My wife and I enjoy our walks. It is good exercise for my worn-out knees, a chance to enjoy the changing seasons, see the deer and turkey, get caught up on the day’s happenings, and to pray. Always along on our walks is our dog Simba who probably enjoys the walk more than we do. On most days, he strides between us as we make our circuit. Aggressive dogs, garbage trucks, speeding cars, and other potentially intimidating things don’t seem to bother him. If you were to join us on one of these walks you would notice that he regularly looks up at me and “checks in” by touching his nose to my hand or leg. As long as I am there and not concerned, neither is he.
Jesus was very specific when He said “Do not be anxious.” In fact, He said it 3 times in Matthew 6! The apostle Paul picks up the same theme in Philippians 4 where he writes “do not be anxious about anything.” Literally, that means the Believer should not “have an anxious concern” about “no one, none, nothing.”
Unfortunately, a command like this can cause our anxiety to spiral out of control as our inability to stop worrying or being anxious fuels a new anxiety that God will be mad at us if we cannot stop worrying! Please understand that this is a command, but it is one that is given by the One who said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt. 11;29-30). You see it is not a command to try harder, but a command to worship!
God’s people were designed and created for worship, but the sin the still surges in us causes us to make secondary things in our lives primary. When we do that, we stop worshiping God, and in essence start worshiping whatever we are worried about. Jesus is not calling us to a lackadaisical lifestyle as there are legitimate concerns in life, but a call to loosen our grip on what we worry about and spend time with the Savior who is only fully in control – there is “no one, none, nothing” that He does not have His hand on. And He loves and cares for you!
Worship is a gift that we take for granted. It is not simply another ritual “good” Christians do, but a time when we seek the LORD and find deliverance from all our fears, anxieties and worries. David understood this truth and wrote this Psalm,
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:4-8).
Make it your ambition to spend time in daily in personal worship, and weekly as God’s people worship together. It is a precious gift, that time in our walk with the Savior when we “check in” with Him, taste His grace, and are reminded that He is still walking with you in this journey of life, still carries His “rod and staff,” and you are safe! “Be anxious for nothing” and enjoy the walk!