Leaning Life – Anxiety Free

woman leaning on man

OK, so I have rooted around in the fire to see that anxiety is thinking apart from God. That anxiety is making laws to support my wayward thoughts. And I suffer from the due guilt for such a path. So how do I get off the rails on this crazy train? Live Leaning!

I’ve learned to lean which appears to be a life-long lesson. I can tell you that I have been transformed from a hysterical man. As I stated, I deeply struggled with being anxious. But our faithful Lord ever looks to eradicate any fear, doubt, worries and anxiety that plagues us. He wants us to live leaning.

A while back in one of my post about anxiety (True Confessions), I spoke of leaning as it related to Brother Lawrence and John the disciple. I believe Brother Lawrence called this place of leaning, Practicing the Presence of God.  And he describes this place as “the bosom of God, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.” Brother Lawrence also reveals his peace and freedom from anxiety in leaning. Oh, his book always makes me hungry to walk even deeper in a life unsullied by anxiety.

Experiencing Leaning

Experiencing Leaning
Let me tell you an experience I had one day.  Martha and I were visiting missionaries in Honduras, and I had the opportunity to sit alone on a porch in a paradise.  Not only was I in a lush tropical farm, but I was also experiencing stillness at my core.  I just wept as I realized that this was not where I lived daily. And I think it was an experience given to me by God to know there was a place I could go. The vibration in my chest was gone for an hour or so. I had NO anxiety. What a blessed place, it was HIM!

So what does the scripture say about leaning? Well the Amplified Bible defines faith like this: “leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.”

Is anxiety just the antithesis of this? I believe so!  Anxiety is just the leaning of the entire personality on myself, trusting confidently in my power, wisdom and goodness. Laid out like this, I see completely why the body is ravaged with fear. As I said, like a meth addict, hulled out and left void.

Jesus said He trusted Himself to NO man but “I” trust myself. Oops!  He said, there is none good but One, but “I” believe my knowledge will suffice to bring about goodness. Yikes!

Here is the resolve: lean, trust and confidently rely on Him, not me! I have to wait for His defining of ALL situations. And the solution, HIM!

In my next post I will state what this looks like.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

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    • Susan

      And let’s not forget the dastardly sin of unbelief. Good post John.

    • Stephen

      “Not only was I in a lush tropical farm, but I was also experiencing stillness at my core. I just wept as I realized that this was not where I daily lived. And I think it was an experience given to me by God to know there was a place I could go. The vibration in my chest was gone for an hour or so. I had NO anxiety. What a blessed place!”

      I want to learn to run to that place of stillness at my core, and NO ANXIETY in any situation! We can understand that Jesus will never leave or forsake us, but do we really believe, in the middle of the storm, that His Power is there to act in our own behalf at that time!
      Thank you for your post John!

    • Sandy

      These words are gold… Proverbs3:5,6 have been a precious word to me since early on in my life so I’m very interested to hear what you have to say…

    • Sam


    • Pauline

      That sounds like the “little” child Jesus calls us to be. Reminded me, also, of “Rees Howells Intercessor”–and how the Holy Spirit had to keep ‘pulling him through’ time and time again in the early years of his surrender, to let go of money, the love of man, appetite, his own child, etc. for the purposes of God. Talk about trusting! I love Christ’s humility in you, John [the Lamb of God, “shorn”]. Thank you for bringing His Light!

    • Tina

      The timing of this was in great detail. Yesterday, I was driving with my infant grandson and ponder the undercurrent of anxiety that I became aware had been my state all day and John’s message yesterday. Concerns about the health of one of my adult children and a sense of dramatic changes coming upon me (again) came to the surface. I asked the Spirit for the Father’s perspective and I was able to remember that my children also have a cross to bear and I must stand in grace and faith not fear for them, believing that their cross will lead them to know God. Then I began to sing Prov. 3:5-6 to my grandson and my faith soared as I pondered many possible trials and crosses ahead. I determined to believe God, period.
      This morning I started to read today’s blog and received a phone call with news of a major loss that will bring about change. This is a repeated cross that I have faced with roots of great fear since childhood. This time I hardly felt a twinge of fear. I responded with faith and love and have not wavered.
      After the call I read the blog and was very encouraged. Before I even got to the end I recalled the time of preparation yesterday and began to sing Prov. 3:5-6 again. I them scrolled down to the end and saw the same scripture. What wonderful grace and confirmation that God is with me, He is victorious and I can completely rest in Him!

