Finally, Letting Go
Sometimes you do not even know where to begin to pick up the pieces that is your life. Today, is September 11, 2016 and as I begin to put the finishing touches on my lesson plans, watch a documentary, and gruel over my texts, I can’t go any further. And I know why. It is time to release the burdens of the past completely, to let go, and to step fully into the future with God. I know. I know. We as Christians talk about change, renewal, restoration, taking the “leap of faith,” and yet we’re left so unchanged, our spirits do not mature and our hearts remained attached to this world.
But sometimes, God will lead you through a few seasons to chisel away at the stone of your heart, to remove your desires and attachments to this world. He does this slowly as to not startle you or throw you into shock. Suddenly Jesus takes us on a journey, we discover our hearts do not leap for joy over certain artists or movies, we become more engrossed in nature and forging lasting relationships with people. We’re aware we’re slowly transforming, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, day in and out, but we’re yearning for more, because we sense our incompleteness. We’re desperate for peace. As we continue to journey with Jesus we’re led to not another fork in the road, but to a straight, exceptionally narrow path. On both sides of the path are vast walls, high, shooting straight up into the sky.
Breathing a small sigh of relief, we’re delighted to not have to choose again. Until, you take a step forward but you’re pushed back. You realize it’s the baggage’s you carry; they block your entrance into the narrow corridor or pathway. Finally, you realized why Jesus led you down here it wasn’t to learn how to walk on a straight narrow path, it was to let things go.
It is time, don’t you think?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Unnecessary baggage, throughout our lives we pick up emotional and physical junk like a tourist visiting and buying dozens of trinkets from every gift shop. Our backs are bruised and sprained because the load has become too heavy and we’re too stubborn to believe God will keep His promises. We rather worry, lose sleep than to place our trust in an infinite being living outside of space, time, and reality. We worry and therefore we’ve learned to cope with our doubt, with our stress instead of make peace with the unknown and trust in the Lord.
But what is trust? What does it mean to trust? It is such a bold yet relational word that cannot be tossed around lightly.
The Christian definition of the word, “trust” means a “bold confidence,” “a complete reliance” or “total dependence” but my favorite definition of the word “trust” is, “committing one’s whole being to someone’s care.” These are all definitions that explain how we are to trust God, and I mean actively trust God. Many of us are passive when we, “trust in the Lord.” By habit, trust has become an afterthought, something we say to people we really love but don’t really mean, until we’re placed in a circumstance we have zero control over. Trust means we have to be “bold,” “determined,” to not worry ourselves.
Letting go of things or people truly occurs when you decide to trust in the Lord. Placing trust in worldly things is foolishness. The things of the world have zero value and are temporary. Placing our trust in our jobs means we think our financial situations, the favor with our bosses will never be lost. Placing our trust in our careers, and education means we believe success comes because we have the skill set, the resources, the knowledge, we think we can control and predict the job market and the needs of the world. Placing trust in our spouses is foolish because we believe our spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, are perfect but they’re only human, they have fallacies, they sin, and mistakes too. So who? Who? Can we place our trust in ladies and gentlemen? Who by trusting in can we be made safe and secure?
We place our trust in the “Lord.” Our Lord God knows all. He is the Beginning and the End. He knows your tomorrow, and the day after that. This is why we trust in God because He is perfect. His ways are just. For when we “trust in the Lord,” we do it “with all of your heart…” God is not a partial God. He does not half do anything. The Lord does everything completely. He made the world in seven days not four. He made Adam and Eve not just Adam. God sent Jesus to not live on Earth but to live and die for us. If God sent Jesus, His only Begotten Son, to die completely for us, all of humanity, we must also commit ourselves, to trust in Him completely. It is when we totally trust God, commit ourselves to His care is when we receive peace, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Peace comes when we choose not to worry and trust God completely. Yes, we want to stop worrying, to feeling stressed, agitated, intense, and broken down, but we cannot do that without relinquishing the rights of our lives to God.
