Letting Go, Moving Up


Galatians 4.21-26 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Hebrews 11.13-16 (speaking of Abraham, Sara, Isaac, and Jacob) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Starting in the Garden, God made promises to man. His first promise was that we would surely die if we disobeyed.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed, God blessed them with many promises. He has continued to give and repeat promises throughout His Word.

Chief among His promises are blessings for obedience.

When God called Abram out to a strange land, Abram fully obeyed in faith. God counted Abram’s faith as righteousness (Romans 4.9).

God calls all of us out of our land. He does not want us to live in man-made environments. He has bigger and better plans for us. Like Abraham, if we obey, we will live in the freedom of His promises.

Abraham had opportunity to look back, to pine for what he was missing (Hebrews 11.15). But his desire for God was greater than his desire for whatever he was leaving behind.

When God promised Abraham a son, he must have been overjoyed. His faith was greater than Sara’s, but he allowed Sara to convince him to follow a human way instead of waiting on God. That’s like building your house on sand. It can’t stand up to the storms of life.

When Ishmael was born, Abraham loved him. Ishmael was, in Abraham’s eyes, his first-born. Abraham delighted in Ishmael.

But Ishmael was not the son of the Promise, he was the son of the flesh (Galatians 4.23). When it’s not God’s Way, it’s not going to work out God’s way. It can’t, when we’ve built it ourselves.

And therein lies the bondage. Abraham allowed his heart to become bonded to the son of his flesh. It was hard to let go when God told him to; but he did. Abraham remained faithful to God, and did not follow after his flesh or his disobedience. He didn’t look back.

He (and we) still suffered the consequences of his sin; that was passed down through the generations, in wars and disputes. But God led Abraham, in obedience, to the promise of the blessing in Isaac. That was built upon the Rock.

Do you have cherished possessions or people that are created from the flesh? Are you tightly holding onto something that is not related to God’s promise? Have you been working for God, and finding out that it was all your idea, and it’s not what He wanted at all?

It’s hard to let these things go. When it’s our “baby,” something we’ve worked so hard for, it’s hard to let all that energy and pride and time and money just – GO!

Paul said, in Philippians 3.7, 8 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

Can you change your lenses, your perspective, to see how God sees things? He loves you, and wants all His promises for you to come true. Don’t stand in His way. Don’t keep up a wall of your own building just because you built it and think it’s beautiful. Let God tear down that wall so that you may see beyond it to the beautiful freedom God has for you.

Just as Abraham obeyed God and let Hagar and Ishmael go, you can, in faith, let go of your fleshly works. God will give you the strength and desire if you humble yourself under His mighty hand. He will lift you up (James 4.10).

There may come surprises, pleasant and unpleasant once you give up your works and start building according to God’s plan. But God is the refiner’s fire. He will make a way.

9 thoughts on “Letting Go, Moving Up

  1. This so speaks to my heart today…….I just started writing a post on the BEDROCK of JESUS and all HIS promises to us! Oh that we would look to HIM with like you said here: different lenses. When we do, all life changes for us and no matter what we are going through, HIS grace shines through more!! Bless you sweet heart Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy, this was very good. Yes, we can have the best intentions, and we can even be doing good things, and maybe even things God wants us to do, but we do them our way, not God’s ways, or the ways the world or the worldly church tells us we are supposed to do it, and so we do, but then it fails time and time again. I think that is one of the biggest problems in the church today is that they try to do it man’s ways instead of God’s ways, and God is not pleased, and they won’t reap a harvest of righteousness if they are following the ways of man instead of the ways of God.

    So often God chided his children in the Old Testament for doing things their way or for worshiping him with lip service only while their hearts were far from him and while they were living in sinful practices. So, even though they were doing some of the things that God commanded them to do, they were just going through the motions of worship of God but they weren’t really worshiping him because they were busy feeding themselves and doing what they wanted.

    But, we can be doing the right stuff biblically but still not be walking in obedience to the Lord because we are not doing what he has for us to do. And, sometimes we may do this innocently, thinking we are doing right until the Lord opens our eyes and shows us that what he has for us is better, and that it is what we have been called to do, and so he asks us to give up what we are doing so that we can move on to what he has for us to do, and it may be something we may not have ever thought of doing. I know that was my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So very true, Sue! I think of King David bringing the ark back the first time, and how upset he was when God allowed Uzzah to die for touching the ark. But then David humbled himself and looked into what God said, and obeyed.
      I agree that many churches today (and always, I suppose) are spreading false messages about Who God is and how to obey Him, and the importance of obedience. It comes back to falling on our faces before Him, seeking Him, and being willing to sacrifice all for His glory.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.