Many people like to say, “let go and let God.” It’s a nice catchy phrase, especially when we find ourselves in a difficult situation. But can we really apply that phrase in our lives? I believe we can.
What does it mean to let go and let God? Allow me to share three ways.
1. Let go of negative thoughts.
This is where it all begins, our thoughts. Our thoughts can make us worry or bring us peace. Our thoughts can agitate us or make us calm. Thus, if we carry with us negative thoughts, how bleak indeed will our outlook be.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8
When the apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians, he was in prison. So it is quite remarkable to read the verse above, with the apostle even exhorting his readers to be joyful (Philippians 4:4). We can conclude, without a doubt, that Paul had very positive thoughts in spite of his circumstances.
In another letter he lets us know how to let God take control of our thoughts. We … take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We simply surrender every thought to Christ; and it begins by meditation and reading God’s word the first thing in the morning.
2. Let go of destructive emotions.
With negative thoughts come destructive emotions. There is nothing wrong with emotions. We were created to be emotional. What we need to do is let go of destructive emotions. The Bible tells us of a particular emotion that can become destructive. In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… (Ephesians 4:26). Anger can lead to bitterness, and bitterness not only destroys the one carrying it, but relationships as well. Destructive emotions are those that fester and lead to hurting one’s self and others.
When we learn how to let go of negative thoughts, we must also learn how to let go of destructive emotions. We do this by letting God love us through our obedience to him. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love (John 15:9-10). We obey his commands by being true to his word.
3. Let go of bad habits.
One result of destructive emotions, if not curtailed, is the formation of bad habits. Ungracious words, sarcasm, sulking, temper tantrums, cursing, and many others; all these are bad habits. They make malice out of our lives and bring down others. We have to let go of bad habits and let God build into us good habits. One good habit is to read the Bible every morning. The Bible creates good thoughts in us. Another good habit is to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit. This would allow his fruit to flow from us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23
We let God build good habits into us when we surrender ourselves to him.
What we want is to make a positive impact on others. And the best way to do this is to let Christ move within and through us. One of my favorite verses is this: For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
So, it’s really about letting go of the self and letting God take over. Let go and let God!