Isn’t it funny how it’s only when we let go of our need for something that we truly find what we’re looking for? In the way of life modeled by Jesus of Nazareth, releasing equals receiving. A backwards rule for an upside-down Kingdom.
Surrender your desires and you’ll find the life that your heart longs for.
Kill your flesh and you’ll be free.
Stop striving to find what you need and it will come to you.
Rest. Give up. Take a deep breath. Your Father has everything you need. Everything.
All the little details, the future you dream about, the ideas you’re seeking, the words, the relationships, the provision. He has it all. But He wants you to let go. He wants you to trust Him—because the more you can trust Him, the deeper you’ll go and the closer you’ll be to His heart.
That’s all He wants, dear friends. Your heart and your freedom.
There are some passages in the Bible that if read with a certain point of view can sound as if God is condemning us. But He did not come to condemn the world, and this morning I had this revelation that the reason Jesus stressed a pure lifestyle, denying our flesh, and abstaining from sin so significantly was because He desires our freedom so strongly! He wouldn’t have warned us if He didn’t care about our hearts, if He didn’t want us to be close to Him.
So, He’s been reminding me to release my needs. To deny my false self. To rest. Even in work there can be rest. It’s more of a mindset than it is a cessation of activity. Work, yes—but co-labor with your Creator and Father who doesn’t have any limitations and doesn’t run out of resources or strength or ability. If you’re an artist and you’re looking for your next scene, plot point, chord, lyric, painting, idea, choreography—release that need in order to find it. Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe, and give it up. Why do you need it so badly anyway? Are you afraid it will elude you forever? Do you fear you are not good enough to come up with this new creative idea?
Jesus has it, and He’s ready to give it to you. But first, surrender. It’s a beautiful thing when we can do that. Peace rushes in like warm water and what you really need just seems to fall right into your lap. I believe this is what working with Jesus is supposed to be like.
Sometimes, as well, when we let go of our needs (which are often linked with our fears) we will discover that what we previously thought we needed was not really what we needed or even wanted at all.
In the gospels, when the disciples were on their boat and the storm assailed them, Jesus was the only person on that vessel who was at peace. I’ve been thinking about that this week, and God has added some layers of meaning to this analogy He’s been using to teach me—these images of the boat and the storm and the water. What he revealed to me was that the boat—which I assume the disciples thought of as their only current protection from being lost to the stormy waters—was never itself a source of peace. Neither was it a sufficient shelter, as became apparent when the disciples displayed their dread of being overtaken by the waves.
So, really, they never needed the boat. Now, I know this doesn’t seem logical; because of course if you’re going to cross a large body of water you’re going to travel on some sort of floating vessel. Unless you want to expend a significant amount of energy and swim, that is. But I hope you can understand what I’m getting at. Even the disciples, once the storm came, surely realized that the boat was not their hope.
They didn’t need the boat. They needed Jesus. But to take it even further—they needed to believe that they were God’s children just as Jesus was God’s son. After Jesus rebuked and calmed the storm, He reproved His followers concerning their failure to employ a necessary and available measure of faith. So what He was saying was: you didn’t need me to wake up and calm the storm. You needed to believe you possess the same power because you are God’s children, with the same amount of limitations as myself—none.
We don’t need the boats—the comforts, the securities, even the accomplishments or ideas that make us feel we’ve done something important. We need to know who we are. The storms won’t pose a threat to us when we know who we are.
So let go.
Let go of who you think you are—of who they think you are. Let go of your perceived needs.
Surrender, and find life.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
The following song always speaks peace to me when I’ve been holding onto or trying to do too many things with my own efforts. If you have a moment, play the song, close your eyes and just let it wash over you. Be blessed, my friends!