you have to let go

Posted: November 14th, 2011 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: , , | 10 Comments »

“Beware of being obsessed with consistency to your own convictions instead of being devoted to God. If you are a saint and say, “I will never do this or that,” in all probability this will be exactly what God will require of you. … The important consistency in a saint is not to principle but to the divine life.” -Oswald Chambers

People believe more in a necessity that life be guided by religion than they do in the reality that life is guided by the Holy Spirit. God is asking these people to do something they said they would never do. They’re tormented right now because the choice won’t go away. God is trying to teach them to trust His voice, but they can’t make it line up with what they think. And so they’re tormented.

God told Ezekiel that he had to eat something that would religiously defile him. Ezekiel responded by saying, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never defiled myself (Ez 4:14).” God couldn’t possibly be asking him to do this. But, He was. There was a much bigger purpose for it than Ezekiel could see.

He had to let go of his religion in order to obey the God of his religion.

God told Balaam to go somewhere that was ‘forbidden’. Remember the story about Balaam’s donkey talking to him? Balaam was doing what God told him to do and an angel stood like a road block on the path. The angel called Balaam’s journey ‘perverse’ and said that God was angry. But…God told him to go. It made no sense. A donkey spoke, Balaam was a mess, and the angel ended the conversation by telling Balaam to continue the journey. Balaam had a job to do, though he didn’t know what it was yet. He had to trust God’s mercy and he stuck as close as he could to Him. (read Numbers 22)

I know the fear and trembling that blankets obedience.

Peter had a vision where He was asked by God to eat something that would religiously defile him. He responded by saying, “By no means, Lord…(Acts 10:14)” God taught Peter that life in Him is not about the ‘don’t’s’ and the ‘musts’. It’s about His purpose for you, but you get used while you’re struggling with Him, so it’s hard to see the purpose until you can look back on it with some distance.

Every step is a choice and we struggle to never misstep with the wrong choice. You know when God is leading you down a path you said you would never travel and you remain where you are in misery. You have to see, in these stories, that God sometimes does lead people in directions that force you to rely on His mercy and His grace.

When you are in that place, your life is not your own.

You are completely dependent on Jesus. You are exactly where you are supposed to be when you move beyond yourself like that. It gets easier to trust Him the more you let go. It feels unmapped, but it’s not. When you get in there, the map you’ve been using all along starts to become a lot more clear. It doesn’t take long before you find yourself chasing trails all over the map like it’s all new again.

You have to let go of the idea of what your life should or was supposed to look like. Here and Now life happens and you don’t get to write it. It’s time to step beyond yourself and trust that He knows what He’s doing. In that life of complete dependance on Him, you’ll lose the ties that are binding you. Sometimes those ties are people, sometimes they’re something else. You will suffer loss, but it’s only to learn what it means to say:

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”-Philippians 3:7-11



10 Comments on “you have to let go”

  1. 1 Diane said at 12:56 pm on November 14th, 2011:

    My husband left me and a houseful of kids 11 years ago. At that time he was an elder in our (very large) church and a member of the worship team. I was a leader in the women's ministry, ran the nursery and taught several classes. When he left, my world just basically crumbled around me… I was so crushed I couldn't face anyone so I didn't go to church for months… and no one called or even so much as wrote me a note. I'd be out shopping with the kids and sometimes ladies from that church would see me and turn away. I remember walking out of the grocery store after an incident like that one fine sunny summer afternoon. I looked up into the sky and felt Him say, "Do you trust me?" And I said, "Yeah. I guess I do.. I mean seriously, what alternative do I have? You're the Big Guy, right;-}"
    And the weird thing is, it really has been all for my good. I can see that so clearly now. Like you said- this is the thing I never thought I'd do. But here I am. A single mom.
    I remember once in a pique of bitterness praying, "Lord, why did You have to do this? I was such a better person before. I was a much nicer person before!" *stamp foot* And all of a sudden I realized that I really wasn't such a nice person before and certainly not a better person. I *acted* nicer… I acted more *godly*… I wasn't so chubby and, oh boy! I had all the answers. It was all just a veneer. A thin plastic coating that really fooled only myself. He took it off and now I'm poor and frazzled and chubby.. and maybe I don't always act as "nice" as I used to back in the day,.. but man has He filled my life with joy and peace and contentment. The hardness of it all has been the blessing… does that make sense?
    I love these verses from Psalm 119
    "It was good for me to be afflicted
    so that I might learn your decrees.
    The law from your mouth is more precious to me
    than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
    Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
    May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
    for I have put my hope in your word.
    I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,
    and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
    May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.
    Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.

    The bottom line is: He is good. Even when it seems like He's screwing everything up… He's still good.:)

  2. 2 Tonya said at 3:24 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    Thank you Diane, for that perspective. I have been divorced for 8 and half years and I am poor and stressed and chubby, but I know that I am a nicer person than I was before my husband pulled the rug out from under me. I never dreamed I would be a single mom either, but I am and I am so blessed. Your comment helps me see that I can offer myself a little grace for not being quite as "put together" as I once was.

  3. 3 Diane said at 7:29 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    Aww Tonya, sounds like we've been down the same path. And for what it's worth, I don't think the Lord cares one single bit how put together we are… but He cares a whole lot about how kind we are. And how humble we are… ouch;-)
    I just prayed for ya♥

  4. 4 Heather said at 3:38 pm on November 14th, 2011:

    This message was for me today. So so thankful for this.

  5. 5 tammy said at 4:38 pm on November 14th, 2011:

    I was one of the ones who said "I'll never…." But I did, eventually. Pride made me think I couldn't, but then I was crushed the very thing I thought I couldn't. In time, I've come to humbly rise out of that pit knowing my true condition. I'm no better than the worst of sinners. And God can use that kind of sinner much better than He could the best of "saint"s. Religion has a way of comparing ourselves to the rules, instead of completely surrendering oursleves to the Ruler's Spirit.

  6. 6 robynwbuxton said at 12:44 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    I have been studying Hebrews for some time now. I have read numerous commentaries and have prayed for God to speak through his word regarding my life and the direction HE is taking me. This post was confirmation of what I have been feeling…….from your post…….."You know when God is leading you down a path you said you would never travel and you remain where you are in misery. You have to see, in these stories, that God sometimes does lead people in directions that force you to rely on His mercy and His grace…….When you are in that place, your life is not your own."
    Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    Reliance on HIM I have found can carry me through ANYTHING. Not because I deserve less, or expect less, but because HE meets all my needs!

    My recent post Warped humor

  7. 7 Michelle said at 1:54 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    Wow. Kinna stunned at the possibilities…

  8. 8 Elizabeth said at 3:49 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    It is difficult sometimes, though, to trust that voice in my heart. I become frightened that it is my own voice, my own desires, rather than the voice of God's Spirit.

  9. 9 Heather said at 5:04 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    I came back again today to reread this post. I too struggle with knowing the path God wants me to take. Sometimes I wish His voice was a little louder.

  10. 10 Janelle@GraceTags said at 8:11 pm on November 15th, 2011:

    Letting go and letting God has changed my life.


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