He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them…. (Mark 6:5).
Have you ever tried to stay somewhere too long when God just wasn’t working there? I have. Have you ever thought that one more good idea could surely make this thing happen? Yep, that’s been me too. Better yet, have you ever overstayed your welcome? Yeah, I’ve done that as well.
I get it, it’s hard to let go, especially if we’ve poured much of our lives into something. Yet, there are times and seasons for everything under Heaven. Which means there are also times of letting go, moving on and trusting God with the results. At least for me, some of my most meaningful moments in ministry were not when things were great, but when I have to make the hard decision to step away, get off the bus and start moving a different direction.
Sometimes I think God allows for this in our lives because He wants us to practice discernment, He wants us to learn how to let go. Walking forward with God is not about having every answer at every moment. It’s really about learning how to let go and walk forward with empty hands ready to receive from God when He’s willing to gift us with something new.
I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t really like walking forward with empty hands. I like having a plan in place, something to show for myself and results that others can be proud of. Yet, I have learned over these recent months that the best me is not a full me with great ideas and outstanding plans, but an empty one. An empty vessel ready to be filled by God, but not one who comes already with her hands full and her ideas locked in for the future.
There’s something I’m learning about patience, endurance, and trust that was never part of my life before. It’s better here. I don’t feel so much pressure to perform. Instead I feel a deep sense that life in Christ is not about doing, but instead, it’s about becoming someone new in the fullness of grace. The only way we can get to this point is to be rid of ourselves. To empty our own lives of our self-sufficiency, goals, and plans. When I get to that point, I’m in a good place because now I can hear from my maker and trust in His unfailing love.
So, that ministry you’re leading, dating relationship you’re in, the job you’ve got, I know you love it, but be willing to let it go if God’s asks you too. God cares more about our need for transformation than He does about our great ministry plans and strategies. If that ministry is holding you back from growing in Christ, don’t be surprised if God asks you to give it up. I know, because I walked that and trust me, He is worthy and will grow your heart as you let go. My greatest grip should never be on the things I own, but instead, on the grace of God.
Yes, as I hold on tightly to that I can live secure knowing that my performance doesn’t define me, but grace does. When I get to that point I don’t need the relationship, the ministry or the place in this world that looks really good to other people.
Lord, I never want to hold on so tightly to something that it becomes my god. I want to walk in your freedom and in your fullness. I want to live with empty hands knowing that you can fill them by your mercy. I praise you that you ask me to give things up because it is for my good. I want to live with great faith so that you can do mighty things in and through me. I surrender all of myself to you and ask for your wisdom, in Jesus name, Amen.