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Letting Go to God
By David A. DePra
God desires that we LET GO into His hands. But, "let go," of what? Well, of everything. This is not only Godís desire, but it ought to be ours. We have no idea of what we are hindering by not letting go to God.
There are a couple of things, however, that we must realize about LETTING GO TO GOD. We must see what this means, but we must also see what it doesnít mean. And we need to see HOW to do it.
Letting Go by Faith
To LET GO doesnít mean we let go of God, or let go of faith in Him. Rather, a true, "letting go," is TO GOD, and IN faith. Indeed, you will never actually let go of anything to God if you donít trust Him Ė you can let go only if you have faith in God.
I donít think itís possible to overemphasize that simple point. Letting go Ė if it is real Ė is only possible if I trust God. I may say I am letting go a thousand times, but until I truly believe and trust God it is impossible to let go. One way or another Iíll try to maintain control because Iíll be afraid to let go.
What we see here is a principle. To the extent that I trust God I will let go into His hands. To the extent that I SEE JESUS I will relinquish my issue to Him. I may mimic letting go by saying the words, or by going through a religious exercise, but only if I trust God can I truly let go.
There are many motivations other than faith for our Christian living. We may THINK we have faith, but perhaps instead of faith, maybe we want to let go because we are afraid of what will happen if we donít. Maybe we think God will be mad at us. Maybe we think that we will miss a blessing. Perhaps we simply want to think of ourselves as highly spiritual. Therefore, we might fake ourselves out and assume we have let go. But none of these motives will result in surrender. We let go ONLY if we see Jesus and trust Him.
Faith always has an outcome Ė the outcome is relinquishment if nothing else. If I believe, I will let go to God. I will let go because I WANT TO.
So if there is one thing about letting go that we must get straight from the start, it is that it will be the outcome of faith. Without faith, we wonít let go, and with faith, we will let go. It is just that simple.
Not a Deal
Letting go to God is not a deal we make with Him. If I am letting go only to get something from God that I think He will give me because Iíve let go, I am still NOT letting go. No. Iím just trading; making a deal. A true letting go to God carries no bargain with it. I relinquish my right to have any say so as to the result of my surrender.
Now, as to general principle, we do know that only GOOD Ė in the spiritual and eternal sense Ė can come from letting go to God. And it is not wrong to WANT this. But if the only reason Iím surrendering myself to God is to get something in return, then it isnít true surrender. True surrender is something Iíd do even if I got NOTHING in return.
Some of us think that letting go to God is a merit on our part. Well, actually, to NOT let go is SIN. It is unbelief. Indeed, the very core of sin is that we are boss of our own lives, and exercise ownership over ourselves. So this isnít about going the extra mile with God. There IS no extra mile to go with God! If we really knew Him, weíd give Him all without conditions attached.
Faith is content to let God decide what will be the outcome of our surrender. And be assured, that God will bring you to the place where this is necessary. You have to trust Him to be faithful to you Ė not because there is something about you that entitles you Ė but because HE IS FAITHFUL by nature.
"But what if I surrender to God, and He doesnít do anything? What if He is indifferent? What if He allows something I dread to come to pass?"
Well, in the first place, God always responds to faith. So there is no such thing as God doing NOTHING, even though it might seem like it for some time. And as far as being afraid of what God might allow, do you trust Him enough to know that what you dread might be exactly what MUST BE Ė if He is to do His work in you? It probably is not. But the point is, why would you want to try to stop what God wants to happen? Why would you want to put yourself, and your wisdom ahead of God?
I say this again Ė to let go to God means that I have relinquished my right to have any say-so or input as to the outcome of my surrender. I let go to Him even if He doesnít seem to be there, and I let go to Him no matter what the consequences may be. I am trusting that He will do what is good for me.
Have we realized that God WANTS this kind of surrender? Therefore, once He gets us there, He is not going to be indifferent, or do wrong by us. No. This is His whole goal Ė to get us to let go to Him. He is going to respond.
If you want to, "make a deal," with God Ė hereís one you CAN make. Tell God that He has freedom to do whatever it takes to bring you to the place where you can LET GO to Him. Of course, the secret here is that if I tell God to do this, then -- by definition Ė I am letting go. I am, that is, if I mean it. It will be proven whether I mean it once God takes me at my word and does whatever it takes.
