Skip to main content

Anti-corrosive barrier

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 
 (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

Honestly answer this: When you are faced with the type of things that cause you to worry even a little, is your actual first response to those worries to 'worry' or 'pray'? Honestly, I think most of us might admit it is to worry, then to pray when we finally realize we are worrying! The Apostle Paul experienced some rather tough trials in his time in service to the Lord. He was jailed, brought before magistrates to give an account for his actions, engaged with others in ministry that had a hard time getting along with each other, and he faced physical ailments in his body...just to name a few of the things that might have caused him just a little bit of worry. We are directed to live a life that is free of fretting and worrying. Instead of worrying - we are to pray. Okay, you are already saying, "Easier said than done." I am right there with you! I often struggle with the worrying long before I remember, or trust him enough, to turn it over to the Lord for his answer!

Fretting is a corrosive process - it affects us by gnawing away at the peace and faith we have, even when we think we have some 'anti-corrosive' barrier erected in our lives. The corroding effect of fretting on life's problems eventually eats a hole through our faith, exposing us to doubt, frustration, fear, etc. Fretting behavior is quite easy to recognize - it is a behavior that is marked by being even a little bit agitated. I know when I am in a fretting state when I look at my own inability to "settle down" and focus as I should or normally would in the situation. We are given a directive to 'not worry'. Why does scripture refer to the process of both fretting and worrying? Don't they have a similar meaning? Well, they are close, but worry carries with it the idea of causing yourself torment! In other words, you are "doing yourself in" by the behavior you are engaging in! Every move you make is like you are dragging yourself along, no energy or passion in the movement, just barely making progress at all. Your steps are tentative and extremely guarded.

The "antidote" to corrosive thoughts/actions and self-tormenting activities is supposedly prayer. Not just the "Dear God, please intervene..." kind of prayer, but a pouring out of our heart before God with the nitty-gritty stuff that has us "wigged out" in the first place. It is an acknowledgement that we aren't feeling very 'easy' over the situation. It is an intense opening up of ourselves to God in honest exposure of the things that are acting as a corrosive influence in our thought life. In so doing, there is this promise of an eventual "washing away" of the corrosiveness of fretting and worry,  and a refreshing peace beginning to settle down in place of that corrosive thought pattern or activity we had previously been involved in.

Christ displaces worry at the center of our lives - amazing thought and a totally amazing action on our behalf! Don't lose sight of of the fact that
 when worry or fretting gets a foothold, Christ is displaced from the center of our lives - he becomes a second thought, definitely not our first. When we are honest about our struggles, we are asking Christ to come back to "center" in our lives - refocusing us on the one who IS peace and GIVES peace and BRINGS peace. So, the next time you find yourself a little agitated on the inside, or in a place of self-torment, perhaps the best thing to do is to turn your focus toward "center" again. As long as we keep Christ there, the corrosiveness of whatever life is dishing out will be lessened and the abundance of his grace will deliver us from the self-torment of our own fickle thoughts. Gotta love it! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…