Over the next three studies we are going to look at a few practical areas of daily Christian living.
Our topics will be taken from Philippians 4:6-7.
Today our first topic is worry. We can be defeated simply because we are not alert to the schemes and tactics of the devil. The mind is the arena of our faith, the battle for victory in our daily lives will be won or lost in our minds. Every decision we make is important. We need to monitor every thought coming into our minds, as if checking for a counterfeit banknote. This is part of guarding our hearts.
We who have received an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one Christ Jesus Romans 5:17.
He has made us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
He has freely given us all things pertaining to life and godliness.
He became poor so that we might become rich.
He has provided the means in his word to give us victory over every attack of Satan.
How to deal with the sin of worry
Philippians 4:6; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7; And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus. Paul also told us not to worry in this passage.
Worry is an ugly sin
Very few Christians would lie on their bed turning over wicked thoughts and plans, murder, adultery or other sexual sin, occult practices or spells or trying to remember a horoscope. Yet, many of us, if we are honest are worrying about health, finance, bodily necessities, relationships etc.
But we must treat the temptation to worry in the same way as we deal with every other temptation to sin.
The sin of worry is right up there with idolatry, adultery, theft, murder etc. so do not be fooled any longer! If Satan can develop the habit of worry in our lives our faith will become paralyzed and totally ineffective and unfruitful.
Worry will choke (with so many problems going on in our lives) word of God in our lives and make us unfruitful. Do not be chasing a rainbow.
Without faith it is impossible to please God and worry with its evil henchmen of fear and doubt work together to cause us to lose our joy and faith! Our very fruitfulness to God is at stake here.
Perhaps the subtlest aspect of anxiety and worry is the way it creeps up on us. I have found myself slipping into it without realizing. The devil always wants to be unaware of this temptation.
To be sure, there is a genuine type of concern for the people and circumstances of our lives without which we would be irresponsible. It is no sin to be tempted in any area, but how we deal with every thought is critical as to whether we will fall into sin.
An example might be that you are concerned about a big bill to pay or a serious health matter or problems in a family relationship. You turn it over in your mind, you forget what God’s word says about your situation, you cannot sleep, you toss and turn and begin to imagine the very worst possible outcome… you suddenly realize that you have fallen into the sin of worry!
Jesus did not prohibit genuine concerns about food and shelter etc. but he did teach that we must maintain a proper godly perspective on all these things.
However, what Satan wants us to do, is to dwell on or focus on our fears rather than on the love of God or his wonderful care and faithful provision for each one of us.
The enemy wants us to forget all the wonderful and precious promises of God for our protection and supply of his people (see Psalm 91).
So, the actual temptation here is to cast aside our faith and trust in God and throw ourselves into a maelstrom of fear and worry. This is a sin because Jesus told us not to do it. Amen
First recognize how to differentiate between genuine concern and the sin of worry.
Paul tells us how to deal with genuine concern which is to hand it over to God and not let it mutate into a malignancy i.e. the sin of worry. Worry is a heavy burden that God never intended for us to carry.
Every genuine concern is to become a prayer and a petition, a request to our heavenly father through our Lord Jesus Christ. As we present our requests to God, we must fully release the matter into his hands. He is a God we can trust. We can draw on the peace of God knowing and believing that he has heard our petition and he will bring his answer in due season. When we take our hands and minds off the concern then we receive the shalom peace of God. This seems like a much better deal than sleepless nights and ulcers. Worry can destroy even our health.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who said our God can save us from the fiery furnace but even if he does not, we still will not worship your idols!
Make the decision never to worry again, this is part of knowing the truth that sets you free.
Extra strength is available for us when we are tempted to worry
Speak the word of God, the rhema word into your situation.
Psalm 23, 91
Sometimes you might need godly counsel, or even a prayer of agreement. We are here to help each other. Sleep, recreation, exercise, being realistic about unlikely fears etc. If you have mastered this temptation to worry, then teach others how to master it. Worry can and does choke the life out of a fellowship.
1 John 1:9
Worry is an ugly and serious sin
It will choke the word of God out of our lives, by replacing faith with fear.
Worry does not achieve anything good.
Jesus told us not to do it.
Paul told us not to do it.
Let us make the decision that with God’s help never to do it again.