Do you have old clothes that are years old yet you still keep them just in case? I sometimes struggle to let go of things. But what I have found is that they take up space, distract me and leave no room for new things. Are there things in your life that you are trying to hold onto instead of letting them go and stepping into something new?
The other week I was reading about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:20. Elijah approaches Elisha who is ploughing in the fields. Elijah places his cloak on him signifying that Elisha will succeed him as a prophet. Elisha makes one request, to say goodbye to his family. Elisha then goes and slaughters the oxen that he was using for farming and burns them on wood chopped up from his plough.
In one move Elisha destroyed any chance he had of returning to what he was doing before. He had now destroyed the oxen and the plough he used to make a living. Elisha completely committed to moving forward with what Elijah was calling him to.
Have there been times in your life where God has called you to a new thing? Is He calling you to something new now?
When we are being challenged to move to something new how often do we want to keep the plough and oxen just in case? We find it so hard to let go of the familiar to lay hold of the new even if the familiar was unsatisfying!
When we don’t completely let go of the past we will not be able to fully embrace the future. We can end up double minded with our feet in both camps. Then we wonder why we end up moving nowhere.
It takes courage to let go of the familiar to lay hold of something new.
I think an even more challenging passage is the one found in Luke 9:57-62. Jesus encounters different people who He asks to follow Him. All of them ask to do something before they follow Him, just like Elisha did. But instead of allowing it like Elijah, Jesus gives a startling response. He says that there is no turning back in service to God. In much the same way a ploughman cannot plough in a straight line if he is looking back over his shoulder.
In other words God’s kingdom is advancing and we are invited to be a part of His plans. We cannot spend our time constantly looking over our shoulder to what has been. To follow the call of God on our lives we are going to need faith, courage and a deep trust in Him. Our eyes need to be firmly fixed on the road in front, Phil 3:14b.
God is calling us forward. We don’t want to be like the farmer who is constantly looking over his shoulder and not ploughing in a straight line!
Let’s take every ounce of courage we have and fix our gaze on Him and run the race laid out before us.
I choose to live my life forward not backward. Please help me to be courageous and completely let go of the things that are holding me in the past so I can lay hold of my future.
Question: What do you need to let go of in order to move forward? You can leave a comment by clicking here.