About a month ago, I became aware that I needed to actively choose to release my parents to the path God has for them. I have a close friendship with my parents, and I had just watched them walk through the fire of serious illness. My sadness at not being able to do anything to help was emotionally heavy, hindering me from doing the things God had already called me to do. It was during that time that God revealed to me that nowhere in my purpose did He ask me to take on the responsibility – emotionally or practically – for my parents. He asked me to release them – in my heart – to follow the path He had planned for them. He asked me to focus on His plan for me.
What's your life look like? Do you have people or situations that weigh heavily on your heart, distracting you and sapping your energy and emotional strength?
Release is hard. It's not about throwing up our hands and saying, 'Well, fine. You go then. But don't come crying to me later...' Release is the act of stepping back and acknowledging that God's plan is far superior than mine.
Release is the decision to follow Jesus' command to stop thinking about the 'other' person, and simply focus on living our purpose, focusing on our friendship with God.
“Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved [John] following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what's going to happen to him?” Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what's that to you?
You – Follow me.”
Release puts space around our life, freeing us from the need to please others, from the need to seek others' approval. It creates a buffer zone in which we are solely interested in pleasing God.
“Because of that Cross [of Christ's crucifixion], I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns they dictate.”(Gal 6:15)
Release is about becoming self-sufficient in our friendship with Jesus, it's the maturity of balancing living alongside others, sharing our experiences, investing our hearts, yet having our relationship with Jesus be our foremost barometer and compass.
Actively practicing the art of release frees us to experience life in its spiritual context. Release is not about being 'right', rather, it is viewing our life and the lives of others, through a spiritual lens trained foremost on our friendship with God.
Is there a situation or person in your life that you need to release back to God? Are you worrying constantly, distracted from your purpose? Who benefits from you not fulfilling God's plan for your life?
Holy Spirit, I ask you to join me now. Please open my heart and my mind to those things that I need to release back to God. Dear Jesus, I ask that you soften me, help me to let go of those worries, fears, people and situations that are consuming the energy that needs to be focused on my friendship with You. I choose to release ______________ to the path You have for them, trusting that Your plans are good, far better than anything I could come up with.
Thank you God that you are in control.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)