Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians3:12-14 Amplified) .
As I pondered what to share with you in relation to intimacy with the Lord a word Holy Spirit shared with me some time back came to mind or should I say, â€śCame to spirit.â€ť I have provided a link to the Word for you at the end of this article. For now though I would like to leave you with a few thoughts related to the matter of â€śLetting goâ€ť.
There are many things we can let go of in relation to our past and ways of thinking. It is too easy to just say you will let go of the past. The past can be like closet which holds all the clothes you have ever wornâ€¦all the clothes from different seasons and sizes of your life. Each one can represent, if you will, a different aspect of the past you need to let go of.
Some of the clothes are so hideous in comparison to the fashion of the day you wouldnâ€™t want to be caught dead in them (so the saying goes) but yet they remain hidden away out of sight. However, though they be hidden away, they still take up room and are a constant reminder every time you dig through your closet for something new to wear.
What does this have to do with the Lord and intimacy? Everything!
Why? Because letting go makes room for the new wine of His presenceâ€¦makes room for Him. In the weeks ahead I will attempt to clean out the closet, so to speak, and tackle some of the most basic of elements capable of over stuffing the closets of our hearts and lives and preventing us from the fullness of intimacy with Christ.
I have had to deal with the past in so many ways this last year. It has reared its ugly head at every turn in order to challenge me, mock me, ridicule me, and most of all, try and intimidate me from moving on in Him to His high calling for my lifeâ€¦try and convince me to deny the truth about who my Abba Father says I really am. If this happens to me, I am most assured it happens to others, maybe even you.
I came to the realization about what I needed and still need until I know Him as I am known by Him. I need to let go.
I will never be the person who wore those old clothes again and neither will you. We are new creatures in Christ and we are becoming newer every day in every way. The enemy wants us to believe that we are the same person and thereby, prevent us from wearing or being â€śThe New Thingâ€ť. He does this by convincing us we are unworthy, unloved or unforgivableâ€¦by rattling the chains of our past in our face. Enough is enough and time to disarm him has come. Time for a trip to Goodwillâ€¦if you will, no pun intended.
The first key to letting go is to discern between that which has a valid stronghold in your life and those things which are merely lies and innuendos aimed at getting you and I to agree with the enemy about who we are. Agreement is a powerful tool and if we didnâ€™t have the issue before we can if we agree with the enemy. All he needs is an open doorâ€¦even a crack will do (Genesis 4:7). Either way, you must embrace the truth. He is present to exchange the lie or the stronghold with His truth, mercy, grace and love. Doesnâ€™t seem like a fair trade but it is what He does and who He is.
The enemyâ€™s ultimate goal is to separate us from the Lover of our soul and torment us with guilt and shame in the process. The Lordâ€™s ultimate goal is to be intimate with us in an atmosphere of grace, mercy and loveâ€¦to co-labor with us till the earth is filled with His gloryâ€¦till every closet is cleaned and every stronghold banished as the enemy whimpers in the troughs of great defeat. The truth is this; he is already defeated and when we come to the revelation of said defeat things will change and faith will arise in our hearts.
So many times we try to fulfill some law or tradition of man in order to look good, feel good, or work our way to intimacy with Him, yet find emptiness for we have become a doing and not a being. Often unconsciously, we feel if we do enough, read enough, pray enough, and so on we believe all will be well with our soulâ€¦that we will be well. No such thing is possible, for we have passed from the law and legalism unto grace. Likewise, we cannot expect to have the blessings of the Lord overtake us if we willfully hold on to or harbor unforgiveness toward God, others or our selves.
What does grace say? What does love say? What does the Lord say?
The Lord boils all the commandmentsâ€¦all the laws and all the speculations of men down and puts things in very simple terms. He simply tells us to love the Him with all our heart, our entire mind and all of our being and to love our neighbor as our self (Luke 10:27).
Beloved, this is where we start. In loving Him we will love others. In loving Him we will love ourselves. We cannot love ourselves or in turn love others unless we first love Him. How is this related to cleaning out our closets? Well, we must remove anything that separates us from the Love of God (whether it be lies of the enemy about God, others or our selfâ€¦whether it be actual things or strongholds we need to forsake and let go of) be it in our thought life, attitudes or actions in relation to the three aspects of the scripture in Luke 10:27.
In the next weeks we will discuss the first aspect of this scripture which is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength as we attempt to dismantle the lies which separate us from the love of God and His true nature.
I encourage you to meditate on Luke 10:27 and Philippians 3:12-14 and keep a note of the things Holy Spirit shows you. Often times seeing the issue whether it be the truth about a personal struggle or a lie of the enemy will lead you to the answer in the Word. Once you find the answer, which is the very opposite of the struggle or lie, you can swiftly clean it out of the closet of your heart and make room for more of His new wine.
Wonâ€™t you join me for a good old fashioned cleaning. We donâ€™t have to wait for Spring. There is no time like the present to walk in a deeper intimacy with the Lord.