City Lights Church is a contemporary Christian church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, VA. City Lights Church is a part of the Vineyard USA network and an ARC family member.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey there, and welcome to the City Lights Podcast. City Lights is a church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, Virginia. For more information about City Lights you can visit us at wearecitylights.com. Now enjoy today’s message.

Hey, everybody, welcome to pop up Wednesday and welcome to the fifth session of how is your soul. I’m Erin and I’m on the team here and I’m so glad that you are joining us and that we could pop up into the middle of your week.

So last week, we talked about how Jesus is our anchor no matter what storm or situation that we face, and that he provides our soul stability and safety that it needs. So this week, we want to answer the question, how is my soul helped? And we’ll look at one primary source of help and that is staying surrendered. So what do I mean by staying surrendered? Well honestly that can be pretty hard. So it goes against most of our human nature and our need to control almost everything. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s something that I struggle with all the time; is the need to control my situation. And in the season that we’re in right now, that’s been pretty difficult, right?

So we like to have control. But the only alternative to living a surrendered life to God is living a life where we take on the burden of all of that weight, and all of that pressure. And that’s not a healthy place that our souls can be for a long time. It’s not the way that we were designed. And so we want to be able to yield that control back over to God. And when we are able to do that we cast our cares on him and depend on Him, He will give us rest. So Jesus says this in Matthew 11:28 through 30, “come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.” So in short, Jesus is asking for us to trade him. So he’s saying, “Give me all of your worries, give me all of your concerns and your doubts, and I will give you peace.” Sounds like a pretty good trade off to me, right?

And I love in that verse that it says, “Let me teach you to live in this pattern and this rhythm of life.” So it’s not something that’s going to come naturally to us at first. But as we learn that rhythm with him and surrendering those things over to God, it becomes that peaceful life that we’re all searching for. So want to make it a habit for us to surrender to God.

So I want to give us three practical points that we can take away and take into our week and start to live out. So the first practical step that we can take into our week is to pray. And so that’s simply to talk to God. And that really gives us the chance to send over those worries and those doubts and those fears. And let me tell you, nothing is too small for God. He cares about the small worries in your day and he’s not too big for the big worries of this life like We’re facing right now. But the way that we talk to God, we have to make room for it, right? We have to make room to pray and to be intentional. And making sure that you’re spending time reading is so important because prayer is not just about talking, but it’s about listening, right?

And so the way that we listen is we have to know what God sounds like, we have to know His voice. So reading and doing devotionals is a great way to get in the habit of hearing God’s voice and knowing what he sounds like. Now, if you don’t know, or have never done a devotional or haven’t really gotten into the practice of reading your Bible, we’re actually hosting a small group on that, and it’s going to be on Tuesday nights, and that can really help you just establish that new pattern in your life.

So now that second step that we can take into our week is to practice, right? So the first one is pray. The second one is practice. So surrendering to God is an ongoing choice. And it’s an ongoing habit that we have to build, that we have to practice and cultivate. And you have to live it out and speak it out into your week. So when that stress hits you, that’s when you have to stop and surrender that over to God and ask for his peace and his strength and his wisdom to handle the situation. Maybe when you feel stuck at home or stuck in depression, that’s when you have to ask God to come in and to trade that worry and that stress and that depression for his peace and his love. And when you want to take everything back into your control, and that you want to handle it, I know that this happens to me all the time. And that’s when we really have to pause. We have to take an active pause and to hand that back over to God and make a decision to trust Him and to surrender to Him.

And so that third practical step that we can take into our week is to protect, right? So our first one was pray. Our second one is to practice, and our third one is to protect, so you have to protect your soul. Right? So our souls are our responsibility and it’s our job to protect our soul and to be in control of what influences it. And in this season, there can be a lot of things that are influencing us that normally we don’t struggle with. But there can be a lot of things that are coming in and that can be everything from worries to toxic thought patterns, the ability to spiral into worry and to concern and anxiety. It could be people, it could be too much negative news, right? So in 2 Corinthians 10:5, it says “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That’s how we protect our soul. We have to filter our thoughts and what comes into our soul, through God’s lens, allow him to be the one to help lead us in where we should spend our time to spend our energy and what not to worry about, right?

So we have to take action to protect our soul. That’s an active step. You’ve got to filter your thoughts. You’ve got to be intentional about what you’re letting into your soul. And that may be too much time on social media; that may be too much news; that may be not enough positivity that’s coming in to feed your soul and to nurture it. So surrender some of that time in your day and to spend it with God to listen to what he says, to listen to what he says about you, about your situations, and about the future because he has a plan for you. So help for your soul and peace for your life are truly found when we just surrender it over to God.

So pray with me guys. God, we thank you so much, Lord, for who you are. God, we thank you so much for just breaking into our Wednesday causing us to pause or whatever time of day it is that we’re listening. Lord, we ask that you would just come in to be with each person exactly in their situation or that you see them, Lord, you see them in their families, in their home situation in their work situation. God, and we just ask for your Holy Spirit to come in to nudge us and remind us to pray, God, throughout the day, to practice and to put into practice calling on you and surrendering to you. And God we ask that you would give us that wisdom, Lord to protect our souls, God that you would give us the wisdom to see what you want for us; God and what’s not from you. God, we ask that you would just come into our situation, Lord, and that you’d be present with us, God, because you have a plan and a purpose for every single person, God, even in the midst of a season of such uncertainty, Lord, that you have a purpose and a plan and that you are doing something, God, that you’re still at work, Lord, even when we’re paused, are we’re sitting down, and we’re being still, God, you are still up to something. We thank you for that, God, and who you are. And we just ask that you would continue to refresh our souls. Give us a new perspective, Lord, and that we would continue to surrender that all over to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanks for checking out the City Lights Podcast. If you’d like to partner with us financially, you can go to wearecitylights.com/give, or you can text any dollar amount to 84321. Thanks for joining us today.