"Let God and Let God?"
The saying is quite popular. In fact, it’s been the go-to penicillin for many an aching soul. But is the meaning of this phrase really good Christian theology?
In one sense, the sentiment of “let go and let God” is admirable:
* “Don’t worry so much about stuff and let God take care of it.”
* “You can’t control a lot of life. Leave it in God’s hands.”
* “Learn to forgive. Move on with your life.”
In this sense, who wouldn’t want to “let go and let God”? If God is who He says He is in the Bible, then we’re leaving our circumstances to God’s determinations for our lives (or so the thinking goes) and we don’t have to do much. But that’s not what the Bible teaches.
Often we think “letting go” means to stop caring about something. But rarely does that work. In order to let go of something, we’ve got to grip something else. I’ll admit that this is where Christianity parts ways with much of the thinking in our culture. Being a Christian positions us to grip God’s promises and provisions in our problems. We don’t just stop caring less or choose to stop worrying. We turn our attention to holding on to something else.
We’re in a series at NorthCreek right now called, “Uncommon Joy”. But having an uncommon joy in difficult circumstances without a source or reason for the joy is like saying, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
There’s got to be a source of the joy.
The Sunday school answer of “Jesus” isn’t specific enough. In fact, Paul tells us in Philippians that his greatest joy is seeing the gospel advance because of his circumstances. Paul loves the good news about Jesus (aka “the gospel”). He treasures it. He lives for it. He values it beyond his own life. When he was in prison, he took the opportunity to share the gospel with prison guards and fellow prisoners. Seeing the gospel advance in all situations was the source of Paul’s joy. His life is an open book proving this time and time again. He let of of the world definition of meaning, fulfillment, and happiness and gripped God's plans and promises for his life.
So, letting go means that we grip something. Here are a few things you can hold on to as you let go of the right things:
1) You can let go of the goal of self-preservation and grip partnering with God to advance the gospel (Phil 1:12, 18). Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t do anything. It means being actively engaged in sharing our faith, telling our life story, and showing love and compassion for all people regularly in all circumstances. It's risky, but worth it.
2) You can let go of the worry for the things you can’t control and grip the peace God brings because of the cross of Jesus (Phil 4:7). Jesus died so that we can live, and live abundantly. But we still need to be connected to Jesus the vine. When we understand that Jesus brings peace that passes all understanding, then we can actively pursue changing something about us or our circumstances with God’s strength to please Him. Know the difference between what you can control and what you cannot.
3) You can let go of the idea that you need to prove that you’re a good person and grip God’s finished work on the cross for your approval. As a follower of Jesus, He’s already saved you, redeemed you, and reconciled Himself to you. His work is finished. But, you’re not. Day by day he wants to change us. Grip God’s intent for your life. Hold on to God, not to people. They’ll always disappoint. So, don’t set them up for failure by making them out to be your source of joy.
Letting go means we grip something. Grip God and his purposes for your life today.
NorthCreek Church exists to help people take their right next step toward becoming the person God wants them to be. We meet on Sunday mornings at 10:00AM at the Woodinville Movie Theaters. If you don’t have a church to call home, we’d love to have you join us.