Whether or not we are aware of it, our childhood has a powerful impact on who we are and how we view life. Childhood wounds can affect us in both positive and negative ways, and can be a significant influence in our choices, decisions, goals and aspirations. Wounds that are left unhealed can cause a person to become excessively controlling or passive. For some of us, the struggles with our past have driven us to God: to the realization that we desperately need Him and want His help. Yet even after giving our lives to Christ, many of us struggle to fully trust Him and yield control of our lives to Him.
I learned the phrase many years ago, “Let go and let God.” It’s so simple to say, but why is it so hard for us to do? To truly let go and let God? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5 (ESV) reminds us. Most of us have experienced a violation of our trust by another person, and the pain of such an experience can make it very difficult to ever trust again. If we can’t trust people how can we trust God? Does God want us to trust Him? Absolutely! Does God understand the hurts from our past? Absolutely! He wants to heal our hearts so we can be all that He has created us to be. But how do we get there?
Part of this struggle is our own personal battle with our “human nature” which is actually our “sin nature.” We can all relate to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter seven: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (verse 15) Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (verse 20) Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (verses 24-25).
So, is Paul saying we can simply blame our sinfulness on our human nature and give up on ever being different? No! He is reminding us of the power of our new life in Christ to conquer our old sinful lives. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) (ESV)
The Holy Spirit was sent as our helper, comforter and counselor. As we face our wounds, we can rely on God’s precious Holy Spirit to help us know the truth, to accept the truth, and to allow Him to replace the pain with His truth and love. After all, Jesus taught us, “the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32b)(ESV)
The Holy Spirit is also the “voice” that we hear saying, “Look over here: this has to go, this has to change.” We are always left with a choice to surrender to Him or to resist and turn away. God doesn’t force us to accept His ways. He wants us to choose His ways over our own. His ways are higher and His thoughts are higher than ours. Higher means better; higher means greater.
Wounds can leave us crippled, can leave us guarded, fearful and untrusting. If we are to move forward in God’s call on our lives, then we need to get free from whatever holds us back so we can allow Him to make us productive in His Kingdom and to produce good fruit in His name. When we have to be “in control,” we are preventing God from having control. We are living in fear rather than faith. “Whatever is not from faith is sin,” Paul teaches us. (Romans 14:23) So we must recognize the areas in our lives where we have not yet given God control. If we will ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand why we feel the need to control and not let God have His way, He will show us. Sometimes it is just a matter of humbling ourselves before Him and admitting we have been wrong. 1 Peter 5:6-7 is a good reminder for us, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” It isn’t a weak thing to humble yourself, it’s a good and right thing in God’s eyes. Great joy will come when you fully submit to His ways and are able to “cast all your cares” on Him. That means trusting Him with your finances, trusting Him to heal relationships, even trusting Him for peace of mind in this crazy world.
We can also count on God’s wonderful grace. And what is grace? It is Undeserved, unmerited favor. We can cry out to Him for favor and grace as we face difficult and uncomfortable seasons when we are facing our wounds and fears.
No, it is not always easy, and God often asks us to be patient. James 5:11 says, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Don’t give up! Don’t think that it’s too difficult to be free, that it’s easier just to quit. No! You will not come into freedom by giving up or quitting.
I recently heard a woman testify that although she was over 70 and has known the Lord from a young age, for most of her life she has been a “worry wart.” Every time she would try to cast her cares upon the Lord, she would hang onto some of that care and not really give it all over to Him. She testified that for the past year she has been able to “cast her cares” upon Him and NOT hold any of it back, and for the first time in her life she is living in true peace. I was deeply blessed by her testimony and by her honesty. I was also sad that for all of these years she lived in worry, fear and doubt, missing out on the joy and peace God meant for her to have all of her life. Praise God that she has it now, but how long are we going to wait to fully release our wounds and trust God so we can have that joy and peace as well? Let’s do it now.
Below are some other scriptures to look up and study, meditate on or memorize. These will help you in your quest to “Let go and let God” and live a control-free life, fully abandoned to our Savior and Lord.
James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.
Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I realize, Lord, that there are many ways that I have felt that I need to be in control. I now see that this is sin and faithlessness. Trusting in You is the better way. I surrender to You right now. I ask You to take control of these areas I’ve held onto, and I submit to Your loving hand to lead and direct me. I ask that You will help me to experience your healing, healing of past experiences that have left me wounded . May I experience the joy and peace that You long to give me. Thank you, Lord that Your ways are higher than my ways and are better than my best thought-out plans. I submit my life to You now and I thank You for your gentle, loving discipline as You reveal to me the areas where I need to change.
In Your precious holy name I pray,
All scriptures are quoted from New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
By Sherry McPherson | August 27, 2009 12:50 pm |
Why are you down-cast? My joy is your strength. Put on My joy in the midst of what you see. Be affected by ME more than the circumstances, more than by your flesh and you will remain in My strength and in My joy. I am your encourager; I am your up lifter. All that you need is in Me.
