Let Go of Your Burdens
- Monday, February 02, 2009
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Sheila Walsh's new book, Let Go: Live Free of the Burdens All Women Know, (Thomas Nelson, 2008).
God stands ready to deliver you from whatever burdens you’re carrying – from health struggles to financial problems. But unlike the sudden rescue you may be hoping for, your deliverance may come in the form of a process instead. Yes, God could intervene just once and remove your problems. Often, though, He chooses to walk beside you as you carry your burdens, helping you gradually learn to trust Him enough to give them over to Him.
Here’s how you can let go of your burdens:
Be open to any outcome. Rather than trying to convince God to answer your prayers in a certain way, tell God that you trust Him to do what’s best. You can’t know what your deliverance will look like or when it will come, but God does. Imagine Jesus hanging on the cross, and yourself approaching Him while carrying your burdens. Then, in prayer, leave those burdens at the foot of the cross for Him to handle.
Eat fresh-baked grace every day. God will give you fresh grace for each day that will strengthen you to overcome whatever challenges you face. Pray for His grace each morning. Remember these graceful truths: God loves you as you are right at this moment; He knows all about you and loves you anyway; He forgives you even when you can’t forgive yourself; and there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or less than He already does.
Break free of judging. Stop judging other people, and don’t let other people’s judgment of you make you feel condemned. Instead, embrace the grace that God so freely offers to you, and extend grace to others. Ask God to heal your heart from legalism and shame. Enjoy the freedom that God’s grace makes possible in your life.
Give up what should have been for what is and what can be. Don’t be so preoccupied with regretting your past that you can’t fully live in the present or move into the future with confidence. Pursue healing for your pain from the past. Ask God to help you change negative habits into positive ones. Pray for the discernment you need to identify evil lies and reject them in Jesus’ name. Ask God to redeem your scars from past wounds for the sake of His kingdom.
Look at reality. Let go of what you wish was true and accept what actually is true about your life right now. Hold onto the reality that God is with you in the middle of your circumstances. Ask Him to help you become more aware of His presence and notice His work in your life, even though all is not as you’d like it to be right now.
Forgive others. Get rid of bitterness that poisons your soul by forgiving people who have hurt you in the past. Rely on God’s help to go through the process; you can count on Him to empower you. Let your gratitude for all that God has forgiven you for motivate you to obey His command to forgive other people. Renounce your right to get even with those who have hurt you and choose to forgive, no matter how you feel. Trust God to heal you as He helps you forgive.
Forgive yourself. Confess your sins regularly, repent of them by turning away from them and toward God, and accept the forgiveness God offers you as a result. Whenever you remember your sins after that, view them simply as reminders of God’s grace and mercy to you.
Resist temptation. Ask God to help you avoid going down easier paths than the ones that will truly honor Him. Realize that giving into temptation will harm you and cause you to lose the opportunity to invite God to work for a greater good in your life. Be alert to the specific areas in which you’re the most vulnerable to temptation, and guard against temptation especially in those areas of your life. Surrender every part of your life to God and ask Him to help you grow stronger and more spiritually mature. Whenever something that you want conflicts with God’s will for you, be willing to choose God’s will instead of your own.
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