Worry & Failure

November 2, 1998

Worry & Failure: Comrades of Evil

Study Text – Matthew 6:25-34

Memory Verse – Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.

About four years ago I was studying to become a CNE (Certified Novell
Engineer). The tests were really challenging but the most challenging test was
the last. The first time I took this test I failed. Determined, I studied
harder, then retook the test and failed again with the same score. The
secretary asked me, "What’s going on? You scored the same this time as the
first." I told her that there were questions from items that were not in
my book. After looking at my book she stated, "No wonder you failed, your
book is two years old." So I purchased a new book and studied once again.
On my way to retake the test a third time I knew it would be different. I began
to think, "THIS TIME I have the right book. THIS TIME I’ve studied even
harder. THIS TIME success will be mine." As I, full of confidence, was on
my way to the testing center, the enemy planted a small seed: "THIS TIME
you have no excuses." What happened? I watered the devil’s seed. I let it grow.
The seed consumed me. I took the test and even the easy answers seemed

This week’s text consists of words that Jesus actually spoke. In the 19th –
24th verses Jesus teaches the disciples how the love of money is the root of
all evil. He then goes on to the lesson about worrying.(25th) Jesus states,
"Therefore I tell you, DO NOT WORRY." Now, what is "A
Worry?" A WORRY is actually A SEED planted by the enemy which is then
watered and nurtured by Man. IF you (Yes, this depends on you) allow that seed
to grow and manifest itself inside of you the result is its comrade – FAILURE!
Therefore the two, Worry & Failure, go hand in hand.

Jesus goes on to masterfully cover the entire spectrum from needs (food
& drink) to wants (clothing) and uses these items to show us the importance
of NOT WORRYING about things both great and small.

To show us why we should not worry about the greatest of the two items
mentioned, Jesus tells us, "Behold the fowls."(26th) He then tells us
that they have no real SOURCE for food but God supplies their needs. Jesus then
states, "Are ye not much better than they?" In other words, if God
supplies for the birds(over a billion of them I would guess) and you are worth
more than they are, then shouldn’t you have enough faith to believe that he
will take care of you?"

In the 27th verse, Jesus shows the absolute worth of worrying. He tells us,
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Now if
you could live longer by worrying I would tell you, " worry, worry, worry
– add those years – live, live, live." But we all know this is not true.
In fact, worrying is very bad on the body. It causes sleep deprivation, high
blood pressure, hair loss, weight loss, ulcers and other physical ailments. So remember,
Jesus told you first, not Marcus Welby.

Jesus then goes on to teach us not to worry regarding material things. In
the 28th – 30th verses he asks us, "Why do you worry about clothes?"
To answer this question Jesus takes King Solomon, one of the richest men in the
Old Testament, and compares the king’s garments to (1) the lilies of the field
and to (2) common-everyday-ordinary grass. Now we know that if you’re a King,
especially a RICH king, then your wardrobe will always consist of the best of
the best here on earth. However, Jesus tells us that his Father will clothe the
lilies of the field better than Solomon in all his splendor. Even the grass of
the field, which is cut and thrown into the fire, is clothed carefully by God
and you should know you are more important than the grass. If you don’t know
this or even question this then you must have the "little faith" that
Jesus speaks of in verse 31.

Jesus wraps up this lesson by reemphasizing that we should not to worry
about what we will eat, drink or wear. He then states, "These are things
that the pagans/Gentiles (those outside the covenant community of Israel) seek,
for your heavenly Father knoweth (always knows) that you need all of these
things. (32nd) Instead of worrying you should seek God and all his
righteousness FIRST; and all the other things will be given to you. (33th) And
if by chance you desire to worry about tomorrow don’t – because tomorrow will
worry about itself.(34th)

To end my story, after failing the test at noon, I went back to my office
still determined to pass the test that very day. I then called the secretary
and scheduled another test. I opened the book and it was useless, not because I
didn’t understand but because I actually knew the material – and knew it well.
With every page I turned I shook my head and wondered, "why am I studying
this? I know this?!" I got all the way to the end of the book and then
realized that had been played like a fiddle by the enemy. He had me, but this
time the outcome was going to be different. I got prayed up, then I departed to
take my test. As I got to the test site, I was determined not to walk in the
same way I did the first time. This time I jumped across a set of three-foot
hedges and threw open the door. The secretary, whose desk was only a few feet
to the left of the door, looked at me as though I had lost every bit of common
sense that I ever had. While she sat there with a puzzled look I put my hands
on my hips (yes the Superman pose) and stated, "Let’s Do This!" She
then replied even more puzzled, "OK?!"

As I was taking the test (and just getting down with my bad self) the enemy
decided to throw one more curve ball – my computer crashed. [It was a
computerized test.] That was the real moment of truth. This time, I knew what
the REAL DEAL was. I calmly got up and told the secretary. [This had never
happened before and the staff was in a panic]. The secretary informed me that I
may have to restart the test. I replied, "No problem, whatever works out
best for you." Well the staff was able to recover my test and after a few
minutes I was able to continue. I completed the test and my results came back.
I passed – By 80 points – A difference of 87 points. The secretary stated,
"this shows that you really knew this stuff; you must have been nervous."

On that day, I failed two tests and I passed two tests. The reason I failed
both was because I worried and the reason I passed both is because I did not.
Even in the situations where you do "squeak by" you can still fail
FAITH 101. My advice to you is to focus on the 33rd verse of this
text (Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things will be added unto you). In short, prepare properly for the things you
can prepare for, get prayed up for the things you can not prepare for, and you
will succeed abundantly in all things.

Stay Blessed and Pray Prepared!