“Worry and worship cannot exist in the same space. One always displaces the other. Choose worship.”
I grew up with the mentality that work always had to come before play. Once I got my work done, then I was free to read, watch TV, or do something else fun.
Somehow, I’ve carried that belief system over to my spiritual life. If I read something in God’s word or a devotional or hear a program on the radio that convicts me to “change for the better,” I automatically think it has to be done now.
Well, that wouldn’t be possible if I were single with no children, but being happily married with three children still living at home, it’s definitely not easy. If I’m to live the Biblical standard of submitting to my husband, then his opinion needs to be considered and he needs to make the final decision in topics that affect our lives. I can share with him my convictions, but ultimately, we’re a team so the end result will be one we both agree on together. If I feel convicted about our finances or parenting techniques, that decision needs to be discussed, with the solution ultimately his responsibility.
There are other areas where God may convict me that may take a lifetime of surrendering daily, hourly, minute-by-minute to what He wants…and those won’t be accomplished overnight. Not all things are bad things that need to be gotten rid of. Sometimes it implementing something positive into my life – praying more, fasting regularly, giving above and beyond our regular tithe, serving in the church or the community. All of these things are “good convictions” but usually don’t become habits automatically. Sometimes there is preparation that needs to occur before the goal is achieved. Take for instance adoption. If I am convinced God wants our family to adopt another child, not only does our whole family have to agree, but money needs to be raised, the house needs to be readied, paperwork has to be filled out, and a child has to be selected. That takes time!
However, God has been showing repeatedly over the past few months that He is the God of peace…not the God of worry. If He chooses to address a behavior or attitude that He wants eradicated from my life, He isn’t condemning me but instead gently convicting me and will provide the way to be successful in eliminating that from my life. If there is something God wants me to do (adopt a child, change careers, grow deeper spiritually), then again He is not going to condemn me, but instead will provide the ways in which I can pursue His leading.
Now when I feel convicted and begin to worry about something that needs to be implemented or eradicated, I slow down and remind myself that God specifically tells me multiple times in the Bible not to worry. If what I’m pursing is truly of God, as long as I listen for His voice, He will guide my steps in His timing. If He wants a behavior gone, then if I stay in tune to His teaching and fill up on the substance of His Word, that will happen as well.
Why should I waste time with worry when God’s timing has no expiration date?
© Cheri Swalwell 2014