Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

17 Worry Warts – Part 2

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Matthew 6:25-34

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Not only is worrying a waste because worry doesn’t work but:

  • Worry causes us to waver

In the NIV verse 25 starts with the word “therefore” which takes us back to the previous verse: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other” Jesus reminds us that a believer’s only Lord and Master is God, which means that He is the one who controls our lives, not us. But when we worry, we stop trusting God and start trying to take control of our own life. We forget that God is not only in control of our lives, but He is also in control of the entire universe. In Psalm 24:1 the psalmist declares: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” If God is capable of handling and holding the universe together then why don’t you let Him handle everything in your life? When we worry we start to waver in our belief, James 1:6 says: “Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” Worry besieges our belief and causes us to be tossed to and fro. As we go back to Matthew 6 we see Jesus once again calling us to consider God’s creation, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing.” This word “look” refers to more than just seeing, it involves studying carefully. We may look at God creation but do we learn from what we look at? Jesus now calls us to recall the splendor of Solomon, who was known for his beautiful garments: “Yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” It is here that Jesus then asks us a question as He argues from the lesser to the greater: “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” Jesus hits us hard here because our fears have to do with our lack of faith. The NIV says, “will he not much more clothe you” more here means exceedingly abundantly beyond. Ephesians 3:20 gives us a greater glimpse into the word more when it says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” We have a God who wants and will do even more for us than he does for the birds, the flowers and the grass. His Word promises us in Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Jesus doesn’t want you to be saturated with stress so He calls us to stop cowering to our cares and start coming to our Creator. Later in Luke 21:34, He warns, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life…” Worry will weigh you down, it will hold you back and hinders you from living out your full potential in Him. The waves of worry don’t just wash over us, they crash into us causing us to sink spiritually, flooding us with fear and drowning us with doubt. Yet it’s in the depths of despair that Psalm 56:3 declares: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” The antidote to anxiety is the Almighty, He is the only answer to anxiety. Everything else that we put out trust in will topple and fail. If you want to war against worry then you are going to have to battling unbelief. Hebrews 3:12 warns us: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Worry doesn’t just affect us:

  • Worry wipes out our witness

It’s here that Christ not only commands us not to worry but reminds us of the reason: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” One of the practices that characterize pagans is that they live for the present and everything revolves around their pleasures. They run after things that they think will fill and satisfy their lives. They seek satisfaction in stuff and not in the Savior. They put their energy into feeling full only to end up empty. Jesus doesn’t just spend 10 verses analyzing the addiction of anxiety, He give us the antidote, stop seeking after the earthly and engage in the eternal. Worry is really an act of rebellion because worry really declares that God is dead or if He is alive He is limited and not really able to do anything about our situation. When we worry we end up assuming responsibility for things that only the Almighty can handle. The scary truth is that anxiety is really atheism in action. The worst part of worry is not what it does to us but what it does to our witness. It doesn’t just wound our witness it wipes it out. We end up acting like pagans instead of the people of God. But when we chose to turn to Him and trust in the turbulent times of life we declare our dependence on Him. And a watching world gets to witness our belief in God not just in our talk but also through our walk. In verse 32 we are reminded that our, “heavenly Father already knows all your needs” Jesus calls us to take comfort in our Creator not in our circumstances. He knows all about your marriage problems, He knows about those bills that are piling up on your desk, and all the other fears that you face. Despite the difficulties that we may be dealing with we are called to live righteously. Regardless of our circumstances we are called to live like Christ, yet so often we use our circumstances to justify cutting corners. What about you are you going to listen to anxiety or to the Almighty? Stop focusing on the fear and start focusing on your Father. Whatever you do don’t let worry cause you to waver and wipe out your witness.

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