Friday, May 15, 2020

Can you just let it go?

Part 2 of an Interview with Barb Roose,
Author of Surrendered

 Are you facing a problem in life that you just can’t fix, no matter what you do? Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Let go and let God.” But it’s easier said than done. Is it possible that giving up on what you can’t change is God’s path to peace for your life? In Surrendered, Barb Roose’s new six-week Bible study of Jesus in the wilderness, she explores Jesus’ time of testing and contrasts it with the Israelites’ failures in the wilderness.

As readers learn from Jesus’ example, they’ll discover six principles that will equip them to let God lead them to victory despite their circumstances as they deal with the problems and pain they are facing.

Learn more in this interview with Barb.

Q: What are the six surrender principles and when should they be used?

Letting go of control-loving behaviors isn’t a switch that we can just flip. Rather, we need a new set of tools.

Those new tools are six Surrender Principles that we can activate and apply whenever fear flows through our hearts or we’re tempted to flee, fix or force a solution. Each week, participants learn a new principle:

1. I am not in control of others or outcomes.
2. I choose to live by faith, not rush to follow my feelings.
3. I can always let go and give my problems to God.
4. Trusting God’s promises will bless me, but pushing my plans will stress me.
5. When fear tempts me to flee, fix, or force my way, I will choose to stop and pray.
6. Surrender is my only path to God’s peace, power, and provision.

Q: Why is it so hard to trust God to take care of us when he promises that is what he will do?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I expect that God will do things like I would do them. So, when I’ve got a problem that I can’t fix, and then God either seems to delay or doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, I get disappointed. I’ve learned that disappointment is often the doorway that leads to distrust.

However, Isaiah 55 reminds us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways. So, in my experience, wilderness seasons have lasted a long time because it takes me a long time to let go of my expectations and learn to wait in anticipation.

Here’s a big lesson for me: wilderness seasons have taught me to trust God’s heart in hard times.

In fact, I introduce what I like to call the three “Wilderness ABC’s” for when we’re in a wilderness season or facing a difficult trial:

1. You are ALWAYS loved.
2. BELIEVE that God is for you.
3. CHALLENGE yourself to trust God and let go.

Q: What are some of the lessons that trials can teach us?

While some people may not agree, I’m not a fan of the saying that “everything happens for a reason,” which many mistakenly believe is the message of Romans 8:28. When we try to apply earthly explanations to everything that happens, that approach could lead people to feel that God intentionally causes bad things to happen in order to teach a spiritual lesson. God doesn’t do backhanded blessings.

However, God does redeem our trials when we keep our eyes on Him in the midst of what we’re walking through.

Q: What are some of the things we need to let go of in our lives?

The reality is that our hearts have to let go of the situations that we cannot control.

In the Surrendered study, I identify five control-loving behaviors (SHINE behaviors) that we need to let go in order to live like Jesus and experience God’s power, peace and provision.


Those SHINE behaviors are Scorekeeping, Helicoptering (Micro-managing), Interrupting, Nagging and Excessive Planning/Stockpiling. When we use these behaviors in our attempt to control others or outcomes, we’re shining the attention on ourselves and what we want instead of trusting that God knows what’s best.

Q: What are the steps to letting go?


Letting go or surrender is a prayer and a process. Rather than identify steps, I identify four questions in the “Letting Go Loop” that equip control-lovers to not only identify their control-loving behaviors but also identify God-honoring and life-giving next steps toward   letting go and living like Jesus:

  • Awareness – Am I trying to control others or outcomes right now?
  • Arrest – What do I need to stop trying to protect, fix, or force to make happen?
  • Acceptance – Where do I need to acknowledge the reality that I do not have control, but God can handle it?
  • FaithFULL Action – How can I show love, kindness and wisdom without control-loving behaviors?
As the questions are answered, the Letting Go Loop reveals where we need to open our hands and turn toward God instead of trying to fix or force the solutions for ourselves.

Trials can teach us to worship God more, depend on ourselves less and to become more like Christ. Even though those lessons are tough to learn, the blessings that we receive during our wilderness season and on the other side is absolutely worth it!

Q: We’re all familiar with the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” How can that apply to us in a spiritual context?

There have been a few times in my life when I used control-loving behaviors to get what I wanted, only to discover that my prize wasn’t God’s best.

In my early 20’s, I wanted to buy a home. While I didn’t have all of the resources that I needed, both in money and wisdom, I pushed forward and pulled out all the stops to buy that house. Even though it was a lovely home where I raised my family, there were many times over the years when expensive repairs and other home-owner related issues popped up as a consequence of forcing my way into a property that I probably should have asked a few more questions about.

More than 20 years ago, I began praying John the Baptist’s prayer in John 3:30: “He must increase. I just decrease.” Back then, my life wasn’t perfect, but I had a great career, happy marriage and healthy children. However, my faith tended to fall behind everything else in my too-full-of-good-things life.

God has been answering that prayer in big and small, happy and heartbreaking ways. The most powerful way that God has increased in my life came as a result of a long-term addiction issue in my household that led to the devastating end to my 26-year marriage. However, I could see and feel God’s power, presence and provision throughout that painful experience. He has increased in my life in ways that I am eternally grateful.



Q: What are some ways women can creatively come together to do the study as a group, even if they aren’t able to meet in person?

While I hate the difficult circumstances that the COVID-19 outbreak has created around the world, but I love seeing how God dropped some opportunities in place before we realized that we needed them. Here are a few wonderful opportunities that are available during these wild times:

1. AMPLIFY – To help groups stay connected and continue to study the Bible together during this time of social-distancing, Abingdon Women and Amplify Media are making the video sessions of Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus available for free for group members to watch at home from any device. Sessions will be available free of charge from April 7 to June 30, 2020.

Amplify Media is a streaming service allowing churches large and small unlimited video access in order to discover, customize, and share diverse resources that encourage deeper discipleship and equip churches to pursue their mission with greater impact. Learn more at AmplifyMedia.com

2. DIGITAL DOWNLOAD – Each individual session of the Surrendered study is available for digital download at cokesbury.com/surrendered.

3. ONLINE GROUPS – I’m so encouraged and inspired by women’s Bible study and small group leaders across the country who are so dedicated to leading their groups in these challenging times. I’m also a group leader at my church, too! Like many group leaders, our group is leveraging technology like Zoom, Facebook Groups and other platforms to meet together online.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).





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