Every once in a while, my wonderful wife will send me something that is so inspiring or instructive that I must share it as a guest blog. This is one of those times, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Letting go is tough. Whether it’s a plan, a dream, a way of doing, self-interest, or just about anything else that means something to us – letting it go is tough. In 1 Kings 17: 8-16, Elijah tells a poor widow to let go of her last bit of oil and flour in order to see what God will do. The woman’s future — her security — was made visible to her by her commitment to let go of all that she had at her disposal. It did not make sense; it was not logical or reasonable. She had already devised a plan for that last bit of oil and flour. She was going to make her last meal and then die. She had planned the next step which would also be her last step. This hopeless and seemingly helpless woman knew that her actions would deplete her food supply, but it was her plan. But by letting go — by releasing what the Lord asked of her — she was able to experience a miracle of multiplication. She learned a lesson that we all must come to learn in order to experience God’s power. We must learn not to be satisfied with what will soon run out and instead walk in a faith that reveals God’s provision.
David was asked to let go of his pride and confess the sin of adultery, murder, and lying. In return, he found forgiveness and restoration. However, he also learned that letting go does not change the consequence of our sin. The child that was the product of adultery and murder still died, but by letting go of his pride and humbling himself before God, King David found that his relationship with the Father could be restored. The same is true for us as we deal with our sins whatever they may be. Letting go allows our relationships to be restored whether those relationships are between God and us or between other human beings and ourselves.
God called Abraham to let go of his promised son, Isaac, the child of his old age – the one through whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled. God did not just tell Abraham to send Isaac away as he did Ishmael. Instead, he was to let go in a final, goodbye kind of way. It was in his obedience that Abraham found the promises of God are always true and that God will always provide. It was also a time during which he learned that letting go allowed him to move forward towards the promises of God. The children of Israel struggled with letting go of their past even when it was a past filled with despair. They were tired and hungry. They were angry over their circumstances and afraid of what they perceived as their future. In their minds, the past was grander than it truly was. The good old days. They remembered gardens overflowing and a life of ease even when that was not the case. They were unwilling to press forward; they wanted to hold on to the past. The problem was that by not letting go of the past they were prohibiting themselves from moving to a grander and more blessed future. Again, the same is true for us. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It is by letting go of our past, our possessions, or even our posterity that we find that we can move forward to the future God has planned for us. We need to take seriously the directive God gave through His prophet, Isaiah. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19). This is a promise you can take to the bank: God will make a way.
But there is one more thing that we need to release into the promises of God, and it may well be the greatest need of our lives. We must let go of the things in our past that hold on to us. These are the things that weigh us down as we struggle to run this race called life. These are the things that pull us away from the Lord and His perfect plan for us. Once again, the Apostle Paul spells it out for us in Ephesians 4:31-32. Things like bitterness, wrath, and anger must be relinquished into the Hand of God. We must reject the temptation to constantly complain and speak evil of others. It has been said that we cannot reach forward to receive the blessings of our future as long as we cling tightly to our past sins, past hurts, and past plans. Only when we open our hands to God by offering kindness, compassion, and forgiveness of our brothers and sisters in Christ will we truly discover what Paul meant when he told us to “press on.” We cannot move forward into our promised future as long as we continue to tie ourselves down to the anchors of our past. So let it go, and take hold of the blessings God is holding onto for you.