The Power and Challenge of the Kingdom of God (continued)
The Importance And Power of Letting Go to God
You say, 'Well, I believe that is true, and all my heart responds, and I pray God that it may be so where I am concerned. I want it to be, but nothing happens. How can it be?' That is just what we are getting at; and I have hinted already how it can be. It is intensely practical. When I said that the Lord Jesus was the greatest expert at letting go, I touched the heart of the matter. We have said again and again that everything is centered and focused in the human will. Let me ask here (though I shall have to refer to it again later on more fully), have you not many times discovered that your real power - the power which delivered you, the power which lifted you up and set you on high - came when you let go? You were holding on - and I am not saying that you were holding on to something that was necessarily wrong; you were simply holding on. It may have been something given to you by God, and your own natural possessiveness had got hold of it, and you were holding something of God to and for yourself, and saying "hands off" to everybody else. There is no question that Isaac was given of God to Abraham; he was a perfect miracle, impossible unless God had given him. And then we read, "God did prove Abraham." He said, "Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest" (and, He might have said, whom I gave thee) "...and offer him ... for a burnt-offering" (Genesis 22:2). Abraham did not say, 'Thou gavest him to me, do not contradict Thyself and take him away again; Thou didst make all Thy promises to hang upon him; I am not going to give him up!' He gave him up and he got him back; got him back with a whole kingdom by which he became "heir of the world" - that is the statement (Romans 4:13). He has the kingdom by letting go - the foreshadowing of this Son of God Who let go. They would take Him by force and make Him a king; He let go. He got His kingly place with increase, but He got it in a realm where satan could not touch it: it was beyond the power of death. If He had accepted that thing which was offered Him it would have been subject to death. Here in resurrection He has it, and death has no power over it. But He got it like that - by letting go to God. You see, it is intensely practical. Oh, how can this be? By getting yourself out of the picture! That is why it cannot be - because self is in the picture! Self-will, self-interest, self-realization. That is the kingdom of satan, and God is NOT going to give you His kingdom on that ground. That was the ruin and the loss of the kingdom of God for man. You cannot restore it. Something different, other, is needed; and whatever that self may mean, it has to get out of the way if the kingdom of God is to come in.
(continued with # 35)