What i’m about to write is only because of the truth that was spoken at my community group tonight, even as a “leader” and even a staff member at a Church I still struggle. I know, *gasp*. Unless you actually know me, and then it’s really no surprise. I think there’s something important about being honest with what God is doing in your life. It’s not always easy or pretty, but it’s important in the age of social media where lives look perfect and easy. This is the real me, right now, as I work through anxiety towards my upcoming trip to Thailand.
The other night during a moment of panic I started reading the passage of Galatians we were going through in our group, and landed on chapter 5 verse 1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
I’ve always loved the first part of that verse, and known the last part, but I for some reason have skipped over that middle section “stand firm therefore”.
Yes, Christ set us free! I think we can all get on board with that one. That’s also the theme of Galatians, they were free from the law because Christ came. He had set them free from the slavery of the law! That’s awesome. But then it says, “stand firm therefore”, an action item. Christ has set you free so stand firm, why? Paul knew it was easy for this church to go back to what they used to do, but the law was gone! He is saying stand firm in what they now know is true, and to not again submit to those chains of legalistic thinking that led to rules and condemnation and not the grace Jesus was freely giving.
When I read that I just felt the Spirit of God telling me, “Lindsey, this anxiety is your slavery, I have set you FREE and yet you go back and let this overwhelm you”. I knew it was true, while anxiety and fear are real emotions that need to be felt and dealt with properly, I knew that I was feeding my anxiety by allowing myself to dwell on things that are out of my control. So often I hold onto these fears and anxiety instead of speaking the truth about who God is and surrendering those feelings to the Lord.
STAND FIRM, THEREFORE…
I don’t want to let the “therefore” go, that’s probably my favorite word in the Bible, because it always makes me go back and re-read the previous phrase or verse. The silly Bible class teaching of “Therefore, what’s it there for”, cheesy, but so good. Christ has SET YOU FREE, stand firm in that, why? Why are we standing firm in that freedom? Because you are going to get distracted, you’re going to face a struggle, and you’re going to want to go back to that old way of thinking. Stand Firm. Do not submit again to that yoke of slavery.
Submitting anxiety and fear to the Lord isn’t easy. If it was easy then we would never have problems, and if it was easy then I wouldn’t be able to learn the lesson that God is teaching me. What is that lesson? not exactly sure yet, maybe it’s that I like to control things? Or maybe it’s that in letting go and letting Him really take over completely He will show me something new and more beautiful about Himself.
That’s where I’m at right now, I’m not perfect and I don’t always have it all together, but God is good and He is sovereign, and He is working. I never want to stand in the way of what He is doing. So, if through these anxiety He can show me more about Himself, then I hope I can glorify Him through it.
Take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
I’m holding on to this verse, as I continue to prepare for Thailand. Taking those thoughts captive, destroying and putting away thoughts and distractions that take my mind off of who God is, who He says I am, and what He is going to do.
Thanks to my sweet community group for tonight, i’m so thankful for community. I love having a group of people who remind each other of why God has called them, who He says they are, and ultimately that God always has to be the center of everything. You can’t do life alone, intentional community is VITAL. (Join a group!)
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