world, the flesh, or the devil would like our way.
The simple disciplines of gratitude, reminding ourselves of who we are in Christ, and keeping a continual conversation with the Lord going through living in His presence and reaching out to Him in prayer lays the foundation for a disciple’s lifestyle, for walking in the Spirit. And we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit manifests in our lives. We can have peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control when we practice our faith.
Another one of those spiritual disciplines of a Christian disciple’s life is Bible Study. It’s a discipline that helps us grow spiritually and gives us the truth that we can stand on. This morning I got something good that I want to share.
While I usually choose the NKJV as the Bible I turn to and recommend, currently I am going through the NASB as the John MacArthur Bible Commentary I wanted to study is based on that version. As I pointed out previously the NASB has some titles for the psalms that seem to be unique to that version. Today’s study of Psalm 71 revealed that the NASB refers to this psalm as a “Prayer of an Old Man for Deliverance”.
While I am not necessarily an old man, at 49 years old I am no spring chicken either, so that heading could apply to me. But the descriptive heading is not makes the Psalm. It’s the content, the words, their meaning, and the heart of worship behind the words that make a psalm something we can apply to our situations, to our faith walk.
Psalm 71 may make some mentions that indicate it is for a more mature believer but the way that it describes the heart of a disciple who only seeks to trust in, rely on and praise the Lord their God makes this psalm transferable to disciples of all ages. So as we seek to enter this last day of the work week, I will recite it to inspire us all to keep walking and talking with God, from the NKJV, which is some publications, titles this Psalm as “God the Rock of Salvation”:
God the Rock of Salvation
1 In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame.
2 Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
3 Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
6 By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
7 I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
11 Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord God;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
17 O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
19 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.
22 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.
Let’s thank God it is Friday. And let’s keep walking and talking with God and always choose to stand on the Rock of our Salvation.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
John 15:26 (NLT2)
26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.
Today’s Bible verse are the words of Christ that promise the coming of the Holy Spirit and how He will be our advocate by leading us to know and apply the truth about Jesus Christ to our lives.
Other Bible versions call the Holy Spirit – the Helper- and that’s what He does. Although there are spiritual disciplines that will edify us and help in our growth process as Christians, it is important to remember that our faith isn’t just a philosophy of life. Our faith is a spiritual reality and deals with the spiritual world.
The world, the flesh, and the devil will do their part to prevent us from being reconciled to God or to be effective in sharing the message of Jesus Christ through deception, temptation, condemnation, and accusation. There is a spiritual battle going on to keep us in the dark.
Christ knew we would need help that went beyond just our spiritual disciplines, that without God could be nothing more than coping mechanisms or hobbies. The thing that makes our disciplines spiritual is the presence of and interaction with the Holy Spirit.
That’s why we should pray before we read the Bible. The Spirit of Truth will reveal to us the truth of God’s word and make it become meaningful and alive to us. The Holy Spirit helped us at our salvation when He caused us to see the truth about Jesus because He “testified of” Him.
God’s Spirit confirms to our spirit that we are children of God, Christ is the Messiah, and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
So thank God the Father and Christ the Son, for sending us the Advocate, the Helper, our constant companion, friend, and God: the Holy Spirit. If you put your faith in Christ, He indwells you and can guide you in the way you should go. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and bring things into remembrance to show us the way. So listen to His voice and accept the help that He was sent to give.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” .
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase John Pipers’ books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
I Love the Vision of Louie Giglio
One of the inspirations behind this book was my participation in the conferences for college students and young adults called Passion ’97, Passion ’98, Passion ’99, OneDay (2002), and OneDay03. Under Christ, the spark plug behind these worship and mission-mobilizing gatherings was Louie Giglio. He is calling young people to make a “268 Declaration.” The number comes from Isaiah 26:8—“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts” (niv). The first statement of the “Declaration” says, “Because I was created by God and for His glory, I will magnify Him as I respond to His great love. My desire is to make knowing and enjoying God the passionate pursuit of my life.”
