SERIES INTRODUCTION

When you can’t let go of stuff, it will eat you up – physically, emotionally and more importantly spiritually. Last year we challenged people to just LET IT GO. Now, as we continue this series, ask yourself what else are you holding on to?

  • Who is the person in your life you can turn to in good and bad times?


SERMON GUIDE

There are things in our life we need to let go of because they have a hold on us. We try to control things, but it doesn’t help. Thankfully, we don’t have to do this on our own; we have the choice to look to God and His promises.

  • Has there ever been a time when due to illness or circumstance, you were unable to control your day to day life? How did that feel?

Control makes us think “I know better” and often we find that doesn’t work out so well. Each of us is a work in progress and there is a better way. The best way is to look to God and choose trust and surrender over control.

Our attempts to control what we are holding on to it, leads to fear. The more we try to control, the more our fear of losing control rises. It is a vicious cycle, we can’t win.

Control leads us to fear and makes us afraid of other people. We become afraid to step out in faith because of the unknown and all the “what if’ scenarios we easily conjure up in our mind. The truth is control is just an illusion. We can tightly control our finances, but we have no control over the economy. Eating healthy and exercise might not keep something unexpected from showing up on a scan. We drive ourselves crazy when we believe that we are in control.

Control has its roots in pride.  We stubbornly decide to keep doing things our way.  When we control things our ego edges God out. Pride keeps us from apologizing, makes us defensive and drives us to do things to keep up our image. We just want to keep it all under control.

  • Is there something in your life that you would like to let go of, something you feel has a hold on you?

When we read the Bible, we see woven through the text that God detests pride. He detests it because it keeps us from living the life He has for us.

Humility is the key to overcoming control. When we quit playing God we begin getting well. Choosing to trust God simply begins with a willingness to believe there is a God who is bigger than ourselves. It is stepping out in belief that God is stronger, more capable and knows better than we do.

Often, we have trouble trusting God because we are afraid He will not do as good a job as we would have.  It sounds crazy to say it, but that is what we are saying when we let control rule us. Trust is a willingness to believe that God is better than we are at running our lives.

We miss out and actually lose by grasping on to control. We exchange abandon for protection, intimacy for security, and peace for worry. We trade generosity for storing up, so we’ll be ready to face the what if’s in our life. When we decide to loosen our grip and trust God, we begin to see He does more than we could imagine.

Control says we are not sure He will come through and that we doubt that nothing is impossible.  We don’t have to doubt that God will come through. He is the strong one who will catch us and be there even when life is hard. 

God is good and faithful. We can lean into Him no matter what our circumstances or feelings.

Have a volunteer read Lamentations 3:22-26.

To let go of control and move towards trusting God, we need an accurate picture of God. If you look search the Bible, looking for the characteristics of God you will find He is powerful and can be trusted. We can rest in the knowledge of how much He loves us.

Have a volunteer read Daniel 6:15-33.

Daniel, knowing he was going against the king’s decree, prayed anyway. He trusted God and saw Him provide and protect in the lion’s den. He had seen God work years before in the fiery furnace and knew without a doubt that God can be trusted.

Jodi shared the quote, “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So, when you don’t understand, when you can’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand…trust His heart.”

Have a volunteer read Proverbs 3:5-6.

  • What does it look like for you to lean in where normally you would hold tight and instead, decide to put your trust in the Lord?

Trust leads us to surrender which is defined as relinquishing control to someone else.  We have a choice to give up control to God. We give the leadership of our life, saying “you can have it all Lord,” and believe He is more capable than ourselves.

When we are holding tight to control we might resist when we feel the Holy Spirit stirring in us, convicting us to not do something.  Maybe there is a relationship that needs to end, or we need to reconcile. Perhaps it is our finances, an addiction or a direction we feel He is nudging us towards. Our resistance causes us to miss out on God’s best for our lives.

In Matthew 5:2-5, Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

The word “meek” doesn’t just mean quiet and gentle but also includes to yield. It was used in reference to bridling wild horses. When we read the words “Blessed are those who give over the reins to God,” through that lens we have more clarity.

  • Where are you bucking God in your life? Share if there Is an area of your life where you are coming up against this and what would it look like to hand over the reins to Him?

God is relentless in His pursuit of us. It is a good day when we relinquish control and hand over the reins to Him. He wants you to be free and loves you so much. We were not created to live without him. Surrender is a daily thing, giving over our lives to God. It is about living a surrendered life.

  • Share something in your life that has happened that can only be attributed to God having worked?

End your time by having a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 1:9-11.


PAIR OFF

Continue to pair off as you have been doing, the last two weeks. Check in and share where you need to say yes to God and let go of control. Spend time praying together.