Do you struggle to live in the moment, overwhelmed by fear and worry? When you’ve struggled with anxiety for a long period of time, it can actually begin to manifest as the fear of enjoying life. On this episode of the podcast, we discuss ways that God reminds us to savor the good, ultimately giving us permission to let go of fear and live the life He has planned for us. Listen in for action steps and resources to help you release fear and begin the next level of managing anxiety.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- [5:35] How prayer can become an idol unless we release fear
- [7:02] How God’s word allowed Alicia to give herself permission to let go of fear
- [10:14] Why God calls us to savor the good in times of need
- [11:57] How mana taught God’s followers to live in the moment
- [15:40] A practice of stopping and savoring God
- [17:38] Resources that can help you to release fear
[5:35] How prayer can become an idol unless we release fear
In previous episodes of the podcast, like episode 201, we’ve discussed how we need to make a plan to handle our anxiety, and that when we deal with anxiety and fear, we have to give it to God so He can tackle it.
Once we have a plan in place, what we do next really says a lot about the amount of faith we have in the power of prayer. We have to let go of the obsessing, worrying, and over-praying because these habits can get in the way of our ability to live in the moment. So we pray about something, and then we can let it go, we can release it. If we continue to freak out about it and obsess, have we truly given it to God? If you find that you struggle with obsessively worrying about a situation, and would like help, you can check out the free workshop: Break Free from Anxiety.
I want to be clear that I'm not heaping condemnation or shame on anyone struggling to let go. God absolutely wants us to call out to Him in our moments of need, so if you find yourself in a moment of feeling like you can’t handle the situation, that you need Him even though you’ve prayed about it multiple times already, He wants you to reach out to Him.
What I want to point out is the distinction between obsessing and being in need. Sometimes we can become so obsessed with an outcome, praying and praying and never actually giving control to God, that prayer can become the idol. When this happens, it makes it impossible to move into that place of receiving until we let it go.
[7:02] How God’s word allowed Alicia to give herself permission to let go of fear
When I find myself getting into the pattern of giving something to God over and over and over, I have to tell myself that this obsession is only feeding into fear. I have brought my prayers to the Lord, and I have to trust in Him for the outcome, so it's safe to let it go. I know some of us really need to hear this side of it because there is almost a badge of honor we put on when we’re walking through a tough season and feel that we’re continually giving something over to God. It’s important to remember though that in faith, we can let it go as well.
Philippians 4:6-9 is a verse that has helped me give myself permission and accept God’s permission to let go of fear. I had to train myself to not transfer the anxiety into the action plan by saying, I am trusting God in this, that I am allowing him to build me up and keep me strong by focusing on the good.
[10:14] Why God calls us to savor the good in times of need
When we read Philippians 4:6-9, I think we tend to focus on the beginning of the verse, which prompts the discussions of ‘don’t worry about it, pray about it.’ Of course, we need to pray about our situations, but we should also be careful not to overlook the second half of the passage, which highlights how fixing our thoughts on what's true, honorable, right brings us peace. When we're focused on what’s true, we're not fixating on our worries and our problems. When we bring our thoughts into this different place by savoring the good, it allows us to calm down and let go of the worry and fear.
Isaiah 40:10 also reminds us to savor the good, telling us not to fear because God is with us. We can be comforted by the fact that we don’t have to try to uphold ourselves in moments of stress, we don’t have to try to think about it enough or hold on to the situation.
Sometimes, I still find myself falling into the trap of feeling that if I'm not thinking about it enough, then it must not be an issue for me. When we get stuck in that twisted thinking, God is telling us that we’re actually keeping ourselves stuck in bondage. What He wants us to do is free ourselves from that thinking so that we can be strengthened and filled up by who He is, by His power, and by who we are in Him. With this knowledge, we can let it go and focus on the goodness of His promise and character. These good things are what is meant to sustain us in these periods of struggle. We can let it go, and then be refilled with a sustaining power of all of the truth of who He is.
