Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Love At Last Sight, Part 4- The Art of Letting Go!

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“(There’s) a right time to hold on and another to let go.”  Eccl. 3:6b (The Msg)

Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him. -Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.150ff.

This story illustrates what happens to each of us when we can't let go of our our hurts & hang ups! We become trapped by the things in our past that we can't let go of & let God take care of. I talked about the story of Moses this past week & how everything in his life did not go according to plan. It wasn't until he let go of his past until he could embrace his future! I want to challenge you to deal with your unrealistic expectations, bitterness & need for control! This week, let go & let God! Here are the notes:

1. Let go of Unrealistic EXPECTATIONS.  (Acts 7:23-29 NLT)
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  Romans 12:18
2.  Let go of BITTERNESS.  (Acts 7:30-34 NLT)
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”  Luke 23:34a (NLT)
“Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.” 1 Cor. 13:5b (MSG)
3. Let go of CONTROL.  ( Acts 7:35-36 NLT)
" Pile your troubles on God's shoulders—he'll carry your load, he'll help you out.  He'll never let good people topple into ruin. " Psalm 55:22 (MSG)

The Process of Letting Go of Control:    

·      GIVE UP CONTROL 
“Then the LORD said to (Moses), ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ he replied.  The LORD said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’  Exodus 4:2, 3 (NIV)
·      GIVE OVER CONTROL
“Then the LORD said to him, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.”  Exodus 4:4 (NIV)
·      GET UNDER CONTROL
“Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.’ 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.”   Exodus 4:19-20 (NIV)

Prayer For This Week
“I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself.”   Ephesians 3:17-18 (TLB)