The phrase “let go and let God” has been popular in Christian circles for many years. It simply means give your problems, concerns, and worries to God and allow Him to take care of them for you. It’s a catchy phrase–easy to say and easy to remember. However, it’s very hard to put into practice. More times than not, I find myself praying about a situation and then spending many hours or days trying to work out a solution on my own. A beloved former pastor of mine calls that “picking the problem up again.”
Yesterday I read a great blog post by Pastor Tim Burton entitled “Get Rid of Self-Imposed Limitations.” (http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/ January 7, 2013) Pastor Tim addressed this very issue and his struggles with “letting go and letting God.” In this post, Pastor Tim described a situation in which a friend confided to him before the Sunday morning church service that he had been laid off from his job and asked Tim to pray for him to find a new job. Pastor Tim agreed to pray for his friend and provided him with the name of a contact who might be able to assist him.
Pastor Tim had been supportive and offered his friend useful information. His sole responsibility at this point was to pray for his friend. However, as he tried to worship, his mind kept trying to come up with solutions to assist his friend. I could relate to Pastor Tim’s experience. Too often, I ask God to handle a problem and then begin working out the ways God could best accomplish the task.
Pastor Tim reported that he had come up with three possible solutions when he felt God reprimand him with these words, “You are trying to solve what belongs to me. Can you see how limited your thinking is? Stop your limited thinking and turn this over to me! There are no limitations for me and you could not figure out how I will be directing his life.”
To his credit, Pastor Tim immediately stopped interfering and stepped back to allow God to work. This simple story illustrated to me that when I spend time trying to solve a problem that only God can solve, there are two unintended consequences: (1) I waste my time and (2) I put limits on God.
Isaiah 55:8 says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” This tells me that God has plans for me, or my friends, that I could never fathom. If I will get out of the way and allow God to enact His plans, the results will be far better than any I could come up with on my own.
I believe that this illustration will help me to truly be faithful in letting go of the problems I bring to God and allowing God handle them in the way that He knows will be best for me and will bring Him glory.
Do you find yourself asking God to help you and then not allowing Him to work? If so, I hope that Pastor Tim’s inspired words will bless you and help you to let go and let God.