“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12 NIV emphasis added).
Friend to Friend
Have you ever felt stuck in your faith? Like you can’t seem to grow any deeper? Stand any stronger? Believe any better? I know I have.
Sometimes I feel like a trapeze artist who’s stuck hanging over the vast expanse in a circus tent, wondering why I can’t fly through the spiritual life with the greatest of ease like so many others seem to.
OK, let me backup. Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? An aerialist stands on a high platform while holding onto a tiny trapeze bar connected to a rope. She jumps off the perch and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again.
It is usually during the peak of the third swing when the performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer swinging toward her. Once she grabs hold, the crowd remembers to breathe. Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd.
And each move requires the performer to let go of one bar and grab hold of another. If she refuses to let go of the first bar after she grabs the second, she’ll be stuck hanging between the two platforms with hands clinging to both bars…stuck. Not the greatest show on earth.
Paul wrote to the Philippians about how to keep moving forward and not get stuck in our faith, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12, emphasis added). Another version expresses the 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” (AMPC).
When we take hold—grasp—and make our own all that Jesus had already taken hold of for us, we begin to experience life to the full—the faith we’ve always longed for. We get unstuck and move forward.
When we grasp and make our own what Jesus has already done for us, and what He has deposited in us, our lives look very different than the tepid faith of the average churchgoer.
I’ve discovered it’s not enough to know the promises of God in my head. I’ve got to take hold of them with all the firmness of the trapeze artist grasping that second bar. At the same time, I’ve let go of anything that holds me back. That is the greatest show on earth. That is how the greatest faith on earth becomes a reality.
God’s promises are not automatic. We must move from knowing the promise, to believing the promise, to taking hold of the promise through obedient action in order to make them a reality in our lives. Let me say that again: know the truth, believe the truth, act on the truth.
God told Joshua about the Promised Land, “I will give you every place where you set your foot” (Josh. 1:3). He and the Israelites had to “set their feet” to conquer the land; to grab hold of the promise that was theirs for the taking. They had to know it, believe it, and act on it.
God’s power, provision, and purposes are for “whosoever will” (Mark 8:34 KJV). Will what? Will let go of all that holds them back and take hold of the promises that move them forward.
And when we learn how to do that, we will get unstuck from a mediocre faith and begin experiencing the bold believing, mountain moving, giant slaying faith that God intended all along.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to let go, move forward, and live boldly!
Lord, I’m tired of being stuck in my faith. I want to take hold of all that You have done for me and placed in me. Help me let go of everything that holds me hostage to a life that’s less than You intended and take hold of a life that’s more than I imagined.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one thing that you are having trouble letting go of that you know God has called you to release?
What is one promise of God that you know in your head but need to take hold of with your heart.
More from the Girlfriends
Let’s get unstuck from mediocre faith and take hold of all that God has done for us and put in us! No more spiritual couch potato for me. I’m ready for the mountain moving, giant slaying, bold believing faith that God intended all along! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, and Live Bold you’ll see how to ignite your faith as never before.
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© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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Thank you for your prayer….
Have been struggling with illness since the middle of August,with Dr. visits, ER visits tests, various medications. This is not what God wants for me, or anyone for that matter.
I do want to release this! I want to continue into the life of giving and service for my church family.
“Father God, no one wants illness in their life. I’m not only praying for myself but all others who are struggling, as I am. We want to be healed. Forgive us where we have failed you. We want to praise you ahead of the blessings you give us everyday, and know you are with us, to “deliver us from evil”. Continue to inspire and bless Sharon in her ministry (which I’m so grateful for) In the healing name of Jesus…Amen.”
Thank you for your prayers, sweet sister.
I’m praying to let go and move forward in my faith. I’m struggling everyday. I want let go of the things that are holding me back. I want to live the promises.
Amen. Me too.
I give thanks and praise for another timely message that reminds me “To Let Go and Let God.” GOD has been so gracious to me through the years when I was a young divorced Mom with 2 small children to raise and an ex husband struggling with addiction. God provided for me and my children every step of the way, from providing me with a job that allowed me to provide a home to live in on our own , putting food on the table. I can never explain the Grace bestowed on me a sinner.
I continue to struggle with giving my burdens to him 100%. Though he has proved himself over and over, I lay my burdens at his feet, but turn around and pick it back up as though I have the ability to answer my prayers!
I continue to be in a season of relationship burdens with 2 family members which has impacted in ways I do not want in my life; hurt, anger, bitterness, and lack of self control in this matter. I find myself questioning if I will receive an answer to my prayer. I’m grateful for my church, my Bible study and GIF who are loving and gentle in encouraging my walk by faith and not by sight. I hope for the best outcome but ready to accept God’s good and perfect will which is more than i could ever hope or imagine for ALL THE TIME! In his love Debbie
We love doing life with you!
A great word picture that helps me understand the Scripture passage and pray for my letting go of all things that I let hold me back. I pray for my taking hold and making my own what Jesus has already done for me. I know that he’s done it but I want to make that knowledge real in my life through belief and action as you have said. Thank you for this word picture, Sharon.
I’m so glad it helped! Helps me too!
Thank you Sharon for your transparency! You shared what many of us are dealing with when confronted with trials. Questioning our faith . . . but His Word says, “ if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we will speak to the mountain to be removed and cast into the sea.” (Paraphrased)
“know the truth, believe the truth, act on the truth.” Amen♥️