Letting go and pressing on. It sounds like an oxymoron, but in reality, it’s the secret to discovering your purpose in life.
The apostle Paul learned this secret. He suffered the loss of many things when he forsook his pharisaical life and position and embraced a new faith in Jesus Christ. A pharisee of Pharisees, after his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, he referred to himself as the worst of all sinners as his self-righteousness was laid bare in the light of God’s glory.
Paul let go so he could press on. In his words, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12 NIV)
Of the 27 books of the New Testament, Paul wrote 13. His unrelenting work to make Christ known to the Gentiles made way for the mystery of God to be realized in the earth: Jew and Gentile becoming one new man in Christ Jesus, no longer separated by the law. Ultimately, it paved the way for you and me to embrace a relationship with the Lord.
And it all began with Paul letting go.
What do you need to let go of so you can press on? What do you need to release so you can press into the reason Jesus Christ has saved you?
We cling like crazy to our self-righteous, self-defensive and self-protective mechanisms in our vain attempts to get through life unscarred. But when we grip ourselves so very tightly, we miss out on the real reason we were put here on this earth.
If Paul had been unwilling to give up his standing as a Pharisee with his faultless obedience to the law, he would never have been able to grasp the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ Jesus. He would never have pressed himself to explore God’s will and purpose for his life. He may never have written Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians. God would have had to seek someone else who would carry the gospel to the Gentile world.
God has a plan for your life. There is a reason He has saved you, a reason He has laid hold of you, a reason He created you with all your personality, weaknesses and strengths. But you’ll never attain your life purpose – your raison d’être – until you are willing to let go and press on.
Try it. Try loosening your grip on your dignity and defensive ways of maintaining control. Try opening your hand and letting your self-protection slip through your fingers…
And then – press yourself into a deeper knowledge of God, a deeper sense of His presence, an absolute trust in His care. Allow yourself to press through into the secret places of God.
You may discover that the dreams in your heart were placed there by Him and that the passion to be a teacher or a therapist or a mom or a lawyer was creatively woven into your being by your heavenly Father. The One who sees the possibilities of your life when you are absolutely surrendered to His good plan.
Lay hold of the reason Christ Jesus has laid hold of you. Start living the life God has called you to live.