I heard a song recently while listening to the Kansas City House of Prayer stream. It was a song by Laura Hackett called “Lowest Place”. The first verse and chorus go like this:
“You said there would be joy in the laying down. You said there would be joy in the letting go. You said there would be joy in the giving up my rights.”
I began thinking about these three actions: laying down, letting go and giving up my rights.
God sometimes calls me to lay down specific things — attitudes, ministries, worry – things that maybe I once laid down at the foot of the cross, only to pick them up again. Or maybe they are new things that I have yet to bring to the cross. During those times, God reminds me that I was not meant to carry them, but that He was.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)
So I picture myself saying, “Yes Lord, here you go”, all the while holding on to that dreaded “thing” for dear life. My spirit is saying, “Yes Lord, please take this from me”, but my grip is so tight. In order for me to be able to lay it down, I have to loosen my grip on it.
There is a phrase I have said many times: “Let go and let God”. Letting go, much like laying down, takes a willingness to open my hand and give back to God everything that He’s given to me. It means to give up control. It’s often hard to do. I want to stay in control. Do I trust God enough to let go?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God not only asks me to let go of the things that cause me frustration and pain, but He will often ask me to let go of the good stuff too — ministry, my unsaved family, my hopes and dreams. His desire is not to take the good things from me, but to do an even greater work. The only thing I am supposed to hold tightly to in this life is my hope in the promises of God through His word and what He’s spoken to my heart.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. (Hebrews 10:23)
I like to picture myself letting go in this way: I am standing on a large green hill underneath a bright blue sky, holding a large bouquet of colorful balloons. As the wind begins to blow, I throw my hands up in the air and let go of the balloons, allowing the wind to take them where it wills. That’s how I must be in my relationship with God. I must be willing to throw up my hands and let go, and allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to change my situation, or change my heart in the matter. Ahh….FREEDOM!
Giving up my rights.
To me, giving up my rights means letting go of any “claim” to anything I do, have possession of or desire. When I bring my stuff to the foot of the cross, and when I willingly let go of pain, disappointments, relationships, ministries and dreams, I am telling God, “here I am. I give up my right to these things. I trust you with these situations.” My heart, and my hands, is then open to receive the fullness of all He desires to give to me.
So what does all of this laying down, letting go and relinquishing of rights get me? JOY unspeakable! When I surrender everything back to God then He can work ALL things for good in my life. When I yield my rights back to God, He then can accomplish a greater work through me because I am not standing in the way by holding onto things
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
Are you having a hard time laying down and letting go today? God has promised to give you joy when you surrender these things back to Him. In His presence is fullness of Joy and peace beyond all understanding. Come to the Lord today with an open hand and an open heart and experience JOY in His presence and eternal pleasures at His right hand! He’s waiting for you!