Letting Go Of ______??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #66
can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
Jesus makes it very clear in this passage that we must make a choice; we can let go of self, sin, and pride or it will rule our lives. No one can go two ways at the same time! While we may multi-task on our job, or in the kitchen, working in the yard, or consumed with the TV and our computer at the same time. But we can’t walk in two directions at the same time!!! We must choose to follow Jesus in all our ways, or not! And while we can ‘fake it’ before people, we can’t impress God with our charade. Paul makes it clear that even for Christians there is a real difference between “Being” a real Christian in all our ways, or “Playing” church while really doing things our own way.
“I am the vine,
ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
Paul paints an amazing picture of this principle in his letter to the Corinthian church.
“For other foundation can no man lay
than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide
which he hath built thereupon,
he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned,
he shall suffer loss:
but he himself shall be saved;
yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not
that ye are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:11-16
This is a relatively simple illustration that Paul shares with us: flammable or non-flammable? You get to choose, but remember the fire is the test. And we all know that ‘wood, hay and stubble (or straw)’ when set on fire will burn to the ground leaving only ashes; while ‘gold, silver, and gems’ are not flammable! They can’t be grown (while scientists can now produce imitation gems, but they aren’t the real deal, and must be sold as such!) or planted and reseeded. They must be mined out of the earth that God created, and HE planted them there, and they will endure the fire, and while fire may change their form it won’t change their substance. What kind of work are you doing for Jesus? Are you just sowing and harvesting your own wood, hay, and straw–doing things your way instead of digging deep into God’s Word to find what HE wants you to do and HOW it ought to be done. The book of Proverbs states it, twice and
“There is a way
which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof
are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25
Jesus reiterated this same principle in Matthew chapter 7. Are you among the “few” or the “many”?
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Even when we choose the right way, we must be diligent to keep our path in line with Jesus’ way, and if you need a list go check out all of Galatians 5, where Paul lays it out pretty clearly. You do the “math”! Which deeds are you producing? Paul also, helps us understand the choice and how we can “mine” out the treasures, and not the flammable materials. While we must be the one to choose, we must choose wisely, for there is a test–by fire!
“This I say then,
Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh…
…. 24 And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 & 24-25
The choice is yours, will you let go of whatever is holding you and keeping you from mining out God’s best for you? There is a story that I read from a missionary in South America. They have small monkeys that are prized, and to capture them they put nuts and seeds into gourds with a hole just large enough for the monkey’s hand to go in. But when the monkey puts his hand into the gourd and grabs a handful of ‘food’ his fist won’t fit back through the hole; he can then be captured all because he wouldn’t let go of the “bait”. What “bait” from the enemy are you holding on to. Jesus has something so much better if you will be let go and take the hand of The Master instead! Remember His words to us, “without me ye can do nothing”!
It’s your choice but choose wisely! Remember, there is a test, and it’s by fire. May you reach out for the hand of the ONE who died for you! Oh, Jesus, help us to trust YOU and let go!!!
Amen and Amen!!!