Q: I have been studying "The Way
of Agape" and I'm having a hard time letting go of worries and fears. I am realizing that I don't want to "surrender" my thoughts and feelings to the Lord. Should I pray and ask God to create that desire in me?
(Email from Annette)
A: Surrendering to God can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if you have deep emotional wounds from your past. But, because you are taking the time to study and learn about God's AgapeLove, you are demonstrating the desire to grow spiritually. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to shine His light on your areas of weakness and sin. And cry out to Him, "Lord, I am struggling with giving these sins of worry and fear over to you. Forgive me. Show me why I am struggling in this area. Please - help me to grasp by faith that You are at work in me, growing me up spiritually! I don't want to continue doing it my way, Lord, but Your way."
In 2 Corinthians 3:19 Paul writes, "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord" Having an open face means being totally committed to allowing God to expose every hidden thing in your heart - for the purpose of being delivered and set free, so that you can show forth Christ. The glass Paul speaks of in this passage means mirror. Our mirror is God's Word. It alone reflects our sins back to us. Tell the Lord you're on the wrong course, and you want to be changed. Ask His Spirit to humble you and open up His Word to you.
Sanctification is a process by which we learn how to "set aside" our own thoughts, emotions, and desires so that God's Life can come forth from our hearts. When we make faith choices to follow and do what God wants - regardless of how we feel, what we think, or what we desire, we become single-minded, which is God's master plan for each of us. To be single-minded means living "one" life, God's life, which flows freely from our hearts into our souls, and that is what is shown forth from us. Satan, on the other hand, is doing everything in his power to prevent this from happening to you. He is going to great lengths to get you to give over and follow your own thoughts and emotions, rather than take them captive and deal with them. Satan's goal is to keep you double-minded. To be double-minded means living two lives. God's Life is blocked because of emotional choices, so self-life is what is shown forth. Double-mindedness will quench the "light of the knowledge" of Jesus in your life, keeping you unstable in all your ways, and allowing Satan to establish his strongholds, which will cause you to fall. Satan wants to keep you consumed and dependent upon your worries and fears. He wants to keep you swept up in the tide of emotion so that you will be confused, discouraged and depressed. He'll do anything he can to keep you consumed in your negative thoughts. He wants your feelings to be stirred up, so you'll be hurt and justifiably angered and hardened to hearing or doing God's Word. (Nancy writes in greater depth about making choices that go against our emotions in her new book, Against the Tide.)
Satan is the "father of lies" and his goal, Annette, is to keep you disobedient to God's Word and consumed in your worries and fears. He wants to "eat away" at your confidence in God and get you to doubt God's Power to perform His Word. Satan will try to get you to be prideful by following what you think, feel and desire, rather than totally giving yourself over to God. Pride is not simply disobeying God's Word or doubting His power to perform that Word, but it's being totally unwilling to follow God at all. Pride is being so hardened in your own way of thinking that you refuse to be corrected or to change.
You need to be willing to cry out, "Try me, Lord - see if there is any wicked way in me. Show me where I'm living contrary to your Word. I want to be delivered from everything that's unlike you. I want to give you all my pride, my worries, my fears, and my desire to be in control. I know I can't think my way out of my situation. Holy Spirit, I need your power and wisdom. I lay down every hope of solving things my own way." God desires us to totally give ourselves over to Him so that we might experience His mercy and have intimate knowledge of Him. As we open ourselves up to God, we must always remember just how much He loves us and that He will always be faithful to His promises.
Debbie Holland King's High Way Manager