God's Word tells us not to worry. "So I tell you, don’t worry about the food you need to live. And don’t worry about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more important than food. And the body is more important than clothes." Matthew 6:25 ICB. I have to admit that sometimes I'm a bit anxious about knowing what I'm supposed to write about, and being anxious is a form of worrying. It's natural, we all do it, but that doesn't make it right just because everybody's doing it.
Habits can be good things that improve our lives. Habits that become rituals often lead us away from the reason we formed the habit in the first place. If I form a habit of reading my Bible every morning, that's a good thing if I'm focusing on what God would say to me during my reading. If I speed-read the Word just to finish my daily ritual, well that's not the kind of Bible reading God would want.
Many religions have rituals. I received my Christian foundation as a child in a Christian denomination that was deeply entrenched in many rituals. That's not a bad thing as it gave me a good start toward building a godly moral character (which is still in progress.) There are some rituals that make me dwell on the mercies of God. When my ritual causes worry about how I'll bring it to completion, I'm focused on myself and not God - that's a mistake.
After a mistake, it's a good time to regroup, go back to your first Love, apologize, and start over again. It happens folks, wandering minds go off on a worry expedition and get lost in their anxiety. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is a great guide who will leave 99 focused people and bring back one worrier whose gone off on worry way. I made a mistake and I'm grateful God doesn't hold it over my old-head. He welcomes me back into His everlasting arms.
DAY THIRTEEN WORD
Philippians 4:6-7 The Message
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
1 Peter 5:7-8 Amplified Bible
“casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times.”
Revelation 2:4 Amplified Bible
“But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me].”
Acts 3:19 Amplified Bible
“So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”
DAY THIRTEEN PRAYER
Thank you God for your forgiveness and patience. You have a never give up kind of love for a wandering people and I could be chief among them. My heart might be in the right place but my mind is easily distracted by my self. Help my focus which could be called unbelief. If I had more focus with my faith, I'd stay at home with you 24/7 without wandering. Thanks for being You. Amen.
DAY THIRTEEN DEEP THOUGHTS
- When the seas of anxiety drift toward the pools of worry in your mind, imagine Jesus walking on those waters.
- When a mountain of doubt towers over your peace of mind, picture Jesus on a mountain praying for you.
- When a storm of panic threatens to steal your memories of God's grace, imagine Jesus beckoning you to walk with Him on stormy seas that will soon be calm.
- Ask God for focus. Be careful with rituals. Launch out in to the deep of His Presence.