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Don’t Worry

Worry kills happiness, trust and identity.


we have been talking about the subversive words of Jesus and it's funny to me because people a lot of times will say I don't really think Jesus was the Messiah I mean I don't think he was God but he was just a really good teacher and you know what false not true I took homiletics and hermeneutics and Jesus would not have passed either one his I mean you're just like everyone they're afraid to agree with me Spencer they're like I think she just said Jesus doesn't teach well okay first rule of teaching it has to be clear you have to make it clear so people understand it so last week pastor Steve talked about how the entirety of one of Jesus sermons is you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood or you can't be a disciple and then he drops the mic and walks off stage and there's no explanation there's no Greek or Hebrew there's no anything to make it apply to your life he just says here's the truth figure it out I'm done here and so really Jesus is the Messiah or pretty much nothing because his words are beautiful and brilliant but they require some elbow grease they require that we look at them and for the people of his day they were subversive for the people of his day he wasn't he wasn't teaching the Word of God as they knew it in fact some of his stuff directly contradicts what they really firmly believed what they had been taught since they were little Jesus comes on the scene and all of a sudden he's got all these great ideas and so looking at the words of Jesus and and really beginning to see his words that's how we discover his way that's how we discover the way Jesus is so that we can apply that way to our lives so that we become like him because we believe that in becoming like him we become our best selves and we become a light to the world so today we're looking at a scripture that's been really big in my life because for as long as I can remember not as long as I can remember since I was 10 years old fear has been a real battle for me in my life so Jesus says this therefore I tell you this is Matthew 6 therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life what you will eat or what you will drink or nor about your body what you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing look at the birds of the air they neither sow sow nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them are you not of more value than they and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to a span of life I've told myself that on the airplane a lot cuz I don't like to fly so just be there really good I can't even add a single hour to my life I'm gonna be ok it's alright if this is it this is it and why are you anxious about clothing consider the lilies of the field how they grow they neither toil nor spin yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these but if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven will he not more clothe you oh you of little faith therefore do not be anxious saying what shall we eat or what should we drink or what shall we wear for the Gentiles seek after all these things we're gonna talk about about why that's such a big statement in a little bit the Gentiles seek after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself sufficient for the day is its own trouble so I think sometimes we read the Word of God like gee when you were little did you ever play that memory game where you lay all the cards out and then you turn them over and you hope to match them you know you're like Oh bowl of cherries sailboat nope sailboat ocean waves no bullet Ares bowl of cherries match it's like that and we want the Bible to be that way in our lives we kind of want every word to apply directly to our lives and we want to turn it over and see a match like speck in your eye cut off your hand nope birds of the air and lilies of the field nope speck in your eye pluck out your eye I don't know does that matter does it not is it wait am I supposed to pluck out my iris or LOGIN my I'm not sure but actually it's not a matching matchi thing with the word of God it's principle the picture paints a principle and it's up to us to find the principle what is the principle in this big word that Jesus just gave them the big don't he gives them a don't he says don't worry don't be anxious and he says instead be like the birds of the air and we talked about this in our teaching team meeting that's not that encouraging I said a lot of dead birds you know how many birds died all of them all of them died that's how many died and and so I was running on the River Trail the other day have any of you run into the momma bird on the River Trail recently she's right on that um on the wooden bridge and I came around and most of what I'm running I'm not paying attention to the wildlife because I'm concentrating on surviving the run like oxygen and keep breathing and that kind of thing and so I come around the corner and this bird dive-bombs me and she is mad and she will not stop and I'm like embarrassingly screaming if you saw me on the river trail screaming thank you for not mentioning it also thank you for helping me know no one today and I was so frustrated with her and the reason was because I mean clearly she's guarding some babies she got some babies in that tree and she doesn't want anyone near them but I was frustrated with the momma bear because I'm like I am a mama bird I get you sister I know your deal I would pluck out the eyes of anybody who came near my littles but I am NOT your enemy I I have been running this trail a long time and I am your friend