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Let Go…

“Let go and know that I am God;

I will be exalted amongst the peoples;

I will be exalted on the earth.”

(Psalm 46:11 {verse 10 in English})

This is one of those wonderful passages of scripture that is given to focus and comfort us at every turn in our lives. It is a passage that I have often quoted as I have counseled people struggling with hurt, loss, and anxiety and it is a passage that I have often quoted to myself as I have gone through struggles of my own. Much like a loving parent, God is saying to us, “Relax, don’t get so wound up in this or that, learn to trust my providence for my grace is sufficient for you.”

Typically, we see the first line rendered, “Be still and know that I am God.” Literally, the Hebrew word used here means to let go of something. It is a picture of God telling us to let go of all of those things that we are trying to control by our own efforts and he is saying, “Trust me, I will work things through.” Certainly that does not mean we are to sit back and never do anything because God uses us as tools to do his work in this world. But it does mean that we should not get so uptight about the process for God is in control. Jesus himself cautioned us not to feel anxious about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). We have a God who has ordered all things according to the counsel of his own will (Ephesians 1:11) and that God loves us, so why waste our days fretting and worrying about what might happen or about what might have happened. We can only live in the present; God says, “Let go and know that I am God.”

I suppose that letting go is one of the hardest things for us to do. Our struggle with doing so goes back to the Fall of Adam and Eve, each wanting to do their own thing rather than trusting a loving God to order their days. How much we have yet to learn as we go through the process…

But do not miss the rest of this verse in the context of the psalm as a whole. Paul writes in Philippians that there will come a time when every tongue will confess and every knee will bow that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). When will it be that God is properly lifted up amongst the nations and throughout the earth? It will take place when justice rolls down the mountains like rain upon the wicked and they are finally and eternally brought into submission to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. So why be still? Because the God we worship wins in the end…hands down and with no qualifications. And if we are trusting in him, then who can stand against us? Why should we fear the world when we serve the one who has overcome the world on our behalf? Beloved, this is the call and command of God, let go and know in the very depths of your being that our God reigns and he cannot be moved from the designs he has set forth.

Anxiety is not Good for the Believer

“Do not be anxious, but in everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

(Philippians 4:6)

Are we to suggest that God does not know our needs before we “make them known”? Certainly not! Jesus says that our Father in heaven knows our needs even before we ask him (Matthew 6:8). No, the emphasis on the making our needs known to God is not on informing the omniscient one, the emphasis is on how we present ourselves before the King of the Universe.

Paul writes that we first must not be anxious in our manner. Why not anxious? Why shouldn’t we be worriers over every little thing? The answer is that we are adopted by the God of the universe who knows our needs and has the power to see those needs met. It is the pagan who has the right to worry, for their gods cannot act or move or hear their prayers.

Thus, we take our prayers to God in a way that is not anxious, but trusting in his divine hand, his divine character, and his divine goodness and we lift them before the Lord of heaven. Paul uses the phrase, “prayer and supplication,” which is a common phrase for the Apostle (see Ephesians 6:18;1 Timothy 5:5). Supplication speaks of specific entreaties or pleas for help before God and prayers speaks in a more broad and general way. The key is, that with this humble reliance upon our God, we are to lift our cares before him.

The thing, of course, that many struggle with is the anxiety part. How we often ask God for things in such a way that we would not want our children asking us for a need or a concern that they might have. How often we come across (if we look at our prayers objectively) as if we are doubting God’s goodness or power or both. How often we try and make demands rather than being still and having confidence that God is, well, that he is who he says he is (Psalm 46:10). Beloved, do not worry or be anxious and do not allow that anxiety to become part of your prayer life…instead, let your prayer life be such that it takes away your anxiety because you are assured of the one to whom you speak.

Hands Off!

“Let go and know that I am God;

I will be exalted amongst the peoples;

I will be exalted on the earth.”

(Psalm 46:11 {verse 10 in English})

 

This is one of those wonderful passages of scripture that is given to focus and comfort us at every turn in our lives. It is a passage that I have often quoted as I have counseled people struggling with hurt, loss, and anxiety and it is a passage that I have often quoted to myself as I have gone through struggles of my own. Much like a loving parent, God is saying to us, “Relax, don’t get so wound up in this or that, learn to trust my providence for my grace is sufficient for you.”

Typically, we see the first line rendered, “Be still and know that I am God.” Literally, the Hebrew word used here means to let go of something. It is a picture of God telling us to let go of all of those things that we are trying to control by our own efforts and he is saying, “Trust me, I will work things through.” Certainly that does not mean we are to sit back and never do anything because God uses us as tools to do his work in this world. But it does mean that we should not get so uptight about the process for God is in control. Jesus himself cautioned us not to feel anxious about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). We have a God who has ordered all things according to the counsel of his own will (Ephesians 1:11) and that God loves us, so why waste our days fretting and worrying about what might happen or about what might have happened. We can only live in the present; God says, “Let go and know that I am God.”

I suppose that letting go is one of the hardest things for us to do. Our struggle with doing so goes back to the Fall of Adam and Eve, each wanting to do their own thing rather than trusting a loving God to order their days. How much we have yet to learn as we go through the process…

But do not miss the rest of this verse in the context of the psalm as a whole. Paul writes in Philippians that there will come a time when every tongue will confess and every knee will bow that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). When will it be that God is properly lifted up amongst the nations and throughout the earth? It will take place when justice rolls down the mountains like rain upon the wicked and they are finally and eternally brought into submission to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. So why be still? Because the God we worship wins in the end…hands down and with no qualifications. And if we are trusting in him, then who can stand against us? Why should we fear the world when we serve the one who has overcome the world on our behalf? Beloved, this is the call and command of God, let go and know in the very depths of your being that our God reigns and he cannot be moved from the designs he has set forth.