Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? . . . And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
—Matthew 6:25, 27
The devil is constantly waging war on the battlefield of the mind. Our soul is the tangible area between our spirit—the place where God Himself lives—and our physical body. It is made up of our mind, will, and emotions—it tells us what we think, what we want, and how we feel. When our mind is constantly stirred up with concern, worry, and anxiety, our God-given inner voice of insight and understanding becomes drowned out. In this unstable state, we no longer know what God’s will is regarding what we should and shouldn’t do.
When we allow the devil to overtake our mind with worry and anxiety instead of following God’s Spirit, we are living the life of the flesh, and it keeps us out of God’s will. Romans 8:8 says that “. . . those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.” This does not mean that God doesn’t love us. It simply means that He is not satisfied with, nor will He accept, fleshly behavior.
God cares about us and about our needs. He wants greater things for us than we want for ourselves. We must fight hard to resist the temptation to accept the devil’s endless lies. When I finally got fed up with not having any peace in my life, I made a decision to do whatever I needed to do to get it. I asked God what I should do. His response was clear: “Joyce, you need to begin living on a deeper level.” Eventually, the Lord made it apparent to me that the deeper level on which I needed to live was the level of the Spirit.
In order for us to truly enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give us, we need to stop worrying about what we think we want and need, and start following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That’s the message against worry. It doesn’t matter if your need is food, a job, the right clothing, the best schools for your children, your future, or the future of your family—God knows and God cares. The trick of Satan is to whisper, “God doesn’t care about you. If God truly cared, you wouldn’t be in this mess.”
When we focus on ourselves—what we don’t have—we have little energy left to focus on others and reaching out to help them. We don’t give money freely when we’re afraid or worried that we’ll lose our job or not have enough to pay our own bills. But when we trust God to provide for every need, we are free to share what we have.
Let me encourage you to stop worrying about your own needs and instead focus on the Word of God. You might even need to say to yourself out loud, “God does love me, and nothing can separate me from His love. He has heard my confession of sin, and He has forgiven and cleansed me. God has a positive plan for my future because His Word says so” (see Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 1:9; Jeremiah 29:11).
Every time worry and anxiety come up to try and steal your righteousness, peace, and joy, find out what the Word of God says, and then open your mouth and speak the Word. God’s ultimate goal is to get us to the point where no matter what is going on, we remain calm. Who is going to keep us calm? The answer to that question is the power of the Holy Spirit working on the inside of us. God wants us to develop the habit of running to Him for the grace to resist the lies of the devil. Eventually the truth will win out and change our life!
My heavenly Father, thank You for caring for me and for assuring me that You will provide for every need I have. Too often, I’ve allowed worry to creep in and steal my joy or my peace. Because of worries over little things, sometimes I’ve been unable to focus on the greater things in this life You do for me. In the name of Jesus Christ, free me from the things that bind me so I can be totally free to worship and serve You. Amen.
– Joyce Meyer