The Freedom of Relinquishment

Matthew 19:16-26 16 A man came to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what good work must I do to have life that lasts forever?” 17 Jesus said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One Who is good. If you want to have life that lasts forever, you must obey the Laws.” 18 The man said to Him, “What kind of laws?” Jesus said, “You must not kill another person. You must not be guilty of sex sins. You must not steal. You must not lie. 19 Show respect to your father and your mother. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 20 The young man said to Jesus, “I have obeyed all these Laws. What more should I do?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to poor people. Then you will have riches in heaven. Come and follow Me.” 22 When the young man heard these words, he went away sad for he had many riches.

 23 Jesus said to His followers, “For sure, I tell you, it will be hard for a rich man to get into the holy nation of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the holy nation of heaven.” 25 When His followers heard this, they could not understand it. They said, “Then who can be saved from the punishment of sin?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “This cannot be done by men. But with God all things can be done.

We may think we have no attachments that come between us and the Lord, but He knows our heart better than we ourselves do. One Sunday as I was about to preach a sermon along those lines, God showed me something I had prioritized too highly. Then He let me know I needed to reconsider the place it held in my thinking. So I was glad when the choir’s song took a while, because I had time to come to the place of being able to say, “Lord, if that’s what You desire, I want to commit it to You. It’s Yours right now.”

It’s difficult to be obedient if we’re holding onto something too tightly. The Lord wants our attachment to be exclusively to Him so we can shine His light in the world. You may have multitudes of things that God has blessed you with, but the moment any of it controls you, His work is stunted. When you open your hands, however, you allow the Holy Spirit’s power to flow freely through you.

Think about what captivates you, and honestly consider whether it also enslaves you. Is there anything you feel you could never give up? I challenge you to release the relationship or situation to the Lord right now so He can have your full devotion.

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