Podcast notes: Do you suffer with performance anxiety?

Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace through faith – we’re saved by putting our trust in what Jesus has done for us. Every Christian obviously gets saved by grace through faith but not every Christian lives their life by grace through faith. They feel that now that they are saved they need to live by works to prove themselves to God. But Colossians 2:6 says, “as you've received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk Ye in him.” The same way that we receive Jesus and get born again is the same way we live our Christian lives: by grace through faith! Christianity is not a performance orientated thing; religion is performance orientated. I define religion as man's effort to please or appease God; trying to make God happy and trying to make him not be angry with you – there's a lot of pressure in religion! But Christianity is not about all of that! Religion is about doing the right thing and trying to get into God's good books but Christianity is not about that. Christianity is all about what Jesus has done for us and is freely offering to us! We receive the gift of Salvation by believing in what he is done for us and then we live our Christian faith by focusing on what he's done for us and everything we do for him is a response to what he's done for us!

Religion will tell you that holy living produces salvation whereas Christianity tells you that holiness is a fruit of the Christian life. True Christianity is the root that will change you on the inside and start to change the fruit in your life. So many religious people are trying their best to live for God, trying their best to live holy, and some of those people are even truly born again but they need to realize what Jesus did for them and what happened to them when they got born again so that they can experience change! As they start to think about themselves like God thinks about them they will start to experience the fruit of change! It is not about performance; it's about Jesus’ performance, and he did a pretty good job!

If you're suffering from performance anxiety of any kind then it's probable that you're influenced by legalism and you're not enjoying the true gospel – the good news of God's unconditional love and grace, and the finished work of Jesus! Anxiety has no place in the new covenant and in the Christian’s life. Even Jesus said be anxious for nothing and don’t worry about your life! Matthew 6 is an anxiety-destroying chapter! It encourages us that there's nothing to be anxious about. Isaiah 12:3 says we are to draw water from the wells of Salvation with joy, not with anxiety! Your Salvation should be a joy not a burden. When we are walking under the law (under the uncertainty of knowing if we’re good enough for God) we will suffer from anxiety and we will suffer from fear, but when we're walking under grace, in the knowledge that by faith in Jesus we have been made right and acceptable to God, we will have joy, peace and loads of thanksgiving to God! We will be happy!

Romans 4:7-8 GNT says, “Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven, whose sins are pardoned! Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!”

That's talking about living in the new covenant! Living in the new covenant makes us happy! But sadly, there's a lot of Christians that don't realize they're completely forgiven! They're trying to be forgiven. That will make you depressed or anxious! If you’re trying to be forgiven it will make you anxious because your performance fluctuates and will never meet God’s holy standard! Just put your faith in Jesus’ finished work which was on your behalf, and relax! Hebrews 10:17 says that God isn’t remembering your sin! Praise God!

Many people don't realize what Jesus has done for us! Matthew 6 shows us that God has made us his sons and daughters. He is a good father who looks after us, therefore we don't need to be worried about anything! Matthew 6:25 says that we don't have to worry about what we're going to eat or drink or wear because God is our Father. When we’re living under law and legalism we will become insecure and not easily receive God’s provision because we’ll be focused on our performance which fluctuates; we won't know if we doing good enough for God! But when we realize that we are children of God, sons and daughters of God, then we will relax because we don't have to perform in order for God to accept us – because of our faith in Christ we are now 100% acceptable to God! As soon as you receive Christ and are born again, you should be the most secure person on the face of the earth. The more you realize who you are in Christ the less you’ll suffer from performance anxiety!


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