The operative word in that title is “let,” and immediately the question explodes in our minds, “How in the world can I do that!?” Two things seem to be implied there: 1) We already possess what it is we are to let go, and 2) We can do it, readily. And, it strongly hints of submission, when coupled with the “let God” part.
Got that? Then, go to it!
Actually, there is a bit more to it, even though that title above is one of the basic steps to success that the self-improvement and positive thinking folks maintain. I do say they are on the right track, though.
The Bible is full of phrases that start off with the word, “let.” It brings to mind Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life,” where the active responsibility rests with ourselves. Those “let” verses seem to be directed to those who have been redeemed and transformed by the Spirit of God who indwells them. Here is a passage that gives the core issues some clarity:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Note that Jesus gives us His peace, not the kind the world knows—and we can see how that peace spins out. But His peace is on a different plane. It is based on entirely different realities. It is based on the eternal Word of God, the enduring promises that He says are always “Yes in Christ, and in Him, Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20). He has given us that peace, already.
Then, Paul tells the Colossians, and us, this:
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
If the peace of God is to rule in our hearts, we cannot “let” some other ruling take over! John writes, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4). And Paul writes this:
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
There is a parallel thought pattern that shows up in other passages, such as this one:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do forHis good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
It is our personal responsibility for our own salvation’s development in us:
· We are saved – John 5:24;
· We are being saved – Philippians 1:6;
· We will be saved –John 6:37.
But it is not possible, on our own, to do it. For God must work in us to make it happen, with any kind of righteousness and honor. It takes submission and obedience on our part. There is a negative result, though, that must be recognized, but even that does not end in total hopelessness:
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation withgold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
So there will be a reckoning that looks at our willingness to let God work out our salvation in us—and did you notice, there is that “let” word again!
Following are a few more of those encouragements to “let”:
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (Psalm 107:2).
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you” (Proverbs 4:25).
“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established” (Proverbs 4:27).
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus [humility and submission]” (Philippians 2:5).
A closing thought in regard to the admittedly successful progress of the self-improvement and positive thinking folks, as to the ultimate goal that is beyond the limits of this world’s provision: That ultimate goal cannot be reached by human effort. Jesus told it like this: “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27-KJV).
No, the answer lies in the meaning of that first Beattitude in Matthew 5:3, paraphrased in this way:
“The truly happy are those who realize their own spiritual poverty and accept it, for theirs is the access to the kingdom of heaven.”
They are those who know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.