and I will protect your babies if you'll protect mine we're in this together she didn't listen she didn't care about any of that but it's funny because as I'm thinking that through yesterday I was like oh be like the birds that's what it is I'm so sure you could see that bird doesn't understand friend or foe she only sees everything it's threat everything is the exact same amount of threat everything is she's like literally the embodiment of fight or flight and she's a bird break she doesn't have a human brain human brains we also have that fight-or-flight brain but we have a human brain that enables us to decide big and little and in December my my husband was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and then he had it for years and I was his caregiver and during that time it was very it was life or death decisions nearly everyday and I am NOT a caregiver I had to become one but that's not my strength by nature and so it was I can't I just can't over and besides how tense it was in fact I will tell you that when I was 19 and Steve and I got married if you would have had me sit down at a table with a notebook and say write out the worst possible life I wouldn't have ever even dreamed of watching my husband died from ALS it's just so stressful and my kids are watching so there were just all of this so when he died I I went about the business of rebuilding life and getting back into life and I have done really well I'm doing really well and then in December I got vertigo and I told you about it from from this stage I got vertigo and then several people that I loved had really serious health scares and it set off a thing in me of worry like I've never known in my life I honestly I thought I was dying I ended up in my doctor's office saying I think I might be dying and she did a whole exam and looked into all the things and the bottom line she was so sweet and compassionate she said you are living in a miserable level of anxiety and she said I think what's happened is you took four years and every decision was life or death and your neural pathways have erased your ability to see small and medium threats you only see big threats everything's life or death and I had to go back to my counselor and I had to go back to the word and say okay Jesus you have to show me again how do I live this out not everything is life or death because I am the mama bird everything that comes at me I'm like you know you got it that's that's a potential threat and so as this bird situation is happening I'm thinking about this message and I'm like see God that's what it is be like the birds I'm the mama bird you have to teach me how to distinguish danger from friend you have to teach me how not to be anxious over other enemies and he's so kind to me and he said and when I say he said I don't mean he said audibly I mean it was the loudest voice in my head and it was smarter than my own so I'm sure it was him um he said oh that is so cute that is so cute that you think that that you think that in this metaphor you are the mama bird and not the baby bird you are not the mama I am the mama bird and the baby bird doesn't have to do anything except sit there and Trust sit there and be the baby sit there and grow up until the mama bird pushes it out but you sister are the baby and as long as you try to be the mama bird you're gonna be anxious for everything all the time and and it made sense to me all of a sudden because his perspective is so much higher the mama bird can see more and sense more and has lived more life and he can see more than me and I realized Isaiah my thoughts are not your thoughts your thoughts your ways are not my ways cuz as the heavens are higher than the earth so were the momma Birds thoughts higher than the baby bird so trust his thoughts and so here's a principle that unfolds for us in this very kind of complicated passage be like the bird I mean to just be like the birds of the air but be like the bird in the nest be like a flower that doesn't have to fight to be noticed it doesn't worry about being anything but a flower it doesn't worry that it's Queen Anne's lace and no one's sure that it's a flower or wheat it just thinks it's a flower it's that kind of just be who you are the identity of sitting in the the being a child of God is supposed to set us free and so he's telling them don't be anxious about storing up in fact a couple of verses earlier just right before this passage he says no one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other you cannot serve God and money so part of this anxiety issue starts out with him dealing with money he's saying you're too anxious over what you have he doesn't say don't earn money he says don't be anxious earning money the way that you do it is more important than what it is that you're doing trust him for it Jesus establishes that there is a problem with trying to serve both God and money and it's not that it's unspiritual trying to do both and it's not that it's unhealthy trying to do both it's that it's impossible we can't do it we serve either God or we serve money we serve God or we serve work we serve God or we serve a relationship but we have to know and the way we know who we're serving is often our level of anxiety that's how we can judge in this passage he says the lilies don't toil or spin and I'm fascinated by the idea of toil versus work or spinning versus work so this morning I was thinking about it what is the difference between work and spinning I don't know but I know when I'm doing it I know when I'm spinning I know and I am spinning in circles at my desk and not getting anything done so I think we can run our anxiety through the