|Should we just "let go and let God"?|
There’s a school of thought that even if we believe in the Lord, we’ve got to work our heads off to accomplish what He wants to get done. “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me,” goes the mantra. Then there’s the opposite perspective that it’s totally up to Him; we have nothing to do with it. This view says, “Let go, and let God.” So which is it?
We could simply shrug and borrow the words of the King of Siam in “The King and I” and declare, “it is a puzzlement.” Or we could conclude, based on the Scriptures, that it’s a case not of either/or, but one of both/and. Writer and theologian J.I. Packer has stated it well, arguing for what amounts to a middle ground: “It’s not let go and let God – it’s trust God and get going.”
Oswald Chambers offers a similar view in My Utmost for His Highest: “There are not three levels of spiritual life – worship, waiting, and work…. God’s idea is that the three should go together as one.” Later he writes, “We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles.”
There are times when we have exhausted every resource, when we’ve run out of ideas for addressing a particular need or concern. At those times, we have no option but to let go and let God. There’s nothing more we can do, so we must trust Him to do what we cannot. However, at other times we worry about a certain matter and use that refrain as a cop-out. “I’ll just sit here on this stump and wait for the Lord to do something about it."
I’m in the process of writing a book. It’s taken some time to get it done, and admittedly there have been times I wished I could just step aside and let the Lord finish it. After all, it’s all about Him and people who have been faithfully serving Him for decades. However, God has given me the ability to write, a passion for the craft, and a gift for communicating His truth in practical ways. So I know this book has to be a partnership between Him and me.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “apart from Me you can do nothing,” so I realize that if I attempt to accomplish anything of eternal value without Him, I’m being more than foolish. At the same time, it was the apostle Paul, himself a very strong, determined fellow, who wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The Lord empowers us – gives us the capacity – to carry out the work He has entrusted to us.
Speaking on what motivated him, what drove him, to be so urgent and instant in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, Paul stated, “If we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:13-14).
So, as for “let go and let God,” sometimes we have no other alternative. Most of the time, however, He wants us join with Him in His work, because as the apostle declared in his first letter to the church in Corinth, “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
There’s no place in the Lord’s workforce for the complacent or the inert. We all have a calling; we all have a job to do. But we must never forget that apart from Him, we can’t do anything that will matter for eternity.