On The Word
-- by Nancy Smith, member of the TGM Board of Directors
Are you a WARRIOR
or a WORRIER?
you like word puzzles? If you do (or even if you don’t) it won’t
take you long to figure out that with the addition of a few vowels, you
have two words that represent complete opposites of the spectrum of
human behavior and emotions.
Now when we think of warriors, we likely picture a tall, muscular
Marine suited up in body armor and equipped with state-of-the art
weaponry and the very latest in stealth search and destroy
technology. When we visualize a worrier, perhaps Barney Fife
comes to mind. Most of us are somewhere between those two
extremes. Have you ever really thought about the state of mind in
which you live your daily life? Likely you were brought up like
myself – I cut my teeth on fear. “Don’t go into the road – a car
will hit you”, “Don’t talk to strangers – they might snatch you”,
“There’s a boogey man hiding in the dark” and so on.
I managed to avoid those misfortunes on my journey to adult life.
Other mishaps, like getting tromped by a horse, slogging on foot
through rising floodwaters, moving faster than the snake in the “ole
swimming hole” were the stuff of adventure in my young life. But
when I became part of the working world, other fears became part and
parcel of my thinking – like making the rent, paying the doctor bill,
having a car that operated more than 50% of the time.
All manner of different fears made their home in my mind and emotions
and I became a world-class worrier. I wasn’t happy unless I was
worried about something! And there was always one more thing to
worry about. Even though I considered myself a Christian during
my young adult life, I hadn’t a clue that God’s Word is full of
instruction about worry and fear. One of the most powerful
scriptures concerning fear is Rev. 21:8 “But the fearful, and
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the
lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” Notice what is listed
first – fearful (worrier). In the Word it is listed even before
murder and sorcery. How many Christians realize that God takes
fear VERY seriously?
“But I can’t help worrying! I’m on the verge of losing my job,
and if I lose my job I lose my house. I can’t feed my family”…
and so it goes. Know this – it is not God’s plan that His family
go without. See 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that
thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul
prospereth”. Jeremiah 29:11 (New International version) says
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
NOT worrying requires a conscious, firm decision to turn from negative
confessions (“I can’t..” ). But to conquer worry also requires a
positive relationship with God. Under our own power, we likely
will not accomplish many great things. But when our spirits join
with God’s Holy Spirit, we learn that “all things are possible”.
Did you realize that before Jesus rejoined His Father in the
heavenlies, He imbued His followers with His own authority? Luke
10:19 tells us “I have given you authority …. to overcome all the power
of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
The devil’s favorite job is to steal, kill and destroy anything and
everything that belongs to us. We don’t have to just lie down and
take it. Jesus gave us the power to use His name (which is above
all other names in existence) and He urges us to put on his whole armor
(Eph. 6:10-20). Who wears armor? A
warrior! A good definition of a warrior is one who is engaged in
or experienced in battle. Another meaning is one who is engaged
aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.
Remember the Marine who was lugging around his weapons and
equipment? Yes that is one kind of warrior – but any of us can
fulfill the definition of being aggressively engaged in an activity or
cause. Even the fragile grandmother can be a fierce warrior in
the activity of fervent prayer. Perhaps we war against hunger by
volunteering (or donating) at the local food bank. We might
battle for children facing a life without love or hope by being a Big
Brother or Big Sister. Even so modest an act as visiting a
neighbor who is going through a rough patch in life can be an “act of
war” – spiritual war. Battle loneliness, discouragement, and
hurts on behalf of others and before long, your own challenges won’t
seem nearly as big.
Our elder brother Jesus fought the greatest battle of all some 2,000
years ago, and won the victory for all time, for all humankind.
He has conquered all the temptations that man can experience, and
offers us His weapons so that we can triumph over them too.
Joshua understood that with God’s help, one would chase a thousand
(Jos. 23:10). That same promise is ours today – “the LORD
your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised
you”. If we will make Jesus an intimate part of our lives, His
power can fill us with godly boldness and confidence - changing us from
worriers to formidable warriors.