This vision of life holds out to students and young adults so much more than the emptiness of mere success or the orgy of spring break. Here is not just a body, but a soul. Not just a soul, but a soul with a passion and a desire. Not just a desire for being liked or for playing softball or collecting shells. Here is a desire for something infinitely great and beautiful and valuable and satisfying—the name and the glory of God—“Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
This accords with everything I wrote in the last chapter and applies it to the upcoming generation. This is what I live to know and long to experience. This is virtually the mission statement of my life and the church I serve: “We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.” You don’t have to say it like I say it or like Louie Giglio says it. But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.
The Man Whose Single Passion Made All Else Rubbish
You will be like the apostle Paul, as we saw earlier, when he said that he wanted to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. Nobody had a more single-minded vision for his life than Paul did. He could say it in many different ways. He could say: “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). One thing mattered: “I will not waste my life! I will finish my course and finish it well. I will display the Gospel of the grace of God in all I do. I will run my race to the end.”
Or he could say, “Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7–8). One thing matters: Know Christ, and gain Christ. Everything is rubbish in comparison to this.
What is the one passion of your life that makes everything else look like rubbish in comparison? Oh, that God would help me waken in you a single passion for a single great reality that would unleash you, and set you free from small dreams, and send you, for the glory of Christ, into all the spheres of secular life and to all the peoples of the earth.
Christ Crucified, the Blazing Center of the Glory of God
With a prayer to that end, I take up again where I left off in the last chapter. There I said, “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain.” What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.
I argued in Chapter 2 that God created us to live for his glory, and that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. We magnify God’s worth the most when he becomes our only boast. And I concluded that chapter with a claim that his glory can only be seen and savored by sinners through the glory of Jesus Christ. Any other approach to God is illusion or incineration. If we would make much of God, we must make much of Christ. His bloody death is the blazing center of the glory of God. If God is to be our boast, what he did and what he is in Christ must be our boast.
The Shocking Summons to Boast in a Lynching Rope
In this regard, few verses in the Bible are more radical and sweeping and Christ-exalting than Galatians 6:14: “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Or to state it positively: Only boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. This is a single idea. A single goal for life. A single passion. Only boast in the cross. The word “boast” can be translated “exult in” or “rejoice in.” Only exult in the cross of Christ. Only rejoice in the cross of Christ. Paul says, Let this be your single passion, your single boast and joy and exultation. If you understand me—and I hope you will before we are done—you will know why it does not contradict but confirms all I have written in Chapter 2 when I pray for you, the reader, May the one thing that you cherish, the one thing that you rejoice in and exult over, be the cross of Jesus Christ.
For Paul to say that we should boast only in the cross of Christ is shocking for two reasons.
One is that it’s like saying: Boast only in the electric chair. Only exult in the gas chamber. Only rejoice in the lethal injection. Let your one boast and one joy and one exultation be the lynching rope. “May it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No manner of execution that has ever been devised was more cruel and agonizing than to be nailed to a cross and hung up to die like a piece of meat. It was horrible. You would not have been able to watch it—not without screaming and pulling at your hair and tearing your clothes. You probably would have vomited. Let this, Paul says, be the one passion of your life. That is one thing that is shocking about his words.
The other is that he says this is to be the only boast of your life. The only joy. The only exultation. “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” What does he mean by this? Can he be serious? No other boast? No other exultation? No other joy except the cross of Jesus?
What about the places where Paul himself uses the same word to talk about boasting or exulting in other things? For example, Romans 5:2: “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:3–4: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Second Corinthians 12:9: “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” First Thessalonians 2:19: “What is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?”
“Boast Only in This” Means “Let All Boasting Be Boasting in This”
So, if Paul can boast and exult and rejoice in all these things, what does Paul mean—that he would not “boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”? Is that just double-talk? You exult in one thing, but say that you are exulting in another thing? No. There is a very profound reason for saying that all exultation, all rejoicing, all boasting in anything should be a rejoicing in the cross of Jesus Christ.
Paul means something that will change every part of your life. He means that, for the Christian, all other boasting should also be a boasting in the cross. All exultation in anything else should be exultation in the cross. If you exult in the hope of glory, you should be exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in tribulation because tribulation works hope, you should be exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in your weaknesses, or in the people of God, you should be exulting in the cross of Christ.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ps 71.
 John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 47–51.