Saturday, August 31st, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 22)
The Demon Of Worry
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Matthew 6:25-30 (NKJV)
Before I met Jesus, happiness was like a butterfly. It was beautiful to see, but it flew beyond my reach. I admired it. I even took pictures of it, but they were lifeless relics. I couldn't capture its essence.
I was a prisoner of worry. I now believe worry is a demon: a busy officer in the army of hell. He seems to have millions of troops under his command. He tied me down for decades. I wanted him gone... 'If I could just get better control--of others or myself.' I fought for peace daily, but I was fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong way:
'For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 6:12).
Before I met Jesus, I was not 'O me of little faith,' I was 'O me of no faith.' But if you are a Christian, what's your excuse to worry? If I sound 'Holier than thou' (Isaiah 65:5), I'm not. I still fight worry. But now I know who he is and how to fight: I pull out 'The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God' (Ephesians 6:17).
If you want to send worry running in the opposite direction, use the right weapon: God's Word. Because God's Word is Jesus. He won the war on the Cross for every believer who would follow Him. That's us. Against Spirit-filled believers, Satan is helpless--even fearful. He flees from the Power that is within us. But this all-powerful Sword must be unsheathed.
How? We must open our mouths and speak It. Because if we don't, worry will become our constant, nagging, unwelcome house guest--preventing us from leaving home to do our Father's business.
Worry is a diversion. It's anyone or anything that keeps us from moving forward on Earth in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. If Satan cannot have our souls (he cannot), then he works to keep us distracted, to keep us undercover, to keep our witness small--to prevent us from helping and influencing non-believers.
God says: 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:6-7).
God says: 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding' (Proverbs 3:5).
God says: 'Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right Hand' (Isaiah 41:10).
The abandoned, hunted, beleaguered, tormented, heroic and ultimately victorious King David said: 'Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved' (Psalm 55:22).
Also: 'The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped' (Psalm 28:7).
'I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth' (Psalm 121:1-2).
'I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them' (Psalm 34:4-7).
Therefore, speak God's Word. 'Resist the devil, and he will flee from you' (James 4:7).
To Be Continued...
The Armor of God: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206:10-18&version=NKJV
Scriptures that will fight worry for you:
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.