Welcome to Day 4 in a 5-part series on what it looks like to be “All in with Jesus.” Today we will examine how Christ’s kingdom is a remedy to worry. If you are catching up, the last 3 posts used the analogy of diving into a lake to examine the process of being “all in with Jesus.” Day 1 focused on “What is Holding You Back” and the unintended consequences of just dipping your toes into the water. Then, on Day 2, we talked about how the Gospel is unchanging and that the Law of the Spirit gives us the confidence to be “all in with Jesus” (or jump into the lake). Following Jesus undoubtedly has challenges. Day 3 discussed the joy of following Jesus, even when it is uncomfortable or there is suffering.
Anxiety Is Out the Roof. Yet Freedom Is Freely Available!
Today we are going to look at something that all of us deal with from time to time. Anxiety and worry are powerful deterrents to peace. Worry seems to push out peace when we stop gazing heavenward. With heads down filtering our choices and decisions through what we hear, see, and feel from our surroundings can easily become a habit. And the more we habitually worry, the smaller our view of God becomes. The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the church in Galatia:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
What’s Your View of Discipleship? Suggestions for a Better Life, or an Invitation to Abundant Life?
Jesus did not come to offer suggestions for a better life, but he came to give sinners, like me and you, abundant life. But until we depart from this small world and enter the largeness of the Celestial City Jesus Christ is preparing for us, we have to exercise faith. To seek first his Kingdom changes everything. To simply seek God’s glory today will wash away our fears, performance anxieties, comparisons, addictions, habits of self-protectionism, entitlements, snares of unforgiveness…just to name a few.
I’d encourage you to get away into God’s creation somewhere. Find a place where you are surrounded by God-sounds, and God-signs. Away from the distractions of human creation. Ask Jesus to open your mind and heart to understand His Word on this subject of anxiety. Believe that the Holy Spirit will speak to you through the Word of God, and commit to listening and obeying whatever you hear from Jesus, so that this does not just become a box to check, but rather a radical exercise of obedience and other-worldly discipleship. Get excited to meet with Jesus!
Scripture to Read
- Matthew 6:25-34
- Philippians 4:6-7
- What are some things you commonly worry about?
- List some of the things Jesus mentions in the passage in Matthew that are common worries. In what ways do you worry about these things?
- What do you think it might mean to, “Seek first His Kingdom?”
- What difference might it make in your life if in all situations you were simply seeking God‘s glory?
- In what ways do you think “Seeking first His Kingdom?” is the remedy for your worries?
- Set a goal for this month to exchange your typical worries for daily, active choices to seek His Kingdom. What are three specific ways you believe Jesus might be asking you to seek his Kingdom this month?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Denton’s blog was originally posted on his website as “A Life-Changing Remedy for Worry: Seek First Christ’s Kingdom—Day 4″