Today Is The Day To Stop Worrying

by:  Lonnie Lane

Yeshua, who had greater reason than any of us to want to be “else-when,” said to stay focused on today. He knew the beginning from the end, including the end of His life on earth, yet He said, “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).  Can’t say that sounds like a totally positive statement, but the direction is clear. Stay focused on today. Deal with now, not tomorrow. The context of His statement is that God knows all your needs and He’ll take care of you. We self-sufficient folks are far less aware of the essentialness of that statement, as most of us depend more on our own efforts than on God to meet our needs. Oh, we do rely on God, but only when we can’t meet the needs ourselves. When we get there, we tend to say things like, “Well, all we can do now is pray,” as if it’s a last resort when it should be our first response to any need to look to God.

Well, maybe that’s not your way. Good for you. But in case it is, here are some questions for you to answer. Hopefully you will stop a moment and answer each one thoughtfully for yourself. It may seem like the answers are obvious, but let’s look at what is really operative in our lives, not what we know we’re supposed to believe.

Ready? Here we go: Do you believe we are to obey everything that Yeshua has told us to do? Do you take Yeshua’s commandments seriously in your own life? All of them or do you have favorites and you waffle on some others? Or do you have a few “un-favorites” that you avoid? Few of us, if we’re true believers, would disagree that He expects His followers to comply with His every word. We don’t get to pick eight out of ten or less. You agree with that in theory, right? Okay, then how come you worry or become anxious?  Didn't He tell us to “cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)? That word “cast” is the same as driving out a demon. It’s gotta go when you tell it to. You really can drive out your worries, woes and anxieties, if you turn them over to the Lord in faith, trusting that He’ll take care of it. Don’t believe me? Watch Sid’s interview with Larry Hutton and see if he doesn’t give you a new perspective on how not to worry.

I had one of those don’t worry challenges recently. I had an Israeli friend coming to my church to do an all day Saturday seminar for us. It is customary to take the speaker out for lunch during the mid-day break which would have been my responsibility. It just so happens the week before, my dog got sick to the tune of a $400 vet bill and my car tried to commit suicide! That cost me another $600 to resuscitate it. If truth be told, this left me with the total of forty-three cents to my name till next pay day, which was long after my Israeli friend would have left. What do to? I don’t use credit cards by choice, so rather than go to anyone else, I went to God and asked Him to please have someone take both me and the speaker to lunch on Saturday. Admittedly, I thought of taking some cash out of the morning offering (some people couldn’t stay for the afternoon session and they wanted to bless the speaker before they left), and writing a check to be cashed the following week for the amount, but I had NO PEACE about that. So I was back to trusting God.  It wasn’t until we were at the restaurant and it was time to order, and I was looking at the menu and discussing it with my Israeli friend, while silently reminding the Lord that I was walking on water here, that a woman I did not know who had come to the seminar leaned over and said, “I’d like to pay for lunch for you both.” I smiled and told her how very nice that was of her and sent God a smile and a big heart-expressed “Thank you, Lord.” Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Not that I want to be living on the edge all the time like that.  Actually, since I was really trusting Him I had peace that He would come through, and was excited the whole time because I loved trusting God for this. There’s the key, believing He will really meet our need, and even bless us then rejoicing rather than worrying. It’s not denial, it’s walking with God. It was an adventure in Him which brought me much joy in trusting Him. It’s a kind of partnership with Him. It brings you closer to Him. It doesn’t have to be about finances. It can just be about the daily issues of life. He really is there for us. So to repeat the question, why do we worry or allow ourselves to be anxious?

"...cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you..."

Did Adam and Eve worry about their needs being met in the garden before the apple incident? Of course not! Do people worry in heaven or strive to be provided for? Double of course not. Do you believe Yeshua had us pray that God’s will would “be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) if He didn’t expect it to happen?   Or perhaps you think the will of God will only be fulfilled at the end of the age when everyone who will be saved is saved? Or when He comes, rather than His will being fully accomplished in each of our own individual lives in the here and now.  Do you believe that Yeshua fully expected that Abba would “give us this day our daily bread” (:11) when we look to Him for it, regardless of the circumstances around us?  

Do you think Yeshua prayed that same prayer for Himself and His disciples daily? Or did He just have faith so that between Him and His Father, it was a given? But He knew to tell them that was a way to pray so He must have meant for us to look to God for our daily “today” needs.  And what about for the crowd of 5,000 He evidently was responsible to feed? Was the feeding of the 5,000 maybe a part of that “Give us this day” prayer? He didn’t tell us to pray wishful thinking; He told us to pray in faith, believing.  “Daily bread” isn’t just about bread. It’s about food altogether and all we would have need of, no matter whether the need is about body or spirit. He is “the bread of life” (John 6:35, 47), isn’t He? So He is the daily Bread we need all the time.

