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Letting Go and Letting God
Stats: 3,928 words / Reading Time: 19.64 mins

Published: Wednesday, 8th September 2021

By: Benedicta Apeh

Letting Go and Letting God is read 273 times on CentreNDL.org 273
  

LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD

How to be Victorious Through Life’s Journey

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

I am going to put a disclaimer to this title, Letting Go and Letting God because I have heard people say many things, and I am sure many of us have also heard it too. Many people say, ‘take no thoughts of tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself, sufficient to day is the trouble thereof’ the bible says so and they buttress it with many other scriptures. ‘We live by faith, not by sight.’  And these people become careless, thoughtless, without self-control. And say they are enjoying life, relaxing, taking no thoughts, letting God take control. They spend unwisely, they don’t plan and all that. All in the name of letting God have his way. They say, ‘I have given God my burdens.’ ‘Hakuna Matata! meaning no worries.’ That’s the mistake many people make and misinterpret the word of God.

Sometime back, I was boarding a vehicle to somewhere on a very hot afternoon and I was already seated in a car in a park where different taxis were parked. Different drivers were calling out to passengers but there was this particular driver standing close to his vehicle. He had some passengers already seated inside but his taxi wasn’t yet full so he could move. And soon, I could hear them complaining and coming down from the vehicle one after the other. Someone told him to call out to passengers that didn’t he see his passengers leaving? Do you know what he said? He said, “My passengers are my passengers, God will bring my own to me. If they are mine, they are mine! No one can take them from me. The passengers that leave are not mine. God will bring my own.”

I didn’t know what to think at that point, he spoke like a Christian that had faith but what has speaking in faith got to do with making effort to do what you know is right. I don’t know the prayer he might have prayed in the morning before he came out to do this business, maybe “God bring my passengers, have your way, I let go”. That driver might continually speak in faith and go back home with little or no money of his work done that day why? He didn’t do what he was supposed to do, he didn’t make effort. The bible says,  Faith without works is dead.

But that is not what this teaching is about, when we say letting go, it is not a license to complacency, laziness and procrastination. As we know our God is a perfect God, a God of order and planning. Please let’s note that.

Now we know that a yoke is something that we could say casts a restraint on whoever or whatever it is put on. And we might want to wonder why in that passage we read in Matthew 11 that Jesus said, take my yoke upon you, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Why did he say, I will give you rest at first and then, take my yoke again? Heavy laden means you have something that is heavily weighing you down already, am I right?

We might want to ask, there is something I have been carrying which is overwhelming, right?  So why should I come and carry another yoke again? Shouldn’t I just relax and sleep, and let God handle all my problems but Jesus is saying, take my yoke upon you, my yoke is easy and burden light. So we know, there is still a responsibility in letting go.  There is a part you must play. I come to you lord for rest is not a call to laziness, it’s a call to partnering with God. That rest is not to lie on your bed all day doing nothing, that’s not what Jesus is saying.

If I want to lift something very heavy on my own and move it over there, it might take me a very long time but with another person partnering with me, joining me to carry out that task, it will be much easier. Better still, if I call out to a much stronger person than I for help, I will practically be carrying nothing. Did I join the stronger person to carry the load? Yes! But did I feel the weight, no! That’s just a simple example of what the bible is trying to say here. You won’t feel the weight

I remember sometime back when I was in secondary school; a boarding school, an experience with a friend of mine, very much bigger than I was. We had the same type of box, I had the bigger version and she had the smaller one. In cases when we have to walk together and needed to carry our boxes from one place to another with contents in the box, she will usually say, carry mine, let me carry your box because with the way I am seeing you, you will struggle till we reach our destination. We can liken this to what Jesus is saying to us. Did I carry a box? yes! But my friend was saying, my yoke, my box is easy, take it. Did I get to my destination successfully, yes! Did my own box get there? yes and safely too. Jesus is saying, let me support you, if only you can come and you need to let go of what you are carrying to what I want you to carry.

