When my daughter was a toddler, I used to take her to a park not far from our apartment. One day as she was playing in a sandbox, an ice-cream salesman approached us. I purchased her a treat, and when I turned to give it to her, I saw her mouth was full of sand. Where I had intended to put a delicacy, she had put dirt.
Did I love her with dirt in her mouth? Absolutely. Was she any less of my daughter with dirt in her mouth? Of course not. Was I going to allow her to keep the dirt in her mouth? No way. I loved her right where she was, but I refused to leave her there. I carried her over to the water fountain and washed out her mouth. Why? Because I love her.
God does the same for us. He holds us over the fountain. “Spit out the dirt, honey,” our Father urges. “I’ve got something better for you.” And so he cleanses us of filth; immorality, dishonesty, prejudice, bitterness, greed. We don’t enjoy the cleansing; sometimes we even opt for the dirt over the ice cream. “I can eat dirt if I want to!” we pout and proclaim. Which is true—we can. But if we do, the loss is ours. God has a better offer.
Do not ask God to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet.
People are always saying it’s the other person’s fault, the other one who needs to change. That is why I believe no amount of counseling will have an impact until God’s people resolve something. We all have to make this our sincere, daily prayer: ‘O God, change me.’ We spend far too much time praying, ‘God, change my circumstances; change my coworkers; change my family situation; change the conditions in my life.’ Yet we seldom pray this most important prayer: ‘Change me, Lord. The real trouble isn’t my spouse, my sibling, my friend. I’m the one who stands in need of prayer.’
May God bless the man who says less and does more.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire. I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
Knowing my hands, they’ll shake like crazy. Some just pray like that.
Here’s where you’re really going to see the compassion of Jesus Christ lean into us. Look at the very next line: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Or if you have the NIV: “Today has enough trouble of its own.” Let me tell you why I think that’s a super compassionate statement by Jesus Christ. You were just given permission to deal with anxiety and fear today. How do you deal with it? You give it over to the Lord. Today will have fear and anxiety. What do we do? We give that over to the Lord. We lay that down. We don’t let that be compounded with tomorrow’s trouble. We simply stay in today.
I want to press on you this truth. I think it’s going to sting, but it becomes of utmost importance for your joy and freedom from fear and anxiety. The bottom line in most fear and anxiety is you simply don’t trust that God is good. Look at me. Don’t lie about that. There’s no freedom for you if you can’t say, “I don’t trust that you’re good. I don’t trust that you have my best interests. I don’t trust that you’re going to provide for me. I don’t trust that you’re good enough. I don’t trust that you’ll be enough for me. So I have to take it and I have to worry about it.”
You have to get to the point where you’re not pretending that’s not in there. It’s of no help for anyone to pretend you trust God. You need to say it. You need to let the Holy Spirit break you in your confession of it. Then we can deal with fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety are never going to lose their power over you until you can be honest about what drives them, namely that you don’t trust that God is good.
That should open up a whole other can of issues. Why don’t you trust him? I’m guessing something marked you in your past. I’m guessing you’ve seen some things that make you nervous. I’m guessing you’re owning some things you ultimately don’t own. You’ve valued some things beyond what they should be valued. Not that they aren’t important; they’re just not of utmost importance.
Until you can get to the place where you go, “I don’t trust you, God. I don’t think you’re good. I don’t think that, ultimately, you’re going to be for my good,” we can’t move past into letting the Holy Spirit accomplish what he accomplishes when we’re finally honest about who we actually are. Jesus says, “Today has enough trouble of its own.” So let’s deal with it today. Let’s hand it over to the Lord and say, “Help me. I’m fearful here.”
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
And I don’t thing there’s nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus walks with me… )
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long
Because some Sundays we need the brutal honesty, instead of the mindless worship songs.
Most people I have met know what sin is. They don’t need Christians to point it out for them. They need Christians to demonstrate why repentance is better.