Living the Reclaimed Life

Control vs. Surrender ~ Denisha Workizer Ep. 124

April 03, 2024
Control vs. Surrender ~ Denisha Workizer Ep. 124
Living the Reclaimed Life
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Living the Reclaimed Life
Control vs. Surrender ~ Denisha Workizer Ep. 124
Apr 03, 2024

Send us a Text Message.

This episode is for those of you who might feel discouraged or overwhelmed, or maybe you're just tired of life being hard. You are not alone. Our prayer is that this episode revives hope in you today.

For encouraging, healing content, be sure to follow Tanya Godsey on Instagram.

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

This episode is for those of you who might feel discouraged or overwhelmed, or maybe you're just tired of life being hard. You are not alone. Our prayer is that this episode revives hope in you today.

For encouraging, healing content, be sure to follow Tanya Godsey on Instagram.

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Transcript is Auto-Generated

[00:00:00] Denisha: In the month of April, we are going to be talking about reviving hope, [00:00:05]reviving hope in our lives, reviving hope in our circumstances, and [00:00:10] that we can be a reviver of hope in the lives of others. You're [00:00:15] going to see that theme on our blog, in the podcast, and in social media. So we [00:00:20] hope that you'll join us for the conversation.

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram [00:00:25] at Reclaimed Story. In today's episode, I want to speak to those [00:00:30] of you who might feel discouraged or overwhelmed, or maybe you're just [00:00:35] tired of life being hard. In this episode, we are going to look at the difference [00:00:40]between control and surrender. And I pray that by the end of this [00:00:45] episode, that hope will be revived for you.

Welcome [00:00:50] to living the reclaim life podcast. I'm Denisha. We're glad you're here for [00:00:55] conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant [00:01:00] life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest.[00:01:05] [00:01:10]

I want to speak to those of you who might feel discouraged [00:01:15] or overwhelmed, or you're tired of life being [00:01:20] hard. Depending on when you listen to this, this past Sunday was [00:01:25]Easter. And in churches all around, we celebrated the [00:01:30] resurrection. Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. And in [00:01:35] that resurrection, friends, everything changed.

Our [00:01:40] lives, our hope, our eternity, our walk with Jesus, and our everyday [00:01:45] lives, everything changed. Yet, in this world, [00:01:50] in our lives, We experience suffering, discouragement, [00:01:55] overwhelm, and we can get tired of life being unpredictable or out [00:02:00] of control. And you may find yourself today facing [00:02:05] anxiety, fear, or uncertainty.

Well, I want to tell you that you're [00:02:10] not alone. When life is spinning out of control, One of the [00:02:15] things that we like to do is to try to take control. [00:02:20] So today we're going to talk about the contrast of control versus [00:02:25] surrender. Now, I don't know about you, but even hearing those two words in the [00:02:30] same sentence, control, surrender, it puts a pit in my [00:02:35] stomach because in all honesty, I like control [00:02:40] or shall I say the illusion of control.

For me, [00:02:45] I spent a lot of my childhood staying one step ahead of my environment. [00:02:50] I got really good at predicting how my night was going to go based on how [00:02:55] a car door shut. Learning to do that when I was super young, it had [00:03:00] served me very well growing up. It kept me safe and it helped to make an [00:03:05] unpredictable atmosphere, an unpredictable life.

a little more predictable. [00:03:10] Now, I am years past needing to prepare emotionally [00:03:15]for an adult's response or behavior. Now, I am that adult with children of [00:03:20] my own, but that concept of staying one step ahead of my life still [00:03:25] stays with me. And it plays out in so many different ways in my life [00:03:30] now. For instance, when I go into a restaurant, you won't see me with my back [00:03:35] towards the door because I have to stay one step ahead of a potential [00:03:40] threat.

