Do you get anxious at times? I’m told we normally worry about only 5 major things. What might those be for you? The theory is, if a person identifies the 5 areas and identifies the core issue of each, by taking them one by one with help they can overcome their intimidating ‘giants’. For me it seems I get most anxious about the unknown or unexpected. Depending on what is at stake, that angst can nearly shut down my capacity to think clearly!!
That frustration increases when we read Jesus’ words like Matthew 6:25 (ESV) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Or, Matthew 10:19 (ESV) When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. Or, Luke 12:25-26 (ESV) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Can you relate to that type of thing?
A while back the Holy Spirit broke a glass-ceiling in my life. My subsequent thoughts centered around the practical difference between Christ being “in me” and me being “in Christ”. You probably wonder what in the world does worry have to do with THAT Biblical issue? Interestingly, as I began to allow my mind to meditate on what it might be like being in Christ in Heaven looking down at Bob Wine, my anxiety level dropped!! Sounds crazy! Let me try to explain.
The idea of Christ being in me is relatively easy to grasp because I know my strengths and weaknesses. So, when the Holy Spirit positions me to do something that is NOT in my ‘wheelhouse’ and others are somehow blessed through my efforts, I know without a doubt it wasn’t my knowledge or skill set that did it. It was clearly Christ in me doing whatever resulted in being of help to others. This has happened so many times I would be a fool not to accept the truth that Christ is in me.
However, when I think of Christ in me with His unlimited capacities, if great things don’t happen it is most likely because I’ve been in the ‘driver’s seat’ and kept Him in the passenger’s seat. He is ‘in me’ but my depraved humanity still wants to claim responsibility for what happens!
In contrast, if I think of myself as being in Christ, He is the one in total control and I’m just in Him, like a baby is in his/her mother’s womb. I have no control and guess what comes with that! Minimal anxiety! The primary practical difference between Christ in me and me in Christ can be reduced down to who is in control of the situation! I did a crude study using only one translation just to see how many times the two phrases were used in the Bible (in the right context). I found that the concept of us being “in Christ” was mentioned 66 times and the concept of Christ being in us was used only 8 times!!! That tells me while both are true, God obviously wants us to think far more about us being in Him than of Him being in us. Why? Because when we see ourselves being in Him, we will take our hand off the steering wheel of our lives and trust Him more—reducing our anxiety big time. This insight has helped me with my anxiety and I believe God intends for it to help you as well. I urge you to take time to mediate on this—or do your own Bible study on the difference. This could reduce your anxiety and give you greater joy in life!!