Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and He will help you. Psalm 37:5 NLT
One of the marks of the Christian life is a no strings attached faith! I am using the phrase “no strings attached” to describe an attitude of faith in which we yield full control to God in matters that concern us. Ultimately every transaction with God must always be based on our trusting Him to be who He says He is and to do what He promises He will do. Faith therefore should enable us to release our control of things in order to let Him have control. If we are going to live by faith, then as the old saying goes, we must “let go and let God!”
Interestingly the etymology of the “no strings attached” idiom has its root in Jewish culture. In ancient times legal documents were written on parchment with strings attached that were used to tie them shut when they were rolled up. When a document was delivered the transaction was not completed until the delivering party had released it and the strings binding it. For instance, according to the Babylonian Talmud, if a man delivered a bill of divorce but held on to the document’s string the transaction was invalid because at any moment he might snatch it back.
Jesus is our model of living a life of no strings attached faith. The culmination of His yielded life to the control of His Father was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed “not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) And He encouraged all His followers to do the same when He taught us to pray “thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Being a person of faith requires continually choosing to commit things to the will of God – to release things to His control with no strings attached. Unfortunately that is not always easy to do. Although we want to trust God and commit to the Lord Jesus full control of our lives, there are some strings we tend to grip very tightly. They are usually attached to things we love, resist giving up or still feel we need to have some say and control over. Those things to which we want to hold strings of control tend to be many and varied. They can range from material possessions, people and relationships to preferences, worries and dreams.
Even the dispensing of advice or counsel requires no strings attached faith. If you haven’t learned that yet, just wait until you are the parent of an adult child or better yet, an adult child of an older parent. It is one thing to give advice, preferably solicited, but we cross a line when we seek to manipulate or exercise puppet-like control. In the Bible that is called meddling or being a busybody. The Greek word, allotri-episkopos, translated meddler or busybody literally means a bishop who is functioning beyond his calling or sphere. That is an insightful word picture and aptly describes anyone who seeks to exercise control in a realm that is God’s responsibility and not theirs.
How free are you to cut the strings of control – to let go and let God? How free are you to finally let some things go and come to a place of rest in trusting God to take care of them?
Nothing challenges the quality of our faith and trust in God more. Such relinquishment, when given whole heartedly to God, is one of the purest acts of worship. Abraham’s surrender of the control of his son’s life to God is a quintessential example. The account, found in Genesis 22, includes the very first mention of the word “worship” in the Bible. The Hebrew word for worship, shachah, means “to bow to” or “to give homage to” and there is no better illustration of no strings attached faith to be found anywhere. As they approached the mountain of sacrifice, Abraham instructed the servants accompanying him and Isaac. “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” (Genesis 22:5 NAS)
One of the biggest hindrances to no strings attached faith is the threat of loss. Just as Abraham had to face that threat and take the risk in releasing Isaac to God, so also do we in yielding anything we hold dear.
Relinquishment as worship, accepts the very real possibility that what we let go of, may not end up where or the way we preferred. It reckons with and accepts the possibility of suffering loss. But with no strings attached faith, any kind of loss, be it real or imagined, is merely a threshold we must cross, a doorway we must pass through, in order to experience God’s resurrection power and provision.
The secret to no strings attached faith, is that God really does undertake on our behalf when we let go. And through our release, and His engagement, we are enabled to see often miraculous results. It is best summed up in the principle Jesus sought to teach His disciples in speaking of His impending death. (John 12:24) In essence, He said if we desire a fruitful outcome we must first be willing to release the strings to our precious “grains of wheat” and let them fall into the ground and die. For that process through death and burial, is the passage through which a seed must go to produce many more seeds. Is there any greater motivation for seeking to exercise a no strings attached faith?
What have you learned about releasing things to God?
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