Worry is what gives way to anxiety and unrest. It manipulates us to dwell on difficult circumstances. While worry seems justifiable, it’s a deception that fights battles that have not yet arrived on our doorstep. It is likened to calling an ambulance before an accident occurs.
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
I clearly remember the day I was diagnosed with CDIP, a chronic degenerative nerve disease that eats away my nerve sheaths, leaving my nerve endings raw. Thus, causing sensory loss, numbing, tremors, and a host of other symptoms. My neurologist said, ultimately, it could put me in a wheelchair.
I could feel the blood draining from my face as the doctor explained my demise. My hormones kicked into high gear, igniting a paralyzing belief of worry. The first thing that came to mind was that my ministry in Christ was coming to an end. I thought, “This isn’t the abundant Life!” “Is this a result of some sin I committed?” “Surely the anxiety I am experiencing isn’t pleasing to the Lord.” It would be nice to say I appropriated my identity in Christ during this appointment, but I didn’t. It took a long journey to settle into what was true about me in Christ.
This week I finished a pastel for a doctor friend in a nearby community. It is a depiction of Jesus healing the paralytic. After many weeks of working and viewing this image, I often asked the Lord, “Could you do this for me?” By the time I finished, I had realized I was asking the wrong question. I should have asked, “Could you manifest your peace despite my paralyzing condition?” Today, I have that peace.
Most of us would admit that worrying is a part of humanity. My spiritual grandma, Corrie ten Boom, said, “Worry is an old man with a bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks are lead.” Nice words, grandma, but it didn’t hit home until I fought this giant in my daily walk in Christ.
I call worry the imaginary foe of destruction. Today being all the wiser, I can see that self-induced anxiety, which forces the belief of worry, is foolishness in action. This giant lives in the future while tempting me in the present. It is the world of the “what-ifs.” It activates the sin of questioning the sovereignty of God. It is THE giant of “why me?” And as long as I dwell in my self-life view, misery becomes my imaginary friend of defense.
Worry is what gives way to anxiety and unrest. It manipulates us to dwell on difficult circumstances. While worry seems justifiable, it’s a deception that fights battles that have not yet arrived on our doorstep. It is likened to calling an ambulance before an accident occurs. It is a habitual act of The Boy Who Cried, Wolf.
The Greek word for worry means to take thought. While the masses would classify it as an emotional response, it is not. It is to take thought of an imaginary troubling circumstance that can provoke danger, unrest, or lack of trust. In other words, being caught between the real and the possible. People who live by the tomorrow invite two major challenges – one; the future doesn’t belong to us. The second is equally deplorable – one ounce of worry produces a pound of trouble. The bottom line is those of us who worry are attempting to manipulate the sovereign will of the Father.
Planning for the future does not have to include worrying about it. Being concerned is not worrying. Planning and concern versus restless worry are completely separate issues. Jesus helps us understand this wise point of view.
Humanly speaking, worry is an uneasy state of mind, usually over the possibility of an anticipated “self-fulfilling prophecy” or trouble. Most can’t concentrate on something until their agitation, anxiety, anxiousness, apprehension, or concerns are put to rest. Which often results in making impulsive decisions to remedy their discomfort. Every self-life decision involves mounting spiritual, financial, and psychological expenses. For example, people who worry lower their immune systems' tolerance to protect the body, making catching viruses or serious illnesses easier. This is because the Lord designs the body to obey the mind. When the mind is sick, the body is quick to follow.
Worry is an opposing force against what Jesus says. If Jesus says do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself, I believe He means what it says. People who worry borrow evil from the future and bind themselves with it. Furthermore, they covertly deny Jesus by asking Satan for a loan to resolve their problems for today. As Jesus said, there is plenty of evil in each day, and the evil present will care for itself. Meaning we don’t have to fix everything to walk in peace. If Jesus says His Father will take care of food, clothing, and other external things, it might be wise of us to embrace He cares for us. We need to embrace God as both a Creator and a Sustainer. However, this cannot be appropriated until we use our minds to believe by faith.
