Let me expose worry and anxiety for what they really are... SIN. Sin separates us from God. It's painful to realize how my worry and anxiety separate me from God. Yes, Romans 8:31-39 reassures Christians that nothing (not even our worry) can separate us from the love of God. What's at stake with worry is not HIS love for ME, but MY love for HIM. When I worry, it's as though I'm telling God I'm taking control over my life and the circumstances, therefore I must ponder them all day long and attempt to fix them on my own because His power just can't please me. It's John 3:30 reversed! I don't know if you pick up on this or not, but that's idolatry, folks! Not only am I placing myself as an idol above Christ, but my mind is thinking the thoughts of an unbeliever who has no God to provide for him. Now do worry and anxiety seem harmless and acceptable?
It's so good to love the one God who draws near to us in our despair. Today, I planned on just finishing up my study of Philippians chapter one by looking at verses 27 through 30, but God planned so much more by giving me the truth that I need. It's easy for me to realize where I fall short of hitting the mark. It's much more difficult to figure out how to regroup and move forward. Today, it's all so clear! Let me share:
"Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."
Please read that again. Now read it one more time. (If you're like me and sometimes skip commands like these to save time, do yourself a favor and read it!) Let those words sink into your brain. For once this is something we worriers can analyze again and again!
For me this verse is almost like a riddle. I realize that Paul probably was not wasting time or space in his letter by writing riddles to the church at Philippi, but today in my time of need, this is how the Holy Spirit made things clear through a verse I've heard one hundred times before.
Unless I realize that I will never be worthy of the gospel of Christ, I will never be able to live.
In another letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul says: "For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift - not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them."(Ephesians 2:8-10)
There is nothing I could ever say or do to be worthy of the gospel of Christ. No amount of worry or anxiety could fix my broken state or even make things better. In fact, God had things planned before I ever existed (Ephesians 1:4-6), so clearly, He doesn't need me to worry about where things will go from here.
If I fixate myself on the love that God has for me that caused Him to send His son to die to conquer my worry and anxiety, and I walk in that love, those thoughts will have no power over me. Is this easy? Well, it's a lot easier when I am not distracted by other things vying for my attention. It's also a lot easier when I've not been lazy and procrastinated so that I have a lot of responsibilities at once. Is it worth it? It is for me! A longer life to share the gospel I'm unworthy of, better relationships with my husband and family and friends, and a sound mind.
So I'm not going to fixate on what others think when they read this blog, or how much time out of my day is gone because I wrote this, but instead I'll fix my mind on Jesus.
"So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For the idolators eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father know that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-34