I don't enter into deep friendships easily because [00:03:45] I want to be able to protect my feelings. I still try to stay [00:03:50] one step ahead of my life. And do you know what that's called friends? [00:03:55] It's called control. Trying to maintain control as a child [00:04:00] served me really well and it kept me safe. But it doesn't [00:04:05] serve me as well as an adult.

And I would guess that control doesn't serve [00:04:10] you well either. Now you might be thinking, but Denisha, when I [00:04:15] face something so hard in life, I need to know that I am on top of things. [00:04:20] Well, I get it because you're speaking my language there, but I want to [00:04:25]offer you and I another solution. One that requires [00:04:30] trust and faith and surrender.

And I want to start that by [00:04:35] looking at Jesus example. In Matthew chapter 26, this was [00:04:40] before the crucifixion, just after the Last Supper. Jesus went with his [00:04:45] disciples to a place called Gethsemane. And Jesus knew what he was facing. [00:04:50] He knew what was coming. And just like us in life, in [00:04:55] these moments, he felt overwhelmed, anxious, and [00:05:00] discouraged.

In Matthew chapter 26, verse 38, Jesus told his [00:05:05] disciples, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of [00:05:10] death. Now, I don't know about any of you right now, but you may say something [00:05:15] like that. My soul is just overwhelmed with anxiety [00:05:20] or exhaustion. What Jesus is saying in these words, my soul is [00:05:25] overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

He's saying my soul [00:05:30] aches. I'm grieving. I'm overwhelmed. Another gospel writer tells us [00:05:35] that his brow, when he was sweating, it was mixed with blood. [00:05:40] He was in pure agony. Going a little farther in the text, he fell [00:05:45] with his face to the ground. And if you can imagine Jesus going to his [00:05:50] knees and then to his face, and he prayed, my [00:05:55] father, if it's possible, may this cup be taken from me.[00:06:00]

And the cup was known as a cup of suffering. He was [00:06:05] saying, what I'm called to endure the next few hours, would you remove it from me, [00:06:10] God? I really don't want to go through that. I know what's coming, God. I [00:06:15] am begging you. I am overwhelmed to the point of death. Please, God, take [00:06:20] this from me. I don't know if you've ever prayed that prayer or ever felt [00:06:25] similar to how Jesus felt, just overwhelmed.

Well, I want to bring you [00:06:30] back to those words. He says, if it's possible, may this cup be [00:06:35] taken from me, yet not as I will, but as you [00:06:40] will. If it's possible. Yet not as I will, [00:06:45] but as you will, if and yet [00:06:50] Jesus gives us such a beautiful example of surrender. Now, [00:06:55] even though you and I might not be called to give up our lives, but we are [00:07:00]called to navigate hard situations, times of overwhelm, times of [00:07:05] agony in life, to make decisions and to seek God's will for our lives.[00:07:10]

But I wonder, like me, do you like to be [00:07:15] in control of your life? You see, for those of us that like to be in [00:07:20] control, this can be a very frustrating world for us. And you might feel like [00:07:25] you're losing it right now. And I'm going to go out on a limb here, but if you and [00:07:30]I have anything in common, if we like control, we might say, [00:07:35] we're not really controlling.

We're just aggressively helpful. [00:07:40] I'm just very helpful. I just stay one step ahead. That's helpful. I don't like control. [00:07:45] I'm just thoroughly organized. Come on, friends. We like [00:07:50] control and we don't like losing it. There was a UCLA [00:07:55] researcher that called it this. She called it the illusion of control. [00:08:00] Many of us are grieving the illusion that we are actually in control [00:08:05] of our lives when we aren't.

So what is the illusion of [00:08:10] control? The UCLA researcher, she defines it this way, the [00:08:15] cognitive bias that leads us to believe that we have control over an outcome when we really [00:08:20] don't. It's the bias to think that we control more than we actually [00:08:25] do control. Hmm. I don't know about you, but I can [00:08:30] so relate to that.

