Let Go, Let God: The Convenient Cop Out

For as long as I can remember, I’ve cringed a bit every time I’ve heard the phrase, “let go and let God.”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the idea behind it. It sounds nice. It’s catchy. And it seems to go hand in hand with this verse:

 “The Lord will fight for you and you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Now THAT’S a verse I like. That’s a verse I’d be happy to put in my bio or on my refrigerator. That’s a verse I’d tweet. That’s something I’d even consider getting tattooed onto my body, because by golly, it makes me feel good! When I read it, I feel all warm and fuzzy, with thoughts of oh, how lovely! God will fight for me. I don’t have to do anything. I can be still. I love being still!

Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with being still sometimes. In fact, in my last post, I wrote about how I’m learning to sit and be still in the presence of the Lord. But the danger comes when we take this verse out of context; when we use it as a curtain of excuse to hide laziness, passiveness, or simple disinclination to act. Being still doesn’t get you to the gym. Being still doesn’t get you to your job or land a new job in your lap. Being still doesn’t mend rifts in relationships. Being still doesn’t fulfill your calling.

God didn’t tell the Israelites to be still, Moses did. Let’s look to verse 15 for God’s instruction:

“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:15

Moses said, “Be still.” God said, “get moving!” When Moses had a nap in mind, God had the vision of the division of a body of water – the parting of the Red Sea. Moses was right about one thing: God did fight for the Israelites. Not as they stood with their hands lifted in surrender, but as they moved through the parted waters of the sea. God fought for them. He fought with them; He made a way.

By faith, Hannah sat on her couch watching the Bachelor with a bag of Cheetos and prayed for a husband. By faith, Hannah purchased an acai berry cleanse and hoped she’d have abs in 3 weeks. By faith, Hannah thought a lot about developing a budget, but then decided if she was meant to be rich, God would help her win the lottery. Sounds good to me! Let go, let God, right? Wrong.

Let us not confuse patience with passivity. Laziness with lingering. Wallowing with waiting.

Faith in God comes with a call to action. By faith Abel offered a sacrifice to God. By faith Noah constructedan ark. By faith Abraham obeyedGod’s call to sacrifice his son.

Let us walk boldly through the red sea’s of our day and age, confidently locking horns with the one who wages war against our souls, as we fight for joy, as we fight for peace, as we fight for purity. And may our actions be accompanied by a faith anchored in the One who fights with us; the One who fights for us.

I wonder today if God’s asking us the very thing He asked Moses. Why do you cry out to Me? Why are you still sitting there? Get up. Get moving. Go forward.