The Narrow Path to Peace
I have found that there are two extreme responses to anxiety with Christian circles, and if you don’t know by now – extremes don’t work.
Extremes are easy, but not effective.
There’s a ditch on either side of this narrow road towards peace, and before we jump into this journey, let’s try to find balance.
The first extreme reaction that I have witnessed amongst Christians would be – feeling ashamed. I have met countless Christians who are too ashamed to admit they’re anxious and are so guilt-ridden that they deny that they’re struggling with anxiety, and they hide it. This is toxic because God cannot possibly heal the areas of our lives that we hide from Him and others.
Also, the first step towards healing is being honest with yourself and admitting there’s an issue.
Let me remind you that there is no condemnation in Christ and Satan will use guilt to keep you silent and stuck. There’s no need to be ashamed.
The second extreme response I have witnessed amongst believers would be – acceptance. I have met countless Christians who simply accept anxiety as if it’s normal. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you aren’t fighting for your peace because you have surrendered to anxiety.
Jesus is recorded saying in John 10:10 that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus promises that believers have access to abundant and full life. Is living with anxiety abundant life? Jesus also says that the thief comes to steal and destroy. Has Satan stolen and destroyed your peace? If Satan has stolen your peace and your life doesn’t meet the standard abundant and full, then we have a battle to fight. Maybe you stumbled upon this 7-Day Devotional Plan because God wants you to stop waving the white flag of surrender and wants you to get back in the ring and fight again.
Let’s dive in!
Let’s start in the beginning. The opening words of the Bible declare that:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
God creates the heavens and the earth and from what we can observe in the text – the earth is formless and empty. In Hebrew that term is “tohu wa-bohu” which is very fun to say. Those words translate into English as “wasteland, that which is laid waste, desert; emptiness, vanity; nothing.”
Simply put, the opening words of the Bible declare that creation was a chaotic and untamed mess and that the Spirit of the Lord God was brooding over the surface of this chaotic watery depth. Pretty epic visual if you ask me.
Creation is a barren and formless unintelligible chaotic wasteland and God actually does something that is quite profound and often goes overlooked. God doesn’t bring peace to the chaos. God brings order to the chaos. God begins ordering the creation and moves the earth from chaos into organization.
God begins to separate, pull apart, and bring structure to the chaos. Listen to this description: 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it.
Listen to this next description: 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”
The beginning of creation reveals a God who knows how to rearrange, organize, unclutter, clean, uncomplicated, simplify, and structure life.
God doesn’t bring peace to chaos, God brings order to chaos.
Notice how the days of creation are ordered and organized. In the beginning of creation God is busy forming and then He fills what He’s formed. Do you see that when you read the creation account?
- On Day 1 of Creation God formed the sky and then on Day 4 God fills what He formed with birds and various flying creatures.
- On Day 2 of Creation God formed the watery depths, the oceans and seas. Then on Day 5 God filled what He formed with sea creatures big and small.
- On Day 3 of Creation God formed the land and vegetation and on Day 6 God filled what He formed with animals and Adam.
Every living being that God created had an environment carved out for it first. God didn’t mistakenly create whales before carving out the oceans nor did God spontaneously create eagles with no place to put them. The opening words of Genesis aren’t just telling us about the creation but the Creator.
Our God doesn’t merely bring peace to chaos, He brings order to chaos and that order facilitates peace.
This bit of information should be very intriguing to anyone struggling in the chaos of anxiety or any other disorienting mental health issue. God has the ability and the expertise to step into chaos and bring order. God can hover over the surface of your chaotic environment and begin ordering, separating, gathering, rearranging, organizing, uncluttering, cleaning, uncomplicating, simplifying, and structuring your life. God certainly can bring order to your chaos. The question isn’t whether God has the ability to bring order into your life. That matter has been settled. The question is whether you will let Him bring order into your chaos.
- When God steps in to bring order, He starts removing certain friendships. He gathers and separates all the people who can’t help you get to your destiny.
- When God steps in to bring order, He starts simplifying your life by downsizing your home and income.
- When God steps in to bring order, He unclutters your life and you may begin to miss the idols that He starts destroying.
When God steps in to bring order to the chaos of your life you may not like the process. However, I promise that you will love the result so much that you will risk your life to defend it.
A lot of us just want God to “bipitty boppity boo” peace into our lives. I’m sorry to disappoint you. Our God doesn’t merely bring peace to chaos, He brings order to chaos and that order facilitates peace and that’s what this book is all about.
If you are ready to surrender and allow God to bring order to your chaos then I promise you that by Day 30 of this journey you’ll be walking in a level of freedom that you could have only dreamed possible.
Questions to Consider?
- Have you neglected or refused God’s order in your life?
- If the Church is an earthly representative of God’s order, have you refused God’s order by refusing His Church’s order in your life?
- Are you surprised that God brings order in the midst of chaos and not peace?
- What order is God currently trying to bring into your life?
- What is your current chaos?
- What did you learn from reading the creation account in Genesis?
This blog is from Manny Arango's new book "Calm in the Chaos" and can be purchased here! Buy it now!
We've also created a complete sermon series so you can walk your entire church through the book. Download complete sermon series for FREE!
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