There’s always that one person that says “let go and let God” right when you are in the middle of a hyper-stressful situation of your life….when you’re trying to do whatever you can to resolve something that seems on the edge of disaster.
But, “let go and let God” sounds a bit too passive for us Americans.
My friend Blake said recently that “culture constantly communicates and reinforces the idea that we must be the hero and that failure is not an option.”
Letting go just doesn’t jive with real life, right?
Aren’t I supposed to do something in the midst of my trouble – take some action?
- Am I just supposed to just sit back and watch God magically do all my work for me?
- Do we even need to make plans to pursue business or will God just bring customers to us?
- Do I just say nothing to my son and watch him wander into drugs?
That doesn’t sound terribly responsible.
So what am I supposed to let go of and let God do, if not my activities?
I think the answer has to do with our hearts.
My actions are nearly always tied to desires – and our heart is the seat of our desires.
- I work super hard so I can provide well for my family like my neighbor does.
- I am trying to knock some sense into my child about drugs, so they won’t end up in trouble, like the Jones kids.
- I’m aggressively directing my team at work, so we win the contact, not the competitor.
The parts in bold are the expectations, hopes, dreams and desires I hold for my family, work and friends. They are the outcomes I want and ‘need’ to happen. And yes, they seem to be noble and good goals.
But the reality is:
- I’m not the provider for my family. God is. I do my small part each day but He is the one that causes things to go my way. He puts people in my path to guide me to the outcome He desires.
- I am not the protector for my family. I play a role, sure, but it is God that watches out for them and cares for them, much more deeply than I do. They are His children before they are mine. The outcome of their lives is in His hands.
- I am not capable of ensuring success for my team at work. I do my part, but the outcome of winning the contract is simply not mine.
I have to trust God with the outcomes.
I do my part as He guides and nudges me, but the results are up to Him. So, “let go and let God” is more about confessing that the end results are His, that our teams and family are really His (not mine) and that He is our provider, not us.
We only steward what is entrusted to us for a short while. We are like renters keeping an apartment nice – God owns the apartment.
We want to control outcomes because our flesh loves control, planning and “5 steps to success”. We don’t naturally, in our self-life, want to trust God with outcomes.
But we all know, the stress of having to micro-manage behavior, micro-manage activities, micro-manage ideas, emotions, circumstances, etc is tiring and not life giving at all.
When we surrender our perceived control and trust Him for His plans, outcomes, and end goals, we can live peaceful, confident, joyful lives.
Will you choose to trust Him with the outcome of whatever big struggle or pain you are experiencing now?
Lord, help me to come to understand that You own it all, not me. You care about my family, work and friend outcomes far more that I do. Help me to do my small part in obedience to You but help me leave the results to You….to trust you so much that no uncertainty gives me worry. Remind me of Your love for me and my family and help me grow in my trust of You alone. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (Amp)