Touching Our Lives
Overcoming worry depends on us noticing the anxious thoughts or temptations that go through our minds. These thoughts are not sin but will lead us into worry. Any decisions made during these times will lead us further into difficult times. Instead we are to look to Christ's faithful example in which He rejected the greatest temptations by choosing to trust God for direction and strength.
What principles were strongly impressed on you today? Circle the ones that are most significant.
- Anxious thoughts are not sin in themselves.
- Anxious thoughts become anxiety if not properly and promptly dealt with.
- Anxious thoughts like evil spirits are looking for a home in our hearts.
- My heart becomes the home for these anxious thoughts if they can attach themselves to one of my insecurities.
- Patterns can be observed by tracking our worried thoughts.
- A journal is a good way to discover what I am thinking in my inner man.
- Our minds are the gateways to our hearts.
- Decisions made to alleviate our worry are always bad in the end.
- We can be overwhelmed in our soul, but this does not mean we have failed to trust God.
- Unlike the first Adam, Jesus always chose to trust God.
What clear decisions, plans, or confessions do I need to make because of what God spoke to me during this session?
- I need to keep a spiritual journal for at least 30 days. I want to track all my worries. I need to write down both my anxious thoughts and my actual worries. I want to observe them so that I can build up my discernment abilities.
- When I worried about ...., then I made some bad decisions that went counter to Gods will. I disobeyed the Lord and need His forgiveness.
- I need to set better prayer habits. Usually, when being troubled by a worry, I do not pray. I need to pray even if my emotions seem to have been shaken. We need to pray as Jesus said, "Pray and enter not temptation."
What one or two special lessons, stories, illustrations, warnings, etc. can I share with others that might encourage their faith?
- Washing Machine
We have very difficult trials and normal trials. These normal trials are 'worries of life.' They are common and usually everyone has something in their life that they can identify with. Mine is about fixing a washing machine. Our washing machine broke down. With 8 children, this was a crisis. But being tight on money, Paul started to fix it. He went so far and then realized that it was probably so difficult that he couldn't fix it or if so, the parts would be very expensive.
Meanwhile they were praying for help from the Lord. They were asking Him for a washing machine. They didn't know if they should spend the last of their money on a washer. In the end, they bought a washer at a discount store. But still didn't have full peace. They called a friend and he said he had a washer that he could give them. So they joyfully but puzzled (why not earlier) prepared to return the washer that was still in the van.
We noticed that we had everything but the receipt. We looked everywhere for it. Here we had the offer of free washer and could return the old one, but couldn't find the receipt. We decided to ask the Lord for help and trust Him. Not too long afterward, my wife was yelling, Miracle. It's a miracle." Evidently, one of our sons heard us looking for it and managed to find it down behind the back of the sofa against the wall!
The friend's washer was coming, but it would take a few days because he was out of town. So Paul decided to take the old one apart and see if he could sell the good parts. As he reviewed the directions on the web again, he discovered that the problem might be minor. He was incredulous as he actually was able to take that part out and see that the broken piece could be simply purchased and put back in. They took their receipt, returned the washer, bought the $8.00 piece and assembled it before his friend returned home. They didn't need his washer after all!
There were many stages we could worry. Not much money. Timing. Getting clean clothes. The 3 piles were huge. On how to fix a washer. On finding a receipt. On whether the washer could be returned. Each case was so clear a testing one after another on whether we would take the anxious thoughts and worry or deliberately trust the Lord. We chose to obey the Lord and trust Him. We now have a testimony to share with others about His trustworthiness!