Thursday, August 18, 2011

WORRYING IS SINFUL - THE OPPOSITE OF TRUSTING IN GOD

Faith in God shows in what you do and don't do. The farmer built a bigger barn because he trusted in himself. The rich young ruler walked away from Jesus because he trusted in his wealth. The worried and anxious are sick and make a mess of their lives because they do not trust God to care and provide for them.

Worry is the same root sin committed by the farmer and the rich young ruler. Jesus said, "do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things" (Lk 12:29,30). Before I get to verse 31, let's think about what Jesus is saying. When we get caught up in the wants and desires of the flesh, we neglect putting God in charge. Worrying is the action of the faithless. No one is perfect but the chronic worrier makes this sin a practice. We worry if we are weak in faith. This is not even negotiable; it is not a matter of debate. Worry is not a chemical imbalance (though it may manifest itself that way at some point in the future). Worry is selfish and results in men building bigger barns so as to feel more secure. Worry will make men abandon their desire for eternal life in favor of material things. Worry is sin.

Chronic worrying is spiritual myopia. It is the failure to see the big picture. Worry is about focusing on the immediate over the promises of God. Consider Jesus' words: "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom" (Lk 12:31,32). In heaven there are no worriers. And in the Kingdom of Heaven there are no worriers. Chronic worriers are tempted to dismiss or minimize this sin - as we are prone to do with most weaknesses - but don't do it because you stop any chance for spiritual growth and happiness. Worry is all about being wrapped up in things and thoughts of this life. Worry is the antithesis of faith. Worry and faith do not mix. The farmer did not seek first the kingdom of God. The rich young ruler could give nothing more than lipservice to his desire for eternal life. His worrying about things is what controlled his actions. Worriers are enslaved to their fleshly thoughts. The person who believes in God and seeks the things of God will be immediately liberated from worry. If you insist on worrying about your life, your food, shelter, and clothing, and a multitude of things, then it's not possible that you are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.

If you worry, then you aren't much impressed to hear that God knows what you need and will take care of you. The rich young ruler wouldn't trust that God was going to provide for him. Like the worrier rationalizes his problem, so the farmer or the young ruler could rationalize the fleshly choice they made. "Well sure I believe in God, but who's going to take care of me when I'm old?" "For sure I want eternal life but how will I live without all of my wealth?" The worrier, like the worldly people who rationalize holding on to their riches, can't trust that God is going to richly bless them. The worrier doesn't trust in God.

When we trust in God, then we have to invest something in Him. The worrier lays all of his treasures up on earth. The treasures of time are spent minute by minute, day by day, churning and toiling over things in the mind. Worry requires so much investment that there's nothing left for serving others and for advancing God's kingdom. The worrier is inwardly focused. There's no time to write an uplifting letter to someone else. Worry requires you invest all of your energy in yourself. There's no energy to lift someone else's burdens. Worry can't lay up treasures in heaven unless those "treasures" require no money, time, or energy to be invested. The worrier can only give lipservice to faith in God because everything else, everything tangible, must be utilized to make the worrier feel secure.

Worrying is inexcusable to God. Stop it. Pray now. Turn everything over to God now. Be truthful. Are you worrying because you don't trust your man is going to be faithful and you need him to take care of you. Are you worrying that your woman will leave you if you do the right thing? You might be worrying because you fear you won't have enough savings for the future. You might be worrying because you want to live to an old age. You might be worrying because people don't accept you and you want to be accepted. You might be worrying because you aren't as pretty or handsome as some. You might be worrying because your dreams are slipping away. These are not the result of chemical imbalances but they will destroy you and your spiritual life. Don't defend these things and lie against the truth. I am speaking this way because I care. Worry and faith can't mix. Tell Satan to leave you alone. Seek first God's kingdom and trust that your Father in heaven knows what you need. He will provide for you. You will be happy.

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