question what does work produce what produces a paycheck it produces purpose it produces relationships what does spinning produce dizzy ness vertigo and I've I've said before oh it's I can't wait to go to work I love work actually I can't wait to go to work but I have never said I can't wait to go to toil I mean toiling is icky I don't want a toil toil and I mean then there are some things within my job that are like toil to me can I just be real with you I I'm so terrible at receipts and filing and stuff like that I'm just the worst at it and sometimes I'll come in and be like oh I have to do that and I'm like okay grow up turn in your receipts like a big girl and I hope that Terry Krueger isn't in here because she's like that's hilarious that you're saying you turn in your receipts sorry Terry Krueger so the difference between toil and spinning and toil and work and spinning and work it's important for us to know because it is okay to work hard the Bible endorses working hard the Bible does not endorse anxiety it doesn't especially over money when my husband was diagnosed with ALS it was he was 49 and I was 45 and he retired 15 years ahead of schedule and I cannot begin to tell you how underwater we were financially oh you know what I can begin to tell you thirty-nine thousand dollars under water financially and all of a sudden I am the only paycheck and not only am I the only paycheck I have to take care of a dying husband who's profoundly disabled and has a 250 thousand dollar a year illness and I remember laying on the floor of my office facedown in the carpet and just saying Jesus you got the wrong girl we're sunk I have kids to put through college I have daughters to get married I have I mean he might not be the last one to get sick in my life I don't know how we'll ever do it it is impossible and I remember him just saying every minute every minute I have been to every minute you will ever face I'm gonna every minute you will ever face and I have made provision there you won't see it now but you'll see it when you get there and so now three years on the other side of that battle I can tell you that his fingerprints are all over the place he showed up he showed up he showed up flawlessly not super early but flawlessly time and time again and so then after Steve died I was again uncertain how I would survive it and I felt myself starting to panic and build a plan and try to stay staff and small and like I thought I had for an idea one time I would cut coupons no that didn't work for me at all so I just thought I don't know I feel myself start to get uptight and I remember one day I landed on this passage that we're talking about today and the Holy Spirit spoke to me about living like a lily and I wrote this in my journal that day today I want to live like a lily lovely because I am loved I will not tile through the anxious fields digging frantic through the dirt from my own security I refuse to spin round round round in a mad rush to build secret Plan B's lest the creator's promised a provision falls through I will stand a day in fields of grace covered by his kindness and certain of his affection today I want to live like a lily just live being loved and trust that if he doesn't come through ok I'll be toast with him it's ok he doesn't have to come through he doesn't owe me anything I can be homeless with him but he hasn't ever made me be and I'm so grateful it's not just money that makes us worry though it's lots of things I found an article I thought I read a whole bunch of Statistics to see like what are the official things that people are afraid of and they weren't interesting but more interesting was just this this place on HuffPost where they had people just list their worries the 13th one was work people are worried about work it says the feeling that even though I'm a really good performer I could be fired at any moment true some people have a real anxiety over work another one was thinking about my anxiety triggers my anxiety fear of fear that'll kill you for sure I heat I associate heat with being claustrophobic anyone afraid of the heat you're in the right place it's good ultimately this is the right place death I've lost a lot of people in my life over the past 10 years being loan that's a big one a lot of people fear being alone number eight was being verbally attacked or being around extremely negative or judgmental people another one was not being able to predict the future yeah I thought about that too I'm like eh I hate that I can't - then I realized being able to predict the future is not gonna help my anxiety at all it's just not had I been able to predict the future a couple of years ago politically I would have been like nah no we wouldn't look like that but so no it's not going to help to be able to predict the future crowds anyone who just crowds cause you anxiety I'm that girl I know I don't love crowds summer in Central Oregon is a big big thing not being able not me to rebuke the future trying anything new going anywhere by myself or going anywhere period another one was being far from home another one was they fear when too many people speak to them at once someone fears their child struggles in school and money woes is the number one one people have fear over money there are so many things in our life that can seep in and cause anxiety and stress oswald chambers says this it sounds and he's talking about the don't don't fear don't be anxious he says it sounds so easy to talk about resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for him until the rent until the nest is upset until we live as so many people are doing in tumult and anguish it is past is it