Pastors Chris and Lauren continue our new series titled: Immeasurably More. This series is based out of Ephesians, the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Emphasis.
Ephesians 3:14-21, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
God deeply desires for us to have a life of “Immeasurably More.” But the question for us is, what will we do in order to step into that life? And this type of more life that God wants for us is beyond anything we can ever dream. Take your best life and picture it right now in your mind. God wants even more than that for you. Stepping into this life is not an easy one. Over the next few weeks we will explore what this looks like.
This second week, they address some of the biggest obstacles in this life of immeasurably more that God wants for us. That is fear, worry, anxiety and insecurity. We have a lot of these feelings and emotions right now in these times of change. Working through some of these fears and anxieties can be uncomfortable, but they are essential. We need to process how we are feeling. We can’t ignore it. It’s important to not let those things control you, but letting the peace of Jesus lead us. The first step in this is getting honest about our fears and anxieties and insecurities.
I believe for all types of anxiety – clinical, anxiousness, worry. It’s important for us to steward the body that God has given us. We have to the best we can to mitigate our anxiety. We must eat well, move our bodies, supplement to fill in nutritional gaps, having routines. Drink plenty of water, sleeping, and for some this includes taking medications is what we need to do. This also includes being on guard for what we fill our minds with. What are we watching, listening to, and focusing on? When we are struggling with being anxious, it’s important to evaluate what is causing the anxiousness. Is it a chemical imbalance? Social media? News? Someone in our life? Life circumstances? And to the extent of our ability, we should address those causes in order to help our anxiety.
Something eye opening when studying what the Bible has to say about anxiety is that Jesus faced it. At the last super in John 13:21, “After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.'” The meaning there of “troubled in spirit” means “to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, to disquiet, make restless, to render anxious or distressed.” Jesus experienced these emotions and reactions, too. He faced anxiousness – but he is our example of how to not live in that anxiousness.
Also in the Bible is the command “Fear not” which is used most often in Scripture. 1 Peter 5: 7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” We battle anxiety with prayer and petition to God.