The Depths of Anxiety
If you have been around Living Deeper Ministries for long, there are a few things that continually surface, as central to who we are as a ministry. One of those things is searching for the root.
The Word of God clearly says that if we have bad roots, we will bear bad fruit. You can try to clean up, dress up, or cover up the fruit on your proverbial tree, but eventually, because the roots are bad, the fruit is going to reflect that.
We are keenly aware of how anxiety has emerged with such fury. Many may define anxiety in a myriad of ways due to their own personal experience. It can often be pigeonholed to only being defined as consuming concerns about the unknown.
I believe there is something deeper. I believe that at the heart or root of much of our anxiety is people pleasing.
So often, in an attempt to be accepted, we create a false self that fits the narratives we believe are most wanted, liked, and inclusive. In order to please that group of people, we morph into what we believe they want.
The problem with that is that different groups of people may be perceived by you as having different desires and therefore you feel the need to be one way with this group of people and another with this group of people. Or you are one way with this person and another way with another. Herein can lie the anxiety, as you are constantly having to micromanage your personhood.
Creating a false self has been around since Creation. Adam and Eve sinned against God and created fig leaves to cover their shame. What shame? Their shame of feeling as though irreparable damage had been done to the deepest parts of their own soul. If we feel as though we are damaged, we try to cover up and hide so as to not disappoint the expectation of others. This is the heart of people pleasing, and it is a trap. It is bondage. It is not of God.
Trying to control all the various personalities that we feel forced to portray with certain people, in order to be fully accepted, is exhausting. That exhaustion both physically, mentally and emotionally tires you to the point, where there is no energy towards advancing God’s Kingdom in your own life and the lives of people around you. And the enemy has you right where he wants you: exhausted, weary and lifeless.
But what if today, you could start each day with this simple prayer:
“Father God, I know that I am already accepted; now, I want to become all You had in mind when You made me. I surrender myself to You, to make me into the person You want me to be.”
That’s it. Pure and simple. I am clay in the Potter’s hands. I am accepted in the beloved. I am chosen. I am royalty. I am free from what everybody else wants me to be and free to be exactly who God made me to be.
You are free from what everybody else wants you to be and free to be exactly who God made you to be.
Surrendering to your Creator’s molding hands is the best place to be. There is freedom there. There is an easy vulnerability there to trust that God will do what He promised.
Jeremiah went down to the Potter’s house and the Lord talked with him there. “‘Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” Jeremiah 18:2-4
I need us to lock into the word “another”. That word can mean “another of the same” or another as in “a different one altogether”. I want another chocolate chip cookie. That’s another of the same. I don’t want chocolate chip. I want another one…maybe snickerdoodle (my all time favorite, if anyone is asking). That’s a different kind altogether.
What was God saying to Jeremiah and to us today? God doesn’t make a better version of you when you are saved. He makes you an altogether new creation…the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). He then, takes this new creation and begins molding you into all that He desires you to be. (which by the way, is the ONLY way you will ever be happy, fulfilled and free) His hands are firm, and yet soft. Our only job? To stay on the wheel. To keep ourselves postured to allow Him to do His work as we surrender our lives to Him.
This is the only place where anxiety is demolished. When we choose to stop succumbing to the tyranny of morphing into whatever everyone else wants us to be, and surrendering ourselves to being transformed into who God made us to be; then, training our minds to be happy with where we are and who we are in the process.
My hopes for the LOVE study was to help you discover who God is so that you could recover who you are; by trusting who God is enough, to surrender yourselves completely to His loving hands. I bless what God has started and will complete (Philippians 1:6) in you as you stay surrendered.
You are loved,
If you missed the LOVE study, order your book and DVD HERE! And be on the lookout for our summertime online study of the Book fo Psalms coming this summer!!!!