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January 11, 2019

GOD FIRST: Letting Go and Laying Hold

“… one thing I do, letting go those things which are past, and stretching out to the things which are before….”  Philippians 3:13 (BBE)

Have you noticed that whatever you hold onto in life begins to hold onto you?  That’s great if you’re holding onto Jesus and He’s holding onto you.  But, too often, we get attached to things we need to let go of.  Some things we hold onto are weighing us down and preventing us from running the race God has for us.  The writer of Hebrews put it like this:

“Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.” Hebrews 12:1 (CEV)

What is it in your life you need to let go of in order to put God first? When you hold on to hurts, habits and hang-ups, they become like a weight that slows you down.  When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, he admitted that there were some things in his life he needed to let go of so that he could reach the goal that God had for him.  He said,

“… one thing I do, letting go those things which are past….” 

Have you let go of your past or does it still have a hold on you?  Are you still haunted by memories of your past that disable you from experiencing the fullness of Christ’s joy and presence? Voices that say, You’re not worthy!  You’ll never make it!  Remember what you’ve done!

If the great Apostle Paul had not let go of his past, he could have never stepped into the future that God had for him.  But, when he encountered the grace of God, he was able to say,

“…one thing I do, letting go those things which are past, and stretching out to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 (BBE/NIV) 

To put God first in our lives, we must let go of our irreparable past.  His grace and forgiveness enable us to do that and more!  As we let go of our past, we may then lay hold of His irresistible future! 

The Gospel is so much more than just letting go of things that slow us down.  It’s about laying hold of all the promises and power God avails to us in Christ!  God has a race marked out for you to run.  He wants you to run and not look back.  Keep focused on the goal of everything that God has for you!  He wants you to win the prize for which He is calling you heavenward in Christ Jesus!  These are the benefits of putting God first! 

Now, put on those running shoes! 

Prayer:

Today, Lord, I let go of my past.  I cannot change it.  I confess my failures to You and thank You for Your forgiveness and grace to begin again!  As I let it go, I lay hold of all that You have for me in Christ!  Help me to run the race You have before me and win the prize for which You have called me heavenward.  Thank You for the irresistible future I have in Christ!   

(As we go into the weekend, you may want to use Saturday and Sunday to catch up with any of the devotionals you’ve missed through the week or reflect on the ones that God is speaking into your life.)