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How to go from Stress to Rest – Words to Live by

Dr. Lonnie G. McCowan, pastor of Miracle Center of Ventura

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

Breakthroughs do not happen when we are stressed. They happen when we finally let go and stop struggling. Resisting is at the heart of struggle. Although what we are resisting feels like it is “out there somewhere” the resistance is really inside of us. That is, if you are resisting anything you are really resisting yourself. When we resist something we increase the amount of struggle in our lives and this in turn increases how much scarcity we experience.

When we resist, we make things harder than they have to be. By making things difficult we create struggle and prolong getting where we want to be. We make things complicated because we are afraid to decide. Why are we afraid to decide? it is partly our fear of the unknown, what will happen if, and partly our fear of making a mistake. The excuse I hear most from people is they are afraid that they may make the “wrong” decision. There is the fear that somehow they will permanently be locked into the consequences of their choices. But think about this, even if we don’t make the best choice, we will be guided to what we need to learn. All great athletes understand this concept. They know they can only anticipate so much, but have to make constant instantaneous decisions IN THE MOMENT as each new situation arises. In life you must do the same thing.

So who wouldn’t want to stop struggling? More people than you can imagine. I struggled for years, but it was with the illusion of struggle. The power of any illusion is its ability to keep us thinking the illusion is real.

When you give up struggle it involves letting go of both the past and the future to activate what is needed right now. It is not your hard work that creates the results, but your ability to give up struggling and forcing things to happen. Let go of the struggle letting go is not surrendering or giving up! when someone mentions the word “Surrender”, what does that mean to you?  We commonly mistake surrender for giving up. Unfortunately there is a fine line between obsessive control and determination or between surrendering and giving up. Imagine hanging onto a small branch on the side of a cliff. You would hold on as tightly as possible to keep from falling to the ground wouldn’t you? You would grit your teeth with a dogged determination vowing not to give up until help arrives. The last thing you want to do is surrender to the inevitable fate of falling.

Now, what if I told you the danger is not real and that you are actually only two feet from the ground? Would you loosen your grip on the branch? Of course you would! This is Surrender. It is the ability to relax one’s grip on life in the place of the ILLUSION of danger. Yes. It is possible your business might fail. Your wife or husband may divorce you. The whole city could be wiped out by a natural disaster or terrorist attack.  This doesn’t mean you don’t do what you can to be prepared. But you are defeating yourself when you try to control things outside of your direct influence.

Surrender is demonstrated by the willingness to let go of the need to control things OUTSIDE of your direct influence.

Surrender happens when you do what you can do in the moment, and let go of the things that are outside of your control.

Here is a way to experience Control versus Surrender.  Clench your fist. Make your hand so tight that nothing can slip through into your palm. What would you do if I wanted to put $10,000 into the palm of your hand right now? Would you keep your fist clenched or would you surrender your clenched hand to accept what I am offering?  Life works the same way.  When your mind is clenched,  you cannot open yourself to the riches you deserve.

You can hear Pastor Lonnie each Sunday at 6am on KEYT Ch. 3 (ABC Affiliate) also come hear Pastor Lonnie live at the Miracle Center 5105 Walker St Ventura Ca, (805)644-7722. Email

Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at or by visiting

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