No one will ever know how much energy the human race has wasted through worry. Today, we want to think along scriptural guidelines as we rediscover a life characterized by rest instead of rush, calm instead of confusion, peace instead of panic, tranquility instead of turmoil.
We are exhorted to practice persistent repetition of our requests, not a formulaic repetition of words, which Jesus condemned (Matthew 6:7–8).
And it was this intensity that caused prayer to degenerate from a flowing spontaneity to a rigid, packaged plan, dispensed routinely by the religious leaders. Prayer changed from privilege to an obligation.
In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took on the hypocrites with both guns blazing! Drawing on common examples of showy righteousness, He instructed us on the importance of being people of quiet sincerity, seeking to glorify God rather than impress others.
A better alternative to the phrase “let go and let God” is “trust God and get going!” Work out a strategy for ensuring you will not fall into sin again, and ask God to bless your plan.
As we go deeper into His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ words turn our attention from all the circus-like pizzazz of performance to the simplicity of prayer and fasting, two disciplines all-too-rarely done His way for His glory. Let’s seek out His counsel so we can carry out His instructions.
As we share with God every worry that weighs us down, our circumstances may not change but we will. We begin to let Him carry the heavy loads that we can’t bear. We start to trust Him to handle the problems that we can’t control.
Realizing the beast of greed within all of us, Jesus chose not to ignore it but to expose it and to warn against its ravenous appetite. Every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ must come to terms with the question: Which master will I serve?
The 10 verses we’ll examine in this lesson flow very naturally out of what our Lord had just finished saying. They represent such a complete unit that little is left to be added or amplified. And talk about an up-to-date subject! No one can improve on Jesus’ instruction on worry. If we would simply do as He says, our anxiety levels would reduce to zero and our joy would know new heights.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll unfolds the essence of Jesus’ warnings to help us avoid the deadly trap of religious performance so we can have true interaction with and enjoyment of the God who made us and loves us.