Archive for worry

Learning Not to Worry

Posted in 01 : The Chief Cornerstone with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/08/2011 by timenolonger

We exist in a stressful world, and one which only becomes more so with each passing day. The more one learns, the more there seems to be to worry about.

Uncertainty is the reigning factor in the affairs of the world… though we might attempt to derive understanding of future plans which rulers have, and though we might be assured that at some point all prophecy will come to pass, we never know exactly what the next day or week or month will bring.

That uncertainty can be mentally taxing as people are continually pushed closer to adversity in their own lives. The lack of a stable economy can hit home at any time, ever tightening “security” measures can mean the sudden loss of personal freedoms and even, ironically, personal safety.

Threats and rumors of food shortages and an ever more polluted supply of food and water can cause anyone aware of those factors to wonder what they will be eating a year from now.

Weather manipulation, mood manipulation, the threat of a seething geo-political climate ripe for world war and the classified technology at their fingertips to make such a thing a disaster like no war before… who could not end up a little worried?

Believers in Yahushua know that they have been charged to trust Him and not to worry… that admonition alone can be, and should be, a serious relief to us – realizing that, unlike the unbelieving of the world, we have an unbeatable assurance. Still…

…there are probably few believers who have never found themselves buried in a burden of anxiety from which they find it very difficult to extract themselves.

It is not ignorance of the assurance we have been given which is responsible for worrying, rather it’s a multitude of instincts innate in the flawed character of who we are which leads us to look at what we can or can not achieve, instead of what He can achieve.

Since we are all flawed, worry is universal. Some might be more anxious than others… but we’ve all been worried before. “What am I going to do?” is the mantra of the anxious mind.

That little question begins a cycle of irrational responses which traps the mind in a fruitless cycle of grasping for solutions which are not there, in a natural sense.

“What am I going to do?” is not a question which arises when there are clear choices and responsibilities to be met, it arises when there are no obvious answers to a difficult situation…

“I” is the issue…

As a person retains the responsibility and the authority in the use of the word “I”… all solutions must come from the one asking “what am I going to do?”

Immediately all responsibility and authority in the situation no longer belongs to our Creator inasmuch as the inquirer is concerned. “I” has a limited capacity to offer good solutions… and “I” will normally fail to adequately resolve anything.

Worry and self trust can arise out of an erroneous concept that He helps those who help themselves, contrary to His word, which clearly imparts the message that He helps those who can not help themselves… and in the most basic sense, none of us Can help ourselves.

The basic principle which operates behind the scenes of anxiety, though it may seem odd, is Pride.

If we feel there is any instance in which our answers are more sufficient than His, we have esteemed ourselves wise and powerful enough to take on that burden.

If we wrestle with the idea that we are not worthy to receive His help… that also assumes that it is possible that we could be. Worry does not feel like pride… yet it is the subtle output of a self-reliant nature which processes adversity in terms of what we can do about it.

We can be awed by His mercy in the fact that throughout His Word, YHWH does not harshly berate us for our troubled hearts that are so weakened by sin nature. Though we might deserve the scolding… His answers to our self-reliant worry are gentle and comforting. This fact alone should give us strength, knowing that a Creator merciful enough to be kind towards our faults is also merciful to be faithful in His promises to provide that which we need.

“Cast your burden on Yahuwah and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

– Psalm 55:22

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your celestial Father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they?

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing?

Consider the lilies of the field how they grow.

They neither toil nor spin and yet I say to you that even Shelomoh in all his splendor was not arrayed like one of these.

Now if Yahuwah so clothes the grass of the field, that today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the heathen seek.

For your celestial Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of Yahuwah and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.

Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

– Matthew 6:25-34

“What am I going to do?” should be a question that we routinely reword “What is He going to do?” Instead of the question only compounding our worries as it does when “I” is the subject… it can be said with confident anticipation… even excitement at the prospect of being the recipient of a blessing as yet unknown.

While our solutions are inadequate, limited and temporary, His are sufficient, full of infinite possibility and eternally sure. How amazing is it when you’re the one person in thousands who can get excited over some personal adversity instead of being burdened by it? That is, perhaps, the ideal and a goal that most of us have yet to attain to… but that’s what spiritually “growing up” is all about.

We ought to never be discouraged by the learning process which He designs for each individual in order to teach us more perfect faith. In this He proves that He loves us… even when the process is frustrating.

It is not uncommon for our Heavenly Father to remove every available natural solution to our own adversities… and though this can seem, through natural senses, to be a lonely and frightening circumstance, it is in this sort of “desolate landscape” situation, without our self-reliant tools, that we often learn how to efficiently call on Him, having no other options.

When we have wrestled with ourselves, attempting to find a way out of a situation which has no remedy, gone through anger, sadness and despair, spent sleepless nights or preoccupied days trying to solve our own issue, finally there is a moment of giving up and letting Him take control. When we see His response and understand His faithfulness, it is then that our faith increases.