You see, we overestimate our ability to [00:08:35] control what really is a bunch of uncontrollable events. Right, [00:08:40] if I'm sitting in a restaurant and something's going to happen, it's probably going to happen whether my back is to the [00:08:45] door or not. But here's the big problem, and I don't know if you deal with this, [00:08:50] but the more we try to control, the more afraid we are of losing [00:08:55] control, and the more afraid we are of losing control, the more we try to control, and the more we [00:09:00] try to control, the more we're afraid of losing control, and therefore this cycle [00:09:05] continues.

And I think that many of us today. Are grieving the [00:09:10] loss, not just of real control, but the illusion that we are [00:09:15] in control of our lives. And Jesus offers us a prayer before God [00:09:20] that shows the most powerful words of surrender. In verse [00:09:25] 42 says he went away a second time and we're going to see that [00:09:30] surrender is not always a one time event.

Sometimes you have to go back [00:09:35] to God another time to get it right. Jesus goes a second time and he [00:09:40] prays, My father, if it's not possible for this cup to be taken [00:09:45] away unless I drink it, May your will be done [00:09:50] again. He's saying, if we can do this a different way, I love to do it a different way, [00:09:55] yet not my will, but your will be done to those of you [00:10:00] grieving the loss of the illusion of control to my fellow control [00:10:05] freaks out there.

I hope that we can embrace this truth. You don't [00:10:10] always have the power to control, but you do always have the power to [00:10:15] surrender. And it's in times like this, in the middle of the battle, the [00:10:20] question comes up, where is God in the middle of my mess? Did [00:10:25] God cause this? Is this a punishment for something?

Did God allow it? Is God [00:10:30] going to use it? Can I trust him in the middle of this? And do I face the [00:10:35] challenges or do I just pretend that I'm all right when life is [00:10:40] falling apart? I want to share with you an Instagram reel from Tanya [00:10:45] Godsey. You guys, I heard this this last week and it actually caused me [00:10:50] to rewrite and rerecord this episode.

Tanya's word spoke so [00:10:55] deeply to my heart that I dropped into her DMs and asked if I could share this [00:11:00] clip with you. So I want you to listen to these words from Tanya Godsey. [00:11:05] In the summer 

[00:11:06] Speaker 2: of 2018, I took a trip to Redding, [00:11:10] California, and I walked into A church I had never heard of to hear [00:11:15] a preacher I had never heard of say words that would change my life.

He [00:11:20] said, Jesus did not come to avoid our pain. He [00:11:25] came to transform it. Nothing proves this statement [00:11:30] more than the Garden of Gethsemane. In it, we see the scene where [00:11:35] Jesus is choosing not to bypass his own pain, but to [00:11:40] invite his friends. And to watch and pray with him and then to go to a [00:11:45] quiet place to kneel and to offer his pain into the [00:11:50] process of transformation with God, his father in that [00:11:55] moment, as he does not bypass his pain, but offers it in confession and [00:12:00] grief and anguish.

And in truth, he is inviting God into the moment [00:12:05] to cover the moment with his sovereignty. With his dominion with his compassion [00:12:10] and his care and his love Ultimately leading him to have the [00:12:15] strength to yield and to surrender his life For the sake of [00:12:20] all humanity. We do not have a high priest who is unfamiliar with our [00:12:25] weaknesses We have a high priest who knows what it feels like to live in our skin [00:12:30] This is what makes the cross and the resurrection 

[00:12:32] Denisha: so powerful I [00:12:35] love that Jesus did not come to avoid our pain.

He came to [00:12:40] transform it on Tanya's Instagram. She said that it was Jason [00:12:45] Upton that quoted that Jesus did not come to avoid our pain. [00:12:50] He came to transform it. Jesus invited his friends to [00:12:55] watch and pray with him. He offered his pain into the process in [00:13:00]confession and in truth to God. He invited God into the moment.[00:13:05]

To cover that moment with his love and that [00:13:10] gave him the strength to surrender. Those words of [00:13:15] Tanya sat with me so deeply over the course of a couple of days and I thought, [00:13:20] you know what, this is going to change this episode. So if you're on [00:13:25] Instagram, I highly recommend following Tanya Godsey. It's G O D S [00:13:30] E Y on Instagram.

