Let go and let God is a very popular phrase, but what does it really mean? When you are in the midst of hard times and God seems to be silent, how do you just ‘let go?’ How do you trust when God seems to be far away? We will look at the answers to these questions by finding 4 ways to Let Go and Let God.
Let Go and Let God
First, what does it mean to let go? It doesn’t mean that you sit back and do nothing. Letting go refers to trust. Letting go and trusting are intertwined. To let go is to trust God.
What is keeping you from letting go? Probably one of these three – control, fear or worry. Control and worry are based in fear. The fact that there is scripture to address each one of these things tells me that God knew we would struggle and gave us help before we even knew we needed it. The 4 Ways to Let Go and Let God – in ministry and in life – will give you tools to use the Word to be free
Letting Go of Control
We cannot control the entire scope of our life because there are simply circumstances we cannot stop, change, or undo.
There are also circumstances we think we can control, but we really can’t. We hope that, as we raise our children, we can control what kind of people they become but their free will is what determines that.
We have partial control over where we live, where we work, the color of the walls in our homes, etc. We take some of these matters to God in prayer for His guidance. Others, we don’t.
There are other circumstances we can absolutely control and these all have to do with only ourselves. While we can’t control circumstances, we can control how they affect us. We can control our attitudes, thoughts, emotions, faith, and more. But life, circumstances and others, we cannot control.
Scriptures on Control and Worry
- 1 Peter 5:7 TPT – “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6 TPT – “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. 6 Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.”
- Matthew 3:34 TPT – “Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time.[a] Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
- Matthew 11:28 TPT – “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me.[a] I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.”
Controlling or Planning?
The key difference between trying to control and simply making plans is this:
- When you are controlling – there is no flexibility or openness to change because you are holding on so tightly that no one else can help. Your clenched fists are hurting and tired but you will not let go.
- When you are planning – you hold the plan loosely in your hand knowing God holds it tightly in His and that He will take care of you.
When you are controlling – there is no rest.
When you are planning – there is rest and joy.
Here, I want to address the stresses and worries of ministry. When you are in church leadership there is a silent pressure that can lead to control. You must be perfect – control every aspect of your life because of constant scrutiny. You feel responsible for the health of the church and the people and this can lead to control.
Again, it is seldom intentional. Nonetheless, the fear and worry of being a church leader can be overwhelming. Trying to be all things to all people is impossible yet fully expected of the Pastor. We say we don’t have all the answers and then feel guilty when we don’t. We may even be openly criticized because we don’t. I’m not trying to make church ministry look negative, but it is hard and the suicide rate and drop-out rate of pastors is alarming.
If you are in leadership, in or outside a church, the pressures are there to take care of the flock, to be available, to set a perfect example, and to be real! Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for leaders to become controlling, fearful, and worried.
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If you are in any ministry, I want to encourage you to take these very same steps for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are the Senior Pastor, the janitor, a Bible Study leader or a missionary, a wife, a mother, or a single person. You need to be set free from control, worry, and fear. It might bring about some changes in you, your ministry, and your life but they will be positive changes in the long run. None of us is meant to live with control, worry, and fear.
Letting Go of Fear
We have all experienced fear. Sometimes, fear is good. I purposely instilled a healthy fear of running out into the street into my kids when they were young. A healthy fear that keeps you physically safe is good.
Fear can also be a debilitating, wasting force in our lives. Have you ever lain awake at night worrying and fearful about what ‘might’ happen? Time spent in worry and fear is wasted.
I know because I have battled fear all my life. I have had to exercise the discipline of taking my thoughts captive on many occasions and, as part of the process, taking control of the emotions associated with fear and worry.
Yes, we are to be in control of our emotions. We can have them and we should. However, they are to be under our authority and are never meant to lead us. Fear – the thoughts and the emotions – can easily overtake us. Sometimes they are like a Tsunami, and for a while, you are overwhelmed. There will come a moment when you can take control again. Don’t miss it and allow fear to build a stronghold.
Scriptures on Fear
- John 14:27 TPT – “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!“
- Psalm 34:4 TPT – “Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears!”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 TPT – “For God will never give you the spirit of fear,[a] but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.”
In ministry, fear is very common. We fear we are not good enough, spiritual enough, or eloquent enough. Criticism comes our way and we over-react because we already believed we were not all we should be.
