"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1
Monday, June 1, 2015
Do not be Anxious
Dear Weekly Readers!
Do you ever worry about the future? Are you ever anxious about the events around you? I know I am, and I need to be reminded often that God is in control! Leave it to the one who holds the future! Please read the article about this topic below. May God Bless your Week! John R.
By: Pastor Nathan Juntunen
HAVING REBELLED against God by his first transgression, man slips from the realm of the limitless to the realm determined by a tyrannical limit: death. Our entire life is bounded by this limit, though the knowledge of it is almost always suppressed. It therefore forces upon us a certain measure of anxiety. This is our plague. We are anxious. Sometimes we do not know why; we cannot discern the source of our anxiety. But this we know—we are an anxious lot.
Jesus’ teaching about anxiety is therefore most astonishing, for it is incredibly simple: “Do not be anxious.” Take therefore no thought for the morrow... A vexing thought, indeed! In one word Jesus distills the entire weight of the Old Testament Law and the expectation of God transmitted through every prophet who has ever walked this green earth. Do not be anxious?!! How is the world supposed to keep turning without a bit of anxiety? (It has been said that love makes the world go ‘round, but I think it could more truthfully be spoken about anxiety.)
Jesus’ teaching about anxiety is deliciously similar to His teaching about judgment: “Do not judge.” Both teachings taken together illustrate for us the nature of Jesus’ commands: They are simply impossible to fulfill. I am a worry-wart, and beyond that, I am an incurable judge. I am confirmed in these two states by the word of Christ Himself (see for reference Paul’s discussion concerning the effect of the Law in Romans 7:7).
I am not only a judge of others, mind you, but a judge of myself. Therefore, to find myself face to face with Jesus bidding me to deny anxiety and forego judgment leaves me with all the more anxiety and all the more propensity to judge; now to judge even Him! The weight is too much, the demand too stringent; I cannot survive...
Precisely the point... Jesus would later say: Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matthew 21:44) It is not a pretty sight for the Old Adam when he comes into contact with the Living Lord. He must die or he must crucify him. He cannot have it both ways. We cannot survive an encounter with the real Christ; it provokes my old anxious and judgmental nature to its limit. He pushes me to the very boundary of existence and invites me to the other side. To venture to the other side—to go to God and lodge myself in the eternal One requires one thing: I must die. Not the “little death” of physical separation from spirit, but the “big death” of my ego, desires, self-will and pride.
But it is God’s will that we should die, so we may be raised to an unlikely form of life. We, in Christ Jesus, live an “impossible” life, because we are freed from anxiety in Him who took our anxieties upon Himself at Calvary. He bore our burdens, it is written. Those burdens were not only the sins piled up through the ages until His coming nor only the ones from the generations since–they are the burdens of our sin, death and our incurable habits of worry and judgment. When Jesus bids us to live a life free from anxiety and judgment, He is really calling us back to Himself. He is calling us back to the unity with God that we shared before our epic Fall, back to His singular and perfect will, a will that none should perish but that all would share eternal life, a non-anxious life. Through faith in Him we have already achieved what He demands. We have peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus (Romans 5:1). Having believed, we are set free from the limit that provoked our anxiety. We are free from judgment, free from death. Jesus comes, therefore, not as an academic professor who counsels strict adherence to a code. Rather, He comes as One willing to die for our freedom from the code. He comes as One chosen to deliver us from the anxiety of the code.
Therefore we do not worry. Not because we have decided not to worry, but because HE has shouldered the burden of our worry and HE alone has the power to set our hearts at rest. ~