By His Still Small Voice | April 27, 2009 3:28 pm |
Written Friday, October 10th, 2008
I am sending Myself to America in the time of crisis, in the time of woe. Those who are calling out to Me have moved the pace that has accelerated My coming. It is not a coming as in “My return.” This is a coming as in “My Fullness and My power.” The tower of Babel, the god of this country, is coming down. The rafters are falling, that which supports the tower is crumbling. But all is not lost, for I will be in the midst of it ALL. I will be there for those who cry out to Me, and I will rescue them. But there will be many who will not cry out, many who will die in their sins. The lofty will be brought low, as Nebuchadnezzar was.
The Church, what about the Church? Those who will turn to Me will see Me and be changed and will be brought to the place where I have meant for them to be all along. To those who will not turn, the doors of the Church will be closed. There will be a bringing in, a coming forth, an admitting to wrongs, a repenting of hearts. And then MY JOY, oh, MY JOY unspeakable and full of MY GLORY, will descend like a flood, and the watchful will see it coming, and the watchful will shout it out and will embrace it, and will be engulfed by it.
Then new words will rise up and come out of the mouths of My people, because they will be changed and will see My likeness and My glory. A new song will be sung because new hearts will embrace My movement, My appearance. You can see the joy now. You don’t have to wait for the disaster in order to see the joy. In the midst of the tower falling, My people can walk in MY JOY.
Those who are not prepared, those who are not solidly standing firm in Me, will fall prey to fear. And when they fall, it will be difficult to pull out, because their foundation is not settled in faith and trust IN ME. Those who are strong will be used to lift up the weak and to help lead them to a place of faith and assurance in WHO I AM.
So many of My people have come to put their trust in Babel and all that it stands for. Trust in this world produces a shallow and unstable foundation, and anything built on such a foundation will come to ruin.
Will you trust Me when you hear the rumbles of the quake, when you see the tower swaying? Many in this generation have not seen destruction, and many are not expecting it to come. My people, who are listening to Me, will hear and will be prepared. For revival can come when people realize that what they need most of all is Me.
By His Still Small Voice | February 5, 2009 3:46 pm |
Share My joy, it is available. It is the feathered wings that you use to ride upon the storm, to raise above the afflicted place. The choices are always there to make. Joy, having MY joy is a choice. You choose it, it is yours. It takes looking at the right things for joy to be a part of you and to remain. Where are you choosing to look?
There is a noise in heaven when My people make the choice to walk in joy. Those in heaven join in. Joy not only empowers you, but when it remains it empowers things in the spirit realm, in My realm. Because that is what My realm can agree with, can connect with, can associate with, can join up with, can partner with, can become one with; those who are in My joy.
Joy comes from Me, and when you connect with it, it is connecting you with My realm and the power that is there. Even in the time of sorrow and grief, one can find things to thank Me for, to be joyful in, Following My light, in My light is JOY.
Many people go through life without a purpose. YOU have a purpose. That should bring JOY and fulfillment in it’s accomplishments. Even My Son had the “joy set before Him” as He endured the cross. No suffering is ever put to waste. My Kingdom brings out ‘good’ in all things. The exciting journey of faith is watching Me turn a broken life into something useful and powerful for My Kingdom. Rejoice in the walk of faith for it is before you!
Hebrews 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the rigt hand of the throne of God”
Psalm 43:5 “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
By His Still Small Voice | October 7, 2008 3:10 pm |
The title of this message is taken from James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The first time I read these verses I couldn’t see how doing this could be possible. As life moved along, I endured many difficult trials, and I’ll admit I wasn’t successful in “counting it ALL joy” as James instructs. But before you agree whole-heartedly let me say that I believe there is something in “counting it all joy” that is possible for us to walk in. Let me start by sharing a personal experience:
I was lying on a small cot in the hospital room near the bed where our three-year old son, Mathew, lay sound asleep. Just two months after turning three, our first-born son began having seizures. After several of these episodes, a neurologist ordered E.E.G.s, brain scans and medications. This particular night was spent in the hospital after Mathew had endured numerous tests, all showing a normal brain.
I lay there unable to sleep, my heart racing from fear, my mind cluttered with doubt, confusion and the dreadful “what ifs.” In the midst of the turmoil, I uttered desperate prayers, crying out to the Lord for help, for mercy, for an answer. Suddenly, I heard a sound that seemed to envelope my entire head where I lay. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. It didn’t frighten me. There was a settling peace within the sound. It was like the sound of what I would imagine Angel wings making as they fluttered back and forth. As I heard this sound, a strong presence of the Lord came over every part of me and I heard a voice speak softly, “Mathew is going to be fine.” At that point I was in a soft whirl-wind of peace that settled everything in me, and I drifted off to sleep.
