In this clip from her Bible study, Proven: Where Christ’s Abundance Meets Our Great Need, Jennie Allen talks about balancing the rhythms of grace that Christ promises with the rhythms of insecurity and fear that dominate in our world.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
Honestly the last few years have been wild for us. Kids and work and ministry and suffering around us with people that we deeply love.
Yet, even with all of that happening, that wasn’t what was actually exhausting me. There was pressure from all of it that I felt like I couldn’t ever shake. So much so that I just started losing all my joy. In fact, I was losing most of my emotion. I found myself more checked out and numb than I was actually sad or happy. I rarely cried or laughed.
I was watching God work all around me in incredible ways, I believed, and I still do, that we were obeying God in the things that He had put in our life and the callings that He’s given us.
Usually when I see these unhealthy patterns in my life and sin, I begin by asking this question to myself, “What am I believing wrongly about God?”
So that began a two year journey through the familiar stories of Jesus in the book of John. I needed to see how Jesus lived. I needed to see how He lived with the weighty calling, with suffering of friends, with joy and abundance.
And sure enough, I went into John believing Jesus wanted something from me. And today that has shifted. He actually wants so much more for me.
I quickly realized as I studied, I don’t understand Jesus’ rhythms of grace. I do however, very much, understand the rhythms of the world. In fact, I realized the strong, loud rhythms of the world have infiltrated just about all of my understandings about God and this life.
The rhythms of grace are built on two truths that everything in my flesh actually struggles to receive or believe.
The first one is “I am not enough. I do not measure up.” I desperately don’t want that to be true. But that is our reality. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We don’t measure up.
And number two, “Jesus is enough and He measures up for me”. I don’t want that to be true, because I like to be the hero of my own story. It’s vulnerable to be the one that needs to be rescued. I don’t have to prove anything because Jesus proved everything.
And here’s the thing, people who believe that, they start living widely free. Because they don’t have anything to prove. And they don’t have anything to lose. There’s this rest that comes over us, because we don’t have to measure up anymore. And yet, we do measure up. It’s so freeing.
But the rhythms of the world have given us two strong lies that we have taken as truth. Either, one, that “we are enough in ourselves”. It looks like ego or pride or maybe even self-esteem. All the self-help books out there are feeding this idea that we can measure up, we can do better, we can fix our problems.
Or the other lie we believe – that I actually think is a lot more common with us as women – that “we aren’t enough and that there’s no hope”. It looks like insecurity or fear. Maybe even defeat. And even as those who believe in Christ, I think many of us are so completely stuck in the rhythms of the world, the lies that the enemy has given us.
We need to be rescued. And with all my searching only one person has the power to rescue us from these lies. From striving. From insecurity.