This morning as I was getting ready for church and thinking about our Austin church plant when I heard the clear voice of the Holy Spirit, "You won't be able to bring that where we're going."
Whether you have made a big move or just taken a short trip you know what it's like to have to leave something behind. I recently went to California to visit my brother and I had to fit everything into one small carry on. After wrestling with the limitations of my suitcase I settled on leaving my tennis shoes behind. As much as I felt the need to take them with me, just in case, the reality was I wouldn't need them in the hot California sun.
As simple as it seems, there are places God wants to take us which will require us to leave some things, we feel we need, behind.
First, there's the obvious baggage that has to be cut, the "sins" we may cling to because of our own selfish desires.
Even once those have been cut there's often still tough choices to make before we can zip our bag shut and follow His leading to our new destination. Things that give us security, comfort, and reassurance, like my tennis shoes, may actually be really good in themselves but ultimately something we have to leave behind before we can follow.
The Bible is full of these examples; Abraham left his heritage, David left his pasture, Ruth left her homeland, and Jesus left heaven. All of these left something good, for something better. Better for themselves and better for others.
By reading their stories we can see the faithfulness of God in action. When He calls us to let go, it is always because He wants to take us somewhere better, somewhere that our past or present can't get us to - our future. A future full of His promise, abundance, and faithfulness.
Every step forward requires a little more letting go. The path narrows and we have to peel more of the unnecessaries off of our packs in order to fit through.
Over the years I've had to peel off addiction, anger, insecurity, and crippling levels of anxiety. You would think I would have stripped them all off with joy...! But even hang-ups can bring comfort when you are used to living with them.
There have even been times He has asked me to let go of income, dream jobs, or other incredible opportunities and trust Him enough to follow.
Slowly, I have learned to just let go and follow. At times I may feel vulnerable, exposed, or unprepared but in the end, I have just what I need. I have Him and all of the incredible, abundance, favor, and joy He brings with Him on the journey.
If God is calling you to move forward, if He is calling you to something new, I encourage you to read His Word, study the stories of other spiritual travelers and then just let go and follow. You will always have what you need because He will be with you.