For the next several Monday’s I’ll be reflecting on thoughts stirred by reading Mary DeMuth’s upcoming book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. The following is a reflection the ideas in chapters 5 & 6

In a certain past season of my life, I allowed worrying about maintaining a relationship with another person, to control my entire day. Whatever they did impacted my mood, my schedule, my everything. Frankly, this is a darker time of my life and I hate to even think about it because I have changed completely from those days–by God’s grace. But as I read Mary’s 5th chapter, Set Aside Worry, the memories of this time began to surface. What I didn’t realize then, was that my fear, my worry, was my everything–rather than Jesus. Though a Christian at the time, I still had given fear a foothold and let me just say–fear has monster sized feet.

I struggled for months living in this unhealthy cycle day in and day out, and ironically, the more I tried to control the situation, the more out of control I felt. Thankfully, Christ got through to me at some point and the chains of worry, in this particular instance, were broken–though not without much prayer and confession and repentance on my behalf.

Of all the relationships we have, the one we have with Christ is to be the most important–above our spouse, above our children, parents, friends– He must be first.

Simply put, when we think of other people as our center and fulfillment, we live frustrated lives. ~Mary DeMuth, Everything

Christ is clear about this, when he says this,“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26, NIV84)

I’ve been good at worrying more about my relationships with others than about my relationship with Christ, (which by the way, is called idolatry. Yikes). But this scripture is harsh. It’s hard to understand, and yet, it isn’t.

Jesus’s message is clear, He must come first, He must be our everything.  I’m so thankful He set me free from the weighty burden of worry I lived during that hard season. We don’t need to worry because He is with us, He’s seen our entire story from beginning to end already and we can trust Him with every breath we take.

Thoughts On Chapter 6- “Practice Resilience”

I once had a woman at a church I attended, try to tell me that that the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it) meant that the “escape” would be death. In other words, if you ever found yourself facing unbearable temptation and were unable to resist it, you would be taken to glory in that moment. Wait, wha–? (That was the last time I attended her bible study).  Why do I say this, because this is a critical scripture to cling to when we’re worried about enduring the life Christ calls us to. His word tells us “He will provide  a way out, so that you can stand up under it”, in other words,

God doesn’t remove; He brings us through.  Mary DeMuth, Everything

Overcoming our worries, by His strength, allows us to venture deeper into the adventure of faith He calls us to. He hasn’t promised us an easy journey, but He has promised to be with us, to strengthen and equip us for whatever twists and turns we may face.

Our painful lessons, our challenging seasons often prove critical in our faith journey, pushing us into closer walk with Him. We should resist the temptation to pray for a removal of our suffering, and rather pray for the strength to endure it for His sake.

God isn’t just present in the peaceful, worry-free moments of our life, but His power is manifest in the dark, muddy moments of struggle, where we experience the raw reshaping of our hearts, to more closely resemble His own.

This book is messing me up in the best way.

How do you deal with worry and hanging in there during the hard seasons? Let’s chat about it in the comments today.

Everything releases in October, however, you can pre-order now. Woot!

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0 thoughts on “What It Takes To Become More Like Him

  1. I think worry is in our very dna as a woman…we call it a lot of things…concern…just wanting things to turn out ok…on and on…but underneath worry is the real problem…fear…fear we will loss that friend…fear if we don’t do something…if we do do something…and what grows from this is worry…and controlling a situation for a certain outcome…and many times if controlling doesn’t work …anger comes. Seeing all the masks fear/worry wears and allowing God to come into those places and through His nearness… understanding how much He loves me…really, really ..not the head knowledge kind…but deep into my heart…and that perfect love…trusting in that perfect love does cast our fear/worry.
    wow..that was longer than intended…great post…have a blessed day~

    1. Ro, I’m thankful for your thoughts here. I think worry is perhaps in our genetic make-up to an extent, and I know for me, fear is absolutely the root. I keep digging but that one is tough to fully unearth! Just when I think I’ve pulled up the last bit, I discover another runner under the surface. Praying you enjoy a blessed day! (well, evening at this point 😉

  2. I have never heard THAT interpretation of 1Cor.10:13. Glad you left and glad you are better!
    How do I handle worry and stress? Not well, I keep worrying until situation is done. I worry if it will turn out the way I want it and I know worry is fruitless. God is going to do what He is going to do. Wish I had advice to others on how NOT to worry, but I am a work in progress. Be blessed:)

  3. I am now very tempted to add this book to my must-read list.
    As far as worry goes, it’s a constant, day-by-day battle with me. Sometimes, I wake up and become overwhelmed by it, and I have to CHOOSE to hand it over to Christ and CHOOSE to think on things that are lovely, that are true, and that are noble. It’s the only way I get over it. Also, remembering that worry is a sin and brings me farther from my God makes me run toward His arms when it gets overwhelming.
    Just because I know the solution does not mean I don’t still struggle every day! That woman had such an odd idea of overcoming temptation. What a sad and exhausting existence that would be for us!

  4. Talk about killer temptation! ha!

    The hardest but most useful thing I can do with worry is to talk about it, to own up to the fact that I am worried. That means both confessing to God and another person. I need to be honest with God for sure, but worry is one of those things that is best exposed when spoken out loud to another person. I often find that my worries are not quite as bad as I thought once I have to explain them! Still, when I confess worry, I can receive prayer, and that is essential.

    1. *snort* indeed, Ed. And that is so true about confessing the worry out loud, to another person. I have also seen the declawing of my fear through just speaking them out. True indeed!

  5. I feel like I say this to you a lot 🙂 but this entire post resonates soooo very much with a season I’ve gone through in the past couple years and have only recently really dealt with the fears. You are absolutely right – it boils down to idolatry and finding if Jesus is REALLY my everything. I’m sad to say that many times, my motivations have been more focused on people and relationships than Jesus. It was completely exhausting. I’m still in process…so thankful for His grace that exposes and draws us close so that we can be set free as He DOES become everything.

    Love you, friend, and your heart writing. And I NEED to read this book!!!

    1. Ashile- Bless your heart, my friend. I *know* you get this, and I am so thankful to know others who understand the struggle. He is so gracious to weave our little support networks together, making the journey less lonely, and more covered in prayer! Speaking of which, I am praying for you this evening. XOXO

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