"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29
When dealing with anxiety, we are often filled with worry. We worry about this and that and more of this and that over there and this thing here. It seems like an endless cycle of worry. You know it will end someday, but someday doesn’t always help you today. So in the meantime, you need to have tools that can help you as you overcome your anxiousness and bring you back into God’s peace. Can I tell you a little secret. Worship and worry cannot coexist. It's as simple as that. If you want to remove the worry, you need to start worshiping.
What is worry?
Worry is a product of feeding the flesh. When you worry you feed your fleshly desires more than your spiritual needs. One of the unfortunate things about worry is that it builds onto itself. The more you worry, the more you spiral into worry. You can worry without having anxiety, but you can’t have anxiety without worry. This is where that slippery slope is born. If we can curb our worrying in the beginning, we are less likely to fall into anxiety.
What is worship?
Worship is literally what we were made to do. It is giving praises to God, but it is all based on your heart. I have often heard in church, “Anyone can praise God, but worship requires a relationship”. As I have matured in my walk with Christ, I find that this is so true. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” (Matthew 15:8-9) You have to have heart behind your worship. Otherwise, it is meaningless. Worship is your time to praise God and stand in awe of him. This may be in your car, your house, or even the bathroom. It is time with just you and God. Time for you to tell him who he is without asking him for anything. A time of humble submission to our amazing creator. A time of worship.
Why worship and worry cannot coexist?
When we worship, we are communing with God. During worship, our mind, spirit, and heart are fixed on the Lord. We aren't able to worry because our spirit is being fed and remembers what God is able to do. You have your eyes on Jesus. Remember what happened when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus. "And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”(Matthew 14:28-30) Peter allowed fear to change his perspective. He went from walking into the arms of our savior to being in the midst of the storm. He felt the wind and the waves. He allowed it to plant a seed of fear in his heart and mind. Don't forget that the seed of worry is fear. If we like Peter, take our eyes off our savior and instead fix it on our situation, we too will sink. We will sink and drown into a spiral of worry hitting rock bottom at anxiety. But, when we worship, we fix our eyes back on Jesus. We don't worry about our situation as much because we can see our salvation. We just have to trust in our great father. We have to choose to trust God beyond what we can see and do. Does that ever hang you up? Sometimes, its so hard to trust God when I haven't figured out a solution. But then I guess that is the true definition of trust.
The great thing about this story is what happens in the next verse. "Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”( Matthew 14:31-33) Did you see what happened? Peter called out and Jesus was there. He reached out his hand and took hold of him. That is what he does for us. When we call his name he pulls us close to him where we rest in his peace. Although God stopped the storm in Peter's life, he may not always end your storm when you want it. But, I guarantee he will be holding you through it. Protecting you from the waves. Taking the beating of the wind. Lifting you well above the water.
So when you start worrying or are feeling anxious. Stop. Take a breath. Worship the Lord. Read his word aloud. Worship him in song. Do whatever you feel the Lord telling you to do in your worship time with him. I guarantee you that if you worship him earnestly and often. You will access his peace. You will begin to be victorious. You will overcome. Go in Peace.
God of Peace, help us to rest in you. Help us to keep our eyes, hearts, and minds on you. Give strength and awareness to see when we are sinking, so that we will adjust our gaze back to you. In Jesus' Name, Amen