Strive to be like Jesus! I think many Christ followers tell themselves that over and over throughout the course of their lives. At least, I have—many times. But can we really be like Jesus? And, more importantly, is that truly what God wants us to do?
Following Jesus does not mean we have to be like Jesus. We cannot do what Jesus did on this earth. We cannot turn water into wine, or walk on water, or bring the dead back to life. Jesus was perfect, and it is just not possible for us to be like him—we don’t have what it takes. In fact, trying to be perfect like Jesus can create an internal anxiety in us that can negatively affect us and those around us. During the weekend message, Lead Pastor Ben referred to it as internal noise.
God does not expect us to be perfect, but he does want us to live in perfect peace. This does not mean that we will live in a bubble, and everything around us will be without conflict. It means that he provides a way for us to “turn down the noise” inside of us and be at peace when anxious moments arise.
So how do we turn down the noise inside? It starts with knowing that when we receive Christ into our hearts, we no longer have to strive to be like him because he lives in us.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
You see, Christ died so we can stop trying to do it on our own. Is it always easy to trust in this? No! As humans, we still tell ourselves, “I shouldn’t have made that mistake” or “I can do better” or worse yet, “I have messed up so many times, I don’t deserve to be called a Christian.”
This is not true—we do not find peace through our works.
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
So what are the steps for turning down the noise and finding peace?
1. See the noise: Recognize that you are experiencing internal anxiety.
2. Prayerfully name it: For example, “God, I realize I am becoming overbearing with those around me.”
3. Trust his victory over it: Believe that God’s got this.
4. Rest in his perfect love: Experience the peace of giving God control.
When was the last time you experienced that “internal noise” rising within you? How did you handle it?
Do you know that Christ lives in you, and through him, you can find peace?
Put the four steps to finding peace into practice.
Join a group and share with others your successes and failures in finding peace.
Heavenly Father, I know that I am not perfect like you and can never hope to be. Instead, I give my life to you and believe that you live in me. Through you, I have the strength to turn down the noise of anxiety when it arises in me. God, please give me the wisdom to let go of the unattainable desire to be like you and the trust needed to relinquish my sense of control. I give it to you so that I might find the peace that you intended for me in my life. Amen.
This post was written by Ned Miller, a first-time contributor to the LivingitOut.
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