April 3, 2009
Let Go and Let God
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:5-6, NIV
I know what you're thinking.
Really? Is this going to be a devotional based on the tired Christian cliché, "Let go and let God"?
Why yes, it is. Because, while it's certainly tired, it's absolutely true! When we don't let go of what we're gripping so tightly, then we are stuck. And we cannot move. And then what good are we to God and his plan for our lives?
In a lot of ways, we're like monkeys (who, incidentally, I don't believe are our ancestors) who won't let go when they're caught in a trap.
In order to catch them, cages are set up with something inside that is highly attractive to them (a banana, for example). A hole is constructed to be large enough for a monkey to fit in its hand. But after the monkey reaches inside the cage and clutches the banana, he cannot bring his hand back out of the hole, as it is not big enough to fit a fist that is now holding a banana.
So there the monkey sits, focused on its "prize" and refusing to let go. There is virtually no activity and a lot less living being done. And the monkey has no clue that destruction is on its way, namely in the form of a hunter who is ready to put the primate out of its misery. Forever. And ever. Amen.
Now monkeys are known to be a little quicker mentally than most of the other creatures of the animal kingdom. But in situations like this, they are as dumb as doorknobs. All it would take for a monkey to free itself would be to let go of the banana. But once it is in its grasp, a monkey will not let go of something it wants so desperately.
Hmmm. So, I guess we are a little more like monkeys than we might have first thought.
Think about what in your life causes you to cling so tightly. What is it that you will not let go of? Is it an object? A life-long dream? A secret desire? How about a job? Or a relationship? Maybe a church leadership position?
As the verse for today says, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires."
Now, let's get really honest about that. What is your mind set on right now? Is it set on "what the Spirit desires?" And if so, is it "life and peace?" Or is there chaos and confusion. Fearfulness and pride. Stubbornness and disobedience.
Just the like monkey, when we refuse to let go, we are immobile and certainly not going anywhere on our spiritual journeys. Because we are not available, God is waiting on us to do what he wills in our lives. We have no clue what life and peace we are missing! No clue. We are fixated and trapped in our own selfish desires. And what we think is "the prize" is not even close to the blessings of a life spent following Christ.
Remember today that HE is the One from whom all blessings flow. And there is no earthly comparison worth holding in our grip.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Use Philippians 3:18-20 to check your heart's desires (and their proper placement) today: "... Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. ..."