11/2/2016 0 Comments
What are You Holding on to?
In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul reminds Timothy that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that He’s given us power, love, and a sound mind. In context, Paul was referencing a fear concerning the gifts God has given us, but I’ve learned that fear doesn’t just keep us from walking in purpose; it can keep us from walking into anything God has for us. When I read this scripture a couple of weeks ago, God immediately asked me “why are you holding on to something I never gave you?”, and He’s been asking me that since then. Today, He wants me to pull you into our circle, and ask you the same thing.
When we hold on to something, we cling to it. We attach ourselves to it. We give it access to our hearts, minds, and souls. When we hold on to something, we may not be physically carrying it with us, but it follows us everywhere we go. We are controlled by whatever we hold on to. What we hold on to determines when (or if) and how we act. What we hold on to determines our limitations & whatever limitations we put on those around us (including God). So my question today is, what are you holding on to? And beyond that, why? (I love the ‘whys’ of life)
Fear is a pretty common thing to hold on to, but it’s detrimental to say the least. We hold on to fear for a variety of reasons: we’re scared, we doubt God, we doubt ourselves, we have common sense & look at the situation as it is (and not how God assures us it will end). However, holding on to fear magnifies the problem, and can reduce our view of God. Holding on to fear can keep you from walking in peace. Holding on to fear can keep you from walking in joy. Holding on to fear can keep you from being dedicated. It can keep you from being consistent. It can keep you from love. It’ll drive you from sanity. It’ll keep you in a wilderness when you’re 5 steps from the promise land. These are all things that God has promised, and even placed in each & every one of His children. Yet, when trouble comes, or something doesn’t align with our plan, or we get left out of the heavenly board meeting concerning our life’s direction, we get scared, and grab a tight hold onto fear when what we should do is hold on to His peace.
Before you count yourself out of this post because you’re so big, bad, & full of faith that you don’t fear anything (congrats, by the way lol), fear isn’t the only thing that we can hold on to. We can hold on to our past, and allow our memories of ‘the good ol days’ keep us from stepping into the promise that our latter days will be greater than our former ones. We can hold on to our pride, and refuse to let anybody help us do anything, or refuse to apologize (when you know that wasn’t the right thing to do). We can hold on to our flesh, and do whatever it wants to do when it wants to do it. We can hold on to the opinions of others, and become who they want us to be instead of being who God created us to be. We can hold on to our issues, and magnify the problem…as if we don’t serve the Solution. We can hold on to bad habits, and convince ourselves that it’s just apart of who we are. We can hold on to people, and allow ourselves to stay in toxic, useless relationships for a variety of reasons. We can hold on to a lot of things in this life, but what’s interesting to me is how easy (and almost instinctive) it is to hold on to something….that God never gave us.
2 Tim. 1:7 shows us that God never wrapped fear up in a pretty box with a fabulous bow & said “This is for my child!” Because God is….God, He recognized pretty early in the game that we we were going to hold on to something in this life, so He sprinkled some suggestions in our Christian Manual (aka The Bible lol). 1 Thessalonians tells us to ‘hold on to what is good’. How do we do that, we think on the things described in Philippians 4:8: things are virtuous, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good reports, and allow that to direct our decision making. We hold on to what Galatians 5:22-23 calls the ‘fruit of the spirit’: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Hebrews 3:6, 14 encourages us to hold on to the confidence Christ left in us. These are just a few of the things that God wants us to hold on to. He wants us to hold on to it so badly that He placed it inside of us before we even knew we needed it. How can we maintain that when life is 7 different types of disrespectful though? What do we hold on to when we don’t even remember what love truly is? What do we hold on to when peace & joy sound like church fictions and fleeting feelings? How can we maintain holding on to all of that when life has literally snatched all we had? We hold on to the Source: God. In both Deuteronomy 13:4 and Joshua 23:8, we’re not instructed to hold on to things, but to hold on to God. See, when we hold on to God, He covers us with His peace, His love, His joy, and His strength. By holding on to God, we automatically hold on to all that He is.
It takes too much work to hold on to God and hold on to fear. It takes too much effort to hold on to God’s promises for the future and hold on to our past at the same time. Who has time for all of that? Nobody. So this week, I want you to really hold on to God. Don’t let anything get in between you & your time with God. Don’t let anybody or anything separate you from what He has already promised you. Let go of the fear, let go of the weights, let go of your excuses, and hold on to the one who’s brought you this far. You didn’t come this far depending on fear. You didn’t even come this far leaning on your own understanding. Every accomplishment you have is a demonstration of His grace, His mercy, and you holding on to all that He is. That’s what’s worked this far, and that’s what’ll keep working for the rest of your days. Hold on to Him. Hold on to His love. Hold on to His peace. Let go of the fear, drop the weights that make you stumble so easily, and make the decision to really hold on to Him. The saints of old would tell you to hold on to His unchanging hand; I’m basically 67 inside, so I’m here to tell you the same. Now, once again….what are you holding on to?
Background Music: Holding On - Vashawn Mitchell (who has a new album coming out this Friday, Nov. 4th - random fact)
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