“Lord, whatever You put me through and whatever price I must pay, I choose to believe in You, to trust You, to love You, to worship and serve You, and to remain totally committed to You as my Saviour and Lord.”
That is a simple prayer that can set you free from repeated disturbances from your fears, pride, lust, selfishness and human weakness. Read on to understand why.
One of the silliest things we do as Christians is try to save our flesh. Jesus warned that when we try to preserve our life we lose it, but if we lay it down for the Lord we find it.
“For whoever saves his life will lose it: and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
“Losing your life” is the same as presenting it to God as a “living sacrifice”, which the Apostle Paul instructed us to do.
“I beg you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
When something is sacrificed it is dead. It is given up completely. A “living sacrifice” becomes dead to those things that would otherwise distract.
No Worries in the Graveyard
The story goes that someone took a group into a graveyard and told them that no-one in that place had any cares about money or health any more. There are no worries in the graveyard, because the people are already dead.
The point being made was that problems are a good sign. They prove you are Alive!
Notice also that we will be free from all cares and worries once we have “died” to self, sin and this life.
Pulling Back Through Fear
When we are confronted by something threatening and fearful we naturally pull back. And Christians can pull back from their willingness to obey God, because of things they fear.
I have heard from several people over the years who held back from becoming a missionary because they feared they would end up in some horrible place, missing all the comforts they were accustomed (addicted?) to.
People hold back from giving more, serving God more, praying more, reading the Bible more, witnessing to others more, committing to Christian training, and so on, because they have various internal cautions.
Those cautions may well be nothing more than pure fear, and often that fear is focused on our selfish desires. We fear that we will lose our comforts, or look foolish in the eyes of others, or have to give up something we want to keep.
Tackle the Fear Head On
In my experience the most powerful way to deal with my fears, hesitations, selfish desires and the like is to boldly confront them.
Rather than trying to block out the fear or run away from the threat, it is better to face the fear and cut the ground out from underneath it.
Take a lesson from the ancient man of God, Job, who lost so much of what God had given him. Rather than become bitter, or curse God, or let fear rule him, he confronted his fears head on.
“Even if God kills me I will still trust in him: and I will maintain my own ways before him.” Job 13:15
Job became a “living sacrifice”, ready to die if God so chose, and determined to trust God no matter what.
Take note of Job’s first response to the many tragedies that suddenly came upon him and his family.
“I came out naked from my mother’s womb and I will leave earth naked: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
Consider the missionary example I mentioned earlier. Here is the kind of prayer that can put to death the fears I mentioned.
“Lord God, I sense You are calling me to serve You in missionary service. I am afraid that if I say ‘Yes’ to You I will be sent to some horrible place where I will suffer the loss of all things I hold dear. So I now choose to renounce my love for those things and to hold You far more precious to me than everything this life offers. I choose to serve You and to go where You send me, no matter how horrible or difficult that may be to me. And if You send me to the worst place on earth for the most difficult challenges anyone has ever faced, I will still love You, serve You, worship You, tell others about You, read Your word and cling tightly to You, because that is my choice. I die to my comforts and my selfishness and I put You above all of those things. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
The Call to Give
Here’s another example, to give you a sense for how you can address issues that come up in your life. In this case, consider someone sensing the challenge to give up their wealth, as the Rich Young Ruler was by Jesus.
“Lord, I struggle with Your call on me to give up my wealth. I have come to trust in my money and the security it brings me. I fear living in poverty and I fear the contempt of all who know me for doing something so silly in their eyes as to give away my wealth. But I choose now to trust You and to obey what I believe You are calling me to do. And I realise that I could regret this decision for the rest of my life. So I confront my fears right now and I declare that I will honour You and I will die to my selfishness and pride. If obeying You leaves me poor and mocked for the rest of my life, and causes my children to miss out on all the worldly things I want for them, I will still love You, serve You, worship You, tell others about You, live for You and bless Your name. I have nowhere else to go than to love and serve You, even if my natural life is destroyed in the process. So I make myself a living sacrifice and I lay my life at Your feet, for Your glory. Do with me as You choose.”
Confront Your Fears
What are the things that bring the chill finger of fear into your heart? What are you most afraid of when it comes to yielding to God? Identify those things and be ready to tackle them head on.
In my present situation my family is homeless because I have yielded to what I believe God wants me to do in tacking bank fraud and injustice in the courts. I am completely powerless to defeat those evils and I totally rely on God doing a miracle to bring us through.
It’s not a nice place to be in many ways and it challenges me on many fronts. Yet I can only trust God. I have nowhere else to go. I will not worship anyone but Him. And there are people who think I am crazy for what I am doing. And maybe I am.
But I am determined to live what I preach. I am determined to trust God when there is no visible hope and nothing I can do to save myself. If the bank has its way they will sell my home for less than it is worth and come after me for unjust claims. The courts continue to frustrate my claims for justice. I am undone.
But God is still God. It is still true that the most important thing we can do is have faith in Him. It is still true that He is on the throne and that He rewards those who determine to seek Him.
So I am living the things I write here. And I am enjoying God’s preservation and grace even in this stretching time.
But even if God decides to let me be squashed and financially destroyed by the bank, what else can I do but trust Him? I will not give in to fraud and injustice, treason and corruption. So I must look to God and rely only upon Him.
I encourage you to address your fears and to cross the hurdles that hold you back from being totally yielded to God.