Let It Go!

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

John 10:10; John 11:44; Hebrews 12:1

Introduction: When we become Christians we still have the smell of death on us. There are some things from the old life we need help with from others. Most of our baggage comes from issues we have picked up along the way in life and we tend to cling to them. These "weights" become increasingly burdensome to us and we need to "let it go."

1. An Illustration: The Weight Others Must Help Us With (John 11:44) "Let Him Go"

It is said that Lazarus had anywhere from 75 to 100 pounds of extra weight wrapped around him and on him when he was buried. Now that he is no longer dead, all of that needs to come off as quickly as possible.

There is no way the freshly-raised former corpse could do this without some help. Jesus told his disciples to "let him go." When we are raised from the dead spiritually God provides other people in our life to help us do what we cannot do for ourselves.

  • His hands were bound - He could not minister with his hands and needed some help. Every new believer - and some older ones - need guidance as to how they ought to minister for the Lord.

  • His feet were bound - He could not progress in his walk unless he received some help. When new believers are freshly risen they not only need someone to tell them where to walk but also walk with them.

  • His head was bound - His understanding was impaired. The normal zeal of the new believer needs to be balanced with the knowledge which comes from solid instruction from the Word of God.

2. An Application: The Weight We Must Lay Aside (Hebrews 12:1) "Let It Go"

In some instances we need help from others but often we need to simply obey the clear command of Scripture. The majority of my pastoral counseling has centered around issues where a person would not let go of a "weight" from their past or a "sin" from their present.

It is important to note that after we come to Christ it is no longer a matter of "cannot" but an issue of "would not." We have been let go so we can let it go!

Here are some of the weights I have observed which people let hinder them in their walk and race for the Lord.

The weight of neglect - In one's childhood they did not get the attention and affection they felt they deserved.

The weight of disappointment - In relationships we did not get the result we wanted.

The weight of abuse - In life we were not treated like we thought we should have been . . . and as a result we abuse ourselves.

The weight of a broken home - We come from a "dysfunctional" family and our emotional tank was never filled.

The weight of an alcoholic/addict home - We are now become the adult children of whatever it was that ruined our home.

The weight of bitterness/unforgiveness - You were really, really hurt so now you will not forgive and certainly will not commit to healthy, honest, loving relationships.

These are just a few of the common weights pastors hear about all the time. Before a person is saved, all of these issues seem totally impossible to resolve. However, after we come to the Lord, He not only says "let it go" but invites you to "cast all your care upon Him."

If we fail to lay these things aside then it is because - for whatever reason - we want to hang on to the extra weight the Lord has told us to lay aside. My belief is that these "weights" become "sins" when we disobey and fail to let them go. REMEMBER - BURDENS OF THE PAST, CARRIED INTO THE PRESENT, WILL SABOTAGE YOUR FUTURE.

When we carry all of the weight and baggage of the past it will adversely affect us in at least five ways:

(1) It will divert our attention from the present.
(2) It will intimidate us from trying again.
(3) It will prolong our misery.
(4) It will makes us become sarcastic.
(5) It will give us a ready excuse for failure.

Conclusion: At one point in his life, the great commentator Matthew Henry was robbed. The very night he was robbed he prayed the following prayer:

"I thank Thee, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed."

Because of God's mercy, grace and power, we can take those things from the past which seek to weight us down and "let it go."

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