The goal of this pursuit of perfection series is to figure out we can fulfill the command given by Jesus in the book of Matthew to “Be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.” Thus far, we’ve discussed this command, given it a proper Biblical definition, discussed why we have the innate desire for perfection and discussed how we can get ourselves mentally prepared for our pursuit of perfection.
Today I want to talk to you about something that God has REALLY had to work with me on. Letting go.
Some of you may have heard “let go and let God” before, I had heard of it as well before but legitimately had no clue what it meant. It was filed for me under one of those “things we Christians say that supposedly have meaning, but aren’t relatable to me.” I hope to shed some light on what it means today as it finally has become more clear to me.
What Does “Let go and Let God” ACTUALLY Mean?
The purpose behind this is about coming to an understanding of, and living by, the full sovereignty of God’s authority over ALL life, and fully submitting to God’s will for the rest of your life, by trusting yourself to be led fully by God for your every need.
In the last article, I shared a free tool that many people have already downloaded that helps us get our mind right by making sure that our own ideas are in alignment with the word of God. Paul calls this type of work “the breaking down of strongholds.” If you haven’t read that article yet, I highly recommend that you do.
In this tool, one of the stronghold breaking examples that I gave, was actually an example from my own life and it pertains to our topic today. In my life, I have always thought that it was my responsibility to do the right things, get myself in front of the right opportunities, work myself to the bone to ensure that I had every opportunity available to me so that I could thrive.
The problem with this thought process is that the sole focus is on me and placing myself in an elevated position compared to others and God. This is literally the attitude of most of the billionaires you see in the world. It’s a way you can go if you really want to, God certainly gives us the free will to choose this way, but it’s not THE way that God has created for us. God’s way is significantly better because God legitimately controls everything.
Let’s go through a quick illustrative exercise for a second so that you can understand the point I’m trying to make here.
Envision yourself being behind the wheel of your car. You decided to leave your house and head to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. You’ve made that drive at least a dozen times if not hundreds of times, you know the right way to go, you’ve figured out a few shortcuts about how to get you there and back to your house faster, you even know the scenic route to take yourself down if you just are trying to get out of the house for a bit to clear your mind.
In other words, you think you know everything there is to know about driving to and from the grocery store. That’s true, and more often than not, you’re going to make it to a fro on that trip without any hiccups. That is, of course, assuming there aren’t any unknown circumstances that have arisen or will arise on your trip which could cause you to be significantly delayed in traffic, get in a car accident, or maybe even get all the way to the grocery store only to find out that the thing you actually needed isn’t even at the store, someone right in front of you just got the last of what you needed to complete your meal.
When we rely on our own perspective, our own way of doing things, we will live and die by it. Anyone will tell you that the only thing in life that we can control is ourselves. That’s 100% true. However, if we do it God’s way, which is to go to him for our EVERY direction in life (yes, even about things like when to head to the grocery store or how to get there), we have the full perspective of the one who is controlling every single circumstance that you’ll be running into, as well as all of the circumstances of EVERYONE else that is involved in where you’re trying to get.
If we use God’s perspective, and God’s direction, God will lead us by still waters. When we give our entire lives over to God, yes even the seemingly small ones, God is the one who is responsible for ensuring that everything goes according to plan.
Whatever we give over to God to be the manager of, he takes care of fully, you have nothing to worry about. Whatever we choose not to give over to God, we have to take care of and I don’t know about you, but that’s too big of a burden to bear for me. Even if I am trying to do everything “by the book” on my own, I’ll have to work doubly as hard to obtain what I want to, because I’ll miss the blessings and “shortcuts” that God already had planned to give me so that I could’ve been there faster, it would’ve already been further along and much better than anything I could’ve ever done by myself.
Practical Example from My Life of “Letting Go & Letting God”
In October of last year, Lindsey and I received a grant from one of the largest food banks in the country to develop a farming system that (at least mathematically) should be able to produce enough food in 144 square feet to feed an entire family of five throughout the year, with no real need to go to a grocery store for their food.
We had been working on this for a long time, I was doing everything I could to get the name out there, to find a place to build it, I even emailed the food bank that we partnered with a few times on my own and didn’t get a response. We’re talking a full 12 months of grinding and trying to make it happen on my own and seeing nothing come from it at all but a few sales that I broke even on with Etsy because I didn’t charge enough for shipping.
Finally, after being frustrated at my own lack of progress, I felt God say to me in prayer, “You will live by my hand or your own, you choose.” I studied the scriptures to verify that what I was hearing could be confirmed in the Bible (I’ll share some of these later), after I confirmed that the word I was hearing was indeed in-line with God’s word, I decided to just stop focusing on it altogether, and start focusing on the other things that God asked me to do.
At the time, I was living at my grandmother’s house, where God had put me to both be able to help my grandmother some, but also so that I could learn a thing or two about being humble and gracious. Instead of focusing my efforts on what I thought I should be doing, I started going to prayer every day to figure out what God wanted me to do with my time. I wasn’t perfect at it (I’m still not perfect at it the Holy Spirit just encouraged me to tell you), it was totally new to me, and I had to fight my own habits along the way.
