This is the hard part. Letting go.
But if we want to truly be content and satisfied no matter what happens, at some point, we have to let go.
What are we holding onto?
- A job
- A car
- Our own will
- Our own ways
- Our own wisdom
- Ideas about how other people choose to live their lives
- Our own “life”
When we are learning contentment,the Lord uses all kinds of situations to test what is really in our heart. He is all the time sovereignly allowing things to happen to us that will reveal whether Christ is truly our all in all or not.
- When our plans don’t go through
- When we can’t have children
- When we still aren’t married
- When we lose our job
- When we are treated wrongly
- When our husband has to leave for work
- When we have to sell our possessions
- When the thing we thought we couldn’t live without is taken away
Can we really say along with Paul the Apostle that we “count all things as rubbish compared to the knowledge of Christ”?
That’s the thing—–when we lose, it is so that we may gain more of CHRIST!
This is a principle that governs all of life–gaining through losing.
- Can’t gain more space if you don’t first lose a lot of junk/clutter.
- Can’t gain trust in God if you don’t first lose trust in yourself.
- Can’t gain contentment if you don’t first lose your own desires/fears.
- We can not gain more of Christ unless we lose our self!
“He must increase, I must decrease”
God Is A Jealous God
He will not share our hearts with anyone/anything else. He wants ALL of us. He is to be FIRST in our life. That is what “loving” God actually is— it means we choose to follow Christ, and rely on HIS strength.
Here is the Greek word for “love” when Jesus says in Luke 10:27 that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength , and mind:
Cognate: 25 agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ“ (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power.25 (agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). See 26(agapē).
With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō(“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection” (WS, 477). 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving (“preferring,” 25 /agapáō) is Christ living His life through the believer.
This is not a romantic type of lust. This is a choice we make to do as the Lord in His word commands, and to do it only by relying on HIS POWER within us to carry out His will! That means that we have to let go of all of our own ideas/ways/plans, and yield our whole life and self to HIM, to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure!
And we find that as the Lord brings us into situations that seem to jeopardize all that we are/have, and He leads us to “let go”, we find that there is a whole bunch of space now in our very souls for the peace of God to flood, as well as His spirit, Presence and power!
“Letting Go” looks something like this:
- When you are trying to get pregnant for months or possibly years, and you come to find out that you are unable to have children- You grieve over this—-you actually feel the loss of a dream you had. And you come to see, through the Holy Spirit working in your heart, that God is Good, and He knows what is best for you. And only HE knows why this is the situation He is asking you to go through. And you realize that He is asking, “Will you still be content to have only ME? and not a child?” And when we realize that Yes, He is the only One we need—- His spirit floods our hearts and we experience His peace and joy and rest within from all the worry and fretting that accompanies trying to make our own things work out how we want them to!
- When you are trying to “make” your husband love you how you want to be loved and the Lord leads you to see by His Spirit in your heart that your husband will never be able to love you how you want. You can not control him. The only person you are responsible for is yourself. You can only control how YOU behave, not your husband. You realize that you need to let go of your idea about how your husband should love you, and turn to Jesus who is the only One who can fill the need for love in our hearts.
- When your husband has to take a job in another state which will cause you to be apart for months at a time, you realize that God has made him the authority and leader of the family, and that you have to let go of what you want to do in that situation. The Lord comes in these times to become our all in all, when He is ALL you have!
- When you realize that you are disobeying God in His word, and you have to let go of your OWN WAYS/IDEAS about what is acceptable and what is not, according to the Lord. Jesus said that when we love him and keep His commands, He and the Father will come and make their abode with us!
The entire point of all our losing is that we will come to Know Christ in a living way—in a REAL way. He is a real Person…and we are joined to Him in spirit! He becomes our life. His spirit becomes the center of our being. His spirit guides our thoughts and actions. He increases and we decrease. His ways become our ways. His thoughts become ours. His plans become ours. His desires become our desires. We lose a bunch of rubbish, and we gain the knowledge of the God of the Universe!
Most of the time, the things we need to let go of—hate, anger, $, people, things—- are really not worth it compared to what we gain in Christ! We are co-heirs with CHRIST–IF we learn to lose all things and overcome the world by faith. It is not usually a literal thing—some sometimes we literally have to give up something….but most times we are just giving up in our minds all the worry/anxiety/fear we attach to things/people if we were to actually lose them.
We have to give up all of our dreams and be thankful for what we already have.
Hebrews 13:5 says: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
I hope we will all go on to grow spiritually in Christ, and that He would open our eyes to see that He is everything!!!!