possible then to rest in the Lord if this don't does not work here it will not work anywhere if we can't trust him in hard times we can't trust him in good times we can't that's just an illusion this don't must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace or it will never work and if it will not work in your particular case it will not work in anyone's case that's a challenging statement because all the time I believe for other people and not for me all the time I tell people oh it's okay God's gonna help you God's gonna be with you God's gonna and then for myself I'm like where are you where have you gone if it will not work in your particular case it won't work in anyone's case resting in the Lord does not depend on X Journal's circumstances at all but on your relationship to God himself so worried is bad it's bad for us a lot of times when Jesus gives us a don't we feel chastised by the don't we feel like he's saying don't do this or I'll be mad at you don't do this or you're not a good Christian don't do this or you're not in my cool 12 people club but that is never it Jesus is always saying don't do this because it will kill you it's bad for you and I want the best for you you're the baby bird and I want you to be happy and healthy and I want you to have some time to enjoy your life don't worry so why don't we worry one because it kills our happiness you just can't be happy and scared at the same time maybe on a roller coaster for people who are like that I'm not like that maybe it a scary movie I'm not like that either but maybe that but you can't be worried for something that really matters to you and be happy at the same time a Time magazine article entitled here's how money can really buy you happiness says that our happiness levels hit the ceiling at about seventy five thousand once you start earning seventy five thousand you're really not gonna get any happier do you know why the hedonic treadmill anyone familiar with it that you are needs rise to meet our income and and they rise to meet our income and we are walking on a treadmill never getting anywhere but having to work just as hard to provide for ourselves just as much as we wanted back when we had twenty thousand this is science when you start thinking well if I just had that much of that car or that thing it's proven that things that we acquire tend to be a flash in the pan in terms of human satisfaction and it is a treadmill also this is called the treadmill works the other way too that there are people who can really start to lose things and just keep walking and keep saying oh well I lost that but I still have this I lost this but I still can be exactly as happy as I was before and I have this crazy theory that with Jesus you can lose everything and still have everything if you have the right perspective um so we want to get off the treadmill and when we gain more things we just have to work to keep them and we have to work to protect them and keep them out of the hands of other people it gets harder and harder the more we earn and I know it'd be fun to try it but just trust me don't even try it stress also kills happiness because it destroys our health 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress 75 to 90% of all doctor's visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints 75 to 90% of people just need Matthew six and they're spending a copay stress can play a part in problems such as headaches high blood pressure heart problems diabetes skin conditions asmath arthritis depression and anxiety OSHA tells us that stress is a hazard of the workplace stress cost the American industry listen I had no idea stress cost American industry more than 300 billion dollars every single year I mean it's pervasive the lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50% often due to chronic untreated stress reactions the stress is everywhere the question though is shouldn't it be different for those who follow Jesus shouldn't it I mean if it doesn't work in this area does it work would you be honest with ourselves about that and if it's not working in my life and I'm on the follower of Jesus this it's possible that there's a gift I haven't opened yet is it possible that I'm not walking in a way that leads to all the benefits he's promised stress also destroys trust proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight Trust is such a big part of relationship there are a lot of people we love but don't trust and I don't want Jesus to be one of them he's earned his character and his reputation has earned our trust and I I would rather not be loved than not be trusted I really would I don't really care that much I care out about like what twelve people if they love me or not but I really care that people would trust me with their kid or their money or their whatever I really care about that and I want to be someone who trusts God who trusts him and anxiety kills trust anxiety also also alters our identity remember in the scripture where we said therefore do not be anxious saying what shall we eat or what should we drink or what should we wear for the Gentiles seek after all these things and your heavenly Father knows you need them all this is really interesting he's saying when you live like this you're living like people who have no God you're living like you don't even have a mama bird you're living like I don't even care about you at all don't live like that Frederick Brunner says the father's concern for his people does not stop with their souls but continues into their stomachs it does not even stop there in the inner person spiritually or nutritionally however but extends even to outer adornment God