Yeshua wouldn’t have told us to pray for what He didn’t reeeeally believe God would supply to us, would He?  When we shine a flashlight on this area of our walk with God like this, we see unbelief lurking behind many of our statements. We pray the Lord’s Prayer, or at least we recite it, or even occasionally sing it (I love to sing The Lord’s Prayer. I learned to sing it in Glee Club in the sixth grade and always loved it. I didn’t find out till some twenty some years later when I got saved that those were Jesus’ words. They somehow ministered to my heart as a young [Jewish] person even without knowing Him.)  Do we really believe He meant for us to expect that God would hear and answer the prayer? If we truly did, I suggest we would live somewhat differently. We might even find today more exciting than the past or the future. We might enjoy today because every day is today, as in “today is the day of salvation,” (2 Corinthians 6:2), if we consider it as such.  

Most of our worrying is for sometime in the future, even if it’s only as far in the future as lunch. But most of our worrying is about what we anticipate is yet to come, or won’t come when we think we need it to. To go back to Yeshua’s statement, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow,” it would seem we would be a whole lot more peaceful and trusting God if we’re staying in today in our thoughts. Consider what Yeshua had ahead of Him. He really HAD to stay focused on each day and what God had for Him that day. If He was focused on His upcoming tortuous death, He would not have been able to function as He did, let alone be in the peace and joy He obviously had for He said, “My peace I leave with you, not as the world. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Again, if He told us this, He must have expected that it was possible. He did it; He stayed in today and was able to stay in peace. So here’s another question for you to answer: What are you troubled about? Is there anything you’re anxious about? What lurks ahead of you that you are concerned today that may or may not come in the future?  Can you identify the answer for yourself?  You ponder that. I’ll wait. Then you can go on reading.

I shared with you a scenario about the lunch situation as an example of how some people live in that kind of trust in God. The great evangelist of our day, Reinhard Bonnke, who has led more souls to Jesus, in Africa and elsewhere, than probably anyone else in his great crusades, gave away everything he had in order to learn to trust God to meet his every need. Because he knew that what God was calling him to do was impossible financially in the natural, and God truly has met his every need. I’m not telling you to, nor am I, giving away everything we have – God led him to do that because of the calling on his life – but we can enter into the great adventure of putting our trust in God for everything, even when we have the resources. Trusting in God is a matter of the heart, not of things, people or circumstances. We can exchange worry and anxiety for faith and trust in God. It’s one or the other. Doctors will tell you that a huge percentage of illnesses come from the stress of worry. And the thing about worry is that it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t help the situation. What did worry ever do for you? Or for someone else you’re worrying about? If there was ever anything that took up more time, energy or robbed us of enjoying life, it’s worry and fear of what’s going to happen.

The antidote for worry is largely taken care of by focusing on today...

I have a solution to the worry for you. I know this sounds simple but it works. The antidote for worry is largely taken care of by focusing on today and occupying ourselves with God and His goodness today. You may have heard the old adage about how many things get worried about that never happened. What if we really didn’t worry about tomorrow?  “Today” is mentioned 190 times in the Bible. Following are a few examples of what we are to focus on TODAY.  

“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39). This “know” doesn’t mean to be aware of a piece of miscellaneous information about God, but to let it penetrate into your spirit so it becomes a part of you that the Lord is God, first of all, that that He who is in heaven above has allowed you to know Him!  He is the ever living God and He is with you; He knows you personally and allows you to know Him. He wants to impart His goodness into your life. How awesome is it that this God in heaven is interested in you knowing Him and letting you know how much He cares for you? Now if you’re focusing on that throughout the day, there will be little room for worry.

“Then Moses said, ‘Dedicate yourselves today to the LORD… in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today’” (Exodus 32:29). This was after Israel had made a golden calf when Moses was away up on the mountain for forty days and they worshiped it. They were in big trouble with God, but look at what’s happening here. Restoration! Whatever you may worry would keep you from God or would keep God from you, genuine repentance will always restore you to God. If there is anything separating you from God on any level, today you can be restored. Today the Lord wants to forgive you and bestow blessings upon you. Dedicate yourself, commit yourself to a life of dedication to God, even if you can only tell Him at this point that you want to and need His help in living it. He understands that. If your life feels rather purposeless, ask Yeshua to be Lord of every area of your life. Be specific. Give Him the day every day. “Today be Lord of my choices, of the words I speak, of the money I spend, of the people I meet, of the food I eat (especially if you have eating concerns).” Ask the Lord for His purpose to be fulfilled for you each day. Then trust that He will and don’t fret about it. Walk through your day and wait to see what God will bring in your path. But stay in faith, now. And respond when it comes to you. It’s amazing what happens when you begin daily to ask God to open your eyes to His Kingdom. You can start doing that today. I’ve been praying a prayer for years that He has answered in many ways: “Lord, may Your highest will be done in my life and my life lived for Your glory.” That’s not one He’s likely to ignore. I started praying it in a time when I had no idea what His will was nor could I see much of what it could possible be. I offer it to you to pray as your own prayer.

