If ever there was a word or concept that can set a person on edge its relinquishment! Living a life of relinquishment, is not necessarily, a popular subject. Nonetheless, God calls us to surrender to it.
Following is a combination of three blogs written last year which elaborate on the art of living a relinquished lifestyle. Beginning with a quote from: My Utmost for His Highest (a collection of writings taken from messages preached in the 1800’s, by Oswald Chambers.) Enjoy!
The Relinquished Life by Oswald Chambers
“I am crucified with Christ.” Galatians 2:20
“No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.
Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?
There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.
If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.”
The Power of Relinquishment
Have you ever held on to something for dear life? Afraid to let it go, dreading your worst fears would come to life? Holding on so tight for fear you won’t get want you really want or think you deserve?
Not letting something go, does not necessarily guarantee you won’t get hurt or that you’ll get what you want. Truthfully, faith in God should override the “holding on” mentality or lifestyle.
One of the stumbling blocks to having true faith in God is that we no longer can be in control. This is where relinquishment makes an entrance.
The dictionary definition of relinquishment: to renounce or surrender a possession or right. To give up; put aside or desist from: to relinquish a plan. To let go; release: to relinquish one’s hold.
Relinquishment is so powerful because it is an absolute act of faith. It is how we let God know we explicitly trust Him. Faith may seem complex, but in its simplest form genuine faith basically means to actively trust God. To relinquish the reigns of our life and let God be in charge.
The first step in relinquishment is to surrender our own self-will: what we want, what we will do, what we think and feel. God gives us self-will and He will not override it. Self-will has to be handed over—let go of—relinquished to God, it really is the only thing He can’t change in us unless it is given over to Him.
The power of relinquishment is fluid in our life through humble faith. Jesus had to relinquish His self-will to the Father. If precious Jesus exchanged His will for God’s will, then why would we entertain ideas that our self-will is something we are master over?
John 5:30 says this about Jesus’ self-will,
“I do not seek or consult My own will (I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose) but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.”
Self-will can be problematic and persuasive, if not surrendered, that’s why God wants it. Not because He is this huge task Master, wanting all the control for His own benefit, but because He loves us—is jealous for us. God knows our life from beginning to end and He is the only One who can ultimately give us what’s best.
Relinquishing is a trust issue. Do we trust God enough to let go of our heart and life—of our self-will and let God have His way in our life?
I once felt very powerless to pray for people in my life who suffer from un-relinquished self will issues. I asked the Lord, how do I pray for my loved ones who clearly live their life in throws of selfish self-will? He told me, only love can break an obstinate self-will. I now pray that the sledge hammer of God’s love would crush stubborn self will in the lives of those I love. That they would get a revelation of the depth of God’s love for them.
God’s love changes everything. If we know that we know, that He loves us then relinquishing will not be a problem.
I love the way Oswald Chambers, says to deal with the difficulty of relinquishment. It’s worth repeating!
“If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.”
Be encouraged to go through the crisis of relinquishing your will—the God of infinite wisdom loves you and wants to make an exchange with you—your will—for His. In the exchange, the power of relinquishment will be released in your life.
The Prayer of Relinquishment
Letting go is rarely easy or desirable. However life is made up of numerous “letting go” sessions. I use the word sessions because the act of letting go usually requires more than just a simple release. The release typically comes at the end of a wrestling session.
Similarly, the prayer of relinquishment can be likened to a wrestling match. A match of the will, God’s will vs. our will.
Sometimes when we pray and ask God for something, we will give Him all the reasons why He should answer our prayer in the manner we want Him to. This is a sort of genie mentality. I rub the lamp and He gives me my heart’s desire—no questions asked. Prayer should be birthed out of relationship with God; if it’s not then we are in genie status.
As stated earlier, surrendering self-will is the first step in relinquishment. Self-will has to be exchanged; our will for God’s will. Surrendering requires trust, therefore relinquishing kicks us out of genie status and moves us into relationship status with God. Ultimately God desires that we know Him personally, and not just know about Him. He is interested in our heart—in its devotion to Him. He uses life situations to turn a divided heart to Him. If relinquishment is a trust issue, then guaranteed when the subject of relinquishment arises, the true colors of our heart’s devotion to Him will emerge.
Once again grasp the truth of Galatians 2:20,
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
At the cross we relinquish our rights—exchange our will, just as Jesus did. The words “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live” translate to “my life is no longer identified as mine—I give up my rights.” That’s the premise to the Christian life and to living in relationship status; the promise is “Christ lives in me.” Remember we can’t have the promise without the premise.
This brings us to the wrestling match, otherwise known as the prayer of relinquishment.
The foundation for the prayer of relinquishment is trust and love. We give up our hold, no matter the reason for our prayer. This is where the wrestling takes place, we wrestle to give up what we want or what we think is best. Human reasoning grapples with our faith in God and His Word. Then we relinquish.
Why relinquish? Because we understand and know God will answer our prayer from His all-knowing, all-loving stance of wisdom and care for us. Principally we trust Him to do His best for us.
Another very crucial point to the prayer of relinquishment is—do we want the answer to the prayer more than we want God? If so then we are in danger of idolatry.
The essence of the relinquishment prayer, must be we want God more than anything else. If it’s healing we are praying for, do we want the healing more than we want God? If it’s a wayward child, is our desire for our child more than our desire for God? If it’s for a broken heart, do want to be pain free more than go through the process of finding God for our relief? If it’s for financial breakthrough, relationships, peace or a myriad of other reasons—what is our real heart’s desire? God? Or whatever will make us feel whole? The truth is, God is the only one who can complete us, so we must start there. If we don’t, even when the prayer is answered, we will be left wanting.
I have heard of bed ridden people praying for healing, years upon years, that finally relinquish. Changing their prayer to, “God I want you more than I want healing and I’m tired of the wrestle” Healing came after they gave up their will. In essence getting their way was held in higher esteem than God.
A huge component to the prayer of relinquishment is when we relinquish our will to God, we settle with the truth of His sovereignty and live in peace, allowing the outcome of our circumstance to be well with our soul.
Please be encouraged to learn the lifestyle and prayer of relinquishment. In doing so you will move into deeper relationship with God; where love, peace and rest will be your portion!