For many people, they feel coming to Jesus means losing your identity, being relegated to the background, becoming frustrated but no! we in the kingdom know that it is not so. Men are made in the kingdom. Men are lifted in the kingdom. God does not use people. Jesus said I will give you rest. You need it that’s why you must come. That’s the first responsibility. So, even though many people know they need this rest for their souls, they don’t want the responsibility, they don’t want the restraint that Christ’s yoke will bring. They feel like it will relegate them to the background, it will halt the achievement of their lives, goals and ambitions. It will keep them from enjoying life so they prefer the yoke the enemy has put on them, leading to eternal damnation.  They prefer a yoke that has been sugar coated that only offers enjoyment with a life span but we in the body of Christ, that have truly given our lives to Christ, know that in Christ is true liberty and enjoyment. A peace that passes all understanding.

Let’s go to Galatians 5: 22, The bible says. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Against such there is no law, what does this mean? Even in the worldliness of this world, who does not like love, peace? Think about this, which person will not be endeared or love to stay around a person that is tolerant, faithful, gentle, patient, kind? Even as an unbeliever or atheist. No law can condemn anyone with this virtues and fruits. Even the world acknowledges this. Which right thinking person has ever enjoyed violence, war, strife? That’s the one of the yoke packages that comes with Jesus. Is this not showing us that the word of God still takes preeminence over what the world wants? The word of God still rules and prevails irrespective of the circumstance or individual beliefs.

So, today’s study is an invitation once again to come and for us to understand why we must come, this invitation is no respecter of persons, It’s for every individual. Especially to us as believers because we belong to the kingdom and the word of God should guide us. We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. This invitation to let go is for everyone, whether a new convert, those that have been in the faith for a very long time, ministers, church workers, everyone. Why because, everyone has different challenges, at different degrees. In fact, upliftment come with a whole new set of challenges. It often sometimes seem that the more you pray for the blessings of God, the more troubles seem to be coming.  I have heard people say, ‘new levels, new devils to fight.’  The enemy will not let you rest, so we need to come, we need to let go.

WHY MUST WE ACCEPT THIS INVITATION, WHY MUST WE COME

We need rest for our souls. We cannot cope in this world alone, let’s not even try because more and more overwhelming it will become. Now, the year is running out, for many of us, we had big dreams and visions for the new year and well, fortunately for some, we have been able to accomplish a little. For some, it seems like we are making slow progress. For others, everything seems to have been failing. And yet for others that might have been having a good year, setting goals and accomplishing them, it still seems like there is still more left to do.  We have a list, make plans and when it seems like we are gaining a little balance, something else just springs up and throws us off balance.

 These scenarios do not just happen to unbelievers but believers also. As believers, we are even expected to walk in dominion, set the pace and everything should go smoothly? But most times, everything seems overwhelming. That is why we should come. So, this is not a time to work things out by ourselves, this is a time to let God have his way completely.

The funny thing is that most times, we feel we have actually let go, we feel God is backing me up but every time, we must stop to check and see, if we have gone off track, if we are not carrying the yokes we have put on ourselves instead of coming to Jesus. If our plans have not become selfish but we are truly planning with Jesus.

It is easy to read that passage that says be anxious for nothing. In fact, it is easy to preach it to people and say take no thoughts for tomorrow but you and I know that when real life storms and situations and fears set in, it is going to take more than mere head knowledge or words or even encouragement or speaking cliché or trying to sound like someone that has faith.

If we are going to quote that scripture, be anxious for nothing or say, God is in control, and truly live victorious lives, it is because we have an understanding of what the word of God is saying, not just to live careless and unaccountable lives. Or let people know that I sound like a Christian but because we have taken the responsibility and accepted the invitation to come.  We must truly come. It is an experience no one can have for you. It’s a responsibility no one can take for you. It is deliberate. Your life depends on it.

 WHAT DOES IT THEN MEAN TO LET GO?

It is simple. Letting go and Letting God means you are going to “move beyond trusting God.” I know many of us have faith, we trust God, we really trust God. But God is saying, you need to take a step further. I know you trust me but there is a letting go point you must get to. That’s the point beyond trust.

When we trust, we say, God, I know you can do this thing. When we let go, we are saying, I know God will do this thing. Those are two different points, two different convictions. Two different affirmations. God can take care of me and God will take care of me. So, move beyond trust! That’s what Jesus is calling out to us to do. That’s why he said, you will find rest for your souls, you will. It’s a guarantee. It is sure, your rest is sure but you need to let go first and let me, that’s your responsibility.

