Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Four Fears

Leslie Basham: Why is it so hard to give up control? Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're afraid that if we surrender everything to God that would include our health, our material possessions, our family, our reputation, our career plans, all our rights, our future; we're afraid if we surrender all of that to Him, God might take us up on it.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, August 2. Maybe you have been in a church service where you were asked to surrender everything to God. It's easy to respond to that call by raising a hand or singing a song; but when you think about it, surrender, true surrender, is a big deal. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss in a new series called "Surrender, Facing our Fears."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I can remember some of the songs that we sang in church when I was a little girl and I sang them with all my heart at the time. But as I got older and I started to think about some of the words of those songs that we were singing, I realized that it was kind of scary to be saying some of these things or singing some of these things.

For example, *All to Jesus, I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I surrender all. I mean, the words came out real quickly but then when I started thinking about what that might mean, well, sometimes that was a little scary.

I think of that song, one of the verses says, *I'll do what you want me to do, Dear Lord; I'll go where you want me to go. And it talks about all of the different places where God might send us.

And it was really easy to sing as a six year old; it was another thing as a sixteen year old to think of what that might mean.

And then I think of this song, I've heard it sung in church as a solo a number of times and I always wondered how the soloist could sing this. It seemed a little scary to me when they would say, *"So whatever it takes for my will to break, that's what I'll be willing to do."

Wow, scary to say those things, to say that I accept the will of God for my life, whatever it is, whatever it means, whatever the cost. And it's one thing to sing or say those things in church; it's not so easy to make choices according to the will of God when we end up in a position where we have to find out if that is what we really mean, if we really are willing for God to take us up on those songs, those prayers.

Because you see, full surrender to Christ forces us to face the possibility or the reality of giving up some of the things that we consider most precious, some of the things we consider most important in life.

And our natural tendency is to hold on tightly. So we're afraid that if we surrender everything, I mean really everything to God, not if we just say it but if we do it, that would include our health, our material possessions, our family, our reputation, our career plans, all our rights, our future. We are afraid if we surrender all of that to him, God might take us up on it. He might actually ask for it.

And then we have visions of God stripping us of the things that we most enjoy or the things that we most need or maybe sending us out to serve Him in the most remote part of the earth. I think that a lot of our fears about relinquishing total control of our lives to God fall into four categories. And that is what we want to talk about over the next several days.

Those four categories are Provision, Pleasure, Protection and Personal Relationships.

Provision: If I surrender everything to God, will I have what I need? What if my husband loses his job? Maybe you are the single or the sole provider for your family, what if I lose my job?

What if the economy goes under, what will happen to our investments? What if my husband dies, will I have enough to live on?

What if God asks us to give our savings to the church or to a needy family? What if God calls us to go into vocational full-time Christian service, how will we be supported? How will our bills be paid?

Provision: Will I have what I need? That's a fear we have.

A second fear is in this category of Pleasure. Will I be happy if I surrender myself fully to the will of God? If I fully surrender to God, will I be miserable? Will I be able to do the things I enjoy? What if God asks me to give up my career or my favorite hobby or my best friend or the foods I really like?

Might God make me stay in this difficult marriage? Will I be fulfilled if I obey God, if I surrender my life fully to Him? Those are pleasure questions. Will I be happy?

Provision: Will I have what I need? Pleasure: Will I be Happy?

Here's the third category. Protection: Will I and those I love be safe? Will I be safe, will my children be safe? Will my husband be safe? What if my child is born with a mental or a physical disability? What if someone abuses my children? What if I have an accident and I am maimed for life? What if I get cancer? What if somebody breaks into our house? What if God chooses to take my husband or my children? What if my child gets deployed?

Protection: Will I be safe and maybe for a mom, the harder question is, will those I love be safe?

And then there is this issue of Personal Relationships. Provision, Pleasure, Protection and then Personal Relationships: will my relational needs be met if I fully surrender myself to God? If I let go, if I relinquish control of my life, will my relational needs be met? What if the Lord wants me to be single all of my life? How can I live without sex or romance?

And Revive Our Hearts has a lot of single listeners who are asking these kinds of questions. Now it's one thing to be single at fourteen and it's another thing to be single at forty-four.

As some of our listeners have written and shared and they have a heart for God and a longing for God but there is this fear, if I really let go, maybe God won't let me have a husband. What if my mate never truly loves me? What if I lose my mate? What if my husband leaves me? What if my husband has an affair? What if God doesn't give us children?

