Holding On

What in this world do you hold on to?

Dreams?

Memories?

Relationships?

Maybe the things you hold on don’t seem that big. Things like

Time.

Money.

Opinions.

We all have a tendency to hold on to something. It can often be hard to let go of

Your image.

Your schedule.

Your broken heart.

 

The question is, what do you do when God asks you to let go of the very thing(s) you are holding on to?  

 

Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.

 

    To live life as a Christian is to live life denying yourself. This does not mean we don’t hold on to things, it simply means we must make the conscious decision to let those things go. We should strive to be a living sacrifice, and give those things to God.

 

   People. I have a tendency to hold on to people. I can’t help it, I love them, but I love them to a fault. I wrote in my last post, Sometimes Jesus is a Ginger, that I struggle with loneliness. I often look to people as being my source of healing and freedom. Without even realizing it I begin to live life as if finding a good friend will cure my loneliness. Relationship becomes my answer. This turns into a problem because there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. No human can satisfy every desire in my heart.

 

   If I allow this flawed mindset to settle in my heart, I begin focusing my attention in all of the wrong places. It becomes my goal to find that perfect friendship. It puts a tension on any existing relationships that fall short of my expectations. Before I know it that “innocent” thing I’ve been holding on to controls nearly every area of my life in some way.

 

Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

 

   Your heart is a spring of life. Those things we hold on to, those things we store up in our heart, they are what we get our life from. When we hold on to things we are really looking to them as a source; we are expecting to get something from them. Gratification, approval, comfort, encouragement, energy, passion, pleasure, purpose…

 

   What you hold on to says a lot about what you want in life. Those areas where you feel unsatisfied or lacking reveal an area that you have not allowed God to fill. God is more than ready to step in, but you need to let go of one thing before you can grab hold of another. Why is it that we have such a difficult time letting go? If God is there to catch us, shouldn’t letting go be easy to do? Shouldn’t we realize that we will gain so much more when we do?

 

   I think we have such a hard time letting go because we know that God isn’t going to fill that hole in  the same way as whatever it is that we are holding onto. Surrendering to God’s way isn’t going to feel the same and to be honest, it may not even feel as good. We have such a hard time letting go because we aren’t ready to give up on ourselves.

 

   In order for an artist to make a broken canvas beautiful, He must cover up the canvas and make it something new. It is still the same canvas, but it is no longer recognized by its original traits. Now the canvas has been stamped by the artist’s personal touch and completely identifies itself with the artist. (For example: isn’t that a beautiful Monet?!)

 

   So what is it in this world that you are holding on to?

 

   Have you let go of the things that you want?

 

   Do you really want to be free?

   Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is loosen your grip. Not because the action in and of itself is physically strenuous. It’s more like getting a tooth pulled, once you’ve let go (pulled the tooth) there is a noticeable gap in its place that you are consistently reminded of. It is hard to believe, but there is freedom in letting go. It is important to remember that the empty space that lingers is proof we have lightened our load.

 

   I struggle to remember this. There are days I argue with God because all I want to do is pick up that very thing I have already given to Him. I wish there was a way to let go and just forget, but I don’t think it’s that simple. One thing I have found to be true: the need I feel to pick something back up reminds me of how desperately I need Christ.

 

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Letting go is not beneficial if your eyes are still glued to the very thing you let go of. The key to successfully letting go is to consistently and intentionally fix your eyes on Christ. It may not make it seem any easier, but I can assure you that all things are possible through Him and letting go is definitely worth it!

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