What's interesting about [00:13:35] Jesus and this particular moment when he comes to God with what he's [00:13:40] actually feeling, he doesn't bypass it. See, in those moments, Jesus [00:13:45] actually did have the power to take control. He could have called down a [00:13:50] bunch of angels. He could have taken control. I would have if it were me, but [00:13:55] instead Jesus chose to surrender.

See, when the creation was [00:14:00] mocking the creator, he looked up into heaven, scorning the shame of the [00:14:05] cross, and he prayed, Father, please forgive them. They don't even know what they're [00:14:10] doing. He said, it's finished. I've done what you've sent me to do. [00:14:15] And in the ultimate act of surrender, Jesus said, Into your [00:14:20] hands, I commit my spirit.

And he gave his life. In those [00:14:25] moments, the world went dark. The earth shook, the temple veil ripped, and the [00:14:30] disciples scattered. You see, God's will is not always easy. [00:14:35]But three days later, our God showed that it is always [00:14:40] good. Some women went to check on the tomb where Jesus had been buried. [00:14:45] And they arrived the stone that was meant to protect his body inside.

The [00:14:50] tomb was not there. It had been rolled away. And when they looked inside the tomb, the [00:14:55] body of Jesus, it was not in the tomb because God raised Jesus from the dead, [00:15:00] defeating death, hell, and the power of the grave. You see, before [00:15:05] there was salvation for us friends. There was sacrifice for him, [00:15:10] and it wasn't easy, but our God is good.

And why did God do [00:15:15] this? So that anyone, and this includes you, me, wherever we [00:15:20] are, could call upon the name that is above every name, the name [00:15:25] of Jesus, the name at which one day every knee will bow and [00:15:30] every tongue will confess that he is Lord. And what will God in heaven [00:15:35] do for us? He will forgive our sins.

He will [00:15:40] heal our brokenness. He will remove our shame. He [00:15:45] will make us brand new, not just a better version of you, but [00:15:50] different because Jesus changed everything. See, the old is [00:15:55] gone because of the amazing grace of the goodness of God. He did [00:16:00]something for us that we could never do for ourselves. We couldn't [00:16:05] save ourselves.

We couldn't be good enough. We couldn't be righteous enough. And that's why [00:16:10] Jesus. came, who was without sin, who became sin for us. [00:16:15] And now we get to be hope dealers, light spreaders, love [00:16:20] givers. And that's what we are because of the grace of Jesus. You [00:16:25]don't have the power to control, but you always have the power to [00:16:30] surrender.

And the question is, what are you trying to control [00:16:35] that God wants you to surrender? Is it a relationship? Is it your health, [00:16:40] the health of someone you love? Is it your finances, your [00:16:45] job, your bank account, your future? What about your kids? [00:16:50] What are you trying to control that's not yours to control? [00:16:55] What if there's really no such thing as partial surrender?[00:17:00]

Maybe part of us wants to surrender and the other part doesn't. But [00:17:05] see, we can't just say, God, I'm going to trust you with some things, but not all the things. I'm going [00:17:10] to trust you to save me, but I'm not going to trust you with my kids. I've got to [00:17:15] control my kids. Come on, I'm gonna trust you to get me to heaven, but I'm [00:17:20] not gonna trust you with my job or my health or my loved ones.

No, [00:17:25] see the key is found in surrender. And there are two [00:17:30] words in what Jesus prayed that are so important. There's two words that are [00:17:35] incredibly important and that is the words if and yet. Jesus [00:17:40] cried out to God, my father, if it's possible. [00:17:45] Yet. Not my will, but your will be done. [00:17:50] In other words, real faith starts between the words [00:17:55] if and yet.