If you’re like me and Bible verses and Christian affirmations help you in tough times, check out episode 202 of the podcast or sign up for my free workshop Break Free From Anxiety and access the bonus 10 Christian affirmations and Bible verses that can help with managing anxiety.
[11:57] How manna taught God’s followers to live in the moment
Recently I heard a speaker discussing how the Israelites were given manna in a moment of walking in the desert. God had given them exactly what they needed, when they needed it. They weren’t able to store it for the next day, or try to hold onto it, and when they did, it turned into worms. They had to accept what He gave them for that day as sustenance.
When we start trying to hold onto things and trying to fix situations on our own, even if we have the best intentions, God is telling us to live in the moment. He is giving us what we need and wants us to let go of the rest. In those moments, we need to refocus our thoughts on what is good, true, lovely, and honorable.
A very practical action step that I encourage you to take this week is to begin to ask yourself, “Do I have a problem with living in the moment?” I know many of us (myself included) have struggled with being able to enjoy the moment because we’re so future-focused, or worried about repeating past mistakes. So take a moment this week to sit and reflect on how to actively live in the moment, to absorb and enjoy all the good stuff that's happening, and be refilled and strengthened by God.
[15:40] A practice of stopping and savoring God
In Isaiah 26:3, we’re reminded again that God will keep a perfect peace for all those who trust and fix their thoughts on Him. Even if it feels strange to try to think about things from the categories of true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely, you can still fix your thoughts on God.
Think about and praise Him, be grateful and enjoy everything that he has done. In moments of stress, we can reflect on God’s character, who He is, and how He created the universe. We can think about how he made us so intricate and beautiful, and how all things in His creation work together. Sometimes it’s shifting our focus, to take note beyond what we're feeling and fearing to what is also real in this moment.
So, when I say stop and savor, it can mean anything, but it’s the beginning of the practice of stopping and savoring the good, savoring God. It may take practice, but we can teach ourselves to stop, look around, take a deep breath, maybe noticing with our eyes or writing something down. It could be taking a moment to say a prayer of thanks. It can look different for us in the different seasons of our lives, but just practice being in the moment, and letting that give you permission the strength to let go of the fear.
[17:38] Resources that can help you to release fear
Before you get on with your week, I want to give you a resource that I know can be really helpful if you are needing help and reminding of the good of who God is and who you are in Him. I’ve put together 50 statements of who you are in Christ, all based on Bible verses. These powerful statements are available to anyone who can write a five star rating and review for the podcast. Submitting these ratings and reviews are the best thing you can do to help with this podcast, to help get the overall message of this podcast out to other people who may need to hear biblically-founded guidance.
It would mean so much if you could help us out by taking five seconds to write a five star rating and review. When you do that, take a screenshot of it and send it to Hello@vibrantchristianliving.com and my team will send you the link to be able to download these 50 awesome declarations of who you are in Christ. It's an audio you can listen to, as well as written statements. Don't miss out!
EPISODES MENTIONED AND OTHER RELATED EPISODES:
Write a 5-Star Rating and Review and Get a Free Gift: 50 “I Am” Declarations ($47 value)!
If you love this podcast, would you take a second to write a five star rating and review? If so, I’d love to send you a free gift: the 50 ‘I Am’ Declarations. This is an audio and written statement of who we are in Christ, and includes Bible verses and powerful statements about identity that you can proclaim over your life.
To get the free gift ($47 value), take a screenshot of your five star rating and review and then email that screenshot to Hello@VibrantChristianLiving.com, and we’ll send you access to the resource! Thank you again for helping us get the word out about the podcast in a bigger way!
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Do you struggle with worry and anxiety? You’re not alone—Anxiety is arguably the #1 mental health issue today, even for Christians.
As a former anxiety sufferer (and a NeuroCoach that’s worked with 100s of women) I’ve learned that we need practical mindset TOOLS (based on both brain science and God’s word) to get His calming TRUTH into our thoughts.
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