Philippians 4:1-23 Most of us are familiar with the phrase that is "batted about" so casually today: "Don't worry, be happy." There is a way you can not worry and be happy no matter what you are facing in this life—pray. The phrase should be revised to say, "Don't worry, Pray!" If we followed this admonition, our lives would be filled with joy (not just a happy "ha-ha" joy, but an inner joy that will strengthen us in all circumstances).
Worry is a sin. Worry is negative meditation. When we meditate, we roll over and over again in our minds the same thing. When we worry, we keep thinking over and over again the same negative thought. Both my mother and mother-in-law were worriers. I think since they both went through the Great Depression a little worry bug was implanted deep within them, and it was hard to shake it off. Most of the things they worried about never came to pass.
Worry usually comes when we play the "what-if" game. This is one of Satan's favorite games, and he loves it when we begin to play it with him. When we are always thinking about the things that could happen in the future, we are in a fantasy land of deception. Satan has deceived us, and once again he has gotten our hearts and minds off the now into the never-never land of future events that may never come to pass. Two of Satan's main tactics are to get our minds off the now by getting us to wallow in the past and worry about the future. Faith can only operate in the now; that is why Satan always wants to direct our thoughts away from the now.
We pay a great price when we worry. Satan has robbed us of the faith that can only operate in the now, and often he finds entrance into our lives to do further damage through fear of the future. Worry and fear are bedfellows; we must not allow them to climb into bed with us. If we do, we will be robbed of our peace, subject to mental and emotional torment, and even subject to physical illness and affliction. Worry is not worth the price we have to pay.
This passage in Philippians gives the cure-all to worry. It says, "Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything." The moment a worry thought comes our way, we need to say, "Thank you, Satan, for giving me that thought, because that very thought causes me to get on my knees to pray." James tells us to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil. Prayer is one of the key ways we submit ourselves to God. A worrying person can never be successful in resisting Satan, but a praying person will always have the victory over "old slewfoot."
Have you tormented the devil today? Every time you pray when worry thoughts come your way, Satan is tormented. He will be tormented, and you will receive the peace that passes your own understanding and God will set a guard around your heart and mind. DON'T WORRY, PRAY!
Lord, forgive me for the times I have worried instead of praying.
READ: Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 24:17-20
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