How To Undo The Devils Work

How To Undo The Devils Work?  That is the theme of our message from the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord.  We’re marching from the River Jordan to the Mount of Transfiguration.  It’s coming up next Sunday!  Just to be clear, Jesus appeared on the scene and undid the devil’s work – going toe to toe with him, and WINNING!  We enjoy the benefits of that victory in our lives of faith.

Just a remind, we’re not in glory just yet.  The devil still dogs us with one temptation after another.  One of the tools the devil uses is worry or anxiety.  God tells us at the end of 1 Peter Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  God knows that we don’t know the future.  God knows that bad things will happen to us.  He also knows that this one-two punch can be crippling.  He says give me your anxiety, your worry.  One of the ways he that does that is through all of you.  You, the family of believers, can listen, can pray, and minister to each other.

I want to consider two words that over the years may have done more harm than good.  They are, “Don’t worry.”  You have a big algebra test coming up.  You are terrified because you don’t get it.  It’s hard and in the home work and quizzes, you’ve been failing.  You tell this to a friends and this well-meaning friend, says, “Don’t worry!”  What a guy! Huh?  Those two words are a confusion of Law and Gospel.  God’s law tells us how we have failed, what we’re doing wrong, why there is separation between us and God.  We’re not good enough.  That’s the law.  The gospel is the good news that God loves us in Jesus.  Jesus not only takes away our sins, but he reunites us with our heavenly Father and opens to door a wonderful relationship that includes, promises kept, prayers heard and answers, a clean conscience, and a guaranteed retirement plan in heaven.

When I say, “Johnny, don’t worry!”  I may be trying to help (that’s gospel), but all Johnny heard was, eat your humble pie and like it.  Stop worrying Johnny.  Johnny can’t stop.  Now he’s not only afraid, he’s guilty (that’s law) because he knows he shouldn’t be worrying.  When Johnny comes to you rocking back and forth in a fetal position because he can’t solve for X, tell him, “Johnny, honey, say a prayer.  I know that you’ve worked your God given gifts as much as you can.  Ask him for help.  You still might fail – pie eating – but maybe he has different plan for your life – lifting up, or maybe all your work will pay off.  Either way God loves you and he is in control of your life.”  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from 1 Peter 5 – How To Undo The Devils Work