Without question, worry is irrational. It makes no sense. In this, we find the fruitlessness in attempting to comfort a person of worry. No matter what you say, the Scriptures you use, most wake up the next morning obsessing over the future. Folks, this is what we call “self as god.” People who worry as a lifestyle are classically high-control individuals. The less they can redirect the troubles of tomorrow, the more out of control their daily lives become. And, sad to say, the more their identity settles into high control – low relationship with Jesus from within.
People who choose worry have no ability to be effective in daily decisions. They often find themselves in a “mental muddle” throughout their days. The giant of worry is irrational and impotent. If we cannot add one additional hour to our lives, what makes us think we can change the circumstances in our daily lives?
Worry lies to us. Attempting to convince us of our ability to change what is ordained. Yes, that includes the things that create pain and suffering. How much of our time is spent in moments of worry? It might shock you, but it is more than enough time to led hundreds of people to the Life changing Life of Jesus Christ. However, we waste God’s ordained mission, which has time restraints, in worry, doubts, and fears. Literally wasting God’s investment on proving that we can manage tomorrow's troubles – today. Let’s see, what is the meaning of stupid again? Oh, it is knowing the Truth but refusing to submit oneself to it.
We should know by now that worry doesn’t have an ounce of logic. It is dark, dangerous, and disastrous. It acts like a thief that steals our joy and peace. It is demanding and stubborn. Worse, it is relentless. What is a believer to do? The first thing is declaring it as an enemy, and it hates the real Jesus. It denies Jesus at every turn. This giant will never bow to the miraculous works of Christ’s faith within you. While you can tease it, you will never be able to tame it. It is graphed into our flesh and will refuse to die until our sarx, flesh, is buried six feet under.
First things first:
Worry warts need to prioritize. That starts with Jesus’s words in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” An amazing thing happens when we are tempted to worry if we seek God’s Kingdom first. Not begging for tomorrow's answers but asking the Lord to manifest peace in our present circumstances. You will find that after the peace of Christ is manifested, worries over tomorrow's troubles seem to dissipate. Even more relevant, you should be moved to repent for trying to do God’s job, thus, releasing Him to have control of today AND tomorrow. We must keep our priorities straight; God first, you never.
Don’t view mandates as suggestions. If Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow; take it as an immovable requirement. Jesus rarely, if ever, used suggestions. While most don’t like being told what to do to avoid what they shouldn’t do, obedience to the first things first is not only a key but a formula for deliverance. Whenever we reprioritize God’s formulas, immediately, the self-life formula takes over.
Live in the present:
A “dreamer” is someone who hopes in things of tomorrow – being preoccupied with possibilities. A “visionary” is a person who lives in the present while trusting the future to their Creator, with the ambition to act as part of the Creator’s pre-established plans. A visionary sees through the eyes of Christ and sees hope in Jesus’s future. In the meantime, they use living in the present to prepare for the Lord’s plans for their future. Visionaries don’t ignore the future; they plan and prepare for it.
Forget yesterday's mess:
Visionaries who refute worry have learned to forget the messes they might have created in yesteryears. What’s done is done. What’s forgiven is forgiven. Standing up after kneeling in repentance is the pivotal point of deliverance from worry. People who worry have not put away the former things. This is why they worry about the future. Most base the future on the stupidity of their past. We all know it is difficult, or impossible, to put the past in the past. However, if Christ says He has forgiven and whipped away our pasts, we must join Him in His beliefs. Don’t dwell on yesterday’s mess, sins, and habitual patterns. Every day is new, and the Lord plans to renew our minds with His future.
The giant of worry is a coward hiding behind the skirt of doubt. Faith is the superpower that drags this giant out front for a battle to be won by Jesus within you & me. Praise is the sword that keeps this monster at bay. He might not face death until our bodies are put into the earth, but he will be defeated daily by trusting our Husband, Jesus, with the evils that front us tomorrow.
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