By Brenda Craig
Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians3:12-14 Amplified).
As I pondered what to share with you in relation to intimacy with the Lord a word Holy Spirit shared with me some time back came to mind or should I say, "Came to spirit." I have included this Word for you at the end of this article. For now I would like to leave you with a few thoughts related to the matter of "Letting go".
Letting Go, The Hardest Thing To Do
Letting go is sometimes the hardest thing we have to do. Holding on to things can offer a sense of security even though the things we hold on to may inhibit our growth in Christ or actually be harmful to us in ways we may not fully discern. The old saying about the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result) is very true when it comes to laying things down to walk with the Lord whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
There are many things we can let go of in relation to our past and ways of thinking. It is too easy to just say you will let go of the past. The past can be like closet which holds all the clothes you have ever worn...all the clothes from different seasons and sizes of your life. Each one can represent, if you will, a different aspect of the past you need to let go of.
Some of the clothes are so hideous in comparison to the fashion of the day you wouldn't want to be caught dead in them (so the saying goes) but yet they remain hidden away out of sight. However, though they be hidden away, they still take up room are a constant reminder every time you dig through your closet for something new to wear.
Letting Go Makes Room
What does this have to do with the Lord and intimacy? Everything? Why? Because letting go makes room for the new wine of His presence...makes room for Him. In the weeks ahead I will attempt to clean out the closet, so to speak, and tackle some of the most basic of elements capable of overstuffing the closets of our hearts and lives and preventing us from the fullness of intimacy with Christ.
I have had to deal with the past in so many ways this last year. It has reared its ugly head at every turn in order to challenge me, mock me, ridicule me, and most of all, try and intimidate me from moving on in Him to His high calling for my life...try and convince me to deny the truth about who my Abba Father says I really am. If this happens to me, I am most assured it happens to others, maybe even you.
I came to the realization about what I needed and still need until I know Him as I am known by Him. I need to let go.
I will never be the person who wore those old clothes again and neither will you. We are new creatures in Christ and we are becoming newer every day in every way. The enemy wants us to believe that we are the same person and thereby, prevent us from wearing or being "The New Thing". He does this by convincing us we are unworthy, unloved or unforgivable...by rattling the chains of our past in our face. Enough is enough and time to disarm him has come. Time for a trip to Goodwill...if you will, no pun intended.
Discernment Is The First Key
The first key to letting go is to discern between that which has a valid stronghold in your life and those things which are merely lies and innuendos aimed at getting you and I to agree with the enemy about who we are. Agreement is a powerful tool and if we didn't have the issue before we can if we agree with the enemy. All he needs is an open door...even a crack will do (Genesis 4:7). Either way, you must embrace the truth. He is present to exchange the lie or the stronghold with His truth, mercy, grace and love. Doesn't seem like a fair trade, but it is what He does and who He is.
The enemy's ultimate goal is to separate us from the Lover of our soul and torment us with guilt and shame in the process. The Lord's ultimate goal is to be intimate with us in an atmosphere of grace, mercy and love...to co-labor with us till the earth is filled with His glory...till every closet is cleaned and every stronghold banished as the enemy whimpers in the troughs of great defeat. The truth is this; he is already defeated and when we come to the revelation of said defeat things will change and faith will arise in our hearts.
Where Do We Start
So many times we try to fulfill some law or tradition of man in order to look good, feel good, or work our way to intimacy with Him, yet find emptiness for we have become a doing and not a being. Often unconsciously, we feel if we do enough, read enough, pray enough, and so on we believe all will be well with our soul...that we will be well. No such thing is possible, for we have passed from the law and legalism unto grace. Likewise, we cannot expect to have the blessings of the Lord overtake us if we willfully hold on to or harbor unforgiveness toward God, others or our selves.
What does grace say? What does love say? What does the Lord say?
The Lord boils all the commandments...all the laws and all the speculations of men down and puts things in very simple terms. He simply tells us to love the Him with all our heart, our entire mind and all of our being and to love our neighbor as our self (Luke 10:27).
Beloved, this is where we start. In loving Him we will love others. In loving Him we will love ourselves. We cannot love ourselves or in turn love others unless we first love Him. How is this related to cleaning out our closets? Well, we must remove anything that separates us from the Love of God (whether it be lies of the enemy about God, others or our self...whether it be actual things or strongholds we need to forsake and let go of) be it in our thought life, attitudes or actions in relation to the three aspects of the scripture in Luke 10:27.
Let us take some time to renew our minds and love the Lord with all our hearts, minds and strength. Let us take Him at His Word and dismantle the lies which separate us from the love of God and His true nature.
I encourage you to meditate on Luke 10:27 and Philippians 3:12-14 and keep a note of the things Holy Spirit shows you. Often times seeing the issue whether it be the truth about a personal struggle or a lie of the enemy will lead you to the answer in the Word. Once you find the answer, which is the very opposite of the struggle or lie, you can swiftly clean it out of the closet of your heart and make room for more of His new wine.
Won't you join me for a good old fashioned cleaning? We don't have to wait for spring. There is no time like the present to walk in a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Keep an eye out for more on this subject.
Word To Me By The Holy Spirit
Letting Go Makes Room
Beloved, your upcoming days are to be days of letting go. Once again, let Me remind you, letting go of one thing leaves room for another. Ah . . . yes, it makes room for more of Me. Letting go positions you to walk in a state of expectancy and excitement with composure and peace. Unprofitable things are of no value and without benefit and compete with all the good I have planned for you, sometimes wearing a mask of importance and value. This is why it is imperative for you to come to Me with an attitude of quick to hear and quick to obey. In doing this you save much time and effort.
Unprofitable things cloud your vision and create a lack of success. They take up space, time, effort and energy. Some even leave you with a sense of guilt and shame. They have the effect of burying one's talents in the soil or capping the river of life that flows from you through the power of distraction, and function as a smoke screen of obstruction
In this new season of your life I am ready to dispense new revelation and open doors of opportunity, enabling you to share the many life-changing gifts I have endowed you with. If you are sidetracked or paying attention to other things, the gifts I have given you will not be a visible active force in your life in a profound and productive way. Unsuccessful things are simply what the word declares: lacking benefit, unsuccessful, at a loss or causing loss, losing, ineffective, fruitless, and futile.
I want to use you to the fullest measure in all your gifts from the least noticeable to the most public. Remember, unprofitable things are a distraction therefore they cause harm. Make room for Me and I will make room for you among great men (Proverbs 18:16).
Brenda's writings are designed to provide prophetic insight and encourage others to develop a two-way relationship with the Lord. Brenda is the author of Carvings In His Palm, What God Thinks When He Whispers Your Name
You can read more of Brenda's inspirational works on line at http://www.journalsoftheheart.com or http://www.soakingwithapurpose.com