My young granddaughter loves to sing, especially as she rides along in the car. It brings joy to my heart to hear her sweet voice melodically declaring “our God is an awesome God,” along with other tunes she’s learned at church.
However, her repertoire isn’t limited to spiritual music. She sings about the wheels on the bus going ’round and ’round, along with other common children’s songs.
Recently, after watching the latest Disney animated feature, she has been stuck on one song in particular. And I do mean stuck. Over and over and over she will sing “let it go, let it go.” And those three words are the only part of the song she sings.
Her mom, tiring of hearing the same phrase repeatedly, has tried to teach her the lyrics to the rest of the song. But our granddaughter just keeps belting out “let it go” like a broken record.
Those same words are not unusual for us to hear from the Holy Spirit too. Often God needs to instruct us to “let it go.” In some cases, we will hear that command as we deal with conviction of sin and God’s call for us to repent.
There may be some particular “pet sin” which we have a hard time forsaking. There is something about it that makes it attractive to us, in spite of the harm it does and the roadblock it presents between us and a right relationship with the Lord.
But if we’re truly serious about our spiritual need, it’s going to have to be dealt with. Until we do, we’re liable to hear that small divine voice telling us over and over, “let it go; let it go.”
We may also hear similar instructions concerning aspects of our lives that aren’t necessarily sinful, but which haven’t been surrendered to the Lord. Christ doesn’t just want to be a part of our lives — He demands to be Lord over our lives.
At some point we will come face-to-face with the call to put ourselves and everything we have under His control. We have to take our hands off the steering wheel, climb out of the driver’s seat, and let Jesus be in charge.
Again, there are often one or more areas in our lives in which we tend to struggle with surrendering to the Lord. We want to call the shots regarding that matter. We want to still have veto power if the Lord starts taking us in a direction we don’t want to go. We want Jesus and eternal life, but we think we know better how to run certain aspects of our lives.
But God says to us very clearly, “let it go.” The Bible says that we need to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1) – that includes our whole being and all that we possess.
Abraham had to be willing to let go of his beloved son Isaac when God told him to do so. And God greatly blessed him as a result. In contrast, the young ruler who encountered Jesus was unwilling to let go of his many possessions in this world. So he walked away from Christ sad and spiritually lost.
How do we respond when we hear those words from the Lord? Do we hang on even tighter to whatever it is, or do we loosen our grip and turn it over to the One who can handle it so much better than we can?
When God tells us to “let it go,” let’s be sure to listen and obey.
The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.