What Does Your Worry Reveal About Your Beliefs?

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TrustIf you’re like me, you often feel inadequate for doing what God has called you to do. We look at the big job God has given us – to equip his people for ministry–and we know we can’t do it on our own. We see massive needs in our community – spiritual, physical, emotional and mental – and we realize we can’t meet all of them with our limited resources and talents.

But that’s exactly where God wants us?

He wants us to respond like David. In Psalm 23, David didn’t say he placed his trust in government, work or money. David recognized God as the source of fulfilling his need. He said, “The Lord is my shepherd.”

There’s a clear sign that shows when we’re not doing this in our ministries – stress. If you’ve started looking at needs in your ministry and it’s stressing you out, you’re probably not depending upon God to meet your need.

Jesus has strong words about our worry. He compares it to atheism. Matthew 6:31-33 says, So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing.  Why be like the heathen?” (TLB) Worry says you believe God can’t take care of your needs. If you believe that, you might as well be an atheist.

Why is it so easy to worry about our needs rather than let God meet them?

First, we’re trained — from the moment we’re born — to depend upon ourselves, particularly in the United States. Americans are the most independent-minded people in the world. We’re taught: “God helps those who help themselves.”  Baloney! That’s a quote of Ben Franklin, not of Jesus. It’s not biblical; it’s secular. God helps those who look for Him as their only source for what they need.

Second, we also have a tendency to confuse the channel with the source when our needs are met. Even leaders who have been believers for many years fall into this.  We tend to think our supply comes from our church, our bank account, other people or somewhere else that appears to be meeting our need. Those things are all channels that God uses from time to time – but God is the one who actually meets our need. James 1:17 reminds us of this: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)

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Rick Warren About Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

  • Skirnir Hamilton

    I don’t think our stress means we think God can’t do something. I think it means we think he may not do something. Churches close every day. Good God-fearing people are destroyed by hurricanes and tornadoes every day. Why should we assume that God will choose to take care of us, but not the other deserving person down the street? So yeah, we stress out about it and do the best we can with whatever we have. We hope that God will choose to bless us with what we need, but he doesn’t always choose to do so for whatever reason.

  • http://www.transitionministriesgroup.com Lavern Brown

    Thanks for your candor, Rick.

    I have had the God-given privilege of mentoring pastors who have the happy fortune of being younger than me, and of training colleagues who can match me scar for scar, gray hair for gray hair. I find that most of them share a trait in common: feeling inadequate to the task to which God has called them.

    When the apostle Paul asked, “who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16) he gave the grace-based answer: our sufficiency comes from God; the grounds of sufficiency is not within ourselves (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

    Pastors everywhere, in churches of all size, are encouraged and blessed when a rock star like Rick Warren lets them know that we’re ALL in the same boat riding thru the storm of insufficiency.

    Blessings on you.

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