Tuesday, March 15, 2016

To the One Who Can't Let Go

Have you ever been in a situation where God asked you to walk away from something? Something you hated to leave behind? Something in your rear view that you can't bring yourself to drive away from?

If not, I always thought I was envious of people like you, but now I realize that I'm concerned for you. A walk with God means that He's always refining, pruning, working on you. As you become closer to Him, your heart gets tugged on to become more like His, and that will always mean leaving stuff behind that takes you away from Him. The closer you get to Him, the more you'll end up surrendering for Him. You'll stop looking to your own answers and start looking up for His voice, and the longer you look up, the louder that voice becomes in your heart. He'll move you in ways you never thought possible. He'll speak to you more clearly when you're walking in the stillness of His peace. He'll begin to whisper things you would never be capable of hearing due to the noise in your mind, and you may be told to walk away from something great. People may even think you're completely crazy to do it.

Maybe you need to walk away from a relationship. Maybe you need to leave a job you love. Maybe you need to move to a new city. Maybe you need to walk away from a grudge you've been nurturing like a little pet. Maybe you've got to give up on the dream of how you thought your life would be. Whatever it is, letting go is just plain hard. 

I'm there with ya, and I'm scared.

Are you in this place? Are you facing the idea of dropping something you once idolized, turning on your heel, and walking away? Maybe it's a secret sin… Maybe it's something that seems like a noble goal… Maybe it's the thing you just KNEW God wanted for you, and now you just have to drop it. You find yourself asking "Why God, WHY?! Why do I have to let this go?!" 

I just doesn't make any little bit of sense, does it?

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

Walking away from something you've had a good grip on is unnerving. It can feel like losing a chunk of yourself. You feel a lump in your throat as you face the idea of giving up pieces of yourself. Sometimes God has to pry your hands off of it, simply because of your fear of the unknown. When God tells you to lay this thing down, the claws come out to tighten your grip. The death grip continues to tighten until either: 1) He pulls you away from it. --OR-- 2) Your heart {and grip} begin to soften as you listen to the whispers of His truth.

You know that little song and dance you go through in your mind leading up to letting go? You say to yourself, "God doesn't REALLY want me to let this go!" Denial. It ain't just a river in Egypt. Sometimes when you boil it down and take a step back, you see that maybe He's got a point. I do this by looking back. I look back at times that my life didn't make sense. I look back at times that He told me "NO", and I always realize He knew exactly what He was doing.

and then I know. I know I must let go. I know that hanging on desperately to what I love most in this world is keeping me from loving the One that is above this world. Because in the end, whatever I dig my claws into is ultimately an idol--and I can't love God with the radical magnitude I desire while overcome with desire for something else.

BUT! When I remove my desire for what I'm hanging on to and place my trust and desires in being led by Jesus, I have always made the chosen the greatest of the two. The same goes for you, sweet one. When you choose Jesus, you choose stepping out of the boat walk on water with Him… although it feels like risk and fear. It feels like a storm that is certain to pull you under. If you never step out of the boat and you hang on to your seat, how will you ever know what other options are out there for you? You won't. You'll stay paralyzed in fear. You'll miss out on the thrill of walking with Him above the waves. {Read Matthew 14:22-29 here}

If He is telling you to lay something down, it's only because He knows what lies out there, and that thing is keeping you from it. What lies out there are good things, miracles, blessings, and making the impossible possible. He can see better things over the horizon, and you don't trust that. That's what this all boils down to. He sees what that thing you've got the death grip on is keeping you from, but you can't. You see what's here and now. But God has so much more in store for you, dearest one. He has a vision for your life that's better than what you could have hoped for. It's vision that works things together for His good.

…and sweet one, His good is ALWAYS going to be better than your good.

What are you hanging on to? What is God telling you to just let go of? Is it a toxic person who is like quicksand, just sucking you under? Is it a job you love? Is it a relationship that pulls you away from God? Is it a plan for your future that you had meticulously pieced together in your mind? Is it just control itself? Do you just not want to relinquish control to God because you want to take the wheel yourself?

Listen close, dear one: it is the sincerest prayer of my heart today that you know in the deepest parts of yourself that He is leading you to drop that thing for very specific reasons. Even though you can't see what lies ahead, I pray that you trust that He is leading you to work for His glory. I pray that you come to depend on HIM and not on yourself. Because in letting go, you're letting Him work everyday miracles in your world--but only if you let Him. So, won't you? Let go, stand back, and watch the glory unfold.

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