Letting go is difficult, we clutch on with fear in our hearts. Last week I shared biblical truths that are helping me toward abandoning outcomes to God. I am focusing on repeating one of the truths as I find my neck and shoulder muscles tightening as I strive to gain control or get it done my way. Sometimes I just tell myself two words, “abandon outcomes.”
It seems so easy to recognize our need toreally know God and to acknowledge our need to be growing in trusting Him. But, I am finding what I think I know and how much I trust is different from the way I live it out in reality. I am realizing I do not know Him the way I need to, I already knew that, but I did not realize to what degree. I guess we can deceive ourselves into thinking our faith is stronger, and our trust is deeper than what it really is.
The Lord wants us in a deep trusting relationship with Him and as Christians we all have trusted Him for our salvation and we trust Him to varying degrees beyond that. He is at work within each one of our lives to draw us nearer to Him, to lead us to know and trust Him more and more, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. Yet, humankind has been striving for independence ever since the fall of man. Unfortunately, independence never gets us to where God wants us. Stillness not striving is what God wants of us.
I am studying “Living a Praying Life Without Fear: Let Faith Tame Your Worries” by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. It is a study that was given to me, and initially I considered passing it on, it didn’t seem relevant to where I was at. But now, months later, I am learning some very important things about fear. I am realizing how very blind I have been and am to how my own emotions are related to my fears. And I am realizing how my fears are really about my lack of understanding of God’s love for me and my trust in Him.
One of the questions Dean asks her readers is to consider about how we would complete this thought, “if only… than I’d be happy and secure. She asks us to fill in the blank with whatever it is we think would bring happiness and security. At first I didn’t know what to write, but as I thought about my fears, especially the ones that keep me striving. to have control, I wrote, “If only my heart weren’t a sieve, then love would stay and I would feel happy and secure.” If that were true I wouldn’t need to strive to people-please to earn love and satisfaction.
Writing that made me wonder what my heart does with God’s love. I don’t know the answer to that question but in my prayer journal I paraphrased part of Paul’s prayer from Ephesian’s 3:17-19 AMP. I wrote this:
Lord, help me to be deeply rooted and securely grounded in Your love. Help me to be capable of comprehending the width and length and height and depth of Your love, fully experiencing your amazing, endless love. Help me to come to know, practically through personal experience, Your love, and help me to be filled up with all of Your fullness so that I may have the richest experience of Your presence in my life. I want to be completely filled and flooded with You, Lord. ”
God is love. The Amplified Bible explains that He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature (1 John 4:8 AMP).
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am love.
When we really know His love with every fiber of our being we can be still, we can stop striving. We can stop striving because we will be fully satisfied in Him.
It always amazes me how the Lord keeps bringing me back to this place, repeatedly, as if to ask me: Do you know My love for you? Do you trust me? Why do you keep striving and trying to control outcomes?
So here I am AGAIN, holding my heart up to Him, like a dripping sieve, my heart needs to have all of the holes filled with His love, so no love can seep out. And I ask Him to hold me in His love and help me feel secure in Him, I realize that it is the only place where I will learn to grow to trust Him. It is the only place that I can be still knowing that He is God; knowing that He is love makes all the difference.
I need to bask in His love in order to stop the fear and stop the striving. I need to bask in His love in order to feel safe enough to abandon outcomes to Him.
After all that the Lord has done for us, how can we question His love? It doesn’t make sense. Yet, He continually has to help me see my need for Him, my desperate state. He continually has to help me know His love for me. He has to continually help me be willing to release my clenched fists and stop holding onto control. It is not a one-time-and-done lesson, at least not for me.
When I am striving I miss out on His presence and His love because my focus is not on Him. I miss knowing all the blessing He has for me because I am holding tightly to getting what I want.
What about you, do you need to know His love more?
How will learning more about His love help you to stop fearing and stop striving?
What He asking you to release to Him?
Oh Lord help us! We are a desperate people and so blind to our desperation. Help us to stop striving and learn to abandon outcomes to You. Help us to trust You, for Your love is all we need. Amen!