Trusting also means, “…do not lean on your own understanding.” We are compelled as Christians, sinners saved by grace still with the urge to know and to figure out what the future holds. This dangerous curiosity isn’t innocence but doubt. We doubt God has His best plans laid out for us. We doubt God loves and cares for us when we enter into favorable circumstances. We doubt God wants to bless us and He is holding out from us. This mistrustful, doubtful mentality is rooted at the beginning of creation. When Adam and Eve took their first bites of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose to believe the lies of the serpent, Satan, instead of trusting and believing God has given them everything and is telling them the truth.
For it is written, Genesis 2:16-17 “16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” God was not holding out from Adam and Eve. He was really protecting them by setting boundaries for them to obey. Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to the spiritual and physical death of all mankind.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) God cannot lie, He is not man, He does not have a sin nature. God by His divine nature is compelled to be honest, because He is righteous. He is Holy. God told Adam and Eve the truth, if they ate the fruit they would die. Thus they reaped a consequence they did not have suffer, as do we when we choose to handle our own lives. This is why trust is crucial.
Trust means to believe God is honest, faithful, and trustworthy. To “lean not on our own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths,” is to recognize the character of God, acknowledge God sees the big picture. He knows the pieces we need to finish the puzzle of our lives. Most importantly, acknowledge means admitting, admitting our vision, our perspective of our lives is limited and therefore we cannot make clear decisions about the direction of our lives. Admitting worry, stress, and anxiety is a sin. Admitting our need for Jesus, our need to have God be the captain and masters of our sea, because He is Sovereign, and the only self sufficient Being in all of existence. This admission is an act of humility, humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God, believing God is in control and His love will carry us through our storms.
I Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.”
Humility does not mean lowering your self worth, or allowing people to underestimate your abilities. Humility is to view and act accordingly in the context of which God sees you. Humility is the ability to accept defeats, and personal limitations, and to know you are made strong in your weaknesses in Christ Jesus. Humility most importantly is admitting your need, our need for Jesus, and seeking Him daily because we cannot survive without Jesus. It is in this sweet realm of helplessness, total dependence, and searching for Jesus in the scriptures, where we finally release or cast our cares on God, because we finally, finally understand…..we can’t do it. We cannot live in this world, take care of our families, ourselves, have the strength to do our jobs without God.
You see God does not want us to worry. Anxiety, the heart pounding, lip biting fear is a sin. Having anxiety and entertaining worry is practically telling God, “I don’t trust you. And I don’t think you’re capable of taking care of me.” Yes, this is a jaw dropping statement to say to the King of the Universe but every time we worry, every time we stress, every time, we eat sugary foods, and get lost in music to cope with our worries, this is the harsh and disrespectful message we send to God. O Beloved aren’t you tired of this panicky, crazed life? What happened to the trusting, can’t wait until daddy’s home, jumping into the arms of daddy’s boy or girl, God used to know? O Beloved our Sovereign God is still our Father, and no Father likes to see His children unhappy and depressed and discouraged. Why not make today, your day, the day you finally stop worrying and release all your anxiety unto the God? I promise you the instant you do this; you’ll receive such unspeakable joy.
Because that is what I am doing, I know I been carrying baggage for far too long. I desire to chase after Jesus, to deny myself, and follow Him. Goodbye old things! Goodbye and good riddance. The road is long, and challenging, but it will all be worth it when I hear my Father, say, “Well done, my Good and Faithful Servant.” So come on guys, we have an adventure, the adventure of a life time. Drop your baggage, don’t pick them up…..it’s time.
Dear Gracious Lord and Heavenly Father, I come before you asking for your forgiveness. I recognize all my life I have been worrying about my life, my health, my children, my marriage, relationships, finances, all these things you promised me you would take care of me for in your Word. Lord I have given fear entrance into my heart, into my life. I am riddled with anxiety and to this I say, “I have sinned because I doubted your power to take care of me, and your love for me. Forgive me Lord for worrying. Today, I repent Lord of worrying and doubting your capability to take care of me.” I step out on faith right now, for it is written, “the righteous will live by faith” not based on feeling, and that I trust my life, health, children, marriage, relationship, job, education to you, Heavenly Father. I know you will do good towards me, because You Are Faithful, you keep Your Word, and you work for the good of those who love you, according to your Good and Perfect Will. So Lord, thank you for your patience, I am ready to step out on faith. I do not fear ANYTHING for I know you are with me, you are Sovereign O God in complete control, and if you are with me, nothing can stand against me. In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.