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DocReits August 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Thank you for your article Dr. Williams. I live with two OCD relatives and I am intimately acquainted with the condition. You write under the heading, “There is a foundation that must be in place before dealing with OCD” that in order to Biblically deal with OCD there are requirements that must be in place before God will help the individual.

You list salvation and then their willingness to accept that God’s Word applies to every situation in life, and then the willingness to believe that God’s wisdom will work as much as they believe God saved them. Unless these requirements are met you state,”they will receive no help from God if these foundations are absent”, using James 1:6-7 as a proof text for your conclusion.

Allow me to back up to James 1:5 to see what James is speaking about in your reference:

Your James 1:6,7 reference:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

This urging of James was in reference to the man asking “wisdom” of God, as seen by verse 5 preceding your reference.

It does not refer to the poor souls already pressed with their obsessive concerns in OCD. Your suggestion that the OCD person must muster up enough faith or willingness to believe, etc,before God can(will) help them, and conclude that if they don’t(can’t) that,

” They will receive no help from God”

was perhaps an unfortunate misstatement of your intent. I would like to believe so. Otherwise we might pursue a discussion on God’s mercy, and how God often gives help to the helpless, even when their hope is gone.



Dr Michael Williams August 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Thanks DocReits for the comment. James is referring to the wisdom to deal with life issues as evidenced by the parallel passage in Romans 5:3-5. The reference basis is tribulations or troubles as James 1:1-8 is discussing. Hence the double minded approach not resulting in any help as the text says. Hebrews 11:6 reinforces this: believing He is (salvation) and a rewarder of those who “diligently” seek Him. As for “mustering” up the faith to trust Him, faith comes be hearing and hearing by the Word of God. It is not something we actively do, it is a by product of God’s truth. Hence the whole foundation of discipleship or progressive sanctification. When we actively refuse to believe the truth (Romans 1:18+) He gives us over to reprobate minds so that we do thing that are not good for us. Faith has two aspects according to Hebrews 11:1- the substance of things hoped for (salvation) and the evidence of things not seen (fruit of the Spirit). The Word tells us that God does not listen to the prayers of unbelievers so a foundation of salvation is critical. Likewise, if someone seeks God’s Wisdom on how to deal with a matter without faith that God will give them wisdom then it is clear that they will not get wisdom and peace of mind. This is where Biblical counseling is so important, to exhort from the Word how God will give them the wisdom and strength to overcome through Christ. In the nearly 15 years I have done Biblical counseling I have never seen a single person reject sound Biblical teaching and get Spiritual discernment and insight on how to deal with their life issue. Instead they seek man made wisdom and receive man made solutions, which usually lead to worse problems. The problem most people have when dealing with life issues Spiritually is they listen to what Dr. Phil or some other pseudobiblical guru tells thay directly contradicts what God teaches. Then they blame God she it does not work. Every single person of the literally thousands I have counseled that has committed to study, incorporating Biblical techniques, and consistently praying that God would help them in Spiritually based life issues has been victorious. Every person who rejected the same has not. God says He will not help them in that case and it is clear from the evidence that His Word is true. This idea that we can make God an accessory in our life and receive His Wisdom when we need it while not believing He can help is destroying churches, ministries, marriages, and lives.

Michael Williams June 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm

My name is Michael Williams I’ve suffered from OCD all my life I live in the UK. I’d be so grateful to speak with you on Sky maybe or messenger. As I’ve got older my ocd has got so much worse. Please pray for me.

Michael Williams.

DocReits August 16, 2014 at 4:58 am

Dr Williams,

Thank you for your reply. It did not address the issue I had with your statements. Let me briefly try again for some common ground. You said:

“Third, they must also be willing to believe that God’s wisdom will work as much as they believe God saved them (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:2-8). They will receive no help from God if these foundations are absent (James 1:6-7).”

In this most recent reply you changed this to say:

“if someone seeks God’s Wisdom on how to deal with a matter without faith that God will give them wisdom then it is clear that they will not get wisdom and peace of mind”. It is clear they are very confused to ask for something they don’t expect to get. Have you asked yourself why someone would ask such a thing? Is it that they do not expect it at all, or that the possibility is low that they will receive the answer? Therein lies my point.

My main point is that you make an exclusive statement about God which James never does. James says this in your cited text(Jm 1:6,7):

“6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”.

James did not say(in verse 7) that God “would” not answer? Further James did not say that God “could” not answer? Yet “you” say God will not answer. James is not making a statement about God’s ability. It is a statement about the believer’s heart and what he might expect. God is sovereign and will do as He pleases with or without our doubts. That is where I am believing you and I have a fundamental difference of belief.

How many times have you prayed without any doubting? It is a goal for the Christian but the posts are high for the non OCD Christian, let alone those burdened souls obsessing over their OCD issues. Let me be clear, I am not talking about the unsaved, about the Mr. Phil devoted hypocrite, offering false prayers, I am talking about the saved tortured soul, who seeks deliverance from their OCD but has doubts. They offer their prayer, not perhaps certain if God will answer, and you answer for God, stating that He will not answer.

