Luke 17:20-21 – “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” NKJV
I remember the first time I heard Amy Grant’s “I Have Decided” and was troubled by it but as I pondered it something came rushing into my spirit for which I have long been thankful. The part that troubled me was not in the second stanza, “…being good is just a fable, I just can’t ’cause I’m not able…” It was not that I thought I could be good without the help of the Lord but at first that struck me, as giving up and I didn’t like it. Giving up has not been a part of my vocabulary or mentality for a long time. As I mused on that thought I realized, “It is time to just give up.”
Time to give up trying to produce the Christian Life and allow the Lord to Live it in and through me. I already knew that and taught it in principle but it took this song to cause me to examine what I really believed and how what I believed was being manifest in my life. The next portion of the song drove that truth home in a powerful way. “There’s a wealth of things that I profess, I said that I believed, but deep inside I never changed; I guess I’d been deceived.” Wow! Think about that for a second.
If the enemy of our souls can get us to profess something without any real, significant and life changing alteration in our lifestyles he has ensnared us and no matter how hard we try we will never, in that state, enter into the Abundant Life Jesus offers. The idea as presented in the next portion of the song is where millions of professing Christians seem to live, “…a voice inside kept telling me, That I’d change by and by, but the Spirit made it clear to me, that kind of life’s a lie.” We are either in or out and hot or cold there is no lukewarm fence straddling position in the Christian Life.
Too many are struggling to PERFORM the Christian Life failing miserably and feeling miserable in the process. Discouragement reigns, disappointment overshadows and until we realize that it just will not work we will continue in that dilemma enduring the walk rather than enjoying it. Self-righteousness is a detriment not a benefit in serving God. Consider what the apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20. We have been crucified with Jesus and it is no longer you and I PRODUCING this life it is JESUS. The very life that we now live in the flesh is the result of Christ in us living His life through us manifesting Himself to the world. We become that which Paul spoke of in Romans 12:1-2 where we present our bodies to the Lord and are transformed by the renewing of our minds. The mind that is now in us is the mind of Christ and the thoughts we think are God’s thoughts therefore the Life we Live is the God Life ONLY if we GIVE UP and stop trying to do it ourselves. If we seek to ‘save’ or ‘produce’ the life in our own strength we will never achieve the objective. Therefore, it is Time to Just Give Up or as the song of old, “Let Go and Let God…”
I urge you to ‘cease striving’ and struggling to DO and just BE. A friend of mine likes to say that we are not Human Doings we are Human Beings so Just BE. Be who you are in and through Him. Give up your struggle to produce that life in your own strength for it is not possible. Run to Him, receive Him and allow Him to manifest Himself through you!
God bless you as you go through your day!