Have you ever watched a performer on a flying trapeze under the massive circus tent? A short horizontal bar suspended by ropes or metal straps dangles high above the crowd. The aerialist grabs the trapeze bar, jumps off of a high platform, and swings through the air.
She swings out once, swings back in above the platform, and swings out again. It is during the peak of the second swing out where the fun begins for those below.
The performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer hanging from his knees, who swings toward her. Once caught, the crowd remembers to breath.
Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd, and each one requires the performer to let go and take hold. Without the faith to do so, the trapeze artist would simply swing back and forth until the pumping momentum gave way to dangling…stuck in-between two platforms. Or it she took hold of her partner with one hand, but refused to let go of her bar with the other, both performers would be stuck.
Not the greatest show on earth.
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 emphasis added).
Another version expresses this verse this way: “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 (AMP).
When you take hold, grasp and make your own, all of what Jesus had already taken hold of for you, you begin to experience life to the full. It’s not enough to know the promises of God, you’ve got to grab hold with all the firmness of the trapeze artist—let go of what is behind and take hold of what is ahead.
God’s promises are not automatic. We must move from knowing the promise, to believing the promise, to actually taking hold of the promise through obedient action in order to make it a reality in our lives.
God told Joshua about the Promised Land, “I will give you every place where you set your foot” (Joshua 1:3). He and the Israelites had to “set their feet,” conquer the land, take hold of the promise that was theirs for the taking. (Can you tell I’m still thinking about that verse?)
God’s power, provision, and purposes are for “whosoever will.” Will what? Will let go of all that keeps you from experiencing the abundant life of the adventurous faith and take hold of truth that makes it so.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, and to you and me: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, all that God has planned for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
Another translations says: “What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him, who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]” (AMP).
Every one of those plans that God has prepared, made and keeps ready, requires us to let go of one thing and take hold of another. This is this truth that gave me the courage and confidence to leave safety of what I call “cul-de-sac Christianity” and venture into the destiny God had planned for me all along.
I wonder, is there something you need to let go of today?
I wonder, is there something you need to take hold of today?
Are you trying to take hold of God’s promises, but refusing to let go of something in your past? That’ll get you nowhere but stuck.
So here’s the question. Are you ready to let go of any hindrance that keeps you from experiencing the life God has for you, and take hold of the promises that will move you forward?
If so, that WILL be the greatest show on earth!
If you’re ready to let go, move forward, and live bold, leave a comment and let’s celebrate!
(A special welcome to the over 5,000 women who signed up for the 14-Day Romance Challenge through www.crosswalk.com in February.)