Letting go

The primary responsibility of a leader is to ensure a team or an organization is intentionally always moving forward—even in the face of adversity. Even when the pressure is unrelenting. Even when it requires figuring out the next step as you go.

How many times have we heard stories of people who had been seeking God for a particular breakthrough for the longest time, and you hear them say this statement?

"When I let it go, that's when it all happened for me."  

Now I have to confess (don't judge me), although I understand this statement and respect the picture of surrender found within these words, every time I heard someone say any version of this, it would irritate me to no end.

I know. It's terrible. But honestly, we never do ourselves any good by judging and dismissing ourselves for the things that don't sit right with us. On the contrary, I've often found valuable lessons hidden in these moments. 

For example, let's take good ol' doubting Thomas. In John 20:24-29, news was spreading that Jesus was alive and had risen from the dead. What was Thomas' reaction to this incredible news? He said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

For Thomas, this news seemed virtually impossible because he saw Christ die. Even in the light of this new development, he couldn't seem to muster up enough courage or faith to believe that Jesus was alive.

A week later (which to us is one second's time as we venture from verse 25 to 26 but for Thomas I'm sure it felt like an eternity), he receives a very unexpected visitor. Jesus shows up right in the midst of Thomas' doubts and says, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

We always talk about how faith sets us up for blessing, but what if we were honest about our doubts, and asked Him to show up in the midst of those too?

When I heard story after story of people saying that their breakthrough came on the heels of "letting go" and "letting God," I would have a Thomas-like reaction every time. And although on the outside I was probably smiling and saying, "wow, that's awesome," on the inside I was ticked because I didn't understand. 

I had several questions swirling around in my head where I heard people talk about letting go. Questions like:

"How can I let go of something that means so much to me?"

"If I let it go doesn't that mean I'm giving up?"

"What if I can't let go? Does that mean I'm ruining my own blessing... Am I getting in my own way?"

"But I have let go... like a thousand times and nothing has changed!"

Recently I found myself reading Hebrews 4, where scripture talks about the rest promised to us as children of God and how the Israelites couldn't enter the promised land because they didn't mix faith with God’s promise. Before I knew it I realized that these verses spoke to my long time struggle with letting go.

“There is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest.” Hebrews 4:4-6

Letting go isn't letting go of the fight altogether; it's fighting differently, fighting the way God intends… from a place of rest.

I started to realize that "letting go" is taking a position and posture of rest. I'm no longer striving to produce in order to receive, but rather resting in order to receive. 

Letting go = Resting.

God desires us to fight for our miracles from a position of rest, and that is the only position he will honor… Hence why things don't shift until I "let go," or in my own words, until I rest.

I've also realized that's why prayer is the most powerful but underutilized and underrated force in our spiritual lives. Because when we pray we are saying, "I am resting and asking you, God, to work." The surrendered life, the person who has "let go," is really just someone who has learned how to rest and abide in Him.

We never really "let go." We just shift the posture of our heart and the position of our energies. As the verse says, "we do our best to enter into that rest." I fight to rest in God and in turn, God fights my battles for me.

Barbara Hill

Barbara Hill is an East coast girl who moved from Baltimore to California to volunteer with A21. She is a worshipper, freedom fighter, blogger, and recently finished her masters in Biblical Counseling. Connect with her on her blog.

Join the discussion

Amy Morgan August 15, 2017 at 1:30pm

This blessed me very much! I have already found this to be true in my own life. It is a daily process, I think. Thank you for your blog!!

Denise August 11, 2017 at 9:29am

Wow ! Thank you! Jesus is Amazing he finds ways to answer our prayers and questions, when we don't understand. I don't want to give up, let go of my marriage. I cast my cares my marriage, and worries in the Lord's hands. But Let Go vs people saying don't give up. I have Faith in my Father he's working behind the scenes. Have faith not by sight. But this just answered my what Letting Go meant. Devil you're a liar. You were upset because I was still listening to my Abba Father and being still and at Peace. AMEN

Kathie Groenewold August 7, 2017 at 2:51pm

EXCELLENT Article, Barbara. How beautiful is that rest, thank you for defining it so well. Love you and miss you.

Maggie August 6, 2017 at 12:10pm

was just what I needed to read & hear ! In spiritual battle with devil trying to remove my adopted special needs daughter who will be 21 in Sept.2017, from my care...my son & his wife want me to relinquish my parental rights ( have already told me I have with conservatorship I have...but they are incorrect) because the funds she receives from Social Security is a "meal ticket for them...they have already embezzled $11k from a back payment from Social Security of over $12k ; They put a temporary restraining order against me 3 days after they gave me a 30 day notice to quit( after paying rent on time in July)...I found out next day after got notice to quit, they embezzled this money!

God Has been so so good to me. Opening a door @ a time ; Have court hearing scheduled for 08/18/17; I tell God I'm scared; I have no legal representation; but God is my Judge; His Will Be Done; I'm spending lots more time in prayer, conversation with God; Bible study, etc...over 2 or more hours per day!

Thank you for the blessingsYou have bestowed on me through these trials andtribulations of late ! You arean Awesome God! You Are Growing Glory toGlory ! Amen!

Tricia August 6, 2017 at 2:22am

Love this. I feel the same way. I'm not sure how to tell if I've let go, thank you for posting

Derricka August 6, 2017 at 1:19am

Incredible article . I have often heard my pastor and other leaders say that surrender isn't a posture of lowered head and hunched shoulders but a posture of a head highly lifted to God with your shoulders up and your arms lifted towards the sky. Thanks for sharing .

Rhonda Love August 6, 2017 at 12:52am

Letting Go...this explanation is by far the most powerful and yet simple definition of "letting go". I so relate to Barbara, hearing people say let go and let God! What does that mean!? It can be frustrating, but my take away from this article is to REST and pray.! Thank you Barbara! Very timely!!

Karen August 4, 2017 at 12:40pm

Yes! This makes so much more sense than the cliché "All you have to do is let go and let God." Although it is true in some way and the people who are saying it are well meaning, it just didn't resonate with me. Thank you for expanding on this topic, it makes a lot more sense to me now.
God bless!