But the trial of seizures continued for seven long months, testing our faith, our spiritual strength, and our commitment to following God. Testing us more than anything we’d ever experienced before or since. I wondered, “Is there something we’re going to gain from this? Lord what do you want us to learn? Can we hurry up and learn it and bring this whole thing to an end?”
Medication after medication was tried with no success. The seizures increased, and toward the end, Mathew was seizing every few seconds. At this point, the Neurologist gave us a devastating prognosis: “I think your son has a rare brain disease and won’t live past the age of five.” Matt and I had been claiming promises in God’s word, we had been feeding ourselves with the Holy Scriptures, and when the doctor announced his diagnosis, my first thoughts went to these words, “I will not believe the report of man, I will believe the report of the Lord.” I remembered those soft words spoken to me in the hospital, as well as many scriptures of promise.
A few years before, I had experienced God’s divine healing in my own body, so as Mathew’s condition grew worse, everything in me was clinging to the promise, “God’s going to heal Mathew.” Even though I had all of this, I still had many opportunities to doubt those words. We are so moved by what we see and it is difficult to “Speak to that which is not as though it were.”
Matt and I had many godly people around us praying for us and Mathew, believing for God to heal Mathew. We are so grateful for such tremendous support. At the end of the seventh month, there was breakthrough, and Mathew was healed. Leading up to Mathew’s healing, we had begun seeing another Doctor. He not only confirmed the healing, but still says to this day, “God healed your son.”
Throughout this very difficult trial, we turned to God’s Word and to worship. While Matt was at work and I was home dealing with the situation, in order to avoid giving in to fear, I had to focus on God’s Word and lift up praises with worship and singing. Before putting Mathew to bed at night, I would read the Bible to him and then he and I would worship the Lord together. Many times we would be engulfed in God’s presence as we lifted up our “sacrifices of praise.” Mathew’s small hands would be lifted up as he worshiped in-between seizures. Isaiah 61 begins, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” These words were quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19.
The ultimate test for us came before Mathew was healed. Matt and I had to come to the commitment that even if God doesn’t heal Mathew, we would still serve Him. It was just days after we made this commitment that everything turned in another direction toward Mathew’s healing. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” We couldn’t rejoice in our son’s suffering, but we could rejoice in God and who He is in our situation. This was powerful for us to grasp. Matt and I received great encouragement from many of the Psalms. I love the words in Psalm 44:1-2, “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge. . . .” We felt the battle of the enemy of our souls. Satan wanted us to give up and give in and lose hope.
What I love about King David is he was so real and honest about his emotions and struggles. I could relate to his words in these verses: “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy. . .My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; I would hurry and find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest. But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.” (Ps.55) “Oh God, save me, by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them. I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from every trouble and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.” (Ps. 54)
What I appreciate about David is that he was honest about how he felt and what he was thinking, but he always came back to praising God and remembering His goodness to him.
It’s true that this life can dish out tough times where we are left with a desperation for God to send the breakthrough, our victory. Matt and I had many victories within our own hearts before Mathew was healed physically. We had spiritual surgery within us in the trial and testing. And we can “Count it ALL joy,” knowing that God will work good things out of every situation and He is ever working within us to make us more like Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, you are so wise, all knowing, you know everything about us and you know what needs to be rooted out and what needs to be formed in us. Please help us in these times of trial and testing of our faith that steadfastness will be produced in us and we will be complete, lacking nothing in YOU. Help us to never go back to who we were so we can become all that you want us to become. Thank you that we are never alone, that you are with us helping us through every hardship. Help us to stand on your Word and promises and to know that You are faithful and You will see us through.
We ask this all in the blessed name of Jesus,
*All scripture references are from the English Standard Version
By Sherry McPherson | July 24, 2008 9:04 pm |
In the silence of forgiveness
I am free
Free to love, free to laugh,
Free to have joy and enjoy the presence of God
A heart that was held captive
is now set free like a bird out of a cage,
Free to soar upon the wind of the Spirit.
Then you know forgiveness
has truly come.
A body wreaked with pain
and endless suffering,
Could it be the bonds of unforgiveness
and wrath, vengeance or malice?
Truly a light comes forth
When all is taken off,
The bitterness, the anger, the holding
of the injustice.
Oh the light is SO much better
than the heavy weight of such clothing.
I’ve taken it off, all of it off.
No more to bear its weight.
I have forgiven, I am free.
Though more has come my way,
Ah, and I knew it would come,
But I forgive quickly, more quickly this time.
For I will never forget
the bondage of unforgiveness.
I now go in the way of the Father,
I go in the way of love.
Love keeps no record of wrong.
This love that I can’t create on my own,
I yield, I breathe in and now I belong.
I have forgiven, I am free.
By Sherry McPherson | February 26, 2008 5:37 pm |