“Yahuwah is my shepherd. I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil.

My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Yahuwah forever.”

– Psalm 23

He is the Almighty, All Sovereign and All Knowing King of Kings… and He cares for His children with more vigilant concern than the best earthly father who has ever lived.

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your celestial Father give the Sacred Spirit to those who ask Him!”

– Luke 11:11-13

In the uncertain days, months and years ahead… as long as He will that this age endures, may we all learn to trust Him more perfectly, mature in the confidence of faith towards Him, and be encouraged in His ever present help.

He never leaves nor forsakes us… not because we are good, but because He is.

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The Church of Help Yourself

Posted in 11 : Labor Pains with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/19/2010 by timenolonger

Psychology has it’s roots in the worship of pagan deities, particularly one in Egyptian legend named Thoth. When a thing has roots in an evil source, it can not be expected to grow into something which produces good fruit, but this is a simple truth which is confounded in the minds of people by the passing of time, and new benevolent-looking masks placed over old wickedness.

I am no fan of psychology, and so it alarms me to see that so many Christian ministries are devoted to it, and even those which are not devoted to it have become churches which – instead of teaching His word – give lengthy sermons on psychological applications of Christian morality.

If you desire a Christian self help book, you will have no trouble finding one. Hundreds of thousands of them exist and more are written every day, books to tell you how to live like a Christian man, books to tell you how to live like a Christian woman, books to help you recover from addiction, books to help you recover from divorce, books to help you pray, books to help your self-esteem, books to help your finances.

I am confused. Who is the man or woman who has written a manual on any of these things and wrote something better on them that what scripture has already taught?

Why is it that even believers now feel that they need the opinions of men to put right what is wrong in their lives, instead of turning to the One who has had answers all along?

The churches of the world are becoming a psychologists’ offices instead of the congregations of Yahushua. The answers He has given to the problems we might face are simple, clear, and unmistakable – but they are often not what people want to be told, and so they seek out some complex definition of their troubles – and usually one which removes all their own responsibilitie to whatever the problem is.

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His word on living like a man or woman whose life is dedicated to Him was summed up in two sentences spoken by Messiah.

“‘You shall love Yahuwah your ‘Eloah with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40

It did not require Him 500 pages to explain what the focus of a life in His service should look like. It is a simple answer but applied in life, it goes against the sinful nature of fallen creatures and so they become hungry to hear something which excuses a lack of willingness to do all that those few words mean, or provides a recipe for being able to accomplish it which should be no more complicated than complete submission to His will.

Perhaps one of the strangest things i have heard advertised by a Christian ministry was a book on how to pray which included pages and pages of the pastor’s own prayers on various matters.

The advertisement explained that many do not know how to pray because they feel unworthy or not eloquent enough, or they seem to be talking to themselves when they pray to Him.

I can not think of a more unnatural way to address any of those problems than trying to borrow the prayers of someone else. Prayers are intensely personal communications between believers and their Elohim, much more than the words which are spoken, and sometimes do not contain any words at all.

He told us in what way to pray, giving us a model example and instructions to not pray so that others can take note of your praying, but always in sincerity and meekness.

If we feel unworthy, so be it. We are unworthy, this is why His favor is called Mercy and not Due Payment.

If we are not eloquent, what should it matter? Has He not already known our needs before we begin to speak?

If we feel we are talking to ourselves, we don’t have a problem with praying, we have a problem with our faith.

Maybe my least favorite aspect of self-help in the Christian community is just what those words, “self-help”, mean. When have fallen beings not been focused on self help?

It is something we all can do well, help ourselves. We help ourselves to whatever we want that we can get. We help ourselves to what we should, and should not have alike, and we help ourselves to what we desire before we help anyone else to what they do.

We are always looking around for that to which we can help ourselves. In the end, we can help ourselves to all kinds of things, but we can’t ever save ourselves from anything. We need Him for that, and Him alone.

Likewise, we will never need to be concerned about our self-esteem, which is a thing on which Christian psychology, and psychology in general, is so focused. No one with a sin nature does not esteem themselves, we are all very good at it.

Nearly all we do, without thinking, is done to benefit us in some way. Infants are able to esteem themselves, crying out for food and attention, it is the first thing human beings know how to do.

The only one to walk the Earth in human flesh who did not esteem Himself, but gave His everything for everyone else was Yahushua. If we are to be conformed to Him, perhaps we could use a little less esteem for ourselves.

I see all this trend in helping self and psychology over scripture in the church as one a sign of apostasy in these last days. As the whole world becomes more and more wrapped up in self-absorbed thinking, the church follows. It is constantly and consistently about “me” and “I’ everywhere you turn.

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold, but he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
– Matthew 24: 10-13

If there is any good advice to counteract all the troubles of life it is – cease worrying about self and live for Him.

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