To let go to God is NOT RESIGNATION. It is not a matter of me surrendering to God because I have to Ė in the sense of giving up because I know I canít win. There is no faith in this, and there is no victory. In fact, if my attitude is nothing but resignation to my fate, Iíll probably be bitter towards God.
Resignation is not a voluntary surrender. It is a surrender because I have run out of other options. But real surrender to God is voluntary Ė I surrender because I WANT TO. There is a sense of thanksgiving to God for bringing me to where I see Him and believe Him and can therefore surrender in faith.
True surrender is the result of God getting victory over me. When I surrender His victory then becomes mine. But resignation is the result of me failing to get victory over God. And frankly, this is really no surrender at all.
There are other things that letting go is NOT Ė it is not refusing to take responsibility. No. We always take responsibility, we always obey God, and we always face the facts. But if I have faith, Iíll do all of that and know that the outcome depends upon God.
Letting go is also NOT giving up on God Ė because He doesnít seem to be answering. It is not saying, "Well, I will let go of this because it is no use." No. Faith never gives up on God. Faith gives up TO God. The point is, we are supposed to be seeking Godís will. There could never be a time to give up on that. God ALWAYS wants His will.
Letting go is likewise not a choice I make to be heroic, a self-made martyr, or something I do to be self-righteous. Many of us know we need to let go and so we do Ė but it is not of faith. It is because we want to please our ego and pride before the Lord. This will get us no where at all. When the test of our choice comes, we will fall.
Faith results in a surrender Ė and a voluntary surrender is the ONLY KIND there is that is real. Any thing less and it is not faith. At best, it is legalism and religiosity.
As we walk through our Christian life, we tend to think that God wants us to surrender this THING, or that THING. But this really isnít what this business of LETTING GO is all about. God wants us to surrender ourselves, not THINGS. And if we do, then the THINGS will BE surrendered.
The reason why THINGS come into the picture is because we become ATTACHED to things, and we HOLD ON to things. God wants us to become ATTACHED to Him, and to HOLD ON to Him. Thus, in order for this to happen, we must become DETACHED from things.
If you see what is going on here, you will see that faith must always have an OBJECT. I must have my trust put in something or someone. If my faith is in a THING, then the THING may not be bad, but what is bad is that I have wrapped my faith around it. Thus, the only solution is for us to LET GO of the thing. But can we see that what we are really doing to is being set free Ė our faith is being set free Ė to trust God?
It is not wrong to possess THINGS. But usually THINGS possess us. It is not wrong to HOLD ON to things. But THINGS hold on to US. So God must deal with the THINGS. The reason is to set US free from them. Then, if He wills, He can give them back because they wonít possess us. HE will possess us.
If there is something in your life that has controlled you, or really, OWNED you, it may be that God will need to deal with it. But again, He is really dealing with YOU. It isnít so much that it is wrong for you to possess it, but it possesses YOU. Therefore, if God removes it, He is actually setting you free Ė not from the THING, but from the possessive hold it had over you.
We need to stop thinking that this is about THINGS. It is not. It is about US, and it is about our relationship with God. If our relationship with God is in faith, and strong, then THINGS can be added, because they wonít possess us. But if things are able to possess us, then God will have to deal with them because they will hinder our faith life in Him.
Even though THINGS are not the issue, but our faith, it is nevertheless a fact that God uses concrete and real THINGS to do His work in us. Indeed, He uses little else. Why? Because we start out with faith wrapped around THINGS, and we are prone to put our faith in what we can see. We can proclaim our faith in theory and as a doctrine, but the question will be what we do over THINGS. This will tell much.
What God is after is this: That we let go of all BUT HIM. That we HOLD ON to Him regardless of THINGS. That we sit with Christ in heavenly places and reign and rule over THINGS, instead of things reigning and ruling over us. That we be controlled by nothing else but HIM.
God want US, not THINGS. But THINGS generally HAVE US instead of God. "Things," are not just material possessions. They can be situations, and even a state of mind. So the battle is on Ė who will be our Lord?
Letting go to God always results in Godís will to His glory. And of course, by the time God gets that, we will rejoice, and know that it is right.
We have to get it settled once and for all Ė there is no such thing as surrendering to God so that He will do what WE want Him to do. That might seem more than obvious, but there are many of us who actually surrender to God because we think that it is the only way to get Him to give us what we want. Forget it. Letting go to God is a matter of letting go unto HIS will and HIS glory.
