In the last few months the Lord has been dealing with me about letting some things go in my personal life. He has also been ministering to me about how as believers we hold on to certain things naturally and spiritually that He wants us to release. Sometimes the cycles we go through emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically are due to the fact that we won’t release things. These things can be emotions, past disappointments, relationships, ungodly habits, and so much more. Often times we can’t move forward in an area or God can’t do certain things in our lives because we are still holding on to these old dead things. I ministered this same topic at a recent women’s meeting at my church and felt led to blog about it as well.
In 1 Samuel 15, the Prophet Samuel instructed King Saul to destroy Amalek and everything they had, he was instructed to “utterly destroy” everything and to spare nothing. But as we read further, King Saul took pleasure in some of the things that God told him to destroy; he was unwilling to destroy everything (vs.7-9). Are there some things in your life that God has told you to let go of but you’re unwilling to let them go because you find pleasure in them? Do you find pleasure in things that displease God? When we come to Christ we go through a lifelong process of God revealing things in our hearts and lives that He wants us to let go of or “destroy.” But sometimes, like King Saul, we kill some things while keeping alive the things that still benefit us. Remember, King Saul didn’t kill “Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good” (vs.9) because they benefited him, he thought it was much better to keep those things live. It wasn’t just because the people persuaded him to keep those things alive, he himself found pleasure in those things.
So maybe God has been dealing with you about gossip, lust, your bad attitude, anger, an ungodly relationship, backbiting, your defense mechanisms, masturbation, etc. but you’re unwilling to let them go. Maybe God has been telling you to let these things go for a while now but you haven’t because you still find pleasure in them. Or maybe God has been telling you to let go of your life and the plans you’ve created, or your distorted/worldly view of yourself? God has told you to fight against these things until they are consumed but instead you pretend like you are fighting against them all the whole keeping them alive because they bring you pleasure. What are you still holding on to that God has instructed you to let go of? It’s time to really let it go. And sometimes we let go of these things but when we’re tempted or need to be comforted, instead of running to God for help, we run back and pick up what God told us to destroy. It’s time to utterly destroy it and never pick it back up again.
God can’t use you when you refuse and are unwilling to let these things go. Further on in 1 Samuel 15, the kingship was stripped from King Saul and his entire line because of his blatant disobedience (vs.22, 27-28). When we continue to be disobedient we hinder the plans and purposes that God has for our lives, we stunt our own spiritual growth, and we can even prevent certain things that God wants to release to us from being released. God can’t trust those who live in habitual disobedience. And verse 22-23 lets us know that disobedience is witchcraft. Sometimes we say things like “I’m in a struggle,” but there is big difference between being in a struggle and giving in to something. If you’re in a struggle you are in a fight with something, but if you’ve laid down and given in, you’re no longer in a struggle, you are now entertaining that thing. When you entertain sin, it will eventually become master over you. If you read on into chapter 16, because of King Saul’s disobedience to God’s instructions, a distressing spirit came upon him. Continues disobedience invites unclean spirits into our lives. Let go of whatever it is that God has instructed you to let go of. If He told you to let it go, then He already has all the tools you will need. It cannot be done in your power, you must completely rely on Him to do it.
Sometimes what we are struggling to let go of isn’t necessarily a sin or old habit, sometimes it may be a longing or mourning over a past situation, a disappointment, hurt from a relationship or feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. A few years ago I got laid off from a job because of budget cuts. It was a good paying job and the layoff happened about a month and a half after my husband and I got married. It came at such an inconvenient time; we were planning to do so many things at the time but because of the layoff, our plans were pretty much halted. I was so sad over the situation and was feeling really down about it for a while. After days and weeks of feeling sad over the situation, God took me to 2 Samuel 16. In verse 1 the Prophet Samuel was mourning over the disappointment of King Saul’s disobedience in chapter 15, we don’t know how long he mourned but we know that he was in a state of mourning for some time. Eventually God tells him to stop mourning and to move on! God was up to something new and He wanted Prophet Samuel to seek Him concerning the new thing He was about to do. As I began to read that verse at the time, God immediately began to speak to me about my old job, He told me it was time to stop mourning over it and to seek Him concerning what He wanted me to do next!
