Last week, I wrote about Taking a Risk. When God is leading is us to take a step out in faith, it can be scary. But when we follow God’s leading, we get to join Him in the new thing that He is doing in our lives. Sometimes embracing that new thing can mean letting go of the old thing – even if it’s a “good thing.” This very situation is something I talk about in my book, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. Today I want to share with you a snippet from that chapter. I encourage you to read below and reflect, is God calling you to let go of something today? Comment below and share!
Once we are aware of our need for soul restoration, we must also recognize that some things just have to go. We are playing an old, tired song, and the new song needs to be released. We’ve got to let go of the old and embrace the new. Back to the analogy of the physical heart, we sometimes allow things to build up in our lives that cause a blockage. Just like a blockage that can cause a heart attack, a buildup of activity or negative thought patterns can lead to spiritual sickness or death. In the medical world, patients who have several blocked arteries around their heart can be treated with coronary artery bypass surgery or have springy lattice tubes called stents inserted to open clogged arteries.2 A successful procedure results in the restoration of the heart to normal healthy functioning, though you may need to look out for other issues like Critical Limb Ischemia. Friend, it may be time for your spiritual heart to have a stent inserted so that your spirit can be revitalized. The definition of revitalize is “to impart new life or vigor to; restore to an active or fresh condition.”3 What has caused you to lose your vigor in life? Perhaps it is simply your need to let go of the old and embrace the new. The Lord can unblock the most stubborn and resistant artery. Are you willing to surrender your spiritual heart to the Great Physician?
The first of this year, after reading my daily scripture, I sensed the Lord speaking to me: “Let go of the old and embrace the new.” I joked with my husband about it and told him that if he didn’t straighten up . . . as he is one of the oldest things I have around, I might need to get rid of him! As the year has progressed, I have been intentional about discerning which things I have on life support, things that have sucked the life out of me.
Seasons change, and sometimes a change in season requires releasing things that may have been good and even life-giving. While releasing good things is sometimes difficult, if we refuse to let them go they begin to steal our joy. We can also miss out on the next thing God intended for the new season because we tenaciously held onto a good thing when he had something better for us. If we have spent time nurturing that relationship with the Lord, we know Him and can trust in His goodness so that obedience becomes a more natural response. Furthermore, when we have that depth of relationship with Him. we are not so busy that we miss His leading in this area…
Last year I decided to try something. I wanted to see if surrendering as I did every morning made any difference in the outcome of my day. So I held out my calendar before the Lord each morning, actually my iPhone, and said, “Lord, have Your way in my day. Holy Spirit, You lead. Cancel appointments if need be; shift my day, that I might see You at work.” That is a simple enough prayer.
What transpired was amazing. After three months, I went back and looked at my schedule. I left all entries on my calendar even when things were canceled and shifted to see what the Lord was doing. Over and over again, I saw a pattern of my plans being disrupted by God’s plans. I noticed that canceled meetings had afforded me the opportunity to spend time with someone in need. A meeting would be canceled and, remarkably, someone would call. With my tight schedule I knew it could only be God having His way. The simple test has shown me that when He is in charge, my days flow easily in the hands of Christ. Stress is reduced, and my spiritual pulse is steady. Try it. It works!