Letting Go to Gain

Happy New Year! How crazy that another year has come and gone. I remember being little and thinking that years were fooooorever long. With each passing year, I am more and more surprised at how quickly they go. Being honest, it somewhat scares me. I don’t want to waste any of it.

I think about how quickly each day, week, and month goes by. It reminds me of Solomon’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes. Seasons come and seasons go. It is convicting. Our life really is just a vapor in the wind, a mist here and gone the next second. Yet, there is purpose in this momentary life. There is great purpose.

I want to live for that purpose. I want my life to be a life that fulfilled all it was meant to.  I don’t want to waste my life in worldly affairs that hold no eternal value.

Everyone from the first man wanted to know why there were here on earth. From day one with Adam, he knew his purpose. But with the fall of man rose the question of what am I supposed to do here?

I believe that our purpose on earth is quite simple actually. It can be found in Luke 10:27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Hmm, it seems simple enough, but I can’t seem to get it right. Am I even trying to get it right?

If I’m truly honest with myself, I think the answer is no. Am I loving God with all my mind? My emotions? My will? My energy? What does that even look like?

This week the Lord convicted me of a couple things. The big one being how I use my time.

In college, God called me to step away from the secular music scene. Then He asked me to withdrawal from TV as well. I gave up secular books for 4 years also, until the Lord showed me which ones are ok and which ones are not. I stopped going to see chick-flicks and movies that I knew had coarse language or strong violence. I began to let go of the things of the world.

You see, it wasn’t God taking these things away from me. Rather, it was Him opening my eyes to see that these did nothing to make my heart love Him more or my neighbor more. They kept my spirit dulled to Him. It was as if they desensitized me to the things of God. His voice was so hard to hear when all these things were part of my life. When I let them go, I changed. I lost alot of self-pity, resentment, bitterness, depression, comparison, and self-centeredness. In return, I gained a greater intimacy with the Lord.

I think that giving these things up was one of the best things I have ever done by the grace of God. I do not desire to force this lifestyle on anyone, but I do want to testify that these choices I made have impacted my life in such an incredible way. Am I a hermit who doesn’t know anything about the world or culture? No. Do I still go to the movies and the mall? Yes. Do I know the celebrity news or every word to the top 10 hits on the radio? No. Do I care to? Not at all.

You see, when I think about getting to Heaven one day I realize that God won’t be impressed that I watched over 1,000 movies or that I can sing the most popular songs. He is going to ask me what I did with my life. What I did with the time I was given.

And with all of my heart I want to say, “Lord I gave it all to you. I read your Word. I studied the lives of your servants. I encouraged my neighbor. I shared with others what you taught me. I received all that you wanted to give me. I worshiped at your feet. I spent as much time as possible getting to know you and my neighbor so that I might love you better.” I want to be able to say that.

That leads me to my conviction. I feel like the Lord is asking me to give up Facebook for a while. He wants to show me all that He can do if I am not distracted by this social media. I find that I am ready for this. I don’t really do anything but look at other people’s stuff. I don’t use it to talk to my friends or family. It’s just there for me to zone out and read little nothings…but I realize that I spend alot of time on it.

So this new year, I desire to give my time to the Lord. I want to be aware of the things that do not have any eternal value and I want to be sensitive to His Spirit telling me to move onto better things. It doesn’t mean that I can’t just rest or sit and do nothing. It is not a performance where I must constantly be serving God. No, He tells us to “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).

In the end it really isn’t about anything that I do anyway. It is what Jesus Christ did by dying on the cross and defeating death all together. But God has given us talents and gifts that He desires we use. You can read his teaching about this exact thing in Matthew 25:14-30 . He has given to each of us a different responsibility. It is your choice what you do with it. Are you going to multiply what you have been given from the Lord or are you going to cover it up and never use it?

I pray that this year we may all take up what has  been abundantly given to us and search after the things of God, rejecting the things of the world. For that is where purpose and eternal value reside. Blessings to you this new year!

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