If I let go and say, "Lord I surrender to You, what if God doesn't give us children, doesn't bless us with the desire of our hearts? What if my husband gets transferred and we have to move a thousand miles across the country to a place we have never been? We have to leave all our family and leave all our friends?" And there is this kind of holding back as if we could really control our lives anyway.

But there is this fear, and we have to face those fears when it comes to this issue of surrender. Fears are natural. Fears of Provision: Will I have what I need? Fears about Pleasure: Will I be happy? Fears about Protection: Will I and those I love be safe? And fears about Personal Relationships: If I let God have everything, if I give Him total control, will my emotional and relational needs be met?

And some of these fears are understandable because these kinds of things do happen. And to be surrendered to the Lord is not to say that they won't happen. And so we want to hold on tightly, the fear of letting go, how do we face those fears?

Well, we are going to talk about that over the next several sessions but I want to just say that at the heart of the matter is this challenge. And that is, get to know God. The one who is asking you to let Him control your life. Get to know Him.

I have loved for years that verse in Psalm chapter 9, verse 10, "Those who know your name will put their trust in you." You know what that says? To know God's name is to know God's character. It's to know what He's like. And to know what He's like is to be able to trust Him.

The ability to relinquish your control of your life to God is based on the assurance, the faith, the confidence that He is a trustworthy God, that He can manage the control, not just of your life but of His whole universe, that He can be trusted, He sees all, He knows all, He never makes mistakes, He never fails, to trust that not only does He know what is best for this universe, and not only is He in control of the affairs of this planet, but He loves you and He knows what is best for your life and to have the confidence.

And this is what happens as you get to know God, you realize that God will never bring anything into your life that is not good for you. And all this, we won't see clearly until we look back on this life.

We will know and see then what we have to take by faith now. That God is good. And that He is working all things according to the counsel of His will.

I've been meditating on that verse Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 11 recently: The plan of God, the purpose of God; He works all things. That's every circumstance that comes into my life. That's the things that annoy me, the people who annoy me, the situations that trouble me or cause me to fret.

God is working all those things according to the counsel of His will. And we know from Romans, chapter 12, verse 2, that God's will is good. It's perfect. It's acceptable.

Someone has said, and many of you have heard me quote if before, that God's will is exactly what you and I would choose if we knew what God knows. God's will is good. It's perfect. It's acceptable.

And so get to know God. Get to know His character. Get to know His heart. Get to know His ways and get to know His Word because for every fear that you have about surrendering your life to God, for every one of those fears, God has a promise, a promise that will sustain you when you can't see the outcome and when your fears threaten to overwhelm you.

And get to know the grace of God, the grace of God that is always sufficient for every need. And because we have God, because we have His promises and because we have His grace, we can cast ourselves upon Him.

We can open up our clenched fists, the fists that we used to grasp and to hold so tightly onto the things that we think we can't live without; we can let it all go. We can open our hearts to the will of God and we can release those fears and relinquish control because we know the one who is doing the controlling. And because we know that His grace is sufficient.

In our next session, we are going to meet a couple who had to face all of these fears: fears of Provision of Pleasure of Protection and of Personal Relationships being lost.

And in the midst of those fears, they got to know God. And they found Him to be absolutely, utterly, eternally faithful.

Leslie Basham: I hope you can be here when Nancy Leigh DeMoss tells us that story tomorrow. She'll also be right back to pray. Maybe you are thinking, Okay, I still have some fears but I am willing to start to surrender.

There is a way you can make today's material a part of your life. Nancy has written a book called, Surrender, The Heart God Controls. It will give you examples of what happened to people who did surrender their lives to God. It will help you learn to trust God to meet your needs if you do surrender.

You can order by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com or call us at 1-800-569-5959.  When you order from Revive Our Hearts, you'll be helping us continue teaching women God's Word.

We are listener supported which means this program comes to you through the gifts of our listeners. If God is speaking to your heart about donating to Revive Our Hearts, here's the way to surrender. Just send your check to Revive Our Hearts. Now, let's join Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Lord, even as we talked today, my own heart has been strengthened. And I have been encouraged to just take a deep breath and realize that You can be trusted. You are God and You are good and Your will is good.

Even when it crosses my will, your will is always the best. So, Lord, deliver us from our fears. Set us free. Help us to face those fears, to face them honestly but to find You and Your promises to be the antidote to all our fears so that we may confidently say, "I trust in You, Oh God, to control my life." I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Judson W. Van De Venter, "I Surrender All."

*Carrie E. Rounsefell and Mary Brown, "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go."

*Wolfe, "Whatever It Takes."

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.