Letting Go

Letting Go
From the April 23 reading
What has God called you to let go of? What are you holding onto that is keeping you from all that He has for you?
Matthew 10:37-38
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (NIV)
  • We are not to love anything more than Him
  • If we do we are not worthy of Him
  • We must take up our cross daily and follow Him
  • Jesus said this long before His crucifixion


  • We need to love Jesus more than anyone or anything
  • We shouldn’t even put our children or our spouse before Him!
  • We should want to be found worthy
  • We need to take up our cross every day
          – crucify my will and my wants
          – take up His goals and His mission

Everywhere he went, the man carried brightly colored balloons. It was easy to hold the string in his hand or wrap it around his wrist and take his colorful balloons wherever he went. One day he went to the fair and had a great time. Blending into the atmosphere of the rides and lights and noise. Oh, sometimes people tried to buy his balloons, thinking he was a vendor, but of course he wouldn’t sell even one. At one of the booths he filled in a ticket to see if he could win a free ocean cruise. Two weeks later a telegram came—he had won! He would enjoy great entertainment and the world’s finest chef providing his meals. On the morning of the big day, he called a taxi and had the driver take him to the dock very slowly because the balloons wouldn’t all fit in the taxi and he had to hold some of them out the window. At the dock he was welcomed by the officials who had planned his trip. Sailing on a big ocean liner was really refreshing. It also made him very hungry. When they rang the bell for dinner. The aroma of the food was so enticing. There was one problem, though. There wasn’t enough room for a man with a handful of balloons to get down the passageway. He could do it if he released some of the balloons, but the he just couldn’t do that. He had seen some crackers and cheese on the upper deck earlier, so he went back and ate that instead. It wasn’t great, but he had his balloons. Later that night he went to his cabin. It was beautiful. They had given him one of the classiest rooms on the ship. He could see that the interior decorating was the best, and the bed looked inviting. Unfortunately, the door to the cabin was so designed that he couldn’t get all the balloons in without breaking some. He tried, but it just wouldn’t work. Back on deck he found some blankets and a deck chair. He tied the balloons around his wrist and the arm of the chair and tried to sleep. The next morning the balloon man received an engraved invitation from the captain of the ship inviting him to sit at the captain’s table and enjoy the specialty of the world famous chef, prepared especially for the balloon man. All that day he waited patiently for the evening banquet and at 8:00 p.m. the ship’s bell rang and the passengers began to go to the dining room as before. The aroma of the food was so enticing. Yet he stood at the end of the passageway for some time not able to enter. Finally he walked to the back of the ship. He could still hear the dinner in progress. He reached in his pocket and felt the engraved invitation. He knew there was a special place reserved for him at the captain’s table. Then he looked up at his balloons. It was hard to do, but slowly—very, very slowly (he hadn’t unclenched his hand for years)—one at a time he uncurled his fingers. One by one the balloons began to drift away. As he watched, the wind caught them and blew them out of sight. The man turned and walked down the passageway. That night, as a guest at the captain’s table, he enjoyed the finest meal and the best companionship he’d ever known. [i]

What balloons are you holding onto? God wants us to come and enjoy His great banquet, but many times we are holding onto something that prevents us from entering in. Following Him means letting go, and some times that means sacrifice.
In Matthew 10:36 Jesus calls us to a life of sacrifice and of devotion to Him. We are challenged to put our love for Him above everything else. One author said, “Each believer must make the decision once and for all to love Christ supremely and take up his cross and follow Christ.”[ii] I find this difficult when I consider how much I love my family and my life with them, or when I consider my own wants and dreams. But this is the kind of sacrificial love that God has called us to.
Jesus takes it one step further in verse 38 when He says, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” This word “worthy” (axios), means worthy or deserving in the original Greek. If we are to be found worthy or deserving of following Him, then we need to take up our cross daily. One author put it this way, “A true disciple must take his cross and follow Jesus (cf. Matt. 16:24). He must be willing to face not only family hatred, but also death, like a criminal carrying his cross to his own execution.”[iii] Jesus is calling us to something much higher than a passing fad or to a life of convenience. He is calling us to a life of devotion, like never seen before.
Warren Wiersbe said it this way, “To “carry the cross” does not mean to wear a pin on our lapel or put a sticker on our automobile. It means to confess Christ and obey Him in spite of shame and suffering. It means to die to self daily. If the Lord went to a cross for us, the least we can do is carry a cross for Him”[iv]
Many times we consider it an inconvenience to help another or even to attend church. We approach our Christianity as a fad and the cross as a token or good luck charm. Most of us, including myself, have become guilty of watering down our Christianity. We have softened it and made it easier for ourselves and for others to swallow. But as we can see from this passage, it is much more than this.
Who or what do you love more than Him? What is it that God has called you to die to? Is there a sin or temptation in your life that God wants you to let go of? Take up your cross daily and live for Him!
Ask God this week to reveal your true heart. How much do you truly love Him? Who or what have you placed in front of Him? Then, give it over to Him.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at pastorguy@cvgrace.com
[i] Taken from Youth Specialties: Hot Illustrations
[ii] Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Vol. 1, p. 38). 
[iii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[iv] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

One Response to “Letting Go”

  1. Regina Shea says:

    My ” balloons” happens to be fabric. I love fabric! I have a bin and are large bag containing fabric and fabric scraps. I know I should give some of it away since 95% of it I got free but honestly it’s hard for me to let go of it.
    I argue with myself that I’m going to use it for various projects.
    So I guess my ” balloon” project is to go throw my fabric and keep what I really will use and donate the rest.
    Did I mention I have too much yarn too?

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