refusing to worry or fret

It’s a broken record for me, and anyone reading this is welcomed to lift up a prayer for me. But as I’ve said before and hopefully won’t say too many times again, I have had a strong propensity to worry, to fret, to be anxious over the years. In fact I think that was a tool of the devil (meaning demons, though the devil is one of them, the one in charge) to hinder me and keep me from simply fitting well into whatever God would have had for me to do. Of course there were other issues swirling around that, as well. It’s not that I couldn’t have overcome all of that by faith, because I certainly could have and in some measure I did. But to a significant extent I think I failed to step into all God had for me because of that.

I remember years ago, Pastor Herb Vander Lugt, a man of God who I am grateful to know as a friend, now with the Lord, had a radio call in program. At the time I was frustrated over sin, the sin I had in mind surely must have been the sin of worry. Of course I knew that we can’t be sinless in this life, that we invariably do sin from time to time (I would clearly say now, during the course of a day). I called in and asked the naive question, which was more from the heart and not much from the head, born out of frustration- if we could simply choose not to sin in this life. I don’t think at all I meant be sinless, though I may have not explained that when I asked the question. I had more in mind what John says here: “I write these things to you so that you will not (commit an act of) sin. But when we do sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One, who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the world.” (1 John 2, partly my paraphrase)

Pastor Vander Lugt wisely and succintly gave me a good answer. Of course we stumble along the way. Even Moses who struggled with a hot temper early on, but by and by became the meekest person in all the earth, later succumbed again to anger, his actions from that keeping him from entering the Promised Land with the rest of the Israelities.

I’m back though, now after these many years from that phone call (some twenty to twenty-five years ago?), hopefully with a more mature perspective and view of things. But wanting to not only honor, but put into practice the idea of a commitment to refusing to worry, fret, or be anxious, come what may.

This has to be with the need of ongoing grace in confessing my sin of not trusting in God entirely in any given matter. There is no doubt that in this world we do have responsibilities, which may seem mundane in themselves, but are inescapable if we’re to be good stewards. We are indeed fallible, and important matter do slip through the cracks for us. We want to do the best we can.

The bottom line for me here though, along with that, is the importance of keeping faith in God in the sense of trusting in him regardless of what is happening or what I’m up against. This can be nothing short of spiritual warfare, as I’ve said again and again before. I have often went from one obsessive worry to the next, thinking in the midst of that and afterward that it was surely an attack of the enemy. They can more or less last for a day and be a distant memory completely gone. The next one being perhaps around the corner, completely unexpected and usually largely unanticipated. I assume those will continue to come. Paul speaks of confidence that God will deliver him from every evil attack and carry him safely into God’s eternal kingdom. He may well have included physical attacks to which he was no stranger, but surely he especially meant spiritual ones which we all as God’s children experience.

And so, this is one of my immediate goals. There is much more to be said around it, or at least I could say more, but I’ll stop here for now.

Does anyone have a thought you’d like to share here? Of course I’m always happy to receive that on any post, but it seems especially apt on a post like this.

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