TOPIC: OUR RESPONSIBILITY—GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY
Scripture: So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34 (AMPC)
Every believer has the responsibility to live right—to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. Motivated by the reverential fear of the Lord, we can learn to live carefully and begin to make a difference in the world we live in. You and I need to be careful about what we allow into our spirits and how we live our lives. Proverbs 4:23 says to guard our heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life.
I believe we should have a careful attitude about how we live—not a casual or a careless one. We need to be careful about what we watch, what we listen to, what we think about, and who our friends are. I’m not saying we need to live according to the strict and demanding dictates of man. Some would say we must not wear makeup or that we must wear colorless clothing from our necks to our ankles.
That is nothing more than legalistic bondage to a bunch of rules and regulations. I had a very legalistic relationship with God for years and was miserable, so the last thing I want to do is teach legalism. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t compromise. We should recognize our responsibility as Christians to live our lives in such a way that unbelievers will be attracted to God by our behavior.
James 4:17 (AMPC) says, …any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin. In other words, if we are convicted that something is wrong, then we must not do it—even if we see a hundred other people doing it and getting by with it. They may seem to be getting by with it, but sooner or later, we will all reap what we sow. We know that worry and anxiety are not characteristics of a godly Christian. Yet still, many Christians worry.
You can choose to worry, or you can reject worry and choose to live with joy and peace. Most people don’t want to hear that message, and they seem to find an odd comfort in thinking that worrying is beyond their control. It is not. Worry is a sin against God. As long as I’ve been in the church, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone make that statement. But it is sin. It is calling God a liar. It is saying that God is not sufficiently able to take care of you and provide for your needs.
Faith says, “God can do it.” Worry says, “God isn’t able to help me.” When you worry, you not only call God a liar, but you have also allowed the devil to fill your mind with anxious thoughts. The more you focus on the problems, the larger they become. You start to fret and may even end up in despair.
Think of the words of the great apostle: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency] (Philippians 4:13 AMPC). Or think of the words from the psalmist: Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5 AMPC).
Jesus told His disciples not to be anxious and, as quoted above, not to worry about tomorrow. But He did more than teach those words; He lived them out: And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head (Matthew 8:20 AMPC). That wasn’t a complaint but a simple fact of life. Jesus trusted His Father’s provision for Him even when He didn’t know where He would sleep or what He would eat.
Jesus taught that we are not to worry about anything in life. He wasn’t speaking about planning and thinking ahead. He was saying that some people never act because fear holds them back. They can always tell you 10 things that can go wrong with every plan. Jesus wants us to live a stress-free life. If you are worrying about what might happen, you’re hindering God from working in your life.
I heard about a couple whose daughter was diagnosed with a serious illness that wasn’t covered by insurance. The parents were struggling to pay all the medical bills. Not knowing what else to do, they both went into their bedroom for a lengthy time of prayer. Afterward the husband said, “It was really quite simple. I am God’s servant. My responsibility is to serve my Master. His responsibility is to take care of me.”
The next day, the doctors told them that their daughter was eligible to be part of an experimental surgery and all expenses would be paid. The wife smiled and said, “God is responsible, isn’t He?” What a testimony to their faith and trust in God who always remains faithful and responsible and in all things. God is no respecter of persons. What He does for one, He will do for another (see Romans 2:11). I encourage you to stop worrying and start trusting in Him.
Prayer of the Day: Lord God, I know that worry is a sin against You. In the name of Jesus, help me overcome all anxieties and worry and enable me to trust You to provide for every need I have, amen.
Joyce Meyer 4 October 2022 Devotional for Tuesday