Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 18 Does Real Faith Worry???
Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts…to fret
A cause of uneasiness or anxiety…
I heard a lovely song this morning, which gave me pause to question, for the jest of the song was that we won’t “worry” in heaven, and while that is true, the implication was that we ‘worry’ here and that isn’t necessarily ok!
Worry is a pretty natural state of affairs in most of our lives, yet are we really walking by faith when we live in a state of worry? I was guilty of this very idea of justifying our “worry” this week in a discussion about an upcoming event in our lives, and I was calling my “concern” everything but “worry”, for I know in my head and in my heart that Jesus makes it clear that walking with HIM by faith will diminish our tendency to “worry and fret”, if not completely eliminate it altogether, and I wasn’t doing that! That is where I desire to live, even though I know I often fall so far short. Yet faith that Jesus talks about seems to be the antitheses of modern faith! I say I trust HIM, yet I keep doing things myself instead of bringing them to Jesus and leaving them at the cross.
I remember a testimony that a friend shared with me many years ago, of a couple whose home he entered to work on a utility problem; as it turned out, he told them he would have to come back, and they said they probably wouldn’t be home, but their home would be unlocked, and he could just come in and do what he needed to do. Well, needless to say, my friend was shocked! UNLOCKED? So, he questioned the lady, and she simply told him, “Our home belongs to Jesus, along with every possession we have, and whatever HE sees fit to permit, we trust HIM!” I must tell you, how often that story has come back to me again and again, for I am far from having that kind of faith; yet so many of our missionaries all over the globe, live that kind of faith in ministry, while we have so much more than they do. And me? I wrestle with anxiety over being safe, I cannot tell a lie, and I know God has brought me a long way in the area of “trusting” HIM in regard to safety; of “resting” in HIM when I’m alone; of relying upon HIS total care when I am being and doing what HE has called me to! How about you? Are you a “fretter”? Are there areas of life that you have trouble letting go of?
Well, if you are like me, maybe you also need a reminder of what God has called us to; how He wants us to understand that fretting over and clinging to the “cares of this world” ought to be foreign to us. Let’s see what HIS Word teaches, and I pray that we (ME included most of all—as Paul said, “I am chief” offender!) will learn to have a more exercised faith, and show the world the power of grace, love, and a trust in the power of our crucified, risen and soon coming KING! The safest place that you or I can ever be, is right, smack in the center of God’s will for us!
“And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard,
and are choked
and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit
to perfection.” Luke 8:14
And a verse that I run to more often than I can say:
“The name of the LORD
is a strong tower:
the righteous runneth into it,
and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10
“The king’s heart
is in the hand of the LORD,
as the rivers of water:
he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2 Every way of a man
is right in his own eyes:
but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Proverbs 21:1-2
“Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not what a day
may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
Jesus also had much to say about this subject—may we heed HIS amazing call to walk by faith:
“No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you,
Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat,
or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body,
what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat,
and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air:
for they sow not,
neither do they reap,
nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought
can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
they toil not,
neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which to day is,
and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more
O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying,
What shall we eat?
or, What shall we drink?
or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things
do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father
knoweth that ye have need
of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things
shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought
for the morrow:
for the morrow
shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day
is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:24-34
Oh, if we had time to dig into the depths of this message of Jesus’, but let’s consider this first statement above—”No man can serve two masters”; did you get that “no one”—man, woman, boy, or girl—can truly have divided loyalties! Either we will choose to follow our Lord, or we will go our own way. For those who have never come to Jesus, this is a disastrous choice that will lead to destruction (See chapter 7); for the believer it could end in a “shipwrecked” life—a life with no “fruit”, or as Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 3, no rewards to bring to our king. I think that passage is also worth our consideration, for it reveals a real danger of a lack of faith and obedience in our life when we miss our Lord’s direction and choose worry/fretting instead of boldly, courageously, walking in faith. Let’s consider Paul’s message, especially in light of what Jesus says above, which makes it clear that we can be a genuine believer and still miss God’s perfect will and purpose for our life if we go our own way instead of choosing Jesus’ will by faith; by producing our own works, choosing to give inadequate heed to The Word of God, and settling for the popular lead of the world (choosing wood, hay and stubble instead of gold, silver and precious stones)! Are you choosing the indestructible things of God, or the totally flammable works of the flesh; ashes or precious treasure to honor our KING?.
“For other foundation
can no man lay
than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide
which he hath built thereupon,
he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned,
he shall suffer loss:
but he himself shall be saved;
yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not
that ye are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God,
him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy,
which temple ye are.
18 Let no man deceive himself.
If any man among you seemeth to be wise
in this world,
let him become a fool,
that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world
is foolishness with God.
For it is written,
He taketh the wise
in their own craftiness.
20 And again,
The Lord knoweth
the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-20
As Paul says, “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”, no matter what is popular—only Jesus IS LORD—only Jesus IS THE WAY—what will you choose today? Jesus? Or your own way? The world’s way? Faith or fretting? It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test. And just as important as that, there are those following you who may never have any witness other than the example and testimony that you leave every day by your footsteps of faith or fretting or settling for your own way. Who’s following YOU? Let’s choose to be like Joshua and boldly stand in faith!
“And if it seem evil unto you
to serve the LORD,
choose you this day
whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served
that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Let’s pursue holiness and faithfulness, as the Psalmist calls us to so encouragingly! Amen and Amen!!!
“Trust in the LORD,
and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness
as the light,
and thy judgment
as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD,
and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself
because of him who prospereth
in his way,
because of the man who bringeth
wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger,
and forsake wrath:
fret not thyself in any wise
to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off:
but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37:3-9