Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (Message Bible)
I would venture to say that most Christians cannot boast of living a worry-free life. We worry about our families, our finances, our jobs, our bodies, and our future. It seems that worry is a part of everyday life, even for Christians and this should not be.
In the New Testament, Jesus continually tells us to not be anxious or worried. Living a worry-free life is part of our inheritance; it is part of what Jesus paid for at the cross. He took our worries, our fears, and our anxieties and gave us His peace. But just like anything else that was purchased for us, we have to receive it and stand against anything that opposes it. What do I mean by that? I mean…resist worrying. Instead pray. Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you. What would be the point of casting your care upon the Lord, if you were also going to continue to carry it yourself and worry about it?
If we live a life filled with worry or anxiety, we are living far beneath our means as far as our covenant rights go. We live in worry and fear when we were given peace. We live in sickness and disease when we were given wholeness and healing. We live in confusion when we were given soundness of mind. We have a blood bought right to live in peace, wholeness, health, security, wealth, and so much more, so then why aren’t we? Because we are settling for everything the enemy is sending our way and not fighting for what belongs to us legally through the blood of Jesus.
Yes, it is all ours. It may not come without a fight but the good news is that Jesus already defeated our enemy. Our only fight is the good fight of faith. Our only fight is standing on what God’s word already says. Our only fight is to believe what the word says and refuse to let anything else stay in our lives. We win that fight with our words. We say what God says. We continually speak what the word says about our situation. We don’t give into sickness, lack, confusion and worry.
The Bible plainly tells us not to worry about any of these things for our Father in heaven knows we have need of all these things BUT seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to us. When you are tempted to worry, seek first His Kingdom instead. When you are in pain, tell it to go, and seek first His Kingdom. When lack appears to be in your life, refuse it and seek first His Kingdom.
Psalms 121:3 tells us that God will not allow our foot to be moved and He will not slumber. That means that the word from God we are standing on – He will not allow us to be pushed off it and He will not go to sleep on us. No, He is always alert and watching over us. If the God of the universe, Jehovah, is awake watching over you, why should you lie awake at night and worry?
One definition of worry is to fatigue. Isn’t that the truth? The only thing worry accomplishes is to wear you out, and that is exactly why the enemy wants you to worry. If you are fatigued, you simply can’t fight, you can’t even stand. Don’t worry. God is awake and watching over you and that, my friend, is more than enough.
A few nights ago we had a really bad storm that lasted for several hours. The thunder was the loudest I have heard in a while and the lightning was really strong. The wind was whipping, it was just a bad storm. The news stations were saying tornadoes were spotted and to be on alert. At midnight, a loud crack of thunder woke me up and I immediately thought of my daughter and her family. I picked up my phone and sent her a text message saying ‘you okay?’ She replied ‘no’, being a mom, I called her and told her it was just a bad storm. She said, ‘no Mom, it’s not just a storm, they said they have seen tornadoes and my lights keep going off.’ I said, ‘I am going to pray until the warning is over, and it will be fine.’ She said okay and we hung up. I began to pray, I prayed and prayed, each time I heard thunder I prayed again. I prayed for her peace and her property and her dogs and everything else I could think of.
Then next morning I was exhausted due to lack of sleep. I expected my daughter to come into work the same way. But when she came in all bright eyed, I was surprised. I asked her if she got some rest and she said ‘yes, you said you were going to pray and as soon as we hung up, I fell asleep.’ Okay, something is wrong with this picture, I was tired and had stayed up half the night praying for HER while she slept peacefully. Aha! I had to laugh. This is how we are with God. The Bible plainly tells us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf – so why are we staying awake worrying? Instead we should do like my daughter and have so much confidence in His prayers that we go right to sleep and sleep like a baby.
However I think there is a key to this. You see, my daughter trusts me and she trusts that when I pray I won’t quit until I see results. We have to feel the same way about the One who is praying for us, Jesus. We have to completely trust that His work at the cross was a finished work and it is absolutely done and we can rest in that. That kind of trust only comes from a close relationship with Him. It reminds me of my grandson, when he was younger.
I know we are told it shouldn’t be this way but, he slept with his mom. He would sleep forever and so very soundly unless she got up and moved away from him, if she moved, something in him knew it, even when he was asleep, and he woke up. He had to be so close to his mom that he could feel her and hear her breathing. So it is with God.
When we remain so close to Him that we feel His touch and we sense His breath, we will not be afraid, we will rest knowing He is there and watching over us. That’s the key – stay close to God and He will stay close to you. He will watch over you, He will not sleep nor slumber, He will not allow you to fail, He will not allow you to be overtaken, He is awake and alert and He has your back. Nothing shall by any means harm you when He is close by.
Today, instead of thinking on all of those things the enemy is trying to put in your mind, resist him, and rest – knowing God is right there and He will not allow you to be moved. Just sleep, rest and know that He is who He said He is and He will do exactly what He said He would do – you can be assured and rest in that truth. Now, sleep, like a baby, you are safe in His arms.