the creator of body and soul is the God that is God the provider of body and soul no one may push God into a spiritual corner it is precisely this limiting of God's reach this belittling of God's interest in the real world that Jesus calls little faith when I sit in front of my checkbook and stew when I say I've got to figure this out myself when I take the reins back in my own life I am limiting God's reach and saying I've got this and there have been times when I God has said you want to do this take it go do it I'll sit over here you think you can do better do better than and surprisingly I never do better than what I could do I never once have been able to outmatch him so Jesus goal for us is freedom Jesus goal for us I really do believe and people would argue me would argue this with me but I really believe Jesus wants us to be happy I believe he wants to any you could say Oh happiness or joy I think happiness too I think both I think he really wants that for us Dave Sermon on the Mount is full of it blessed are those and it's that word is the word for happy happy are those so I think he wants happiness for us he wants freedom I do know we have to work hard but we don't have to worry hard we do have to get some stuff but we don't have to let the stuff get us these subversive words of Jesus delineate between work and spinning it's always important that we know the difference what am i doing right now every day I take a pulse in fact I wrote it in our journals in the journals that we're going through together right now it's one of the questions on the daily grid because I think it's so important what is concerning you today what's the heaviest thing on your heart what do you need to hand over to the care of Jesus at the beginning of the day and get that off your plate and I literally do it there's a song that in the message says I empty out the pockets of my life and I feel that way there's this time where you just gotta okay here's all the things I'm concerned about today I'm gonna write it down on this list and I'm gonna leave it in this book and I'm gonna let you be the god of it so how not to worry this is a good list I feel like I've tackled the cure for cancer here here's how not to worry it'll be so easy you guys watch number one reject anything producing an addiction in you addictions generate anxiety anything that you love a lot or need a lot you begin to be anxious if you can't have it anything where there is a misplaced Allegiance a misplaced devotion to a relationship as soon as you become addicted to a relationship even if it's a good one even if it's your marriage as soon as you become addicted to something like that the minute something starts to wobble in it and it will because relationships the ministers are so wobble in it you start to say oh no and it's anxiety if you're addicted to alcohol the minute you think you can't get ahold of it anxiety anything you become addicted to there's anxiety if you can't get to it if you're an addicted to The Bachelor and it doesn't show up on your TV one night it can make you really grouchy I don't know who I'm just maybe somebody experienced that we can become paralyzed by the fear of scarcity and has never never been the god of scarcity this is not a zero-sum game where something goes to somebody else and it takes from us Jesus cares for what you need he knows you have need of all these things developing the habit developed the habit of giving things away this has been a big thing in my life when I feel myself start to get balled up about money or possessions or whatever I write a check I just need to write a check to somebody who needs it somebody who needs it more than me I promise you I mean there might be I just think in this room there is someone who would love to have your life and that's just hard to imagine but but just be willing to give things away and as you release your hold on them you find that they release their hold on you and you can trust God then for what's next learn to enjoy things without owning them I love that when I say this is just mine to use even like my children I want to enjoy them without owning them I the people that I love in my life my friendships and my relationships I can enjoy them without feeling like I have to keep a white-knuckled grip on them what if they don't call me what if they don't invite me what if I'm left out of something what if their Instagram shots are so much cooler than mine everyone's Instagram shots are cooler than mine learn to enjoy things without owning them and learn to rest well resting matters so much and I am just starting to learn it in my life learn to take on nap already I mean you and sometimes you say I'm too anxious I couldn't sleep well that's a problem you gotta say Jesus you got to help me learn to rest lay down the things that want to haunt me and taught me and torment me do you know that worry is usually the gift of imagination gone wrong it's usually you projecting ahead how things could possibly go so bad in the future when I'm driving to work and I'm late or whatever and I'm gonna be late for an appointment I'm thinking in my head all the things that might happen that person might be really mad at me they might not trust me then they might think they I think none of those things are happening in the moment I'm just worrying about all the things that could happen worrying about what could happen is the biggest waste of time and energy and trust that there ever was and then stop comparing yourself to anything but God's vision for your life it's so easy to start looking around and saying I've got to keep up with somebody else HL Mencken once quipped that the happy man is