God, if you let me marry this person, I'll [00:18:00] give you praise. If you heal me, if you give me a job with benefits, if you [00:18:05] let me keep my job, if you do this, Yet not my will, but [00:18:10]your will be done. You don't always have the power to control, but [00:18:15] you always have the power to surrender. But here's the problem is [00:18:20] everything in our culture invites us, begs us, lures us to live in a way that is [00:18:25] contrary to the gospel.

Culture tells us to take control. You be in [00:18:30] charge. You make it happen. But Jesus says this in Matthew 10 [00:18:35] 39. He said, if you cling to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your [00:18:40] life for me, you will find it. In other words, to really follow [00:18:45] Jesus is to surrender control. And surrender [00:18:50] isn't a one time event, is it?

Surrender is a daily choice. [00:18:55] And I've discovered, and I am still discovering, and will [00:19:00] probably continue to be discovering to the last breath that I take, that [00:19:05] God can do way more with our surrender than he can with our control. [00:19:10] Friends, we don't always have the power to control our lives, [00:19:15] but we do always have the power to surrender.

So to those of us, me [00:19:20] included, who are trying so hard to be in control, [00:19:25] and we just don't know how to let go. I want to tell you, you may be [00:19:30] 20 inches from full surrender, 20 inches or [00:19:35] so away from knowing the peace on the other side of surrender. [00:19:40] So what is the 20 inches? Well, if we estimate there's probably about [00:19:45] 20 inches between our knees and the floor.

And when you want to be in control, you [00:19:50] stand strong, your knees locked, you are guarded, you are ready for that threat in the [00:19:55] restaurant, you are in control, you stand strong. But when you surrender, [00:20:00] you bend your knees, And you bow before God in the [00:20:05] same way that Jesus did in the garden when his soul was overwhelmed to the point [00:20:10] of death.

And he knelt down before the Father and displayed the greatest faith [00:20:15] between the if and the yet. If you can, and [00:20:20] if you will, please do. Yet, I will trust [00:20:25] you. The real faith starts between the if and the [00:20:30] yet. Whatever you're trying to control that isn't yours. Give it to [00:20:35] him. His will is not easy, but he is always good.[00:20:40]

Jesus suffered, he died, and God raised him from the dead. And [00:20:45] because of that, we worship a good heavenly father who will never leave you [00:20:50] and who will never forsake you. You don't always have the power to control, [00:20:55] but you always have the power to surrender. As Tanya Godsey [00:21:00] quoted Jason Upton, Jesus did not come to avoid our pain.[00:21:05]

He came to transform it. Jesus invited his friends into [00:21:10] his situation and he invited God into that moment and that [00:21:15] gave him strength to surrender. So I want to invite you to do that. [00:21:20] Invite God into your situation. Instead of standing [00:21:25] strong and locking your knees and girding up for any threat that comes your way, bend [00:21:30] your knees and surrender.

Go into prayer and ask God, invite him into your [00:21:35] situation and ask him for the strength to surrender. And this [00:21:40] is such a message for me as well. So as we end this [00:21:45] episode, I would like to end in prayer for each of us. Cause I'll bet [00:21:50] that not one of us listening can't identify something in our lives that we need to [00:21:55] surrender to God.

So father, I thank you for your good and perfect will. [00:22:00] I pray that you help us to trust you even when things aren't clear. Or the [00:22:05] ending is unknown. God help us to believe that your plan for our lives is better than any [00:22:10] plan we could envision for ourselves and to follow Jesus's example of [00:22:15] complete surrender.

God, give us the courage and the strength [00:22:20] in Jesus name. Amen. Thanks for listening. I pray [00:22:25] you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less [00:22:30] alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at [00:22:35] Reclaimed Story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a [00:22:40] part of our growing community of reclaimers?

Check out our website at [00:22:45] reclaimedstory. com. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoyed [00:22:50] this inspirational podcast, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review. Not [00:22:55] only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge [00:23:00] help in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.