“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? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” ~Matthew 6:26-27 (NLT)
Time to put this baby to bed. As you may know I’ve been covering something that can be a deterrent to our faith and that deterrent is worry. My friend Matt Henry says, “There is scarcely any sin against which our Lord Jesus more warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting, distrustful cares about the things of this life.” Guess that’s his way of saying we shouldn’t be so worldly-minded and so much so that Jesus came right out and addressed it during the Sermon on The Mount. Jesus wants us to understand that we have a Kingdom value to God and that we need to stop questioning our worth in this world.
A great deal of us tend to dress ourselves in material security when we only need to put on the garment of Christ and suit up in the armor of God. Guess it’s a matter of answering a simple question…Can you serve two masters? Maybe for us it’s like having two jobs at once in order to make ends meet. Eventually one is gonna dominate the other depending on what can rule your ambition better. You can call it “Doin’ what I gotta do” all you want but misplaced ambition is a joy killer and when your joy is gone worry can flow into your life to fill the void. That’s why Jesus says “Therefore I tell you do NOT be anxious about your life…”
Now what do I mean by misplaced ambition? Well what I’m not saying is that planning ahead is foolhardy. J.C. Ryle (the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool 1880-1900) once said that “Prudent provision for the future is right; wearing, corroding, self-tormenting anxiety is wrong.” If all you live for today is to make sure you have a tomorrow Jesus pretty says you’re missing the point. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Bottom line here is that worry is incompatible with the Christian faith (Stott) so when we worry about stuff that hasn’t happened we ain’t addin’ nuttin’ to our lives (well maybe acid reflux). It doesn’t make sense to carry a fear over something that may never happen…it stunts your growth of faith in what God has already planned for you.
This may be easy to read or write than to live out but we need to develop a true Christian ambition for God. I mean everyone is ambitious to be or do something. When Jesus took to The Mount that day it was to split anxiety down the middle. We have a false ambition where all its about is building up stuff on this earth and being bogged down by worrying if we’re gonna get what we think is ours. Then we have a true ambition where the spiritual matters and we strive to build up treasures in heaven. To quote John Stott on the matter, “In the end, just as there are only two kinds of piety, the self-centred and the God-centred, so there are only two kinds of ambition: one can be ambitious either for oneself or for God. There is no third alternative.”
I started a journey into a book titled “Laugh Again…Experience Outrageous Joy” and what I gleaned outta the whole thing was I let worry over an issue dominate my whole existence. My joy in serving the Lord was crushed and I wanted out from serving God’s people. My faith got seriously rocked and I wondered why I even bothered being in His House. I dove into my job with a fury that said “All that I got going right is this job” Man was I so wrong. Truth be told brethren I straddled the fence (was doing it for months) but my God loves me too much to have allowed me to stay that way…and God’s people wouldn’t leave me alone either. So what is a boy to do from this point forward? How about a little diddy from a guy who found his joy in the Lord while in prison?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: So anybody who divides his allegiance between God and mammon has already given it to mammon, since God can be served only with an entire and exclusive devotion. This is simply because He is God; “I am the Lord, that is my name; My glory I give to no other” (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11) To try to share Him with other loyalties is to have opted for idolatry.” ~John Stott
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39