I love our LifeGroup. We are a diverse group, but we have meshed so well. Last night, in our gathering, a theme seemed to emerge out of our discussion of the authority of Christ. Coming out of our Lead Pastor’s sermon from Sunday (our groups are sermon-based), we were discussing how Jesus’ authority emerged from His submission (Mark 1). His submission to John’s baptism, to the Father’s plan, to being tempted, to preaching the gospel…all lead to his authority as He was described by John the Baptist, as the One with authority to preach the gospel of repentance, as the Teacher who speaks with authority concerning the Scriptures, as the authority over demons, as having the authority to heal the sick and dying…I think you get the idea.
So…in our LifeGroup, we’re attempting to make this message personal…applying it to life. In doing so, the theme (as I mentioned above) emerged of worry and stress. As we thought about the authority of Christ in our lives it became apparent to us that there is a direct correlation between our worry and stress, and how we view the authority of Jesus in our lives. I immediately thought of something I had read by Francis Chan in his book, Crazy Love. He wrote…
Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
Ouch! That hits pretty close to home! When I worry, what does it say about what I believe about God? How does it reveal what I believe about the authority of Jesus in my life and situations? I’m not a huge worrier, personally, but I do tend to let stress get to me (see yesterday’s post). I shouldn’t, and I won’t, if I remind myself that Jesus has authority over all those situations…that He is LORD! When I remind my self, my stress level goes way down and my tendency toward worry lessens. I am encouraged and I am more likely to take those issues to Him in prayer…believing He is going to take care of the need. After all, the Word reminds us of this very thing and I’ll leave you with these thoughts directly from the Authority Himself:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Luke 6:46 (Jesus)
“So why do you call me ‘Lord,’ when you won’t obey me?