God often disrupts our plans….
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the closing ceremony of a teen girls retreat which my wife aided in facilitating. During the closing ceremony, all the girls (approximately 50) were given the opportunity to share what the weekend meant to them and what they planned to do with it moving forward. I’m always encouraged to hear the kids speak at the end as it’s a testimony to the work God is doing in their lives and they are speaking actionable dialog where they can take the next step to continue building upon the seeds planted during the weekend.
This year, a theme that was standing out to me was the number of girls who shared in the context of “let go and let God.” I’d guess well over half of the girls had this as a primary takeaway; yet, it wasn’t necessarily an intentional theme of the weekend teaching according to my wife. Yes, it’s always a theme in some context in receiving the gospel of Christ; however, hopefully, you relate to what I’m saying about it not being an intentional theme.
In correlation with this, a passage of scripture God has had me in over the past few weeks is John 12:24-26 which reads:
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
In this passage, Jesus is explaining why He must die and, as followers, we also must die to our fleshly desires to experience the true fruits of an eternal life. I could spend a tremendous amount of time just on this particular passage; however, for today, I’m looking to make the correlation toward “let go, let God”. Simplifying, “let go” being death to our fleshly, earthly desires and “let God” relating to a life of following and serving Him.
I find that many people hear things like “let go and let God” or simply something like “trust in the Lord” and wrestle with understanding what this practically looks like in their particular life. Most ask something like, “what does it truly look like to turn lose of control in my life and surrender to His leading?” Well, the simplest way I can personally relate it is that it’s a journey rather than a particular destination.
Like many journey’s, there are key points along the way. In the Christian journey, one which all people must pass through is to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you haven’t invited Him into your life in the past, I’d love to share more with you and I would ask that you simply reach out via my contact information. For most reading this today, you’ve likely already moved beyond this point in your journey. In many cases, the next key point in your journey is reflected in the statement in today’s photo which says: “God’s call on your life will often disrupt your plans and take you to places you might not want to go!”
Yes, let’s camp there for a bit! First, let’s talk about the disruption. In my life, and in many others, God has allowed a major disruption to redirect our steps. For me, it was a job lose. For others, it’s been a death, financial hardship, uncovering of sexual immorality, divorce, prison time, near death experience, and the list goes on. The point is that it can, and likely is, a significant disruption in your present life plans. A disruption so big, that if you’re fortunate enough, brings you to your knees crying out for help from your Heavenly Father. While extremely difficult and not to minimize the circumstances, the challenge in this time is to see this as a blessing from God. This likely won’t happen immediately and often has to be reflected upon in the rear view mirror; yet, I’ll assure you, if it’s part of your Christian journey, it is a blessing. Additionally, this point of surrender in your life will be something you reflect back upon routinely to gain the strength needed to take the next step.
Speaking of next steps, what I’m finding is that He really can’t show me 10 steps ahead. Like stated in the quote, his call on your life will “take you places you might not want to go!” If I knew 10 steps ahead where He was leading me, I’d likely would have bailed out long ago. Case in point, many of you know that I was schooled as an engineer, had a fairly successful career in Corporate America; yet, now am pursuing a full-time position in the local church. Do you think 7, 10, or 15 years ago that if God would have revealed to me that I was going to be working on staff in a local church that I would have said, “yes”! I’ll save the backstory on my life for another day; however, the answer is that I likely would have runaway from the opportunity. Candidly, I’ve attempted at times given my present journey.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me in that Gods going to call everyone into a full-time “vocational” ministry role. I do want to emphasize that if you’ve surrender your life to Jesus, you’re already in “full-time ministry”. There is no sacred and secular divide and those working in full-time “vocational” ministry have no more Holy call on their lives than others called to be mothers, doctors, business people, etc. The point is, God will use you in ways you’d never have dreamed and likely never would have gone on your own given the knowledge upfront.
So, tying this all back to the weekend’s “let go, let God”, what does this practically look like? How do I truly “follow Jesus”? Are you ready for the answer? This is going to likely blow many of your minds! Well, here it is! “Seek Him first” (Matthew 6:33) and “take the next step”! Yes, “seek Him first and take the next step”. You want to “let go and let God”, “seek Him first and take the next step.” You want to “die to your fleshly desires”, “seek Him first and take the next step”. You want to learn to truly “follow Jesus” and “trust in the Lord”, “seek Him first and take the next step.”
For some, that next step may be to be baptized. For others, it may be simply to rise ever morning and commit to praying and reading His Word. For others, it might be to not take that next drink or look at that next photo. For others if might be to truly believe in God’s unconditional love. For others, it may look like typing a blog and sharing your experience because you sense the Lord as led you to do so.
Whatever the next step is for you, have the courage to “let go and let God” stepping out preparing to be amazed one day as you look back upon the journey. He never promises that it will be easy, just worth it! And, when you do, would you share as an encouragement to all of us?