God is not making things up as He goes along. He already knows what He wants to do. He doesnít need us to inform Him, give Him suggestions, or to guide Him along the way. He doesnít even need us to continually ask Him what He has already promised to do. If we think that this is about figuring out a way to get God to hop aboard our purposes and help us, we are deceived it is not. It is about God getting us aboard HIS purposes, so that we can share in them.
Many Christians ask God to do what they desire because they have been taught to do so, and have been taught to read certain Bible verses that seem to give them that right. This is silly. Is God sitting up in heaven waiting for us to figure out what is best so that we can tell Him? No. Even our ASKING of God is supposed to be nothing more than the result of Him putting His Word, and His will in our hearts. Our asking is nothing more than the outcome of our having come to want only His will to His glory.
If you let go to God, you will be asking according to His will. Your asking is your expression of that Ė your asking is an open reception for Godís will. Asking isnít just an exercise. It isnít just a term. It is FAITH reaching out for Godís will. That is true asking. Your asking will be in real faith because you have let go and want only Godís will. It is absolutely impossible for us to have real faith Ė the faith of Jesus Ė for anything but Godís will. The Holy Spirit cannot be in that. If you think otherwise, go ahead and try to generate faith for something other than Godís will. Go ahead and try to ask for something God is not in. You wonít get far.
So here we see the key: Let go to God. Let go for HIS WILL. The result will be greater faith FOR the will of God. Indeed, if you let go for Godís will, what you will get IS Godís will. It is impossible for the outcome to be anything else.
Godís will is that we KNOW HIM Ė or to put it another way Ė He wants us to SEE JESUS. In the end, this is where all of these roads lead. This isnít about following principles, figuring out how to work with God, or about how to develop the right mind set. This is about a relationship with Him through His Son Ė because we know and see Him in a way that governs us.
If you let go to God, what will happen is that you will see Him. The reason is that the attitude of the flesh of controlling, and holding on to things, is an attitude of unbelief, and it blinds us to God. It is of the natural, which cannot see the spiritual, and which cannot receive the things of God. The more I resist letting go, the more it will blind me to Christ. But the moment I let go, I will begin to see Him.
The way to see God is to stand in the light as He is in the light. It is by being one with Him in purpose and heart. So when I let go to God, I am one with Him in purpose. I have stepped into the light and have let go. I then see and know Him better.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Mat 6:22-24)
God has already apprehended us for Himself, and for His will. But again -- most of us, not understanding this, side step that and get busy trying to apprehend God for our will. We donít necessarily demand God do our will, or get rebellious over it, but we are continually trying to get God to respond to us in a way that will please us. Instead of apprehending God for His will, we cry out to God to do this or that. Itís not that this is an evil thing, mind you, but so often it is not based in faith. It is based in not believing that God will be faithful unless we twist His arm, or be religious with Him, or keep Him up to speed on what He ought to be doing. Most of us do this because either we have been taught to do it, or because we just donít know any better.
No. God has already apprehended us. His desire is that we apprehend, or lay hold of, that for which He has apprehended us. Indeed, we arenít going to get far trying to apprehend anything else. So if we want to ASK God, ask that He bring us into His purpose.
Have we realized that God has laid hold of us for Himself? And that we must now LET GO of all else? We apprehend God by first letting go TO God. Then our hands and hearts are empty to receive that for which we are apprehended of God.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:12-14)
Letting go to God is NOT a religious principle to follow, or a law to keep, or a concession we make to God Ė to somehow satisfy His demands. If God brings you to the place where you must truly LET GO to Him, you will realize that it is none of these things. Christian people have a tendency to take HEART matters of faith and turn them into principles to follow. This is legalism. It isnít what this is all about.
When you let go to God you also let go of everything about yourself that you might otherwise put your faith in, with self-righteousness at the top of the list. You wonít be letting go to God because you think you HAVE to, or because you think it earns you points. You will let go because you WANT to Ė indeed, you will likely wonder why it took you so long. Letting go to God is the outcome of knowing your great need, and knowing His grace.
Actually, letting go to God is the only thing you can do if you want to walk in, and surrender to, the TRUTH. What else would you do but let go to God? Heís GOD! You are empty without Him. But you see, in order to see this Truth we have to step into the light. Many wonít do this. The last thing many professing Christian people will stand for is being exposed for what they really are. The evidence of this is everywhere Ė it is why Christ has been replaced in the church with religious idols made in our own image.