one who earns $100 more than his wife's sister's husband that's it's true we got to stop comparing ourselves stop comparing God's work in each other's lives and then rehearse God's record in your life I think this is so big it's knowing what God has done is what gives us faith for what he will do when I was little my parents went through they were the pastors at a church in Texas and they it was like we lived in the Attic or the top of a funeral home and then they had church down there when it wasn't being a funeral home and they were just dirt dirt poor and poverty by the way the definition of poverty is not being without its without its being without enough and so you can have a millions of dollars and still in your heart be without enough never having enough so they were poor but they weren't in poverty they knew they had plenty and but then they didn't have any groceries they had like no food to feed us girls it came to that I have two sisters and my mom had three pieces of bread left to make toast for the girls and she made it but she didn't have any butter so she put shortening on it to make it shiny and she was so sad she she talks about that I remember just thinking I'm a failure because I'm giving my girls shortening I don't even think she knew at that point how it would clog our arteries by the time we were 52 but still and so my dad went to work that day and a lady came in and she had two bags of groceries and she said God told me to give you these groceries and so I just took what was in my fridge and I brought them to you and my parents are super private they never would have said it to anyone so my dad takes it home my mom's unloading the groceries and it's just good things and she gets to the bottom and she starts a weeping because there is half a cube of butter in the bottom of the bag and she's like God knew I needed butter God knew it and the next day my dad told the lady who had brought the groceries and she said I was so embarrassed I did not want to put that butter in the bag but I just felt like God just kept saying put the butter in the bag put the butter and she's like no I'm gonna go buy uncle buy him a whole box about her and take it no put the butter in the bag and so she did so my point is all throughout my life my parents told us that story and many like it over and over and over again I can rehearse the story so much so that in my family if something good happens in your life we'll say oh it was just the butter in the bag and we know exactly what it means because God's faithfulness became an iconic statement for us it became a part of our lexicon it became the way they raised us God is faithful God is faithful down to the last cube of butter God is faithful rehearse his faithfulness in his in your life remember what he's done if you don't think he's been faithful to you check out the Bible he was faithful to lots of people then and you're them now you're the hester's now you're the King David's now you're the pawl now you're we're the Bible now who else is doing it it's us and so we can trust his faithfulness and as we trust his faithfulness we don't need to worry Psalm 139 says search me O God and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life and I think that's what we want to do this morning is just ask the Lord search me show me my own heart show me what's inside me show me what keeps me back show me what keeps me scared show me what has my imagination working overtime and do a real work so that I can imagine good things solid things a future and a hope instead of always living in the land of the worst case scenario so Jesus we want to give ourselves to you this morning and we want to invite you to search our hearts would you bring in the light of your grace to just look around look at the cobwebby corners and show us any areas of disappointment in you that keep us scared or anxious any places where we think we're in charge of taking care of ourselves any places you've we've lost our hold on your goodness we've lost our grip on the grace that saves us Jesus would you show us even in the next couple of seconds as we take some silence to show us I feel like there are some mama birds out there both male and female who are literally so afraid for your child so so afraid for a child who has made decisions that scare you Holy Spirit we speak your grace into the lives of our kids we ask that you would partner with them that you would surround them that you would send hope and help God we say whatever it takes to bring them into your wonderful strong arms but you do it and God would you cause us to sit quietly and to wait for your word before we do it would you cause us to listen to you and trust you and let the government be on your shoulder we love and worship you for people who are really afraid about money maybe even something that's due this week or something that's do or die this week would you come now and give wisdom and grace and strength to trust father we asked for provision that would come from sources that we can't even possibly counterfeit ourselves stuff they only you can do show us your power and your character and your love we give you praise and glory because you're wonderful and your name we pray amen thanks guys hey the pro team is along the prayer world and they are also down here in the front they're wearing tags and they would love to pray with you over any area that's concerning you this morning they'll just pray with you real quick and leave let you leave they won't leave you leave thanks so much for being here sign up for GLS if you get a chance on your way out and have a great weekend

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