Funny enough, most times, we feel like we are letting go for God to have his way but instead when we truly check it, we are roping God into the options or choices we have made for ourselves and saying this is what I want, this is the burden I want carry, this is the yoke I want, this is the way I want it to go. Yet we come out and testify that God is in control. And Jesus is saying, I don’t know you at all. But this is not the intention of God for us because we are going get tired, we will get weary, we will be worn out. We most times seem to have it all planned out, some even have option B but letting go means my plan is God’s plan. We need to throw your hands in the air like Jesus and say, I wish this cup can pass over me but not my will but yours be done.

WHO IS THIS THAT SAYS COME? WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO OFFER? WHY SHOULD I BANK MY LIFE ON HIM?

  • You are letting go to the one that is intentional about you

In Matthew 10:30-32, He says…..But the very hairs of your head are all numbered

The very hairs on your head are numbered. That’s how detailed about you he is. I can be your best friend, I can love you and do anything and maybe everything for you, know everything about you but I can never love you enough to count the hairs on your head. So, this is a friend that sticks closer than a brother saying; come. He is closer than your breath. He is intentional about you. You need to trust this not because someone said so but because it’s in scriptures

  • You are letting go to the one whose words will never fall to the ground

Isaiah 55: 11

 So shall my word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

As much as I don’t want to fail you, I am human, I might. I might tell you something and circumstances beyond my control can come into play and I don’t meet up at the time I said I would. As much as I want you to trust me, I cannot advise you to surrender your life to my hands because I cannot handle it. I cannot help you like you might want me to so why not give it to a God that is no man. He is not a man that he would lie, nor the son of man that he would repent.

Psalm 138 verse 2…. For you have magnified your word above all your name.

His word to you is more important than his name. And His name is not just any name, His name works wonders, His name is his person, His name depicts his character yet His name becomes secondary to his word when it comes to your matter. That’s how much He wants you to come and find rest. He can relegate His name to the background so that his word to you can come to pass.

  • You are letting go to a God that can exchange lives for you if he needs to

Isaiah 43:4

Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honoured, and I have loved you. Therefore, I will give men for you, And people for your life.

Did we see it play out for the children of Israel in Exodus? God needed to kill the firstborns of the Egyptians to set his people free. He drowned more people too that still chased after them. That’s the character of the God you are letting go to so he can take over. For Joseph, God needed to shut down the world in famine to elevate him, he can do much more for you. He can preserve your destiny, life assignment, give you an expected end, and he won’t mind turning and scattering things to do it because he loves you. God loves us, let’s never doubt it

  • You are letting go to a God that continually thinks about you and has good intentions for you. He has plans for you.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

  • You are letting go to a God that understands your infirmities. He feels what you feel personally

Heb 4: 12 -13

For we do not have a high Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus understands, that’s why he can say come, you need rest, that only me can give. I have seen the ways of men, it is turbulent, you need rest.

*What we have seen is the character of the God that you should let go to. He loves you, He is detailed about you, He can give lives for you, He continually thinks about you. Will anxiety try to set in at many points of our lives? Of course. Will we sometimes catch ourselves almost doubting the word of God that he has spoken to us when it seems there is a delay in its manifestation, why not? But this is a message we must keep dear to our hearts, that Jesus says come, my yoke is easy and my burden light. If you have come before, you should come again. We must come daily to find rest for our souls. In need of salvation, come. In need of strength, come. In fear or doubt, come.  Feeling tired and overwhelmed, let go and let God. Come and receive rest. Even in your service to God, if you will not break down or become weary, you need to come.

HOW DO I LET GO?

-Believe in the intentionality of God concerning you

-Experiencing God for yourself through his word

-Stay with God; continually acknowledge his ways and acts that you have seen. Hold fast to the words he has spoken to you. Never lose faith

-Lastly, move beyond trust. God can and God will.

I will conclude with this passage in Psalm 127: 1-2: Unless the lord builds a house, They labour in vain who build it. Unless the lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he gives his beloved sleep. You cannot do anything on your own, you will be worn out. You need to let go and let God.

Halleluyah!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Benedicta Apeh!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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I am a student of Christ, one who loves to see people understand and take their place in Christ, ultimately fulfilling their life's purpose and assignment.  I am therefore on an assignment to encourage, nurture and impact lives through teaching, mentoring and writing.


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