This post written by Lynda Glasgow
We all have so many invitations to "worry parties". Do you regularly accept them? It was too easy, but after developing enough disgust for these parties, I've figured out how to politely (or not so politely) decline.
I've learned to push them out of my mind because they aren't any good for me, and also that I just need to face each day as it comes and think ahead enough for reasonable life efficiency. (This coming from a "recovered" perfectionist. ;)
After countless bouts with worry, a day finally came when I read Matthew 6:34 with a mind ready to receive it, believe it, and live it:
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
If I have trouble today, I don't want to make myself feel doubly worse by thinking about tomorrow's trouble on top of it. And if I'm having a good day, I don't want to ruin it by worrying about a day yet to come.
Plus, it commonly happens that the things I find myself worried about never come to pass anyway. Then all that worry was for nothing! So I'd rather wait until bad things happen, if they do, and face them in His strength at that time, rather than string it all out. Of course this begs the million dollar question..."How do you just push worry away?"
Short answer, you just do it.
Long answer...Keep Reading!
Some worry party invitations are harder to decline than others. The pressure to attend can get unbearable at times. After all, you're the only guest on the list, so worry really puts the pressure on to have you there. So how do you push worry away and spend your time here on earth doing better things??
The key for me is:
"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7 NASB)
If I just try to make the devil flee without submitting to God first, either it doesn't work or it doesn't last long, because my power only goes so far. His, however, is endless. After all, He's the one with all authority over heaven and earth. (Mt 28:18)
Submission to Jesus is essential. And submission to Him is just another way of saying: "Jesus, You know better what's good and right for me in this. Help me listen and do this Your way."
To be clear, I don't believe worry is always spiritual attack or from the devil. It can be sin or just a result of this fallen world. But I lump them all together because they all need to be fought in the same way. Resist sin, resist the devil, etc. It's all the same to me in the end. They alllll gotta' go.
Here's a more detailed, practical look:
First, you have to hate what worry does to you, or you won't be able to stand firm against it. Because this will require a fight. Are you ready?
Second, you have to believe and trust in the relevant promises God makes and recognize your need for His help. (As noted above, "Submit therefore to God.") For example:
Do you believe God will never leave you nor forsake you? (Deut 31:6,8)
Do you believe that nothing is too difficult for Him? (Jer 32:27)
Do you believe that He wants good for you? (Jer 29:11)
Do you believe He is in control (sovereign)? (Pr 16:33; Is 14:24, 46:9,10)
Do you believe all things are possible for God? (Mt 19:26)
Do you believe He works all things for the good of those who love Him? (Rom 8:28)
Do you believe He wants you to be free? (Gal 5:1)
Exploring these and more are of ultimate importance. If we don't believe them, we have to figure out what's stopping us. There are no quick, easy fixes. We just have to get in and do the work. This might look like prayer, or journaling, or mulling over a verse, or talking it over with someone - whatever it takes to be able to hear the things God wants to teach us so we can grow. (I'm a huge fan of journaling btw.)
Third, you have to get stubborn. ("Resist the devil and he will flee from you.") You can't stop all worry in just one attempt. It's a relentless opponent that will continue to fight back. Remember, worry is desperate to have you at the party, so you have to be willing to fight.
The irony to me is, while we are fighting against the powers of spiritual darkness/sin, the location we must fight from is in point 2 above, filling ourselves again and again with God's truth about who He is and who He says we are. That's where we take our real stand.
If you'd like a real life example, keep an eye out for my next post: Saying "No" to Worry - Part 2