For the past year, Morgan and I have been trading books with each other and this month she passed on Jesus + Nothing = Everything. I’m super excited about this one guys!!
The first few chapters discuss the restlessness that comes with searching for security in things other than God – Our hearts are restless until they rest in you (Chapter 2). We turn to things like human love, personal success, and physical possessions as “God-replacements”. After reflecting on these words, I’ve been trying to focus on what I try to find rest in that is only bringing me restlessness, agitation, impatience, unease, and anxiety.
The answer was A LOT.
The good news that this book brings is that Jesus measured up for us so that we wouldn’t have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others (Chapter 1).
When I read books like this, I’m usually searching for good news and powerful lessons. With this one, I’m really trying to use it to reflect. Just after briefly taking a look at myself and my insides, I’ve realized that I’m so filled with these things that are so much smaller than Jesus. I’m always trying to make myself in to a “better me”, but trying in all the wrong areas. It’s actually embarrassing, really. And it no doubt leaves me feeling incomplete and insecure.
The truth is, the place that God has brought me to in my life is full of worldly-ness – my school, my sorority, my surroundings, and my social life. There are so many opportunities to search for self-reliance and self-pleasure.
What I hadn’t realized before was that everything we try to find rest or security in other than Jesus is an idol. The word says all who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless (Isaiah 44:9). This world is full of things that people want because they think it will make them feel fuller, but we have already been given fullness in Christ (Col 1:15-20). I desire to confidently say that I have no confidence in flesh (Phil. 3).
Everything, EVERYTHING – cute clothes, a great bod, a social life, crazy parties, dreamy boys – is a loss compared to knowing Jesus. Can you tell that I am a 20 year old in college from that sentence? We, especially me, are enslaved to lesser things but Jesus has come to set us free (chapter 5)!
“The gospel is good news for those who long to be freed from the slavery of believing that all of their significance, purpose & security depend on their ability to become a better version of themselves” (Chapter 4).
We should find security & significance in God alone. I wish I could say that just trusting and declaring this is enough, but it will take time for me to finally get to a place where I’m completely content with who I am. Who knows, maybe I’ll never even get it right! Thank God (lol actually) that my God is patient, understanding & full of grace.
If you’re struggling with this too, ask yourself – what are you depending on to provide the freedom, worth, and value that you crave?