It resonates… and yet it leaves a believer in a bit of a quandary.
We are told this when things are tough; when we are in a situation that overwhelms us. Sure, we all want to do that: “let go and let God.” But how do we do that, exactly?
Without a doubt, the most important first step in letting go is to recognize our own egos. Egos drive us far more than any of us would like to admit. So if we can’t see how our egos are involved in the way we control, desire, attempt to manipulate and even pray, then we will never be able to “let go and let God” do anything.
The ironic thing is that in the areas that we need God most are the areas in which our egos are most active!
Our egos tell us that letting go isn’t good for us; that we should maintain at least a modicum of control. After all, we have a vested interest in how things go in our lives and who better than each of us then to have a hand in things? We don’t necessarily trust in God’s plan for our lives as much as we trust in our own.
The ego is clever and will make sure that as we attempt to “let go and let God,” we will come across teachings on things like the Law of Attraction and Prosperity Doctrine; or anything else that contradicts what we are striving to do. But those are only ways in which our ego will attempt to convince us to hold tighter to the things that we ought to be giving over to God.
The first step is to identify, recognize and reject what the ego tries to identify as real truth. We begin by remembering that we are in the world but not of the world.
Next, we must identify, recognize and receive the unseen, supernatural truth of grace in our lives. This is in direct opposition to the ego. So where the ego directs us to feel insecure until we have a particular job or to justify our unforgiving nature, grace invites us to walk a different path.
The second step of letting go and letting God take over is to believe, especially when nothing in the natural world seems to confirm our belief, that there is grace flowing in and around us; that we are more than our natural circumstances and that God has our best interest at heart.
At this step we walk by faith and not by sight.
At this point in our efforts to let go and let God take control, we retreat where no one can remove, reduce or ridicule our inner knowing. Here it is best to see that once we’ve made the conscious decision to see our egos as they are—self-centered!—many of our friends and family may not be ready for their own epiphanies and will, in response to their own egos, deny us our newfound revelations.
Here it is best to keep these truths in the silence of our hearts (Luke 2:18), where our spirits can ruminate upon them and the truth of grace can take root; where all will ultimately bear fruit for us in our quest to give control of our lives over to God.
To help us walking on the path toward God’s sovereignty in our lives, it is necessary to open the spiritual eyes of our hearts. The ego doesn’t die quietly or easily, and keeping our spiritual eyes open will help us in the battle to live in the grace that has been freely given to us. The ego would like nothing more than us to convince ourselves of folly and foolishness in our plan to “let go and let God,” so now is the time to purposely open the spiritual eyes of our hearts to see the divine flow in and around us; to conquer ego.
This helps us as those ego-driven feelings of fear, jealousy and control surface. Now we can simply recognize their source as ego and bid them farewell. They don’t need to get hold of us and strangle out our efforts toward a God-honoring life.
Finally, gratitude becomes a daily activity we practice.
With a flurry of catchphrases like “Have an attitude of gratitude,” gratitude itself seems to have become a weary cliché. Being told to keep “gratitude journals” has given the idea of gratitude a tarnished “new age” feel; but the reality is that gratitude is a critical piece of letting go and letting God run the show. It moves God from the co-pilot’s seat into the pilot’s seat. Gratitude means we see God in all the details and often keep them in the silence of our hearts where neither friend nor foe can destroy their value to us.
Never underestimate the power of an attitude of gratitude!
Letting go and letting God is a daily activity that takes time and practice but is one that will lead to a lifetime of peace and blessing.
Cheryl Dickow is the president of Bezalel Books and is the author of Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage and Our Jewish Roots.