John and I were sitting by the lake one Sunday night, enjoying some Jimmy Johns and talking about life. I don’t know if you can relate to this but I’m convinced there’s something about staring at a large body of quiet water that gets you thinking deeply. [ John must always be staring at a large body of quiet water because his thoughts are usually profound and insightful, and I love that about him :)] We started talking about our time here at seminary so far and how we’re doing etc.
Soapbox: Have a conversation like this with your spouse or a close friend on a regular basis. Put down your phone and pull up a chair. Listen and be listened to — it’s becoming a lost art for our generation and it’s a shame.
*climbs down from soapbox*
Anyways, as I paused and looked out at the black water in front of me, I told John, “I’ve always had a problem with the phrase “Let go and Let God” (to which John agreed). I get the point – we are ultimately not in control and need to surrender our lives to God in the good times and bad. But God humbles us to a place where we remember He is sovereign we don’t “allow” Him to be sovereign… I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned since coming to Texas is that when I let go, I get God.”
If I think about it, that’s true from the very first day I became a Christian. In order to become a Christian you “let go” of your striving to be perfect, your chasing after the wind, your need to control every detail of your life, your false sense of self-sufficiency. And when you do that, YOU GET GOD. You get salvation from your sins by the grace of the Cross, justification before God by the blood of Christ, and joy in God for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. AND EVER! Awesome.
Now, if you’re a Christian or you know a Christian you are well aware that Christians continue to strive to be perfect, chase after the wind, have some pretty serious control issues, and can be some of the most proud and arrogant “fill-in-the-blanks” you’ve met in your lifetime. So, to clarify – accepting Christ truly is a once-for-all letting go of our dependence on ourselves and our acknowledgement that He is the perfect and holy God and we are broken, sinful wretches in need of Him. However, that doesn’t mean we suddenly become completely satisfied in Him overnight and cease to have the same faults we had before.
We wrestle with the sin nature inside of us, the snares of an empty world, and the lies of the Deceiver — but here’s the key difference – we’re wrestling them. And we’re wrestling towards a victory that has already been sealed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We get on our faces before God, asking for His deliverance from a painful situation, or wisdom to handle a difficult relationship, but we get up and live in the understanding that regardless — He is God, He is our all-powerful Father whose love is all-consuming. His Spirit of grace pumps life into our bodies, gives purpose to our steps, and takes captive our thoughts and attitudes when they pull us away from enjoying Him supremely.
So I confess that I am “letting go” everyday. It isn’t always obvious what, who, or how I’m letting go but, little by little, I continue to let go of expectations, entitlements, securities, dreams. Each time that I do, Christ becomes more valuable to me. His promises are sweet and His faithfulness is sure. But too often I miss that because I’m so busy grabbing at the next “BOGO” deal the world offers and, like a mother Christmas shopping for a family of four – I can’t see over my shopping cart of junk.
Yet slowly, as the toys are picked off one by one (How to Fear Man – DVD series, All-about-me Barbie etc) I start to see the outline of a man, with holes in his feet and wrists, and inexplicably I run right past my toys and sprint to His open arms.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. ~ Matthew 13:44 ~
He is a treasure, and I see it now.
When I let go, I get God.
What are you holding on to? What is blocking your view to the most beautiful and prized possession of mankind? I strongly recommend dropping it and running right at Him. And when you find yourself pushing a shopping cart of worries, distractions, and expectations again, don’t lose heart — He’ll always be on the other side to welcome you, because you see, when it comes to His children – He never lets go.