Letting Go

One of the most difficult things in this life is letting go of something we believe we cannot do without. It could be anything – someone you love, worry, fear, unforgiveness, curiosity, temptation, anger, sadness, negative habits, to name but a few.

For it goes against our very nature. We are naturally inclined to want to take charge of everything we believe to be within our power or control. Unfortunately, the more we hold on to something we fear losing the more we relinquish our freedom, peace, and joy.

A few months back, I found myself spiraling into a bout of anxiety, worry, and depression. It was as though there was nothing I could do about it. I prayed and prayed and read my bible like never before; focusing on obeying God in every area of my life. But, the more I did so, the more I felt disconnected and abandoned. Indeed, I don’t think I had felt more separate and unloved by God for quite some time.

Whilst getting ready to go to church one Sunday morning, I suddenly changed my mind – opting to get back into bed and have a lie-in. Once back in bed, I decided to listen to one of the Joseph Prince sermons on my phone. In short, the sermon, titled ‘The Secret of Hearing’ not only opened my eyes to the importance of hearing the word of God – and I mean ‘hearing‘ not reading – but powerfully brought me back to the truth of how much God loves me. I can honestly say that words cannot in any way do justice to what I experienced whilst listening to that sermon.

As the sermon came to an end, the Holy Spirit said to me, “the reason you’ve been so down in the dumps recently is because you’ve been focusing on how much you must love me, as opposed to how much I already love you. Always focus on how much I already love you. That is the key to your joy and peace of mind”.

It was as if I had been blinded for several weeks and could now see again.

How did I feel?

Not only as though the weight of the entire world had been lifted off my shoulders, but I literally couldn’t stop smiling – for days!! The worries and anxieties completely disappeared.

You see – when you let go of your desire to earn your righteousness, and embrace the reality of God’s unconditional love for you, the problems and challenges you’re so worried about become rather insignificant.

Why?

Because recognising the creator of the universe’s love for you means you know He’s got your back.

I know we Christians love to point out, and quite correctly too, that it isn’t about how we feel but resting in the truth of who we are, but you know what?! – sometimes one needs to feel good about oneself. And there’s no greater feel good factor than that of knowing how dearly loved you are by God.

There is a very fine line between grace and the law. Sounds absurd doesn’t it, bearing in mind the two are complete opposites. But the fact of the matter is that the law has a way of roping us in, little by little, without our realising. It could be anything – ranging from telling ourselves we must pray for a particular length of time to reading a certain number of chapters of the bible every day to measuring our ‘righteous performance thermometer’ to, and this is probably the most crafty and dangerous of all, believing we must strive to maintain God’s grace and favour.

Notice something about the above four examples?

They all require our own effort.

In other words we believe them to be within our control.

“Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

Galatians 5 vs 3

The reason many of us are so miserable half the time is because we know deep down we are not capable of pleasing God and earning our righteousness and His love. Indeed, as we try to earn God’s love via our works, not only does our inability to do so become blatantly obvious, but we develop a quasi-sadistic tendency to focus on our many failings.

The result?

Anxiety, frustration, resentment, stress, depression, and all manner of mental and physical illnesses.

Why does it work like this?

Because the slightest move in the direction of the law leads to a requirement of having to obey the ‘whole’ (law). It is not only a biblical reality but a natural occurrence.

You are either in or out.

My message for you this morning is a radical one. Indeed, when I received it a few weeks ago, I was sure it was the devil trying to trick me into careering down a path of disobedience and sin. So, be warned, this message will either make you feel extremely uncomfortable, or it may incite raucous laughter as a result of the seemingly ludicrous nature of it.

“Jesus loves you, and he has already done everything for you, so you can do whatever you want.”

Sounds rather absurd doesn’t it?!!

For it seems I’ve finally gone too far – telling people they can do whatever they want. But here’s the powerful truth I’m slowly starting to learn – grace is far more powerful than the law. And Grace is Jesus – the one who has already done absolutely everything for you. When we recognise this reality, we are set free from the anxieties, worries, and sin conscious mindsets that accompany a focus on the law.

Every morning, as soon as you wake up, make this declaration;

“I believe in Jesus. He has already done everything for me, and I can do whatever I want.”

The amazing thing is… actually forget that, just trust me and try it. You’ll be amazed by the power of your freedom in God’s love.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Galatians 5 vs 6

The faith you need to walk in on a daily basis isn’t one of obedience, but one of the knowledge of how much God loves you as his very own and dearest child.

Jesus has already done everything necessary to guarantee your freedom

Jesus has already secured your place in heaven

He has guaranteed the forgiveness of all your sins

His blood has obtained God’s unconditional and never-ending love for you

And He has forever secured your eternal righteousness

There’s nothing more for you to do but simply believe.

Let’s say it again.

“I believe in Jesus. He has already done everything for me, and I can do whatever I want.”

Why?

Because grace is far more powerful than the law.

Why?

Because grace is Jesus.

 

 

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