“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6 NLT “Don’t worry about it!” We’ve all heard that from family or friends but for many, myself included, it’s not much help because of worry’s power to pacify and immobilize us as victims of our circumstances. Breaking free from worry’s grip as this verse suggests, …
Recently I was having one of those sleepless nights that everyone can identify with, when I was obsessing about some challenges I was facing in the week ahead. Thankfully it is an infrequent occurrence. But no matter how hard I tried or fervently I prayed I could not lay my nagging concerns to rest so I could finally get some rest. I was so frustrated that I was even resenting the moonlight shining through my bedroom window, viewing it as a source of irritation and contributing factor to my insomnia.
But then as a passing cloud shaded the full moon’s light I caught a glimpse of the starry sky. I really cannot explain it, but at that moment, resonating out of the vastness of the universe and the knowledge that the one who created it also created and cared for me, were the words “take no thought for tomorrow.” It was not something dramatic like an audible voice or startling revelation or some angelic appearance or intervention. It was more like the sense and satisfaction a person has when they solve a math problem or discover an important fact they have been looking for. It just settles things and arms a person with the truth that allows them to move on.
When that phrase ‘take no thought for tomorrow” came to me it was like, “Oh yeah, I can do that. If the creator of the universe is telling me to take no thought, then why waste time taking thought.” And right then and there I decided to stop thinking and worrying about the morrow, laid all my anxious thoughts aside and within minutes was asleep.
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew16:23 (NIV)
Recently I found myself battling a mixture of worry, fear and discouragement over a direction I felt God leading me to take. It was like I had come to a roadblock warning me to stop and redirecting me to consider another way to go. You know how roadblocks appearing out of no where have a way of threatening your plans and upsetting your equilibrium? Especially when you are on a tight schedule and are already feeling pressed to reach your destination on time. That is how I felt.
First off, worry, fear and/or discouragement are often tip offs that a person is under spiritual attack. Our enemy the devil and his evil spirits work mightily using tactics like that to hinder us from pressing ahead into God’s will for our lives. In so doing they seek to not only thwart our plans but also to rob us of our peace and joy by undermining our faith. (Romans 15:13)
As I began to pray about what I was feeling I found the Spirit of God rising up within me to speak to the devil with the same words Jesus used – “Get behind me, Satan!” The more I prayed this, the greater the force and conviction of my words became and the more directive! I found myself moving from repeating “get behind me, Satan” to repeating phrases like “get out of my way, get out of my way” and “you are not going to block or hinder my future!” In the process I began to see with such clarity that the fear, worry and discouragement I was feeling were direct roadblocks thrown up by the enemy to try to stop me from pressing ahead into the plans and future God had for me.