Two Temptations We All Face (Part 2)

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  (Matthew 6:25)

In Part 1, we addressed the temptation to love and lust for the things of the world, to live for temporary pleasures more than for God’s purposes (Matthew 6:19-24) In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus taught how to overcome anxiety and worry.

God made us with the ability to focus, to think and consider.  Our problem is that we too often dwell on the wrong things, such as: our circumstances, the future, our finances, our clothes and houses, our bodies, etc.  When we dwell on these things, we worry and become anxious.  Don’t beat yourself up, all humans naturally worry, but there is a cure and Jesus clearly explains it in this text.  In a word, it’s FAITH.  Notice His words “You of little faith.” (v. 30)  He is speaking to those who have saving faith, but their faith for daily living was little or inadequate.  They had not learned how to exercise their faith in daily struggles.  That’s not unlike many Christians today, who claim to be in the family of God, but their life and level of worry is almost identical to those who do not follow Jesus Christ.  As Christ followers, we need to model faith, not anxiety.

Worry and anxieties are indicators of the strength of our faith.  In other words, if circumstances overwhelm us and dominate our thoughts, it’s a reflection of either a lack of real relationship with God or of weak faith.  Jesus may be asking many of us the question He asked His disciples when they faced an unknown, scary situation, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:22-25) They had faith but it wasn’t being exercised.

Faith in God for daily living is like muscles to the body.  In Christ, you have faith muscles.  The questions are, “How strong are they?  Are you exercising them on a regular basis? Are your faith muscles growing stronger?”  Jesus gives us clear instructions for increasing faith.  He says…

  1. Know that your Heavenly Father deeply cares for you. (v. 26)  I have come that you might know how much He loves you.
  2. If God provides for the birds and the flowers, surely you can believe He will provide everything you need.  (vv. 32-33)
  3. Refuse to let the devil lie to you and steal your focus.  Don’t waste time being dominated by fear, anxiety and futility. (v. 31,34)
  4. Set your affections on God and intensely pursue Him. (v. 33)  Let worry be a trigger thought to turn your heart toward God. Seek Him first and foremost above all other thoughts.
  5. Trust Your Heavenly Father!  Trust His sovereignty over all things.  Trust Him to provide what you need.  Trust His power to make anything happen.  Trust all of His promises.  Trust God, He is for you!

Pray: Father, thank you for giving me the gift of faith.  I repent of worry and anxiety and for buying the devil’s lies. You know what I need and You are in control.  I turn my attention and affections to You.  I love You!

Jeff Wilson

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