01/08/17 Idolatry and Worry

READING: Genesis 20-22, Matthew 6:19-34

“Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?”  Matthew 6:27

I’ll start his devotion with a confession: sometimes I talk about faith more than I live by faith. It seems it’s much easier to tell others how to live than it is to live by one’s own words. I remembered that fact when I read today’s Bible texts.

Jesus told His followers not to lay up “for yourselves treasures upon earth” (Matt. 6:19), but I find myself spending far too much time and money securing “stuff” that others have. Even though I know that all of it will wind up in the garbage dump someday, still I seek it. I try not to serve both God and money, but I admit that I like the security that a savings account brings.

More specifically, I am a worrier. I get concerns in my head, and I let them linger there. They bounce around so forcefully that they sometimes hinder my walk with God. Occasionally, they cost me my sleep. I wish I could just turn them off and press forward without concern, but I can get so consumed with worry that I fail to reflect any trust in God. It’s funny, too, because I know in my head that God will care for me. Every day, I watch the birds in my backyard and recognize God’s care for them – but then promptly forget that God cares for me much more (Matt. 6:26). Worry then becomes my idol.

It gives me hope that God loves me enough to teach me over and over again how much He cares for me. He did that for Abraham, too, reminding him continually of His covenant with Him (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:18-21, 17:1-21, 22:15-18). God not only kept His word to Abraham, but He also made sure He didn’t forget it. That’s what I need, too.

At times, I also get so focused on what tomorrow might bring (either positive or negative) that I miss God’s blessings today. God has the future fully in His hands, yet I seem to forget that truth somedays. I allow the height of tomorrow’s issues overshadow what God’s doing in my life this day.  So, I need to hear Jesus’ words again: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33). Perhaps you need to hear those words, too.  

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Turn over to God in prayer whatever you worry about today.
  • Thank God for His persistence and patience in teaching you.

PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for my worrying. Help me to trust You.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Genesis 23-24, Matthew 7