Are You Willing to Lay It All Down?

I heard these words ever so softly one evening while reading my Bible, “Are you willing to lay it all down?” The sweet, gentle voice was one I recognized instantly. It was the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to my heart – and my heart felt every word as if it went through my very soul.

Are You Willing To Lay It All Down

It happened when I was reading these scriptures in Matthew 9:

57 As they were going on their way, a man said to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes. Birds of the sky have nests. The Son of Man has no place to put His head.” 59 He said to another, “Follow Me.” But the man said, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the people who are dead bury their own dead. You go and preach about the holy nation of God.” 61 And another one said, “Lord, I will follow You, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who puts his hand on a plow and looks back at the things behind is of no use in the holy nation of God.”

 

Wow. Leaving everything behind to follow Jesus? This is not something that comes easily to our feeble human minds. Nor is it something that comes easily to our flesh. But the reality? It can be done.

I remember when I first read those words back in the brisk cool fall of 1998, my junior year at Washington State University. I was mortified. Why? Because I didn’t find it humanly possible to put God in front of my family. How could I? I was raised to put family first and to be loyal to them only. However, I knew in my heart, as a young Christian woman that God was calling me into deeper fellowship with Him.

It happened very quickly once I submitted my inability to lay everything down (in my case, putting God before my family) to God. It seemed like almost instantly that I was able to comprehend and live out my new mindset. However, in subsequent years, this was a bit more challenging for me. Marriage, children, and ministry have been a difficult thing at times to consciously not put in front of my Jesus.

Here are a few simple ways that have helped me keep true to my convictions of laying it all down:

  1. Submitting every mindset that is not in line with God’s Word to Him immediately in prayer. No wiggle room here. It has to be an immediate response. And it works.
  2. Choosing scriptures to meditate on that are related to the area you are having trouble putting God first in. These will change during your walk with God and they will always be a necessary part of your relationship to keep God first.
  3. Having an accountability partner (or two). This is a great help in the process as they can help keep you encouraged as well as accountable in the areas you are striving to improve in.

I pray that this article can be an encouragement to someone out there who might be dealing with this very issue right now. Be encouraged as it can be done! Laying it all down is a life-long challenge and we all need help to get there. I am praying for each one of you as you continue to strive to give God your very best in every area of your life!

Comments

  1. Linda Hester says

    You do not know how timely this article was to me. I am in the middle of a custody battle regarding my grandson, Jacob, who lives with me. His father has been abusive and I have no voice or control inthe process. My daughter has been dealing with the stress and I have been doing a very poor job of showing her how a Christian mom should act. I was attempting to start a Bible study week last week and it was just like a mountain with all the stress. I couldn’t even make the words have context. I opened my Bible to find Psalm 119 and it opened to a page and I saw the name Jacob.

    It was Psalm 44:4-8. “You are my King, O God; command victories for Jacob. Through You we will push back our adversaries; Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor will mysword save me. But You have saved us from our adversaries, and You have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to Your name forever.”

    It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was all alone in the house, but it was like God spoke to me out loud. He wrote that verse two thousand years ago and convicted my daughter to pick the name Jacob just so I would have that verse when I was so down and depressed and Satan, the father of lies, was telling me that God had deserted me and that He knew I doubted Him so he wasn’t even going to listen to my prayers.

    But I read this, I emailed all my church quilting buddies and shared it with everyone I knew on Facebook and claimed it. There are no accidents. It is very out of character for me -I like to be in control of every detail and the legal process has been consuming my waking and sleeping thoughts for three years and it is all coming to the trial on Monday.

    I even printed this verse out on cards and asked our lawyer, a Godly man, to pray it every night until the trial. He promised he would. I felt the need to share this with you, because it is just what you were talking about. I have a firm foundation, a bunch of accountability partners, and I am working on praying without ceasing and surrendering the control of this situation to the Father who is the ultimate example of how a father should act with unconditional love and sacrifice for their children.

    And, He even went so far as to have a lady call me and ask me to teach Bible Study for her on Tuesday morning. I told her when the phone rang, I knew her daughter was in labor and that God was committing me to be at the Church at 9:00 the morning after the trial, no matter the outcome, to be with my sisters and claim God’s perfect plan even if it doesn’t seem like what I expect. I have to be all in.

    Thank you for your words of affirmation and confirmation.

    • says

      Linda,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me! I am so blessed and encouraged to hear how our Father has spoken to your heart and given you the hope and strength to continually press on in this very hard circumstance. I am praying with you and believing with you that the TRUTH will come to light in this custody battle. I know that all things truly are working together for the good of Jacob and those who love him. Bless your heart sweet sister and I am glad you were able to receive confirmation of what God has already spoken to your heart! Hallelujah!

  2. says

    this was an awesome article and it really struck my heart. I go to church and I try to read my Bible and all but to totally follow God into the unknown is hard for me. thanks for you time and dedication to the website. god Bless