I’m reading a pretty challenging book at the moment – Phil Moore’s Gagging Jesus – Things Jesus said we wish he hadn’t.
The first chapter has nailed me already! It’s about stress and worry. Why? Worry and stress are the chief symptoms of idolatry and self worship. Ouch!
Over-busyness is a serious sin – on a par with out and out blasphemy – why? Because when we worry we are saying “I’m not convinced God will do His job without me” and when we say “I’m feeling stressed” it’s another way of saying “I’m trying to do God’s job for him and it’s not working out for me”
Luke 12 lists the biggies we worry about money, food, clothes and our health and then says “the pagan world runs after such things”. When we don’t know God we get stressed about them, living lives as little gods and feeling the burden. God hands them over to stress so that every bird and flower will preach a sermon about provision.
Phil Moore cites Hilary of Poitiers describing stress and worry as “a blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work for Him”.
The crown of thorns on Jesus’ forehead are symbolic of Adam’s painful labour of thorns and brambles as a consequence of the Fall.
On the cross Jesus paid the price for a our blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work for Him.
I’m repenting of worry and anxiety over some stuff and learning to trust God and be content to be His creature! “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent” – John 6:29
As we trust Jesus He promised to deliver us from stress and worry
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
Challenging but liberating stuff. Thanks to Phil Moore for a fantastic first chapter of Gagging Jesus* worth a buy from Amazon for that chapter alone.