Sunday, October 30, 2011

Letting Go of Letting Go

II have trouble letting go of things. Fo real. Like if someone does me dirty, I hold on to my resentment against that person for as long as I can. And it usually gets worse over time.

However, let's look at the flip side: for the stuff that I really should be holding onto, I always forget about. Whether it's

Remembering to take the bread out of the oven


Remembering that thing I studied the night before the test


Remembering someone's birthday.

But I would say that there's one thing that's more important than all of these:

Remembering the things that you need to bring before the Lord.

Cue scenario #1:
Your friend comes up to you and tells you that her grandma, who she was very close to, just recently passed away. You have a long conversation, and offer your best encouragement. At the end of the conversation, you say, "I'll pray for you."

Oh, really?

How many of us actually follow through with that seemingly simple promise? It seems to have become the plague of Christian conversation. While the world has its own stuff like, "It's straight, bro, " or "I got your back," the best we have to offer is an, "I'll pray for you." Which, if we're honest with ourselves, is usually a lie.

Cue scenario #2:
Your at church and the pastor gives a message about your favorite subject: giving money. (Note the sarcasm.) But, by the end of it, you feel convicted over the fact that you need to be giving more money. So you get home, pray about it, and feel like you need to continue to ask God to make your heart more willing to give. But, as time goes on and your prayer life continues, you gradually just forget about it.

One of the wisest things I have ever heard was something I caught while listening to John Piper, and it goes something like this:

One of the easiest ways for Satan to win is to get you to forget about the important stuff.

Jacob, one of the founding fathers of Israel, knew exactly what it meant to not let go. In the famous passage of Genesis 32, Jacob wrestles with God himself, in order that He might give him blessing. Here is a short piece of the account:
"And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, 'Let me go, for the day has broken.' But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'" 
 Now, the story, to me, seems very surreal. It sounds like Jacob is physically wrestling with the God of the universe. And maybe I'm wrong on that part, but listen to this:

God didn't get ticked off with Jacob for not letting go.

What does He do?
"And there he blessed him."
Doesn't that seem crazy to you?! God, instead of just pushing him off to the side for being annoying, gives him what he asks for.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that God will give you everything you ask for. But I am saying that He will either do that, or change your desires. 

Luke 18 gives another perfect example of this exact same persistence when telling the Parable of the Persistent Widow. (Luke18: 1-8) All throughout the Scriptures, it is seen that our attitude in asking God for help should be doggedly determined and insistent.

In other words? Give heaven no rest.

Because the point is that He is a generous Father who wants to help us. (This is a huge point. For more on it, check out this sermon. It's one of the best I've ever listened to: Surprised by God's Willingness.)

So my question is this:

What do you need to not let go of with God?


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