On the matter of faith you write: “As for “mustering” up the faith to trust Him, faith comes be hearing and hearing by the Word of God. It is not something we actively do, it is a by product of God’s truth”. It is a byproduct of God’s truth for those who will believe in God. For without belief in God there is no faith.

For the Christian, faith is “belief” in God, specifically in God the Son, Jesus Christ. James speaks to the “activity” of that belief by a demonstration of works. No works, no faith(Jm 2:17). Heb 11 describes how all of the patriarchs demonstrated their faith or belief in God, by putting leather to their belief.

That is, the outworking of their faith was their “activity” or works. I have acquaintances who have read and know the Word very well, much better than me, yet are atheists. So is the Word wrong in their case, where faith did not come from hearing? No, faith is belief in God, demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit. Some have faith in God who have never read any of God’s Word. They see God’s creative work in the heavens, and believe.

I wish you well. I think these issues important and that the whole idea about needing this unwavering faith in order to have God answer our prayers is an often confusing issue for the seeker and new Christian. I hope those thinking that God will not answer your prayers based upon your little faith will have learned something through this discussion.


Cat January 3, 2015 at 5:48 am

I grew up with OCD in a Christian family who said I was crazy and threatened to lock me up. This was at a time little was known about the disease and it often was misdiagnoised as schitzphrinaia( sorry I just moved and my dictionary is in storage). There is a test for OCD and it shows on Brain scans. It is believed to be a lack of seritonin in the brain chemistry. However they did not have this information as a child and through God’s grace and many yrs of suffering, he taught me to deal with this on my own and retrain my brain myself…I still have this and always will but for the most part my unconcious brain now deals with most of it with little thought unless I am under extreme stress. It was not until yrs later I heard a doctor on tv address this issue and the new behavioral treatments used to retrain the brain that I realized God had helped me do this on my own and it worked. There are medications to help with this but they are only a bandaide. You must deal with the issue and learn to resist the actions the disease cause in your life. I do believe without a doubt it is first a chemical disorder…However, yes ones upbringing do effect how bad and how it chooses to manifest itself within the behaviors that person exhibits. Lastly, I do believe it to be a spiritual attack…Why would Satan not use anything he can to get at and stop a testimony of a Christian, or potential Christian? Those who try to limit this to environment, or totally spiritual have not suffered with this disease themselves for a lifetime. It is not simple…that is why it is so hard for others to understand and so difficult for those suffering to get the help needed. Satan takes advantage of all weakness…illness and medication addiction too. Meds can have a place but only as a beginning to get the person where they can start to heal in therapy and spiritually! God Bless

Emmy November 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm

As someone who has suffered from scrupulosity, a type of OCD related to faith, for a number of years, I can say your article brings some comfort, but could always be added to. Helpful verses to me were found in Romans, Colossians, and Corinthians, and I suggest that fellow sufferers read along as well. (Especially Corinthians, where Paul discusses that if you do what you do not want to do, then that is the law of sin in you though your mind be with the Holy Ghost.) I hope you will allow God to help you with some inspiring Scriptures as well; I know it was hard for me to accept the truth of the Word, but I think if you can find some quietude in moments of compulsion it will go a long way. Remember, God is in control! Ask, and believe, and it will go well with you.

TES February 11, 2017 at 10:24 am




J March 6, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Hi Ted,
Please check out the resources at CCEF. Mike Emlet in particular has some very helpful thoughts on OCD and a very short book as well. There are some podcasts that are free as well as very affordably priced (2 – 4 dollars) that are well worth looking in to.

Gillian Jones April 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm

I am a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and I have OCD. You state that unless we have the right credentials we will GET NO HELP FROM GOD. The God I see In Jesus is a God of mercy who helps the helpless and unworthy. OCD is not rational, I cope by trusting the Lord Jesus as my Salvation, but I still have OCD. Fortunately I also have His love and Mercy.

Jack Wellman April 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Hello Mr. Jones. I have read your comments sir, but cannot find any place where the author says we need to have the right credentials. He and we all know that it is only by trusting in Christ that we can be saved. I have read this article and cannot find the quote you seem to attribute to the author. Thank you sir.

ASatter August 7, 2019 at 10:10 am

For me i struggled with it for almost 8 years. it was a tough struggle, bothered me daily. But for me healing and freedom came when i confessed and repented for my secret sins…. sin opens a door for the devil to attack in ways you never thought….. for so long i walked in the dark with my sin but when i gave that to God and He forgave me through Jesus, that is when i got real healing…. see i accepted Jesus like almost 10 years, but i didnt make Him my Lord over my life till i repent for my secret sins… i would just suggest be real with God and talk to Him and if there is any sins in your life that You aint repent for now is the time, and ask Him to heal You so You can walk in Your Freedom… Jesus really died and rose so we can be free from all this. Jesus took our pain and struggle on the cross so we don’t have to struggle with it. There is freedom in Christ. His Grace is all You need.

Jack Wellman August 7, 2019 at 11:15 am

Amen my friend. Powerful testimony to the power of God and His grace. Thank you so much.

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