Thursday, October 2, 2008

TURN THE CHANNEL

How many television channels do you get at home? 30? 130? 300? When I was growing up in the 1960s there was a total of three television channels. That was all---choose one of those.



Our minds are like that too. We have Channel 1--the past, Channel 2-- the present , and Channel 3-- the future.



Channel 1, the past, is not a great channel to tune in to all the time. There's nothing new on; tons of reruns--and no positive, feel-good programs.



Channel 2 is the present. This is reality TV. Awesome things happen in this up-to-the-minute broadcast. I'm on Channel 2 right now as I write this.



Channel 3 is the future. Major static is on the future line, so you invent all kinds of nasty programming. A lot of people spend their whole life watching Channel 3. When you camp on Channel 3, you get nothing but these three dangerous emotions:



1. Worry--from the German word meaning, to choke. Let your mind drift to Channel 3, and worry will strangle your peace.



2. Fear becomes more visceral. Something is coming and it's not good. Fear is a magnifying glass, enlarging everything it's focused on. Second Timothy 1:7 says, "God gave us a spirit not of fear." If you have fear, you've chosen it for yourself.



3. Anxiety, Jesus Himself mentions anxiety several times so you know it's gotta be important. " Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious" (Matthew 6:25: see also vv. 27-28,31, and 34 for a few more references to anxiety). Anxiety literally means "to divide the mind" and it's what happens when your mind switches back and forth between Channel 2 and 3.



We weren't made for this. The manufacturer's specifications don't allow for worry. It's no different than if someone poured sugar in your gas tank or introduced a virus to your computer. It goes against the principles of how those things work. Worry does that to the human spirit. When you gather up in your mind on a regular basis a list of all the unknowns of the future and repeatedly review and extrapolate, the uncertainties become so large that they will crush you. Everything gets sideways when you're on the anxiety program.



You were not fashioned for fear, You were not wired for worry. You were not made for the misery of trembling about tomorrow. Stay tuned to Channel 2. That's the essence of, "Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34)

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is a hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

James MacDonald
Walk in the word

11 comments:

Mari said...

This is such a good devotional. What a good reminder with all that is going on in the world.

Lisa said...

I appreciate this post. I tend to be a worrier but I know that will take care of all my worries.I hope your weekend is beautiful.

Shelly said...

THIS IS A GREAT POST! I LOVE HOW YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENT CHANNELS AND THE WAY WE ARE.

I PRAY THAT ALL GOES WELL WITH YOU AND SOME RECENT CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE ALSO.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND NANC!

Edge of Design said...

The best way I know how to describe your post today is like a vitamin for the mind. Nice job and thank you!!!

Sandra said...

Nancy, this was a brilliant post...especially for me because I'm a worrier. Thank you so much for the reminder of what worry does to our human spirit.

Pat said...

WOW Nancy. Thank you for giving me some assurance. Needless to say this is a very tough time for me. I am trying hard to stay positive but often find that I fail. Maybe I should blog? :)
God bless you and all those who are able to find peace in the Lord. I'll get there with God's help only.
Pat

Linds said...

I am here from Sandra's place, and I agree - this is a wonderful post, and so very timely too. Thank you!

Deb said...

Oh I like that, sure speaks the truth yes?

Heidi @ GGIP said...

What a very interesting way to look at it.

I came here via Sandra. Have a great weekend.

Cherdecor said...

I listen to James MacDonald every day and would not miss it. I heard this sermon and thought is was the best illustration to teach us how to think. Great post!

Cathy said...

That really was a great devotional, Nancy. Thanks for sharing it.