As I was driving home the other day I stopped at a four way stop sign. The person in the car on my right gave me the hand signal to go ahead even though she had the right-a-way. I in turn waved her on to go ahead, then she waved me on, and we went back and forth like that a few times before I eventually went forward through the stop sign. As I ventured through the intersection, she also lurched forward, and we narrowly avoided colliding with one another.
It immediately occurred to me that if she’d just obeyed ‘the rule of the road’ initially, we could have avoided the confusion and resultant anxiety from wondering ‘who would go when’ and if we’d crash.
I also thought about how God has given us commands — ‘rules for living,’ much like ‘rules of the road’ — for us to follow for our good. And, when we follow God’s will for us as He’s outlined in the Bible, we can remove the confusion and anxiety that comes from setting up our own ‘rules for living’ and have peace and success in following His rules.
God Is a ‘God of Order,’ Satan Is the ‘Author of Confusion’
God is a God of order. That is apparent throughout scripture. Just a few of the many examples are the way He chose to create particular things in the order in which He did on the 6 days of creation; His precise commands regarding the construction and placement of what was to go into the Tabernacle; and the assigned duties of and order of the 12 tribes of Israel when they encamped in the wilderness around the Tabernacle.
It states clearly in His Word:
“…for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order” (1 Corinthians 14:33 AMP).
In contrast to God, Who is the God of ‘order and peace,’ Satan is known as the ‘Author of Confusion.’
“This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice” (James 3:15-16 AMP).
Following Worldly Wisdom Leads to Confusion and Anxiety
Following worldly wisdom and selfish interests leads to confusion and anxiety. For example, think of what has occurred in our society in recent years because people have disregarded the reality that ‘God created them male and female’ (Genesis 5:2). By thinking that they know better than God, some people have fallen prey to the lie that they can determine their own gender.
What has been the result? Gender dysphoria — defined as ‘an emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease.’ According to a survey of transgender people released in 2016 by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 40 percent of the 27,715 transgender people who were surveyed said they had tried to kill themselves at some point. The one who is glorified in all of this is Satan — the Author of Confusion, who is a liar and murderer (John 8:44).
God is grieved because those He created in His glorious image have chosen to disregard His rules that are designed to lead to abundant living and have substituted their own ‘rules’ that lead to chaos, confusion, depression, anxiety, and even death. Man’s rules are based upon ‘feelings’ and man’s wisdom, which is ever changing, rather than God’s unchanging truth that He instructs us in for our good.
The area of personal and national finances is another example of where confusion and anxiety reign in our world today because of disobedience to God’s rules. God instructs us to be a debtor to no one.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 ESV).
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8 ESV).
Yet, when we choose to follow ‘our path’ for living regarding our finances instead of God’s will, it leads to confusion, anxiety, turmoil, depression, and despair. God gave us this command for our good so we’ll be free of worry and anxiety regarding such things as how we’ll be able to pay back our debts or wondering what the consequences will be of being beholden to the lender.
God Eliminates Confusion and Anxiety When You Believe and Obey
Not too long ago I was warning a woman I mentor to carefully listen to the words of her pastor who had ‘lost his way’ and was leading others astray because he had forsaken the belief in the errancy of God’s Word and the truth of the gospel. I shared with her several concerns that I had, and she said repeatedly, “I know that’s what he said, but I don’t think that’s what he meant.” I said to her, “That is very confusing, and in sharp contrast to God, Who says what He means, and means what He says.”
God makes His will and His ways very clear to us in His Word, the Bible. He doesn’t say things flippantly like people often do. In His loving kindness, He clearly sets forth the path to abundant and eternal life. There is no equivocation in what He says. For example, below are just a few of the verses that make it clear that salvation is found in faith in Jesus, and in Jesus alone:
- “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 ESV).
- “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26 ESV).
- “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV).
God makes it very clear throughout His Word that Jesus alone is the path that leads to abundant and eternal life. (See also John 10, especially verses 7-10; 17:3).
Following God’s Will and Obeying God’s Commands Leads to Peace and Success
Since the Garden of Eden, Satan has used the strategy of getting mankind to question God’s infallible Word. Doubting and disobeying God’s clear commands always leads to confusion and anxiety — think of Adam and Eve trying to hide from God after they ate the forbidden fruit — and unless we turn back to Him in humility and repentance, will also lead to destruction and death. God doesn’t want you to experience the consequences of disobeying His commands but the peace found in following them!
“Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:18 ESV).
If you are experiencing anxiety and confusion right now, read God’s clear instructions for living that are found in the bible, His ‘love letter’ to you. Know and obey His Word and you will be set free from confusion, anxiety, and despair and in their place you will find peace and joy.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:1-6 ESV).