Moving out of the Way

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10


Illustration

Theophane, a Cistercian monk residing at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, tells a striking story that beautifully illustrates such letting go: I saw a monk working alone in the vegetable garden. I squatted down beside him and said, “Brother, what is your dream?” He just looked straight at me. What a beautiful face he had. “I would like to become a monk,” he answered. “But brother, you are a monk, aren’t you?” “I’ve been here for 25 years, but I still carry a gun.” He drew a revolver from the holster under his robe. It looked so strange, a monk carrying a gun. “And they won’t—are you saying they won’t let you become a monk until you give up your gun?” “No, it’s not that. Most of them don’t even know I have it, but I know.” “Well then, why don’t you give it up?” “I guess I’ve had it so long. I’ve been hurt a lot, and I’ve hurt a lot of others. I don’t think I would be comfortable without this gun.” “But you seem pretty uncomfortable with it.” “Yes, pretty uncomfortable, but I have my dream.” “Why don’t you give me the gun?” I whispered. I was beginning to tremble. He did, he gave it to me. His tears ran down to the ground and then he embraced me.

Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, IVP Press.


The struggle for many believers is to let go and let go. Though we pray for God’s will to be done in our lives, we seldom allow God to do His will in His way. We know God is omnipotent, but we cannot get out of His way so He can implement His divine plan for our lives. Many of us make excuses for not moving out of God’s way. But the only way to experience the glory of God and to walk in the favor of God is to surrender control and move out of His way.


The percentage of Americans with control issues is very high. Most Americans take pride in their autonomy and would rather die than surrender control of their lives to someone else or to God. We want to do what we want when we want, the way that we want unhindered. We use God as a convenience store to give us what we want whenever we ask.


Even in our Christian service to God, we want to have control. Most of us choose whom, when, where, and how we will serve. We refuse to move out of the way. But God is calling for something else. He is calling us to be servants. That means giving up the right to be in charge. The only way to walk in the anointing of the Holy Spirit is by giving up control. When become available and vulnerable, our fear of being stepped on becomes inconsequential. When we stop worrying about being manipulated, or taken advantage of, we are free to love with Jesus’ love and serve with a servant leader’s heart. Then, God can truly use us to His glory.


Yet, most people do not realize they do not know what is best for them. Only God knows. The more they try to remain in control the more difficult they make things for themselves and for the people in their lives. When we move out of the way and invite God to have His way, we open ourselves up to receive the fullness of God. The Lord is the author of life and the sustainer of all things. Without Him, the thought that we are in control is but a figment of our imagination. Thus, so many people who assumed they are in control because of their influence and affluence easily fall apart when the trials of life invade their world.


In today’s text, the Psalmist reminds us to Be still and let the Sovereign God reigns supreme over our lives. This sounds a lot easier said than done. To be still require faith and trust in God. It is a statement of confidence in God and not us. This means surrendering our agendas and letting go of our baggage so we can live in the freedom of God. Like the monk in today’s illustration, too many of us are walking around with the weight of our past failures, the fear of the present challenges, and our trepidation for the future. We hold on to past hurts and disappointments and allow those hurts to define the way we live in present.


God wants us to move out of the way so He can heal us from our past hurts. He wants to deliver us from molestation, depression, low self-esteem, resentment, abuse, guilt, and shame so we can walk in the renewing of our minds and live Christ-centered lives. It’s time to get out of the way and let God handle the weight that is on your shoulder.


Questions for Personal Reflection

What do you need to let go of so you can walk in the freedom of God?

How can you help someone else to move out of the way so God can have His way in their lives?


Prayer- Blessed Lord, I bring all my baggage to you and place them at your feet. Please help me to move out of the way so I can walk in the favor of God. I surrender my desire to control my life and my ministry and ask that you increase my faith and trust in you when I think I know what is best for me.

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