    • Barb


    • tammy

      Trust! Yes, Trust!
      As I’ve been following the blogs and posts concerning anxiety, I have been so impressed with the issue of trust – or the lack of Trust. As is often pointed out, all of our sin is against God Himself. The presence of anxiety in my life should be alerting me to seek the gift of repentance. Thankfulness..confession….repentance…forgiveness…deliverance (from anxiety)…”the peace that surpasses all understanding.” Every time I experience anxiousness – I need to stop! and ask Him to reveal the root of my anxiety. (At one time in my life this happened over and over daily) For me, I need also to pray that He provide the trust necessary to carry me through “leaning” totally on Him. Fleshly trust fails at some point, every time. The very first thing I hear when I cry out in my state of anxiety is, “Be anxious for nothing…” I also need to be willing to hear His Truth about why I’m anxious. Why would He share something with me knowing I don’t want to hear it? Every time He allows me to be anxious (in the big and small things of life) it’s an opportunity to experience another level of His peace. I praise Him for every anxious moment!

      “Be anxious for nothing,
      but in everything by prayer and supplication,
      let your requests be made known to God;
      and the PEACE OF GOD
      which surpasses all understanding,
      will guard your hearts and minds
      through Christ Jesus.”
      Philippians 4:6-7 (emphasis mine)

      May God bless you lavishly John. This time of year can be one of the most anxious for so many. Your Blog is perfectly timed (as always 😉 )

      Keeping All of You close to my heart, missing you every day!

      • shulamite

        “Fleshly trust fails at some point, every time.” For sure, it can’t be a work of the flesh, that is way to fickle, like a shifty deal maker. I think your point is perfect, Stop and ask. God knows our heart and is up to the task of leading us in Peace.

        Bless you Tammy, my sister indeed! Your comments are always so heartfelt and encouraging. Love you, miss you too and Merry Christmas, if I don’t get to tell you before. How is Harry doing?

        • tammy

          Harry is so well! Toward the end of October – with no concrete cause for the months of illness – he was well and remains so. He went back to work trotting the glob and hadn’t stopped until just a day ago. As always, I am in awe of the mighty power of prayer (and leaning).
          Thank you for asking and especially for all of the prayers.

    • Alex

      It struck me as I read this that it reminds me a lot of Pilates. In Pilates I’m instructed to LEAN forward to stand correctly, which feels awkward to me. Like I’m going to fall. To do many of the exercises the object is to LEAN until you find your balance. All of this results in strengthening your core. The stronger your core becomes the more relaxed and easy the leaning becomes. Soon you are able to balance and do exercises that require great strength. And what previously felt awkward begins to feel good. It begins to feel natural.
      Does that make sense? The crazy thing is that the more you do it, the better you feel and you want to KEEP doing it. As you develop you never stop leaning. In fact, you get stronger and you tend to depend on your other muscles more. But then, the instructor corrects you and says, “No, you are using your (arms, legs, whatever). You can’t do that. You need to lean deeper.”

      • shulamite

        What a cool visual! Yes, for sure. “The crazy thing is that the more you do it, the better you feel and you want to KEEP doing it. As you develop you never stop leaning.” This is how it has been for me with leaning on the Lord. At first it was crazy scary and then I felt more at ease doing it, and I wanted to KEEP doing it. Great analogy Alex! Love you and if I don’t see you before Christmas, bless you and your family! Big love!

    • Wanda

      I see a picture in my mind of a small child leaning on his mother’s leg in the midst of a lot of frightening crowd of people and lots of noise. A picture of true safety. “Under His wings, I am safely abiding.” Love and Merry Christmas if I don’t “see” you before. Blessings to all.

      • shulamite

        Perfect, utterly dependant and vulnerable. This is the child, the child of the Kingdom. And here we are save and secure! Bless you, love you and Merry Christmas to you Wanda!

    • Helen

      Christ, the one determining factor in everything. Lord of the Sabbath. Nothing is ever to be turned into a law…so we can weigh it..to ‘prove’ we’re ‘good’ or to find a loophole?! All is for Christ, by Christ, in Christ…is Christ. HE Is LORD of the REST! Anxiety has often crowded in on me…I took it as my companion, as if then I wouldn’t be alone… “in all your ways submit to Him.” Oh the ways He finds in the simplest things of life, the questions He quietly asks that empty me, that tell me my heart, so HE can tell me His! Oh, the magnificent response to our small choice of His will…”His power, wisdom & goodness”. (SOS 2:8) “..The voice of my beloved shepherd! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.” He is our sheltered & secret place.

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