Every July 4th my neighborhood lines the sidewalks with small American flags. This year those flags not only represent American’s freedom to me, but also the personal freedom I have found through Christ.
Lately, I have been consumed with worry, stress, and anxious thoughts about a whole list of things. These have made me feel imprisoned in my own head. I had tried writing them down and then crumpling up the paper during prayer among other things. Nothing seemed to be working.
People told me to “give it to God.” I have tried so many times. My words say, “here, God, take these,” but I still managed to hold on to them, claiming ownership of things I do not want.
This morning, as I walked among those small flags and thought about what it means to be “free”, I remembered John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Why couldn’t I find freedom from all these thoughts if He has set me free? Perhaps you have struggled with this too.
Today I realized why. It’s not enough for me to let go of them, I have to release them. To me, there has been an unrealized difference between those two actions until today
To let go means to temporarily let someone else have ownership and control. To release means to transfer ownership and let someone else take permanent control.
Life in Christ is all about freedom – freedom from sin and death. But it’s so much more. It’s freedom from whatever is trying to control you – worries, doubt, anxiety, stress. Anything that tries to steal your joy.
Don’t settle for letting go. Be bold and release it. Give up the total control and ownership to a God who loves you. Find freedom in Him –
“casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” 1 Peter 5:7 Amp