 There comes a day in our own lives when God gives us the ability to walk out of our dilemmas.

 

Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’” (Joshua 5:9).  430 years of slavery and being out of their God-given land and then one day it’s all over and the past is the past and God rolls away the shame, the feelings of abandonment by God, the confusion, the pain, the anger at the injustice….And one day, they are free!  There comes a day in our own lives when God gives us the ability to walk out of our dilemmas. That day can be today.  He says, “Today is the day of deliverance.” You can stop rehearsing what happened to you before, and stop worrying whether the past will repeat itself in your future. You can leave the past in the past as long as you keep singing the Lord’s song and not the tale of woe of what happened before.  If you need to forgive, even if it’s yourself you need to forgive, do it. To not forgive is to leave ourselves in the hands of the enemy. Forgive and let it go to Yeshua. Turn it over to Him to work in their lives or yours however He sees fit. You belong to God; let Him be God in your life.  

We have all that we do in the Lord that because one day the angels declared, “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Messiah Adonai” (Christ the Lord.)”  (Luke 2:11). God made promises to Israel for centuries of a coming One, Messiah. The Savior. But He never came. They waited and waited. They didn’t even hear from God for 400 years. But then one day, a day the shepherds called today, the sky was filled with angels announcing the promise was fulfilled “today.” We wait and wait for God to be our Savior in a given situation, but one thing is sure – His Word and His promises will come to pass. One day it will be the day.  It’s always too soon to give up waiting for God even if it takes longer than we want. But it’s always worth the wait when we keep our faith in Him.

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4:21). Do you know what He was referring to? The description of His ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed” (4:18). Does your worry fit in there somewhere? That “poor” can mean poor in any way, not just financially. In whatever you lack, He is the answer. If you are imprisoned in a situation in which you feel or you are trapped, look to Him for His miraculous solution; nothing is impossible for the Lord. Sight can mean inability to ‘see’ into a situation so as to discern the truth in it, for which He will give you “sight” if you keep on asking Him. Is there any kind of oppression? If you will turn your focus on His Word and His promises and His goodness, you will not have time for oppressive thoughts. If the oppression is coming from outside of you and is circumstantial, find verses that apply to your situation and put your trust in Him. Tell Him. Pray the verse and stay in confidence that He’s going to bring about a change. Just stay in faith that He will. Not waiting to see if He will, but believing that He will because His word says it and He is faithful to His word.

But there is one contingency, no two. One is you must forgive wherever necessary for God to act on your behalf, even if it’s yourself you need to forgive, and two, just keep believing. If you’re still worried, you ain’t believing!’ Exchange the worry for worship and keep the faith, my friend.

And best of all, “Messiah Yeshua is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) “for I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6). For all the Lord is, all He has promised, all His power is available to you today!  You may have to wait for the answer to come, or the changes to happen, but live as if it’s coming, thank Him as if the check is already in the mail. And praise Him knowing you have no cause to worry for you have given them to Him and, as the song goes, you can sing, “I've traded my sorrows...for the joy of the Lord.”

I believe all this non-worry is something the Lord wants to teach His people today. Perhaps it’s in preparation for more difficult days ahead, but more importantly, to think like Yeshua. As His bride, wouldn’t you think His desire would be for her to fully trust in Him, sharing His love and trust for His Father? Now, there’s a goal. Tell the Lord that’s the desire of your heart and ask Him to help you forsake the worrying and occupy your thoughts with the pleasure that comes from thinking about God. Just daydreaming about Him is one of my choice delights. Picturing Scripture scenes as if I was there, using my sanctified imagination and asking the Holy Spirit to show me what happened. Today is a good day to spend that kind of time with God and to enjoy Him. Can’t worry when you’re enjoying God! It’s a choice. God is better!

 

Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2011. 

 

 

Lonnie Lane

For Lonnie's other articles, check out our Exclusive Articles and Resources, especially the section on One New Man.

Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."

 

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

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