Have you ever had the feeling of “impending doom”? You feel as though something extremely bad is going to happen but you are not sure what. You may also feel as though your world is coming to an end. This fear of “what if” may be intermittent, frequent, or on going and these fears can cause you fear episodes and even panic. Often, these types of fears are hard to break free of.
While thinking of these things the scripture came to mind, Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Which led me to look in my old lesson notes for the explanation of that “body of this death”. In the passage Paul is talking about how the old Law burdened them down, the way a woman was bound to her husband as long as he lived but when he died she was “free” and could remarry without anyone raising their eyebrows at her actions, death set her free from her marriage vows. So by death on the cross Jesus set us free from our vows to the old law and we are free to accept full salvation with grace and mercy!
At the time when the Epistle to the Romans was written a murderer was punished in a peculiar and terrible manner. The dead body of the one murdered was tied to the living body of the murderer, head to head, hand-to-hand, foot-to-foot, and the living one was bound to the dead one till death. The murderer could go where he pleased, but wherever he went he had to carry the corpse of that murdered man with him. Could punishment be more appalling? Yet this is the illustration Paul now uses. It is as though he were bound to a dead body and unable to get free. Wherever he goes he is hampered by this terrible burden. At last he can bear it no longer and cries: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me…?” And then, in a flash of illumination, his cry of despair changes to a song of praise. He has found the answer to his question. Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord”
No way to deliver yourself right? It was only by the mercies of Jesus’ death that we are free. Say it out loud, “I am free!” Now it is the Holy Spirit who lives in us that knows right from wrong and helps us to live accordingly, He is our friend that will always be our Comforter.
Now the funny thing is this, I didn’t start this article to say all that, I was simply going to say that the way I sometimes have the feeling of impending doom, I am for some reason feeling unexplained, unexpected feelings of joy and anticipation that something wonderful is just around the corner! There is an air of excitement, like when I was a kid and anticipated Christmas Day! The comparison between the feeling of doom and the great expectation (no pun intended) is a world apart! One is the symptom of anxiety and the other is spiritual freedom.
But, what is the next thing that happens when you get these happy rushes of faith and confidence?
It is the devils happy duty to come and try to discourage you, just expect it and be ready for him by knowing the Word and quoting it to him just the way Jesus did in the desert during his forty day fast. After he has done everything he can do and you feel like you are holding on to your faith by your fingernails, look toward heaven and say out loud “O discouraged man that I am, who can deliver me from the body of this death?” You already know the answer to that “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”