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Our Thoughts Need To Match Our Faith - by John G. Banks

Each & every day, for the past 13 years, I've watched myself & countless others saying one thing & doing another. Most Christians want to believe that their own behaviors are Christ-like, but this isn't always the case.

"I know what I need to do, but I seem to have a problem doing it!" This statement comes from individuals who talk to me on a daily basis about their lives. Christians sin! Christians are forgiven! Any questions? Wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy?

5 years ago when I arrived at New Hope, I thought my life was OK. Chaos, confusion & despair followed me, but that was normal in my life. What wasn't normal is that when those feelings left, I missed them. I actually missed the sin in my life.

God doesn't want us to be confused. It demonstrates a lack of faith. God doesn't want our lives to be chaotic. He finds it difficult to communicate with us during the chaos in our lives.

But I'd always felt that God wanted me full of despair. My failures only showed God that I needed him. My lost sense of reality only proved that I needed him to define it for me. This is where I found myself saying one thing & doing another. Not walking the talk!

Life is full of problems. Each of us finds his own set of problems. Then we try to deal with them. The problem starts with the word try. I have spent years trying with little or no results. The word try has no action & this is the key to talking the talk & walking the walk.

I tried to get sober for years; I kept on drinking. I tried to control my anger; I kept getting angry. Then one day someone told me to try to pick up a book. I kept picking it up as they told me to put it back down. I suddenly realized that trying to pick up the book meant that the book would stay where I found it.

Now a picture began to formulate in my mind. Here I was, full of despair, trying to seek out solutions, putting God first & things continued to stay exactly the way they were. Was it my lack of faith? Was I praying for the right things in my life?

Then all of a sudden it hit me. When I worry about the outcome of my problems, I don't have any faith. This small revelation changed my entire life. I realized that you can't step out on faith & be worried at the same time.

This also answered my question concerning walking the walk & talking the talk. The cause of my despair wasn't the lack of faith in my life, but forgetting to use it. When we worry we can only focus on what might happen & what might not happen. This causes great anxiety that allows us to waste the strength that God gave us to live.

An average person's anxiety is focused this way: 40% on things that will never happen; 30% on things about the past that can't be changed; 12% on criticism by others, mostly untrue; 10% on health, which gets worse with stress & 8% about real problems that'll be faced.

It's important to remember that the closer you get to your troubles, the smaller they look.

Most of us would agree that our lives have had a lot of trouble, most of which never happened. In Mathew, the 6th chapter, Jesus teaches us about worry. He gives 7 specific reasons not to worry.

Verse 25 states:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life. Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today. Worrying is more harmful than helpful.

God doesn't ignore those who depend on him. Worry shows a lack of faith in & understanding of God. There are real challenges God wants us to pursue & worrying keeps us from them. Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.

Each & every day I step out on faith. My favorite daily quote helps me focus on the power of God. "Dear God, don't let me get into anything today that you can't get me out of."

Worry is responsible for many things in life. It is & continues to be, the main focus of atomic weapons. Who has them? Will they use them? If they do, what do we do?

Having been born in the 1950's, I witnessed my neighbors building bomb shelters because they were worried about a nuclear war. Almost 50 years later, the same shelters sit unused, empty, all a result of worry.

Don't tell God how big your problems are; tell your problems how big your God is.

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