Unfortunately, fear is a condition common to all mankind. It doesn’t care about race, religion, location, income, or what kind of car you drive. Fear is an equal opportunity enemy and we must learn how to defeat it. It may come, but we do not have to succumb to it.Unfortunately, fear is a condition common to all mankind. It doesn't care about race, religion, location, income, or what kind of car you drive. Fear is an equal opportunity enemy and we must learn how to defeat it. It may come, but… Click To Tweet
Letting Go of Worry
Worry is based in fear and feeling a loss of control. Worry has never, ever changed one single thing except you! And, the way it changed you was not positive. It is negative.
Worry is defined as: mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated:
There is distress and agitation for something impending or anticipated. The majority of the time, worry takes place based on anticipation – what if. It is based in something that has not even happened and probably won’t happen.
Worry is anticipating the worst. We don’t worry about having a wonderful, fun-filled vacation! We worry about everything that could go wrong. Worry anticipates the negative.
Here are some quotes on worry:
- “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia
- “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” – Arthur Somers Roche
- “Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Action is worry’s worst enemy.” Proverb
These are all so true. The Word also tells us a great deal about worry and the fact that we are not to do it. Worry is lack of faith and trust – just like control.
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Scriptures on Worry:
- Philippians 4:6-7 TPT – “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.”
- Matthew 6:25 TPT – “This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing?”
- 1 Peter 5:7 TPT – “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.”
- Psalm 94:19 TPT – “Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.”
4 Ways to let Go and Let God
#1 Make a Decision to Change
Nothing will ever be different until you decide that it will be. You can read the 4 Ways to Let Go and Let God, but unless you make a decision to apply it, it will not help you. God does not override our free will! He isn’t going to drop out of heaven, open up your skull, and give you a new mind! He will let us sin because it is our choice as to whether or not we live in His will or ours!
In order to stop controlling, stop worrying, and defeat fear, you must make a willing and heartfelt decision to want to change. God will help you but He won’t force you. Jesus never forced His will on anyone. He set an example, loved, healed, and instructed but never forced anything on anyone. In fact, he allowed those who rejected Him to simply walk away. He didn’t run after them and try to make them do the right thing. Neither should we.
In ministry, we sometimes forget whose job it is to convict people of sin. It is clearly not yours or mine. That is the job of the Holy Spirit and we need to leave it to Him because He’s really good at it!
At the end of this blog, you will find a link to a prayer you can pray to make your decision. Once you have prayed the prayer, write the date at the bottom of the page and then keep it. Why? Because that controlling power and fear are not going to go away just because you made the decision. Fear has perfected the art of controlling through lies. It will tell you that you made a ridiculous decision – after all, if you don’t control things – everything is going to fall apart!
Whenever you need to, go back to that prayer and the date to show the enemy of your soul who is really in charge and – it’s not him!
You have the Word which tells you that you can but – this battle also requires multiple decisions to obey, trust, and exercise your faith in God. Take it from me – you CAN WIN!
If you feel yourself slipping, do these two things:
- Pray and Confess Your struggle in letting go.
- Reject Condemnation
There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ – “So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.” Romans 8:1 TPT
That’s it – case closed. If you slip back into control, worry or fear, there is still no condemnation. God does not mock, belittle or condemn. If your decision to change was firm, you will catch yourself, ask for repentance, and move forward into victory.
#2 Take Up the Sword of the Spirit
The Sword of the Spirit has all the power we need. Even though you may have read it and said it a thousand times, look at it again in relation to letting do and trusting God.
- Hebrews 4:12 TPT – “For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy,[a] and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword.[b] It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone[c] and marrow meet![d] It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.“
This sword isn’t for use on others. It’s to be used by us on ourselves! It is a weapon that puts life into each of the 4 ways to let go and let God.
It isn’t God being cruel and tearing us apart by showing us how wicked we are. Instead, the Word assures us of His unconditional love and promises we can be free of things which afflict us inwardly – particularly in our minds.
That is one powerful Scripture. If you are having trouble identifying the thoughts which are blocking you or may have become strongholds – go to the (s)WORD.
We need to use it, not just read it. Whenever you feel despair, fear, worry, control, anxiety, or just plain negativity, go straight to the Word.
Have some go-to Scriptures available to you at all times. Have them at home, at work, in your car, in your purse, on your phone, computer, on your desk – have them everywhere. Why? Because when fear strikes, it wants to take control and often, we feel like we can’t even think!
But here’s the sword – it will defeat all of the work the enemy is trying to do inside of you! It will bring freedom.
Make it part of you. Memorize it if you can. If not, have it nearby all the time.
