Do Not Worry
“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? 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? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
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, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 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?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Matthew 6:25-34 NLT
I’m going to confess straight up this lesson is going to convict me in a big way! I cannot wait to share my awful truth with you about my relationship with worry (said no one ever!).
As I spoke these words in my heart, “oh dear, how am I going to do this,” my soul immediately responded with “by telling the truth.” (This may be why I didn’t want to start a blog! Just kidding…., maybe…🙄 )
Worry is one of my root sins, and I’d be willing to bet many of you suffer from the same thing. As a child I worried a lot because I had an abusive alcoholic father (story told in an earlier blog “The Power of Words” part 1 and part 2). By the time I ended my first marriage (more dirty laundry); I was an expert in worry. I used to say very flippantly, “I’m a worrier; if I have nothing to worry about, I fabricate something!” In hindsight, I’m mortified to even say I used to think that was funny.
It gets worse. 😱
Occasionally, one of my sisters and I would talk to each other and play what I’m going to call the “what if” game. We would take a situation that was happening in our lives and “what if” it to death. What if this happens or what if that happens? Our theory was that if we said it out loud to each other, it wouldn’t come true, but do you know what actually happened? It led to wilder and wilder “what ifs” until we were about half convinced the things we fabricated were actually going to happen so we worried more!
Do you know what we were doing? We were not only playing into the hands of Satan with worry, because we were tormenting our minds. We were also predicting the future, or to put it simply we were being fortune tellers!
CAUTION! CAUTION! This is NOT a game! This was us aligning ourselves with Satan! This is what God says about fabricating what we think is going to happen (fortunetelling):
“Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31 NLT
This is the definition of defile:
“To make physically unclean especially with something unpleasant or contaminating.”
Just to make sure you understand what I’m pointing out: we were literally pouring out piles of toxic and contaminated lies which turned into bigger worries in our hearts and souls.
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 NIV
Our spirits were crushed with the perverse (and fabricated!) worries we were telling ourselves! 😱
God asks us a very serious question in our verses, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” WHEN has a worry EVER been beneficial in ANY situation? N-E-V-E-R!!!!!
I only wish someone had shared this truth with me all those years ago.
[Worry] dominates the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs [God is referring to us!]. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Look, I know it sounds like I’m handing out platitudes but when God speaks it is the truth. As a single Mom when I didn’t know how I was going to feed my children two days before payday, God provided. When I didn’t know how I could take one more day as a caregiver for a dying man, God provided. Clothes? Not trying to be rude, but in America most of us have more than one outfit in our closet don’t we? Yes, we do. Do we need more? I doubt it, but I know for a fact that God provided for a young woman when she and her husband committed to get out of debt before starting a family. After a long stretch of time with no money for extra’s, she needed a pair of black slacks for her job but they had no extra money to get them, so God provided.
Each of these real life stories (from above) have what I believe are miraculous provisions, and if you are a believer and have faith in God, I know He will provide for your needs too. How do I know that? Let’s look at those verses again:
“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? …your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:30, 32b, 33, 34
- Lay your worries at the feet of Jesus and ask yourself, “What can I do to change the situation?” The answer may be “nothing,” which is a difficult command for someone (me) who is a servant. That takes us to step #2.
- You must surrender your worry to prayer. God absolutely commands us to pray often and regularly for the situation, and we don’t need to pray the details because Satan uses that to put us back in the “worry loop.” If you pray sincerely, with faith and trust, God will hear and answer your prayer (assuming you are a believer in Christ*). It may not be in your timing, and it may not be the answer you wanted. But God’s ways are better than our ways, every time. I promise.
- If there is something God wants you to do, He will guide you, but you won’t hear it if you are too busy reliving every detail about your worry. Remember this verse: “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33). If your mind is in a state of disorder then it is not from God. Peace is from God. Ask yourself: who/what am I allowing to guide my thoughts? That will tell you who you are listening to the most.
- The last is the hardest. Ask yourself, “What is my sin in this worry? Have I done something to offend, or hurt someone?” If so, you must repent (cut it out!), and you might have to ask for forgiveness. Like it or not, you already know the answer to these hard questions and the sooner you face it, the sooner you can put it behind you.
[*Do you need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Remember what Jesus tells us: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NLT
If you believe this in your heart, follow this link and pray this prayer from the late Billy Graham (you may have to copy and paste the link into your browser):
Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for reminding me how worry can be so destructive in my heart and mind. Father, I pray that when I have a worry I go through Your Word to learn the truth or ask someone who is following You to help me learn what Your Word says. Father, if someone asks for my help, please guide me to show them how to look to You and Your Word for answers. Today we learned an important lesson about Satan and how he wants to destroy us with worry and I pray that we remind ourselves of this: disorder is from Satan, peace is from Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for this simple truth. We thank You that we have Your Word to guide us every day. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.