The first step in overcoming any kind of situation that holds me in bondage in my thoughts, mind, body and spirit is to surrender it to God. John 1:3 tells me that all things came into being by Jesus, and apart from Jesus nothing came into being that has come into being. In I Corinthians 8:6 I read:
“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father from whom are all things, and we exist for Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things and we exist through Him.”
Colossians 1:16 says,
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
Jesus is my creator. He did not put me on this earth to fend for myself. As soon as I discover this reality, and believe it, then I am able to surrender every facet of my life to Him.
I was born under Satan’s influence. My natural tendency is to follow the ways of the world, to-seek, to-strive, to-want what the world has to offer. My mind gets entrapped with thoughts of what this world has to offer. My mind gets absorbed with the ways of the world, and by the time I was an adult, a whole conglomeration of thought patterns have developed that block me from God.
The process of surrendering to God is in reality the process of tearing down thought patterns (strongholds) that keep me from yielding to God. II Corinthians 10:5 tells me exactly what I am doing when I surrender to God:
“I am destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and I am taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.”
Of myself I am not able to change my thought patterns. I cannot will myself to not be jealous or angry or resentful or hateful or greedy or sad. If I could, I would not need God. I cannot will myself to be content, joyful, honest, pure or peaceful. If I could, I would not need God. James 1:17 tells me:
“Every good thing bestowed, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
John 10:10 tells me that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that I may have life and have it abundantly. If I, in my own strength, am not able to do anything about my situation what, then, can I do? James 4:7 gives me the answer:
“Submit (surrender) to God. Resist the devil (and his destructive thoughts) and he will flee.”
But HOW do I surrender to God, especially when the pull of the world is so strong in my being? Remember that my entire life is run by my thoughts. My thoughts are either submitted to Satan, and the things of this earth, or submitted to God and centered on heavenly things. When I am in distress about anything, that distress takes place in my mind – in my thoughts. Distressful thoughts are not heavenly thoughts but rather they are thoughts about things on this earth. Colossians 3:2 says:
“Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on this earth.”
Philippians 4:6-8 says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, whatever is excellent, worthy of praise let your mind dwell on these things.”
Whatever is on my mind that causes me distress, just say to God:
“I surrender this to you. Of myself I can do nothing. If anything is going to be done about this matter, you will have to do it.”
This process breaks Satan’s power over my thought pattern that has held me in bondage to the problem. To get started in the process of overcoming my difficulty, be SPECIFIC about what I would really like to overcome…fear, anxiety, relationship difficulties, rage, eating disorders, depression, bad temper, anger, procrastination, job stress, pride, marital strife, drug addiction, smoking, fantasy addiction… I know what it is that I want to overcome. Now mentally take that situation and put it into the palm of my hands. Just cup my hands in front of me and imagine that my situation is sitting in my hands. Now take my cupped hands and lift my situation up and mentally put it into the outstretched hands of my Heavenly Father and pray:
“Our Dear Heavenly Father, I lift this situation up into the palm of your hands. I ask you to put a shield of protection around it that no evil can penetrate. I put this matter solidly in your hands, and I ask you to take care of it. Thank you Father for taking care of this matter. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
(Did you ACTUALLY take the step of putting the situation in the palm of your hands, and then ACTUALLY lift up your hands, and put the situation into the outstretched hands of Jesus? If not, please take the time RIGHT NOW to take that LIFE-CHANGING step of action.)
God tells me in Psalm 55:22:
“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
If I have been dealing with this situation for weeks or months and have not been able to resolve it myself, then I should feel comfortable with putting it into the hands of my Heavenly Father and leaving it there, giving Him the opportunity to take care of it.
To get an idea of how well the Lord is able to take care of a situation without any help from me, think of when I was being formed in my mother’s womb. How much effort did I put into making sure my arms and legs were attached to my body, or my eyebrows put in the right place, etc.? Of course, the Lord spent nine months putting me together without any help from me. He knew me before I was even conceived. So when I think of how long to leave a matter in God’s hands, without any help from me, think of nine consecutive months. Now that I have placed my burden SOLIDLY in God’s hands, make the decision to LEAVE IT THERE!
Any time I am tempted to start thinking about the situation, remind myself that the matter is in God’s hands, and that He is taking care of it. Form a giant S T O P (2 feet high letters) in my mind, if distressful thoughts about the surrendered subject try to creep into my mind. To comprehend how well God is able to take care of situations without my help, just consider how well He was able to put me together, including all my body parts, hair and eye color, etc. before I was born and without a bit of help from me. Every time I slip back into trying to work out the problem on my own, as rapidly as possible, get the matter BACK INTO GOD’S HANDS. Then start over in my mind of thinking about leaving it in God’s Hands for NINE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS without any help from me.
When God answers, He answers with peace and assurance. I don’t have to struggle and strain for an answer from God, or worry and fret that maybe He won’t provide me with a solution. Put the matter in God’s hands just as I would put a matter in the hands of a most trusted friend who has promised to help me. Then, IN MY MIND, leave the matter alone, and go on to the next ACTION FOR OVERCOMERS which is to get into God’s Word and get God’s Word into me. Sometimes this is all that is required of me to overcome a difficulty…simply getting my mind off of the situation, and to set my mind on God. For me it may be simply a matter of learning to put my trust in God, instead of in myself, to work out a difficulty.
© 1989-2009 Sandi Cleary