Of course, most of us give agreement to the DOCTRINE that tells us we have no righteousness of our own. And we easily confess that we are nothing without God. But all of that is quite short of actually being stripped of everything about us that we might have thought was righteous. I guarantee you that if God strips you like that, you will not any longer want to hold onto yourself. You will see the Truth. And it will set you free for all other delusions.
Hold On to God
The reason we donít hold on to God is that we wonít let go of other things. And yet the irony is that if we would let go of things and hold on to God, He would be free to give us those very things! Why? Because then we wonít let go of Him in favor of those things. In short, once we surrender to God, and our hearts are safe, God is free to do His will in our lives.
But you see, today we are not taught that God is doing an inward work through the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to us Ė and that THIS needs to be the basis of our relationship with God, and of any material blessings God might want to add. Instead, Christ in us is almost fully ignored, and people are told to go to God for THINGS. If you think that Satan is not involved in such deception, you may already be deceived. He is.
Letting go to God cuts to the root of what is wrong with us as natural human beings. If we, by faith, will let go to God, the very power that binds us will lose itís grip upon us through Christ, because we will loose our grip on IT. The Truth is, the reason something can grip a Christian is because a Christian is holding, instead of letting go to God.
What do I mean by that? Iím not saying, for instance, that every bondage possible for a Christian is one where the Christian desires and wants that bondage Ė although clearly, we GET in bondage to begin with by willingly yielding to it. But later, if we want to get out, it isnít that easy to do so, is it? No. The reason may be that the bondage continues to own a part of our flesh life Ė in other words, we are addicted Ė if not physically, then emotionally, or spiritually. But the POWER behind it is that WE continue to own our own lives, and continue to live for this life. The power of Satan is vested in the flesh Ė it is vested in the desire of people to control their own lives, and be their own boss. Deal with that, and bondage falls Ė even bondage that seems unrelated to this root. In short, UNBELIEF Ė which may be nothing more than holding oneself aloof from God, and NOT letting go Ė that UNBELIEF provides the safe harbor for all manner of bondage and blindness.
Thus, to the extent that I hold on to the ground of my own life as my own property Ė rather than let go to God -- that same territory provides the enemy with ground to work. The various bondages that emerge or continue are nothing more than my unbelief manifesting itself in some particular form of the flesh. But if I let go to God, the enemy has NO ground, and the bondages will fall.
Of course, what I am talking about here is not psychology or some legalistic game. I am talking about the necessity for us to unconditionally take our place at, and put our faith in, Jesus Christ crucified. At the Cross, Jesus broke all bondages. Period.
Many Christians do not believe this Truth. For example, some teach that Christians are subject to, "generational curses." They pray for people, and those people think they are helped. This is a lie. Not maybe. Not perhaps. Iím not guessing. Iím not giving an opinion. Christians are NOT subject to generational curses. That teaching is heresy and really a denial of the finished work of the Cross.
Never pray that God would set you free from some generational curse. Rather, pray that He would set you free from the unbelief that does not see, and does not believe, that in Christ, you are already set free. That is the Truth, and it is the only Truth that God has to reveal to you, and the only Truth that can set you free.
Do you notice that it is the TRUTH that sets us free? We need to see the TRUTH about what Christ has done, and then walk in it.
Do you believe that Christ died for sin ONCE for all, and that in Him, YOU are dead? You can read this in Romans 6. It is quite clear. Well, if Christ died once for all, then everything He broke through that death He broke once for all. And through His resurrection, and your resurrection IN HIM, you are born anew of a NEW generation. This is final and complete. It never needs to be done again. You cannot make it more real or true by praying, and you cannot ask God to have Christ die all over again to set you free. No. You ARE free Ė but only if you put your faith in what He has done. Pray for that.
So believe and rest in Christ and LET GO. As mentioned earlier, you will only let go to the extent that you truly believe and trust Christ. Ask God to do whatever it takes to get you there.
Letting go TO God is equal to holding on to God, and what He has done in Christ. You cannot hold to the world, or to your life, and let go at the same time. At some point, it has to be one or the other. May God bring us all to that point, and may we make the choice of faith.
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