During this time, God was working on my heart. I was barely doing anything related to the farming project at all. I was spending nearly all of my time reading the Bible, learning more about what I needed to change about myself to be in alignment with God’s word, helping my grandmother, and occasionally working with a few consulting clients for marketing help.
In other words, I was doing exactly the opposite of what anyone would logically conclude of their own fruition would help me get further with the farming project. Then, about 3-5 weeks later, as I was sitting on the front porch at my grandmother’s house, God starts sharing with me how the design needs to be if it’s going to be successful for what I am trying to accomplish.
I immediately write all of this down and start seeking out examples of other cultures that had used similar tactics in the past. I came to find out that God had shared nearly all of these tactics he would be using with other cultures in times previous, it just wasn’t widely written about or had been long forgotten. Per God’s instructions, along with all of the heart work that God was bringing me through to help me grow, I also started putting together various plans for what types of food to grow, learning everything I could about them and started putting together a plan of sorts.
About 3-5 weeks after the initial vision, and with continual work with God through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, God said “Okay, now you can email the food bank.” I thought to myself, okay I’ll do it because you told me to, but I wasn’t really expecting anything because I felt I had already knocked on that door and it had led me nowhere (you can translate that to mean that I thought I knew better than God).
Well, in true God form, what happened next was literally something that could have only happened if God made it happen. I sent a brief email to a contact I had already tried a few other times. Shortly thereafter I received a reply that they were interested in having a meeting!
Lindsey and I worked together to polish up our presentation, and get it ready for our meeting, not fully sure what to expect. Being the pessimist that I was at the time, I went in there still thinking “Cool, so we got a meeting, let’s not get our hopes up, God got us this meeting but that doesn’t mean it will go any further.”
Nearly everyone but the farm director was in that meeting because he had something come up that day and just couldn’t make it. But all of the other important department heads for the project were there. They loved it and asked that we would also meet separately with the farm director for the food bank.
We left that meeting, Lindsey was ecstatic, I was still playing it cool because we had one more meeting to get through. In the next meeting, I went alone to meet with the farm director at a local Roosters to share with him the vision. That meeting went well too and he said that he wanted to work with us on the project.
A bit more excited now, I was starting to warm up to the idea that God was really doing something here. The next meeting absolutely will blow you away. The very next meeting was with the farm director and the finance director for the farm project. We walked in, and they told us that they were going to give us the land we needed, a grant for all the supplies we needed to build the project, and they were going to supply us with a dome greenhouse on top of that so that we could be a part of a brand new facility they were just getting ready to launch that deals with farming research!
In reading that story, you may have missed the Glory of God, so I’m going to break it down for you once more…
For 12 months, I worked tirelessly of my own efforts and got absolutely nowhere with the farming project. After I decided to throw away my own way, and follow God’s way, which seemingly had nothing to do with farming at all but more about growing in relationship with God and working on my own alignment, it took God 8-10 weeks to take us from no hope at doing anything at all, to delivering everything that we needed to carry out the vision with the farm.
Not only that, but he got us into a brand new project, with one of the largest food banks in the country (maybe even the world), we didn’t have to go through any grant writing processes, he just told us when it was right to send an email and about 2 weeks after that initial email, he had delivered everything that we needed and then some.
Glory to God in the highest because He can do anything and we can do nothing of significance without him. Once I let go, followed God’s way, He delivered more than I could’ve ever hoped for.
The reason I missed posting an article last week, is because we were out at the farm helping to build the greenhouse that we were given as part of this project. To God be all the glory, forever and ever.
See some pictures below.
Bible Verses to Confirm This Truth
New Testament Example: Matthew 6: 31-33
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Old Testament Example Proverbs 3: 5-6
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. ‘
These are just a few examples. There are literally hundreds of them in the Bible that you can seek out for yourself. I am telling you that my life is a living example of the truth of these words. I am hopeful that you will also seek God in this way as well, in the direction of the Holy Spirit, and be able to live with your own example of this same truth.
If you haven’t yet made the decision to give your life to God, to repent of your own way, and to receive of the Holy Spirit so that you can start your own path, there is no better day than today to do so. All you need to do is to say this prayer out loud to get started.
“God in heaven, I need you.
I repent of doing things my own way and ask that you would forgive me today.
I believe that your son Jesus died, and he rose from the grave, for the forgiveness of my sins and I ask that you would cover me with the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins.
Today, I am committing the rest of my life to following your way, that you revealed through your son Jesus. Father please come into my life, renew my spirit, and teach me your ways so that I may walk with you in relationship.
Holy Spirit, please direct the steps of my path and lead me into all truth.
Not only for the promise of eternal salvation, but to bring your Kingdom glory on earth through my life which you have given me.
Thank you Father for creating a way, thank you for your love.
I ask this of you in Jesus’ name – Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer today, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to rejoice with you, pray for you, and see if there is anything that I can do to help you on your journey.