#3 Take Your Thoughts Captive
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 TPT – “For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide.[a] 5 We can demolish every deceptive fantasy[b] that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought[c] and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. 6 Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish[d] any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience“
You have to use spiritual weapons, energized with Divine power, to dismantle the defenses or strongholds we are hiding behind. Yes, we hide from ourselves! We hide from others also behind masks of care, concern, love, and more. Those are the areas of manipulation. If you are controlling, you probably don’t want to admit it. However, the fact that you can’t let go and let God, means that, behind the mask there is control you must let go of.
Here is what we are dealing with:
- Deceptive fantasy – Or “citadels of argumentations,” which include fantasies.
- Arrogant attitudes – control, worry, and fear have raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. This is arrogance to defy God’s knowledge, ways, and commands.
No, we don’t think of ourselves in these terms, however, thinking I can control my life and control others is a fantasy.
Worrying and living in fear are acts of defiance toward a God who has asked us to do exactly the opposite – they are lack of faith and trust. The Word says that without faith it is impossible to please God.
- Hebrews 11:6 TPT – “And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God.[a] For we come to God in faith[b] knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.“
If the enemy sees a weakness in us, and if we listen, his whispers help the weakness to grow and expand. The only reason we may not be aware is that we don’t recognize this as the enemy. We think it is just us and that nothing can be done.
When words of fear come, we accept them because they ‘could’ happen. Some fantasies could happen – most don’t and so they remain fantasies. Fantasies that we waste our life on, allowing them to cripple us in our faith and destroy our trust in God, are strongholds.
Let’s simplify what strongholds are. They are simply incorrect patterns of thinking which have become established in us. They are confirmed by our emotions. The Word simply says to take them captive. Make them bow by putting them under the Word. That’s it. Done.
However, after years or a lifetime of thinking in a particular way, you have to replace those old thought patterns with new ones. You can’t just say – I won’t think that way anymore, Why? Because, the first time you do make a mistake or the fear rises up, you will revert back to the old controlling or fearful thoughts.
If you aren’t going to allow those old thought patterns to remain in your mind, what will you replace them with? That’s the point of writing them out. You write them out and then you write what the Word says about you – what God says about you and that is what you repeat over and over and over in your mind, out loud, in writing, and every other way you need to.
You take your thoughts captive by:
- Tearing down strongholds.
- Believing what the scripture says about our minds and thoughts.
- Renewing your mind.
As we saw above – We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought[c] and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. We are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Jesus!
At the end of this blog, there is a link that will take you to prayers you can use to get you started and Scriptures on fear, worry, control, renewing the mind, and taking every thought captive.
#4 Move Into the Explosive Power of Jesus!
- Ephesians 6:10 TPT – “Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force[i] of his explosive power flowing in and through you.”
The force of His explosive power!!! That is awesome and – it can work in and through us. It has only been hindered because we didn’t know and because we chose control, fear and worry.
We often to choose to live in the familiar. Why? Because we are afraid of the unknown – fear at work once again. The ‘known’ may be hard and sad but, it is familiar and so we remain in it.
Instead, you can “stand victorious with the force of HIS explosive power flowing in and through you!”
- Colossians 1:11 TPT – “And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope.”
Let Go and Trust God in Ministry and Life
Again, it’s a choice. Are you going to stay there – living in fear and worry and trying to control everything? Or, are you going to take a chance and step into the abundant life Jesus is trying to give you? Are you going to live intentionally?
You are woman ministering and, as such, you have access to the power that conquers the wiles of the enemy, the words of the world, your own negative outlook, and all the circumstances that come your way. It is isn’t your power, it is His and He has made it freely and fully available to you anytime and every time you need it!
If you choose abundant life, it will require letting go and letting God. If you are in ministry, it’s the same. No matter who you are or what you are doing you need the 4 Ways to Let Go and Let God.
This process is a discipline you will have to practice. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
4 Ways to Let Go and Let God:
- Make a Decision
- Take up the Sword of the Word
- Take Your Thoughts Captive
- Move Into the Explosive Power of Jesus
The transition will take time and some areas will be easier than others. It is vital to remember that you have the ultimate helper – the Holy Spirit – living right inside you and He can bring you to victory.
You may have to make some changes in your life. Your attitudes and actions will be readjusted. This is all part of the process of trusting God in the areas you have struggled with and moving into the fullness of life God has waiting for you.
Click below to download all the Scriptures along with some prayers to help you get started in Letting Go and Letting God!
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**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.
I highly recommend that you read Reasons to Be Putting God First in 2020. It’s theme amplifies this message.