Letting Go and Letting God
When I was young there was a song that was popular in certain circles of Christian music. the words were “Let go and let God have His wonderful way.” It’s my hope that it helped lead many people to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
I certainly don’t have any criticism of the song or the sentiment behind it when taken in the correct context. It’s awesome when someone lets go of a lifestyle in which they do not trust God. It’s great when they embrace God’s love, and in complete faith, trust Jesus Christ with their lives, future, and problems.
However, we can look at this phrase from a couple of perspectives. To let go and let God can mean to stop striving in your own human efforts, surrender yourself and your actions in obedience to God, and put complete faith in God’s power to handle life or a situation in life.
On the other hand, we can be guilty of looking at the phrase in a passive way, kicking back, and waiting on God to work without considering what steps God might want us to take in a given situation.
Hopefully, when the phrase is used, it will be used in the first context. To let go and let God have His way in our lives is something that can bring comfort when we feel overwhelmed and allow us to experience the supernatural peace that is only found as we put our lives in God’s hands.
In that respect, we find it to be a very good idea.
Look at the words of Jesus found in the gospel of Matthew.
“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.” Matthew 11:28-30
Rest for your souls? How is that possible?
Letting God and Letting God Sounds Great!
That sounds like a great deal, right? Letting Christ Jesus take every worry, every fear, and every doubt, and replacing those with rest and peace is a much better plan that we can come up with!
As humans, and even as Christian believers we tend to gravitate to dealing with life’s problems and struggles within our own selves rather than submitting our lives to the full control of the Lord. The problem comes in when the phrase “let go and let God” becomes something of a cliche as it seems to be used at times.
This phrase that has been used to encourage others not to worry, but to total submission to Jesus. However, it is sometimes watered down to a cliche that rolls easily off of the tongue but may have little power if the person doesn’t have an awareness of what that phrase means.
Letting Go and Letting God – A Couple of Perspectives
There are at least a couple of ways that we can interpret the statement under discussion here.
Let Go and Let God – In a Positive Context
To start with, as humans, much of the time we will have the desire to manipulate the outcome of a situation to the results that we desire. As followers of Christ, to actually let go and let God would be to give up any rights that we think we have to control the outcome of the situation. It’s trusting that God will bring about the results according to his ultimate plan and viewpoint rather than ours.
The concept of letting go and letting God can be difficult to accept if a person is someone stubborn about being in control. However, it’s worth it. To surrender your will to God’s will for your life is amazing. It can bring great joy, peace, and freedom when we learn to relinquish control of our lives to the very Person who made us.
To let go and let God can mean simply to trust that Almighty God is in full control even if we lack the understanding of what is going on. It can be difficult to relinquish our desires and our expectations of what we think should happen in a given situation. However, as we rely on the Holy Spirit we can give our expectations to God trusting Him to handle them as only He can.
If we’re truly letting go and letting God, then as much as possible we have to lay aside our total dependence on our human understanding.
“For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?”Romans 11:34
We aren’t smart or wise enough to figure out the solutions to many problems that come our way. But, because Christians have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, God can give us understanding about the solution to a tough situation. However, there is a multitude of situations in which we just have to trust God’s love and God’s power even though we don’t understand.
Let Go and Let God – In the Wrong Context
Sometimes when people speak of letting go and letting God take control it can have implications of passivity that do not belong in the situation at hand.
Letting Go and Trusting God Doesn’t Assume Passivity
Unfortunately, someone who may know very little about the details of the situation at hand may use the phrase we’re speaking of in an attempt to get the person to relax. They simply may just want the person to be relieved of the stress and the burden that has been brought on by the situation at hand.
However, that doesn’t at all mean that we can just sit back and wait for God to do something. Letting go and letting God means acknowledging Him as the One who can and wants to guide you daily. If we really want to let go and let God have His way it may require some proactive steps.
If it is in our power to do something to bring a positive and Godly outcome to a given situation, then why would we not want to take those actions? Is it a Biblical concept to expect God to in any given circumstance if we are disobedient to Him and fail to take actions that we should take? I don’t think so.
How To Let Go and Let God Have His Way In Our Lives
The answer to this question may depend on the particular circumstance. So, we will answer the question as it would apply in the broader sense. God may bring other things to mind in your particular case. Let’s take a look at these steps we might take.
- Evaluate Your Relationship With Jesus Christ – First of all, make sure that you have more than just knowledge about God. The Bible points us to the starting point of having peace in our lives. That means giving God control of your life by establishing a personal relationship with Jesus. Acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and accept Him as your Savior. For someone who has never received Jesus Christ as their Savior, that is the first step if you want to let go of your own way and let God have His way in your life. If you are already a believer but aren’t being obedient to Him, then you should repent (change directions) in your life with Christ.
- Repent – Sometimes difficult circumstances have come about because of choices that were made that were contrary to the will of God. In those cases, part of “letting go” may be to repent of the sin that led to that situation. God stands ready to forgive.
- Re-establish priorities – Along with repentance, we will find that many times it’s necessary to re-establish the priorities in our life. These might include pursuing times of prayer, reading and studying God’s word, and regularly worshiping with other believers on Sunday mornings and perhaps other times as well.
- Forgiveness – When we have hate, bitterness, or hold a grudge against someone we are violating basic principles of God that can keep us from making wise and Godly decisions and hinder our spiritual growth. There may be someone that we need to forgive.
Letting Go of Fear and Worry
Learning how to let God lead us in our personal lives is a process that is well worth it. Learning to exercise faith in God on a daily basis can make the world a brighter place for you even when you are going through troubles.
One of the very common questions about giving our lives to God is “How can I let go of worry and fear?” First of all, we need to remember that God never promises us a trouble-free life here on earth. However, He offers supernatural peace to those who will seek Him and trust Him.
Let’s conclude by offering some guidance when you are experiencing worry, fear, or anxiety.
Helpful Ways To Battle Worry and Fear
- Spend time in prayer. Don’t only think of your prayer life as a time when you get alone and focus quietly on God. Yes, that is a very important part. However, remember to communicate with God throughout the day. Have a constant awareness of His presence. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit is in you so you can speak to God and you can listen for His voice at any moment of the day.
- Read and meditate on God’s word. The Bible has many scripture passages that encourage us and help us when we are worried or fearful. You will find some of those at the end of this article.
- If possible, take action about the situation. If you are worried about something that you have the ability to take care of in a wise or Christlike way, then take action to remedy the situation that is causing the worry. Remember, sometimes letting God work requires action on our part.
- Trust in the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is the fact that our God is the absolute ruler and has absolute authority over everything that exists. It means that no matter how much things seem out of control in our lives or in this world, He is still Lord. He never leaves His children and never forsakes them. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- Practice gratitude. It’s important to make it a habit to focus on and thank God for the great things He has done for us. Many knowledgeable Christian pastors and educators teach that one of the great doorways to peace in the life of a Christian is to proactively maintain an attitude of thankfulness. Consistently and proactively tell God how grateful you are for what He’s done for you.
- Talk to Others. If possible, it’s great when you can talk to another trusted person who might understand what you are going through. They may be able to provide you with words of comfort or perhaps they have been through similar situations. Also, sometimes it is simply good and healthy for us to talk through what we are worried about.
Remember, it’s a marvelous choice to let God handle our lives in general. It’s a life-changing decision to submit ourselves to God. However, remember that learning to trust and rely on Him for all of our needs is a process of spiritual growth. Don’t be discouraged. Know that the Lord will be there for His children.
Scripture Verses To Encourage You
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)