Walk Instead of Worry

Yellow roadsign with WORRY FREE ZONE messageI remember reading a quote years ago that said: “Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it will get you nowhere”. I have my own secret way of worrying. I actually use a different word. Instead of saying I’m worried about something, I use the word “concerned”. The concept is still the same. I find myself worrying about things that I have zero control over. I can do nothing about the weather. I can do nothing about what people in other parts of the world choose to do. I can do nothing about my past. I can really only control my response to the past while living in the present and planning for a future – which I have little control over as well. When the dust clears, worry does NOTHING to help me, instead it actually harms my heart deep within.

Jesus spoke clearly in His teaching about worry and what a waste of time and energy. He goes a bit deeper inside it and calls out the source of our worry – money. Check this out…

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:24-27,31-34 NLT)

I came away after reading that this morning thinking that I simply need to keep walking with the Lord and not worrying about anything. I think about money every day – how much I have; or how much this will cost; I don’t think I could ever have too much. I need to care less about what others think of me and care more about how I’m walking with the Lord. I need to care less about my past and how things used to be and embrace what my future looks like with the Lord in charge. I need to quit worrying and start walking in step with the Lord. He created me. He created this world. He owns everything and I’m simply His manager. I will get a lot more done for Him and His work, if I stop being so self-absorbed in worry.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

No Worries

 

Yellow roadsign with WORRY FREE ZONE messageIt’s easier to say, “no worries” than it is to not worry. When I say, “no worries”, I usually mean I’m not worried so the other person shouldn’t worry either. I’ve heard the old adage: “Worry is a lot like a rocking chair – It will give you something to do, but won’t get you anywhere”. I try hard to not worry about much.

Paul’s challenge is Philippians to worry about nothing, instead, pray about everything. Check this out…

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

19 And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7,19 CSB)

I believe worry can crowd out my faith and trust in the Lord. Worry says that I must be in charge or in control of my circumstances. I’m not going to act like I never worry. I can say I’ve really grown in this area because I’ve grown in my faith and trust in the Lord. I’ve learned that I’m simply not responsible for all the things that happen to me or could happen to me.

Worry can paralyze me.

Worry can distract me.

Worry can depress me.

Worry can weaken me.

I’m learning to trust the Lord with everything and do my best to worry about nothing. My prayer life has grown tremendously since I’m learning to trust more. I don’t have to be sitting at home in a quiet place to pray. My prayers are simply conversations with the Lord all day long. When I’m facing a stressful phone call or meeting – I pray for peace and patience. The Lord is the Source of my “no worries” attitude.

I will do what I can do and I will sit back and watch Him do what ONLY He can do! No Worries!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Urgent

urgent priority stampThis word means carries with it the need for “immediate attention and action”. When I hear that something is urgent, I tend to sit up straight and respond rapidly if I’m called upon. There are things in my life that are urgent each day. There are times when others do something and reach out to me urgently. I remember a guy saying once, that a crisis on your part due to poor planning or lack of organization doesn’t create a crisis for me. There are times when a crisis comes and it may be small or large, but it requires my attention. I am still learning that things that are urgent are sometimes not as important as they seem. The urgency makes them seem very important.

David cries out to the Lord urgently in his writing at times. I know this that when I’m desperate and struggling with hope, my prayers and cries to God are urgent. Check this out…

All my longings lie open before you, Lord:
    my sighing is not hidden from you.

15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, ‘Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.’

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior. (Psalm 38:9,15-16,21-22 NIV)

The Lord knows the urgency of my situation even before I speak a word. The Lord knows things that I’m fearful of or nervous about even before I talk to Him about it. When my heart is desperate, my prayers are urgent. I am learning though that the noise of my life and the desperation of my heart doesn’t change Him. He is always full of compassion and mercy. He never gets rattled. He never gets desperate. The Lord is on time every time. He doesn’t make mistakes. I have seen Him take desperate situations in my life and bring beauty out of my struggle and desperation. I try to pray to Him about everything and worry about nothing. When the urgent situation is close by, it’s hard to not worry or entertain fear. His Word drives me to my needs to pour out my urgent and desperate struggles before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Favor

 

relaxI don’t mind doing favors for others most of the time. I also enjoy it when others do favors for me.  I do realize that doing a favor for someone almost always costs me something. If the cost is minimal it’s an easy call. If someone asked me for a favor like driving them to California and back – well that wouldn’t be easy to pull off and I feel I could say “pass” on that one. It’s one thing for a favor to cost me a lot, it’s another thing when the favor costs those closest to me.

