Living by Faith in Who?

“And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself forme.” – Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

This year several life groups along with the youth group are working through Gospel Fluency by Jeff VanderStelt. God has used this in my life in some big ways this past fall and spring. Some of you may be familiar with his “root to fruit” exercise where we look at what negative things we are experiencing (anger, fear, anxiety) and trace those thoughts back to the root and evaluating what we are really believing about God’s character and actions.

One area that I struggle with is having an anxious heart. The workbook asks a series of questions to help discern what is at the root: What am I doing or experiencing right now? In light of what I am experiencing, what do I believe about myself? What do I believe God is doing or has done?

In a number of situations, I realized I was feeling anxious because I was believing that “it was all up to me” – I was feeling very responsible to help with or find a solution in several areas in life. Tracing my thoughts through the questions in the workbook, I realized I was believing that God is not strong enough, or He has not done enough, and there is a gap – and I have to do something to cover that gap. All of that meant I was believing God was not powerful enough, not thorough, not thoughtful, and even aloof. Lord, please change my heart!

The second half of the exercise is to ask: Who is God? What has He done, and who am I in light of God’s work? I know God is involved and near and watching over me and people I love carefully. We see the illustration of the Good Shepherd throughout the Bible, and in the New Testament, Jesus attends to even the ones who are seen as insignificant by society with tender mercy. I am one of God’s sheep, being cared for along with people I know and care about. I can be at peace, feeling His nearness, and trusting Him to be at work in our lives. `

Galatians 2:20 came to mind: “…and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, wholoved me and gave himself up for me.” I realized that at the root, I had been believing I was the one who had to fix or help with a situation – I had been living “by faith in Nancy.” What a terrifying place to be! God still calls me to be involved in loving and caring for others, but I can be at peace knowing He is the primary “care-r”. Lord, continue to give me grace to see when I am thinking wrongly about my role and redirect my mind and heart to live “by faith in the Son of God”!