WEDNESDAY’S WORD – CLENCHED – 08/23/17 – Sadell Bradley- New Life Covenant Cincinnati

Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

“No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.
-George Jean Nathan

Alex Haley, the Author of Roots, wrote, “When you clench your fist, no one can put anything into your hand.”  It reminds me of the story of the monkey reaching for a piece of fruit inside a jar.  The fruit was larger than the jar’s opening. The monkey wanted the fruit so badly that he clenched it with his fist. He tried over and over to pull the fruit and his fist out to

no avail. Finding himself trapped by his own desires, he became frustrated. Frustration arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of an individual’s will or goal. (Wikipedia) The only way the monkey could free himself was to release his hands from the thing he wanted and just let it go

CLENCH, with reference to fingers or a hand means to close into a tight ball, especially when feeling extreme anger. With reference to teeth, it means to  be pressed tightly together, especially with anger or determination or so as to suppress a strong emotion. To clench, literally or figuratively implies tightness, pressure or constriction…not freedom. Clenching suggests anger and a struggle for control. When our fists are clenched, it’s either to grasp something or to strike a blow. You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.

Sometimes it’s really difficult to keep that hand (and heart) open. It’s been extremely hard for me this past week in my personal life and in society. Part of me wants to keep a clenched fist and fight:

racism, sexism, injustice, family issues, illnesses…anything or anyone that gets in the way of the outcomes that I want or feel ‘should be.’  We discuss, argue and wrestle with God and others trying to convince Him/ them that they’re wrong and we’re right.  We struggle internally, “Why can’t they see it the way I do?”  Everyone digs in their heels, finding ways to explain away our moral bankruptcy, guilt, anger, apathy or lack of empathy. We hold to our positions, our privilege, our memories, or our hurts…and we won’t let them go. We know it’s not God’s way, He wants our hearts healed and open to give and receive LOVE. But CLENCHED is what we’re choosing. Are you physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually CLENCHED? Do you see the affects of the stress/pressure in your body? Will you admit being clenched is killing you?

Jesus proclaimed He was anointed to release captives and liberate prisoners. (Luke 4:18-19) We think that’s only literal, but some of us have been imprisoned by our longings, ambitions and covetousness. Others are trapped or by our anger, grudges and unforgiveness. Still others have been held captive by our thirst for control of situations and people. God instructs us to bring our anxieties to Him (Phil 4:4-9) to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) To remit and release people’s sins and not to withhold forgiveness from them (John 20:23) To release ourselves and accept that we

are no longer guilty or condemned, (Romans 8:1) To crucify our flesh with it’s passions and desires, (Gal. 5:24) and to trust God with all our hearts, not leaning to our own understanding and let Him direct and determine our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Satan has worn us out, (Daniel 7:25) but the weary can come to Jesus, humble themselves, take on meekness (the grace not to retaliate), release it all to Him and find rest. (Matthew 11:28-29) The antidotes for being clenched? Release and relinquishment. So give up your grasp! Try it and see how you feel.

SUNDAY Worship

11:00 AM Worship
The Great Room
Sunday Class
9:30 AM Youth Room Basement
at Wyoming Presbyterian
225 Wyoming Ave., 45215

For information 513-212-1131

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Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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