Preaching Notes (2/11)

My earliest memories are filled with constant encouragements for me not to worry. However, I don’t recall having learned how to make this happen, especially when the fears are deep.

In more recent times, I have found the answer by means of the practicing the Christian principle of relinquishment. To relinquish is to give something up, to put something aside, to abandon something. This is precisely what I want to do with worry, anxiety and fear. I have discovered that practicing these easy four steps has liberated me from fears that formerly have had a hold on me. Just like a musician practices scales to improve and athletes do drills, these four steps are meant to be practiced in order and repeatedly.

What do I do when I’m worried or afraid?

Relinquishment 

Step 1

  • In prayer, admit to God that what you fear most might happen

“In prayer” means conversation. Talk to God, speak with Him. Just like an emergency 9-1-1- call is made to report the dire emergency, so too tell God what you fear most might happen. Just say it – do not lessen the severity of your fear but name it clearly and present it to God honestly.

Step 2

  • Place the situation in God’s hands

Jesus tells us to come to Him and to do so as we are – wearied, burdened, afraid and anxious. Give it all to Him, let Him bear it. Oftentimes the opponent tempts me in to thinking that I have to figure it out on my own – that is a devious lie! The devil tempts me with becoming fearful of other’s reactions towards my own worry and anxiety.

After personally and truthfully having told God what I fear most might happen, I know place the entire situation in God’s hands. Almost always, I experience an immediate lessening of worry in this very moment when I share it all with God who desires my happiness even more than I ache for inner peace.

​Step 3

  • Tell God that you will accept whatever He allows to happen​

This often is the most difficult step for me. We do not negotiate with God – we surrender to Him. And how I try to bargain with Him! It is never a matter of my stating to God, “I will accept You, BUT…” or “I will permit You, HOWEVER…” No! This step demands my resignation to accepting whatever God permits. How can I possibly do this? Because I know His absolute and searing love for me.

​Step 4

  • Acknowledge that God’s ways are always better than yours​

Hear the truth heralded by the prophet Isaiah and take it to heart! “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

 

Ending / Doxology

I simply end with a doxology: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

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