Monday, March 14, 2011

Letting Go

It’s been too long since the last devotion, and I have sincerely missed connecting with you. The new year has brought many changes, but through it all, the Lord has remained faithful. I pray that you are blessed in some way by the devotion today, and please drop me a line when you can.

Most of you have probably heard the story about the dog whose leash was tied onto a stake for a very long time—possibly months or maybe even years. Well, when the owner finally removes the leash from the stake and frees the dog, he refuses to go out any further than the distance that he was accustomed to being able to go with the leash. The dog just can’t seem to realize that he is free from the leash once attached to the stake. He had been bound so long that he didn’t recognize his freedom.

I think many of us fall victim to this. We can become negatively conditioned and confined by our own choices and we don’t recognize the freedom and liberty we have in Christ. We have done the same thing, thought the same way, and said the same things for so long that we don’t see God’s vision, plan, and purpose for our lives. In fear, we cling to the things that are comfortable and familiar to us, whether they’re ultimately going to be good for ourselves or not. Ultimately, we box ourselves in by our own choices and limit what God can do for us and through us by refusing to let go.

First of all, let me say that letting go can be difficult. Whether it’s letting go of negative thinking or speech, unhealthy relationships, bad habits and/or addictions, our natural man is going to protest letting go. However, there are no exceptions. We must let go of anything that separates us from relationship with Him, and sin is the thing that causes separation between us and God.

Many of us can quote Romans 3:23, which says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This verse isn’t, however, justification for us to sin. Because we sin, we need justification that we have free access to only through our faith in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us (Romans 5:1). Now, once we are believers, we are justified by faith, fully covered by His grace. As a result, we don’t let sin reign in [our] mortal bodies.” We are just and justified through our faith in Him, so again, we don’t allow sin to have control over us. In other words, we must let go of sin. The evidence that we trust Him is clearly shown by our choices, lifestyle, and speech.

We have the power through His death, burial, and resurrection to triumph over sin. We do have the power to let go of anything that would hinder the Lord from using us to the fullest. Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Verse 8 from this same chapter says that “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Regardless of what the world says, we cannot straddle the fence. We have to make the choice to eliminate sin from our lives, no exceptions, no excuses and no delays.

When we don’t recognize that we have to let go of sin, we are actually operating just like that dog on the leash that doesn’t recognize his freedom. Jesus has paid the penalty for sin for us, and when we sin, we are refusing to accept the gift of freedom from sin that He has given us access to by remaining a slave to the sin. We can either be a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. Romans 6:18 says that “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” When we serve Him, we are free! Galatians 5:1 tells us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” We are free to live for Him, free from the bondage of sin and our selfish desires, and free from spiritual death.

I pray that any person who is struggling to break free of a sinful situation, thought-pattern, or behavior acknowledges the sin and repents today. I pray that anyone who needs to let go, recognizes it, and turns their faith towards the One who is worthy of all of our trust, the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that His peace may be with you now and always.

Letting Go With You,