On a fairly regular basis I will toss and turn, unable to fall asleep, but also unable to let go of a particular thought that worries me. It could be as simple as thinking I heard a noise and all the possibilities of what it could be, or it could be related to something that happened earlier that day or that I will need to do tomorrow. Either way, I often wrestle with taking my thoughts captive. It’s as if I have a Worry Ferrari inside my head that can go from zero to worried in six seconds (but often less time than that). Isn’t it amazing how quickly your mind can fill with thoughts of worry?
We have all heard that no good will come from worrying, but if you’re at all like me, you probably know how hard it can be to halt worrisome thoughts when you’re cruising down that highway in the Worry Ferrari.
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:25-34
So what do you do when you just can’t seem to stop your mind from focusing on those thoughts? I have learned (most recently from The Grace Walk by Steve McVey) that not all your thoughts are your own.
Satan or his demons skillfully study you and know exactly which thoughts to suggest in your mind – but they’re sure to plant thoughts that are in the first person so you may not even recognize that you didn’t think it on your own.
They are very talented at what they do, I’ll give them that. After they plant a thought, I often take the bait and off to the races I go…
“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
So if your thoughts are speculative (worried, anxious), lofty (self-focused), or don’t align with the knowledge of God, there’s a good chance those thoughts are not your own. Taking your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ – or to put it more simply: abiding in Christ – is the answer. Trying to take charge of your thoughts on your own efforts is never going to work in the long run – you need Christ to do it for you. Seeking Christ in those moments I’m struggling to stop worrying is the surest way to stop driving that Worry Ferrari.