What are we talking about here?
If there was ever a phrase that has been “worn out” by well-meaning Christians, it is the phrase, “Let go, and let God!” I have heard this phrase on the radio, on television, in sermons, and in many a conversation, but I can honestly say that the phrase is rarely, if ever, accompanied by a reasonable explanation or a clear strategy concerning how, exactly, one is to “let go” and “let God.” We Christians, especially Christians of the evangelical and charismatic kind, speak a language all our own! Some refer to this language as “Christianeese.” Just like any other foreign language, “Christianeese” must often be translated and interpreted for those who do not speak it fluently. So when we say, “Let go and let God,” we must be equipped and ready to explain ourselves and give our listener a clear strategy for letting go of whatever it is that he or she needs to let go of and for letting God (whatever that means…. oh, how I want to delve into the idea of “letting God” vs. the act of submitting to God! I will save that for Sunday morning as it is part of the message I am previewing in this article.).
An Example of Sacrifice and Submission
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. Hebrews 11:8-19 ESV.
In the life of Abraham as chronicled in the book of Genesis, God has given us a clear picture of what it means to “let go” (faith motivated sacrifice) and “let God” (faith motivated submission to God’s will and commands). Don’t get me wrong, I love absolutely all of God’s word, but there are few stories in the Bible (save those of our Lord Jesus) that interest me more than those of the life of Abraham. I really enjoy teaching and preaching about Abraham and all that his life reveals to us about God’s plan for His people from the point of marking them out to the point of final redemption! So, I am thrilled that this Sunday, April 19th, I will begin preaching about the life of Abraham in a short series of messages called, “Letting go of everything in order to hold on to a promise.” It is only when we see an accurate example of the message that we are trying to convey in that phrase, “let go and let God” that we will truly be able to communicate a life transforming message of encouragement to those we are trying to help when we speak it – a message that we all need to hear and understand accurately!
Let Go of the Obstacles
Friends, I know as well as anyone else that life can be hectic and demanding. My family calendar sometimes looks life an NFL playbook! However, the simple truth is that unless your employer has given you no other option than to have to go to work this Sunday or any other Sunday, YOU are in control of what you devote yourself to and what you give your time, energy, and resources to. So, I’m asking you not to look at spending time with your Spiritual family, the church, as something that is optional if time allows and you have no other activities scheduled for Sunday. In the very sense that Abraham followed God’s command to leave his old life behind and be faithful to God at all cost, I’m asking you to “let go” of the things that hinder your devotion to the Lord, and His people, and submit to His will for your life. You may not have all the details figured out concerning His will for you, but I have at least one figured out – He wants you to be a part of the assembling of His people! In other words, He wants you to go to church. Anyone who would attempt to convince you of anything different is deceiving you! (Whew!! Okay, I’m coming down off of the soapbox now.)
Join me and the congregation of Furrs Baptist Church this Sunday morning, April 19th, as we begin to explore the life of Abraham – a man who demonstrated His faith in God by believing in God’s promise and letting go of everything in order to hold on to that promise. I can assure you that the truth that you will hear in this series will, challenge you, edify you, and encourage you IF you listen with your heart and not only your ears! Join us for ABRAHAM: Letting Go of Everything to Hold on to a Promise. Our worship service begins at 11:00 am, and we would love to see you there!