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Let go; Let God

Let go; Let God

Words of Faith 12-26-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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[9b] I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus--   [10] I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.  [11] Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.  [12] I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.


      Don't let Paul fool you.  There are times when he seems gruff, but he is a tender heart.  He had great affection in Christ for Onesimus.  He had seen him transformed from a thieving runaway slave to a brother in Christ.  He immediately began helping Paul, serving him in a variety of ways.  Now it was very painful to see him leave, but it was the right thing to do.

       Why is it that the right thing is sometimes so painful? 

       Paul made a play on the name Onesimus, which means “useful.”  He may have even been named this way because of his function in the household.  It was not a very personal name.  But now it had a new meaning.  Now he had become useful to Paul in helping him and also helpful to his owner Philemon.

      How so?  Onesimus had created a crisis of faith.  Philemon now had to make a decision about the issue of slavery.  Philemon had to figure out what he really believed about the redeeming power of Jesus in a life.  God was using this whole situation to make a change in the life of Philemon.  He was very useful.

      It was very difficult for Paul to let go of his new son in Christ, but he had to.  There really was no other choice.  It was the legal thing to do.  It was the right thing to do.  It was also the calling of God that would send Onesimus back to the household from which he ran and bring about an entirely new outlook on the institution of slavery.  Letting go was difficult but necessary.  Painful but required.

       Paul could have held onto Onesimus.  He could have sent this letter with Epaphras with a message that Onesimus was needed more in Rome.  Or he could have been quiet about the whole thing.  But that was not the real work that God had in mind.  Sometimes we just have to trust and then let go and let God.  Then we will see the wonder of His plan.

       Do you have something difficult for you to let go of?

       Perhaps it is a person whom God wants to be useful in a different place.  Maybe it is a friend who needs to grow in a different setting.  Maybe it is a relationship that keeps hurting you again and again.  Maybe it is a situation that would be easy to cling to, but now you just need to let go.  Perhaps it is an endeavor that has not worked out, and now it is time to move on to something else.

       Paul gives us an example to go by.  Listen to God, of course, and let go.  Let go even of that which is “your very heart,” and God will use that situation in a way you cannot imagine.


       Father God, give me the strength to cling to the things You want to cling to— the grace to let go of the things that I need to release—and the wisdom to know the difference.  Show me the new direction as I seek Your plan.  In Jesus’ Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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