A few months ago one of my best friends convinced me to go get a tattoo with her. I had not been planning on getting anything permanently on my body anytime soon, but she was very persuasive. I’ve always kept ideas for future tattoos hidden away and told myself that I would know when the time was right. This was apparently one of those times.
So, from an external point of view this decision was on a whim. Reckless. Emotional. Whatever you want to call it. However, the words that I have inked into my skin forever run so deep and hold so much weight, and I have no regrets.
The truth that I’m about to share is something that is constantly on my mind and in my heart. The other night while reading my Bible, I came across a passage in Mark that talks about a man who comes to Jesus with open arms and a willing heart–or so he thinks. The understanding that I got from reading this was so moving that I immediately started writing.
Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go. Mark 10:21-22 (MSG)
Jesus sees what you hold onto. I think so many people mistake this passage for simply condemning the rich for being greedy, but it is far deeper than that.
This man came to Jesus with what he thought was an open heart, and Jesus loved him. He could see the man’s loyalty and genuine devotion to the Lord. But He could also see what this man was refusing to let go of. See, Jesus can’t fully meet you where you’re at if you tell Him you’re somewhere else. No matter how much you want to see a breakthrough in your life, it isn’t going to happen until you let go.
Surrender is such an easy word to claim, but it is extremely difficult to actually live out. You think vulnerability is going to happen as soon as you enter the presence of God. You think that opening up and letting go will be simple until He asks you to release that one thing. That one hope. That one possession. That one feeling. That one aspiration. For whatever reason, your heart is holding onto this thread for dear life. Maybe it even seems like without this thing life cannot continue the same way.
But that’s the point.
When you fully surrender every piece of your heart to your Heavenly Father, your life will not simply continue comfortably like before. But the comfort of walking in the grace of God is so worth it. The passage continues as Jesus says in verse 27 (NLT),
Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.
He then goes on to encourage his followers by explaining that anyone who sacrifices important parts of themselves for the purpose of pleasing and honoring the Lord will not only get it back but that and so much more.
The concept of letting go is such a simple but equally intimidating one. It takes strength and courage to be completely honest with yourself and with God about where you’re at and what your heart is holding onto. But I promise that this road is one that leads not only to deliverance but also the open door for God to take you further into the position He wants you in. Jesus says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (CEV),
My gift of undeserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.
The Lord is so faithful, and He works best when He sees that you are vulnerable before Him. He still has such big love for you, just like He did for the wealthy man. But He also knows that nothing can happen if you aren’t willing to let yourself be weak.
Giving up feelings for someone, believing that God has something so much greater planned, means also trusting that He is going to walk you through the heartbreak.
Giving up a dream that you realize wasn’t from God means relying on Him to sustain you and knowing that the plan He has for you is going to be so much more fruitful.
Walking completely surrendered to God is walking weak, and it is giving up. It is accepting that the plans we think we have are literally pointless without God behind them. It is life altering. It is scary. It is sometimes walking blind. But it is realizing that every single step we take under God’s favor is covered by divine protection and provision.
Thank you so much for reading!