David wrote from such a healthy perspective many of the Psalms. He seemed to understand his place in God’s world. He understood that He needed the Lord always. Check this out…

4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;

    praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment,

    but his favor lasts a lifetime;

weeping may stay for the night,

    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,

    ‘I shall never be shaken.’

7 Lord, when you favored me,

    you made my royal mountain stand firm;

but when you hid your face,

    I was dismayed.

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;

    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.

    Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30:4-7,11-12 NIV)

As I read this short psalm this morning I relaxed a bit. I read it a couple of more times because it calmed my heart. My heart is often anxious because of worry and fear. When I take a moment to think of God’s favor over me, I can relax.

As I think back on my life, I can vividly see times of wailing when my heart was smashed into pieces from pain. I had never experienced pain and heartbreak of that level.  I was at what felt like the bottom with no place to look but up. The Lord was gracious to me during those times of struggle and pain. As I look back on those experiences, I can now see the hand of God and how He was holding on to me and walking with me through those dark valleys. I learned that He is NEVER ABSENT and He NEVER abandons me.  I am so thankful that He turned my sorrow and struggles into laughter and joy. He has restored my soul many times and on many occasions.

I’m humbled and thankful for the favor of God upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Self-Pity

 

Word cloud illustration in shape of hand print showing protest.Self-pity is not an attractive trait and sometimes it’s really hard to push away from such a strong emotion or sentiment. When it seems like the whole world is crashing in around me it’s tough to keep my head up. In my journey with the Lord I’ve learned that no one else can “pity” me quite like I can. I am embarrassed to think of how many “pity parties” I’ve thrown for myself over the years. It is so easy to get the guest list together for a pity party because I’m the most important guest.

Job is having a pretty big pity party in his own right. He has more reason to have one than I every have. He’s lost all his material possessions, his family and his health. He is barely hanging on to life itself. He’s lost hope and he’s crying out to the Lord because he doesn’t understand what he has to endure. Check this out…

4 Do you have eyes of flesh?

    Do you see as a mortal sees?

5 Are your days like those of a mortal

    or your years like those of a strong man,

6 that you must search out my faults

    and probe after my sin –

7 though you know that I am not guilty

    and that no one can rescue me from your hand?

12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,

    and in your providence watched over my spirit. (Job 10:4-7, 12 NIV)

I can hardly imagine what Job is feeling and experiencing. I’ve certainly had struggles and sufferings in my life, but nothing on the scale that Job is facing. I love how Job deals with his frustrations and struggles. He asked God lots of questions. Inside these questions are definitely strong hints of hopelessness. He asks lots of questions and begs the Lord to take his life, but he doesn’t curse God. I love seeing this personal relationship with God. I believe as I read the rest of God’s Word, that this personal relationship is exactly what the Lord wants with me. He wants me to walk and talk with Him daily. He wants me to let my life revolve around His Plans for me. He wants to direct my daily activities. He wants to be the desire of my heart every day. He wants me to trust Him without worry or question – even though He will welcome my questions.

I want to stop having pity parties – they are always themed the same – with my whining. Come to think of it; I don’t usually invite the Lord to my pity parties because He will shut the party down.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Power Prayer

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere are times when I pray for different situations differently. For example, if a person asked me to pray for them, I usually pray right then. I’ve found that I can pray anytime, anywhere. I have also discovered that my prayer voice goes up a notch when I’m scared or hurt. I have also discovered that my prayer voice gets stronger when it’s someone I’m close to.

King Asa of Judah was a follower of God. He cleaned up the country from his predecessor’s leadership. He took down the shrines of idol worship and he led people back to God. The land was at peace because God had given him rest. This other king nearby thought that Asa could be picked off. Check this out…

9 Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with an army of thousands upon thousands and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.

11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

12 The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, 13 and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they were crushed before the Lord and his forces. The men of Judah carried off a large amount of plunder. (2 Chronicles 14:9-13 NIV)

King Asa’s prayer was simple but powerful. I have a feeling that his “prayer voice” was pretty loud and high pitched. My power prayers are often relentless and desperate. King Asa does seem a bit calm from the text, but I imagine after seeing the vast army that had come to destroy him, he took his prayers up a notch.

I want to grow as a power praying man. I want to continue to walk with the Lord in such a way that He and I talk a lot about everything. I do believe that God hears my prayers and that He acts on them. He doesn’t always answer them the way I want, but I believe He always answers. I want to be a bold prayer warrior. I want to pray about everything and worry about nothing. I want my life to reflect the confidence that I have in God NOT confidence in my own gifts and abilities. In order to do this, I have to put my pride in check every day. I want to claim the words from James. Check this out…

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne