Have you ever found that when you write or speak something out into this world, you then face a situation that tests everything you just shared? God has a way of asking, “Do you really believe in what you are writing? Do you really believe in what you are saying?” A few weeks back I shared a blog titled, “There is Strength in Giving up Control.” Of course, the following week caused me to have to ask myself, “Are these just words on digital paper, or do I actually believe in what I am sharing?” I never write a sequel to anything, but I thought that it might be time to share what it means to give up control and some practical tips that I have implemented first-hand. I will say that it is still a challenge every day and I don’t have much figured out, but I hope they help.
Without getting into too much detail, this past season has been hard. I don’t use that word lightly. Between health issues and challenges in my personal life, I have had to rely on God (and my wonderful church community) more than I have ever had to before. I also found myself having to give God more control than what I have ever allowed Him to have. Isn’t it so much easier to give God control when life is going swimmingly? It’s not until you feel you are drowning, that letting go becomes a task that tests your faith in every way.
Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
I’ve written about this verse before, but it seemed fitting to loop it back into this blog because I love how simple yet weighty it is. In a blog, Kris Vallotton wrote: “This scripture demonstrates that there are seasons when all you know is the next step (He’s a lamp to our feet ), and other seasons when you can see far out to where you’re going (He’s a light to our path).”
So what do we do when we can’t see what our next steps are? When we feel like our well laid-out plans have been pushed to the side and we have to create new ones from scratch?
1.) Keep on Praying
Prayer is a conversation. Conversation allows for processing and clarity. When we continue to talk with God and share what is going on in our heart and our mind, we can find comfort in Him. Share the hurts. Ask the tough questions. Even ask God what you should be praying for during this season. God uses these hard situations for good. It’s easier said than done to believe that, but ask God for help in this too.
2.) Worship Him
Worship takes many forms. It is even said that fully accepting ourselves is an act of worship to God. While it’s hard and messy and your heart may not be entirely in it, continue to worship God and thank Him for His work in your life. Cry in front of Him, laugh in front of Him, rest in Him.
3.) Speak His Name
There is power in the name of God. When we say His name out loud, we are calling on the strength of God to draw His glory, peace, and protection in around us even tighter like a blanket. We also remove any authority that Satan has in our lives. Sometimes it is just uttering God’s many names under your breath at work, or crying out while alone in your room, but God hears every word and is always close to His children.
4.) Physically Give God Control
This can be one of the hardest things to do, because as soon as you give God control you are releasing any control (or semblance of control) that you have. I can safely say that giving God control is not a one-time decision. It is something that you may need to do 20 times a day because you want to take back everything that you are giving God and figure it out on your own. Trying to figure out God’s plan is pretty near impossible, especially when you have no clue what your plans are, so it only makes logical sense to allow God to figure everything out in His way. Logical, yes… Easy? Heck no.
5.) Have Faith that Breakthrough is Coming
Breakthrough. Sometimes it feels like “breaking” needs to happen for a breakthrough to take place. Sometimes it feels like God is saying, “Are you ready to trust me? I have something great for you, but you need to be ready to accept it.” God doesn’t want His children to struggle, but He uses the struggle to refine us, strengthen us, and prepare us for His masterplan.
So how do you steward breakthrough? Kersten, one of the pastors of The Collective, shared 3 actionable ways a few weeks back that can help you prepare your heart and mind for a breakthrough. They are;
1.) Watch your words. Align yourself with what God says of you and who He has made you to be. Words have power, so speak and declare God’s promises over your life. As you do that, the truth of them will begin to settle into your heart.
2.) Gratitude. Give thanks every day. Even when it feels like there isn’t much to be thankful for, continue to give thanks for anything and everything. This helps to prepare your heart for the good that God is bringing to your life.
3.) Spend time with your Heavenly Father. God knows us intimately, but do we know Him? To be able to walk through the valley’s, we need to know who God is and His character.
The reality of life is that we can’t go back to the beginning. We can’t live in the past, yet we don’t know what the future will hold. We only know where we are, right now, which is incredibly scary. To be honest, it fills me with panic just thinking about it. But God is in the here and now. Part of giving up control is acknowledging that we can’t go back, but we can’t leap forward. We need to trust God right here in this moment and have faith, even if it seems like blind faith at times.
Giving up control and seeking God’s breakthrough is freaking hard. Some days it feels like you are fighting a battle just to smile and thank God. Sometimes He feels distant, and sometimes He feels so close that it’s overwhelming. It truly tests your strength and character to give God full control, but it is worth it. It will be worth it even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
There is hope. There is a future. God is working on your behalf.