Turn Loose, Move On

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Matthew 10:38-39 NLT

Before I became a minister, I was a registered nurse.  Even after I went to Bible school and began to preach and work in churches, I kept my license active and took jobs as necessary to pay our way.  It was always easy to find work, and it enabled us to do many things without worrying about money.  When the Lord spoke to us to move sight-unseen to upstate New York to pastor a fledgling group we had never met, I assumed I would find a job in a hospital there. 

As I filled out the forms for licensure in New York, the Holy Spirit spoke to me so clearly, “It’s time to stop leaning to the arm of the flesh.” I pitched the application in the trash, and I have never worked as a nurse again. That moment is burned in my memory.  It was filled with fear and excitement.  God was taking us to a new adventure, but we had to be willing to let go of something that had been a tried and true friend, a safety net, a security blanket. God has faithfully taken care of us ever since.

The Christian walk, Paul says, moves us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).  The problem is we must be willing to turn loose of one glory before we can move into the next.  We become comfortable and complacent with jobs, relationships, social circles, and ways of doing life in general. None of those things are inherently evil, but when we cling to them, we are preventing God from taking us where He wants us to go.  His movement is always better than our clinging.  If it’s time for your next step, I pray God’s grace for you to give up and move on.  Trusting God to move forward requires trusting God to let go.

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