At times, we are so stuck on the hurt, regret, disappointment, etc. of old situations that we are unable to receive new instructions from God concerning the new thing He wants to do. Usually God will give us time to mourn over these things, but there comes a time where He says “let it go and move on.” Had the Prophet Samuel continued to mourn over Saul, he could have missed or delayed what God wanted to do concerning David. What have you been mourning (grieving) over or longing for that God has told you to let go of? Maybe it’s certain dreams and goals that you had for your life but God told you were not in His will for you, or emotional wounds and scars; maybe it’s unforgiveness from a past hurt, or a past failure/failed attempt, or the shame of a past mistake, or maybe things and people you had to leave behind to follow Christ. Sometimes we don’t realize that in our minds we replay these situations and still “mourn” over them in our hearts. This hinders us from truly moving on.
When I came to a certain stage of surrender in my walk with God, He began to reveal to me that the career path and plans I had chosen for my life were not His will for me. I had to go through 2 stages of letting it go: the first was actually accepting that it wasn’t God’s plan for me and dropping those things entirely, the second was letting go of the grief of having to let go. I know it may sound strange, but after some time I realized that I was still sad, mourning, over having to let go of my plans. I was mostly still sad because I didn’t yet know what God’s will was for me and I was afraid of what complete surrender to His will for me would look like. I was still mourning over the loss of my old plans. Most of it was fear – fear of what God had planned and fear with the fact that getting there would not be as clear cut as the career path I had chosen for myself in the past. I took me a while to stop grieving over that past thing, but when I finally chose to surrender that area of my life, God began to reveal, little by little, His plans for me. My heart wasn’t in position to receive the new until I let go of the old.
While the Prophet Saul was busy mourning, God already had plans for the new thing He wanted to establish. Don’t miss out on the new things that God wants to do in your life because you’re still mourning over the old. The old thing can even be something like fear or an insecurity. Even with things like that, there comes a time where God says, it’s time to let go of fear or to let go of the insecurities you’ve carried all your life. These things hinder us from moving forward in God. It’s impossible to do and be all that God has called you to do and to be when fear and insecurity is constantly holding you down. Your issue may even be self-doubt, God has given you tools and truths in the word for you to use to combat the negative thinking. There comes a point where you have to get tired of letting the enemy mess with your mind, use the weapons God has given you, cast the thoughts down, and move on. The new thing that God wants to do in you may be something as simple as giving you new joy. Constantly replaying those old things in your mind prevents you from walking in the joy which in turn affects other areas of your life. Don’t miss what God wants to do in your life now, LET IT ALL GO. There was a whole nation of people waiting on the Prophet Saul to receive new instructions from God and there are people waiting for you to walk in what God has for you NOW. Focus on what God is doing with you NOW and let go of the past.
Romans 12:1-2 is a passage that God has been having me to read and meditate on for several weeks now and it is so fitting for this particular topic. The whole Christian walk is about letting go of our ways, our thinking, our plans, and our will to pick up Christ’s. This passage is a reminder that whatever God asks us to sacrifice (or let go of) is our offering and He requires that we lay down our entire life and pick up His will for us. There is no way to determine God’s will for us unless we make ourselves a sacrifice. Our hearts must always be ready, as His sons and daughters, to let go. Our hearts must always be in a posture that says, “God whatever You ask me to let go of, I am ready to let it go for You because You are worthy of it.” And it is in the process of letting go that God will begin to reveal His will for you in whatever season you are in. God has to know that He can trust you to let it ALL go. This is discipleship – letting go of everything to follow after Him and being willing to drop everything for His name sake. So whether you are in a season where God is giving you certain instructions for your life and asking you to let go of some people, places or things, or you are in a place where God is revealing hidden sin that you haven’t released to Him, or you’ve realized you are still mourning over old situations or negative thinking, I encourage you to ask God to give you the courage to release it and the strength to not pick it back up. He will replace whatever you give up with something so much better, He is not a God who just takes, He is a God who replaces what He took with something much greater.
If this is an area you are struggling with right now, I encourage you to go back and read the scriptures mentioned, ask God to show you more in the word, and sincerely begin to let go of whatever it is you need to let go of. Below is a song about letting go that has encouraged me a lot in my process. I pray that God continues to give us all the strength to let go so we can walk in His will for us. ❤