A Mind Consumed by Thoughts of What Could Go Wrong
You’re a Christian and you worry.
That seems pretty normal, doesn’t it? When you tell your friends you can’t turn your mind off at night and fall asleep, they concur that it’s a difficult thing. A mind consumed by thoughts of what could go wrong is a sweet dreams killer. Everyone worries, right?
The wicked worry.
I’m sorry, I know that’s a harsh word and one we don’t want attached to us, especially if we profess to be Christians. However, it’s the Father’s choice word for those who do not know Him nor His nature. What God knows to be true, and what He has revealed to us through Jesus is that He is good, and He is faithful to His covenant. To allow our minds to be consumed with thoughts that deviate from this truth is to operate in unbelief… wickedness.
Worry is a condition stemming from fear of inability to control a situation. The fear may be based on previous experience or imagined difficulties. We worry that our resources will not be sufficient, thereby exposing a state of self-sufficiency. Do you see how that equates with wickedness? The perverse man relies on himself alone and claims, “There is no God!”
Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence (1 Corinthians 10:12, MSG).
When my daughter, Jordan, was eleven years old, we had a girls’ getaway weekend in Washington, DC. Something she and I had always wanted to do was to walk the monuments at night. We started at the Lincoln Memorial at sunset and spent the next two hours visiting marble and granite structures representing our nation’s history. I have to say that right from the start, I wasn’t feeling incredibly confident. It hit me that this was the first time I had ever ventured out into a big city at night unattended by my husband. I suddenly felt vulnerable and expressed my worry to Jordan that perhaps our nighttime trek was unsafe.
That sounds reasonable, right? Anything could go wrong on those streets. People are crazy these days!
Listen to the words of my faithful and believing daughter: “Mommy, do you think that just because we’re in a different city that God is not with us and able to protect us?”
Exactly! Either I am a Christian and I acknowledge that God’s covenant of love is lasting and true every moment, or I am counted among the unbelieving generation who has no faith in what has already been revealed to me through my relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.
We went forth in faith. I cast aside my feelings of inadequacy should we encounter a crisis and, instead, I put my focus on our great God who is with us.
You know what else happened in that little incident? With my fresh focus on Almighty God, I was able to turn that monument tour into a prayer walk. Because I abandoned thoughts of insufficiency, I was able to join in faith with Jordan and intercede for a nation that claims it no longer has any need for God in the public sector.
I think that’s an important takeaway from this little teaching: because the state of worry is self-consuming, the call to shine the light of heaven in this dark world goes unanswered. On the contrary, trusting in the faithful love of the Father frees God’s child to fully live in each moment and generously share His goodness.
All of this talk on worry originated with my reading a powerful truth found in Proverbs 10:24. What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted. Here’s a thought that I shared before on Sharing Love and Truth: since the state of worry has focus on self and not on God, He can permit something to happen that we always feared would destroy us. We are forced in that difficult season to turn our eyes to heaven and hear Him say, “I’m bigger than that.” You see, God will not share His glory with another, not even with a mentally conceived god, some worry-fed state of mind that puffs itself up as powerful and all-consuming. Those are characteristics of His nature alone. God of the angel armies is the Almighty, and His love is all-consuming. He knows it’s to our benefit now and for eternity to set our hearts upon Jesus, to worship Him alone.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus wants you and me to understand that nothing in our lives takes Him by surprise. If we choose to abide in Him, we can eliminate worry by trusting in His Spirit’s presence to equip us for each and every day. Truly, in this state, we worship Him in spirit and in truth, for the wicked thoughts that enter our minds are taken captive and made obedient to truth:
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
It’s all about His presence, dear Child of God. Do not worry.