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Posted in: Devotion

04.10.17 ( Josh Wolford )

Release Your Anxieties and Fears

What’s hurting you right now? We all have ailments – wounds – sin – things that tear us away from our relationship with God and prohibit us from becoming our truest selves. When we let the things that hurt us remain in us…fester in us… it rips at the fabric of our humanity.

For some reason we usually do one of three things with these ailments: either we try and ignore them altogether, as if we really believed they’d just go away somehow without addressing them or secondly, we try and try harder and harder to overcome them, or finally we give up. Once we find the first two options don’t work, we resign. We acquiesce to the disease or the sin or the hurt or the darkness. “You win,” we tell the ailment. “I’ll try and push you back every now and then, but it’s clear you’re here to stay.”

Options one and two are bound to happen from time to time. We all do them. But whatever you do, please don’t give in to option three. There’s a better way, there's hope.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” - Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV).

Jesus wants us to come to Him so that we don’t carry the burden on our own shoulders anymore. Jesus says, “I’ll come alongside you, connect myself to you. I’ll shoulder the weight… All you have to do is come to me!”

We will find that when we do this, He is more than capable! He is “The great I AM”! As Pastor Jeff recently said this weekend, we merely have to let Him say “I AM” in our lives. We have to release our anxieties and fears and issues and wounds to Him. We have to submit it all before the throne.

Ok! But… how? In pragmatic, realistic terms, what does this look like?

The only way I know how is to pray THE PRAYER OF RELEASE.

I first learned this from a book simply entitled, Prayer by Richard Foster. I’ll do my best to paraphrase what Foster encourages us to do. Foster tells us to bring ALL of ourselves before God. The good and the bad. The light and the heavy. Hand Him everything until you hold nothing at all.

You need to engage your imaginations a bit and picture yourself literally handing over your messy house that you can’t keep clean… hand over to Him your family. Give Him your job or give Him your lack of a job. Give Him your hopes and dreams and fears and joys and sorrows and good memories and bad and everything in between. What you can trust is that you are handing over everything to some very capable hands. Then you ask God to put to death anything that needs to be killed. “God, would you retain what shouldn’t be in my life anymore? Please do away with all of that.” And we let God do His thing. When you do this…as Jeff said, “the issues will meet the master and will only have the choice to bow down before Him.”

And finally Foster implores us to pray the prayer of resurrection. “God, would you now bring back to life that which is good?” Then God will bring forth all that should be back in your life and He’ll even breathe new life into those things.

When you go through this process, when you finally stand before God and humbly submit it all, you’ll notice you’re already lighter. You’re already more free. You might have to do this regularly, perhaps every day. But why try and carry it yourself? Jesus is offering us the rest we so badly need.

Throughout the Week…

  1. What things are you holding onto in your life that you need to give completely over to Jesus?
  2. Have you prayed about it?

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About the Author
Josh is a husband, father, pastor, and laundromat missionary. He is incredibly curious about the way people connect with each other and with God.

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