When someone asks how are you, what is your normal response? I have noticed so often it is “busy”. As women, this is true — we are busy with a capital B. We have children to chauffeur, houses to clean, friends to help, careers to succeed in, images to maintain, weight to lose, church work to be done and a God to please. We feel that we are never enough and that there is always more to do. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect — look perfect, sound perfect, and just BE PERFECT. We think God won’t be pleased with anything less, so we work ourselves to exhaustion seeking perfection.
God does not want us to live in bondage to anything.
“For Freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 ESV
The Israelites tried to force the law upon the new believers thinking that it was the way to God. They didn’t understand that Jesus brought true freedom when he died on the cross and rose again.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 ESV
As Christians, we don’t typically force the Old Testament law and all of the ritual sacrifices on each other, but we have a whole different set of laws that we tend to place on ourselves and others. To truly please God you must dress this way, speak this way, serve this way. If we truly want to be spiritual we have to be just like all the other good Christians. We make our relationship with God more about pleasing the people around us than pleasing God. Instead of taking time to seek God and ask if he wants us to commit to something, we think of how people will think or react if we do or do not do things.
I have always struggled with feeling enough — perfect enough, pretty enough, smart enough, anything enough. When I became a Christian I immediately put pressure on myself to be perfect enough to earn God’s love and keep him happy. I wanted so badly to please him and stay out of hell. This became my way of life. Constantly striving, yet always feeling defeated. I remember praying one day, asking God to make me worthy of His love. And I had the most recognizable word from God that I have ever received. He told me that I was already worthy because Jesus made me worthy. I realize now that I was praying for him to make me able to make myself worthy in his eyes and in the eyes of those around me.
The only thing I can “do” to be worthy I have already done. The only way to be worthy of the love of God is through the freedom that Christ gives us when we make him our Lord and our Savior. The work to be worthy has already been done. Our freedom from bondage has already been paid for. No amount of busyness is going to make us better in God’s eyes. In fact, I would venture to say that our busyness hinders us in our relationship with Christ. If we are so busy and exhausted because of all the striving we are doing, we are out of balance and not living in the freedom that Christ bought for us. If we are living this way, then there is something in our lives that God did not place there.
If you have succumbed to a life that is constantly overwhelming and busy, I challenge you to ask God if there are things that need to be removed. Maybe your child doesn’t need to be in every sport or lesson, maybe you don’t actually need the promotion that is going to require you to work 10 more hours a week, and believe it or not maybe you aren’t supposed to be doing every ministry in your church.
Remember it is for freedom that Christ has set YOU free. Your job is to stand firm and not submit to the bondage that you have submitted to before. Dear sisters, I pray that you find freedom in this season and in this moment. For freedom YOU have been set free.
Jennifer Wennekamp is an author, speaker, women’s pastor, and elementary teacher who lives with her husband in Mississippi. She is the mother of two amazing adult children. Jennifer’s passion is to help women to find hope and be encouraged knowing that through Christ they are valued, loved, and have a purpose. Jennifer is also the author of Fear Not: Untying the Knot of Fear, available on Amazon.com.
We thank you, Jennifer, for contributing to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com, talking about “Freedom in Christ.”
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Jennifer ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary