There comes a time in some people’s lives when they decide to throw in the towel. When it’s been enough. When there’s no more fight left in them. It doesn’t so much mean that they’ve given up as that they’ve taken it as far as they can take it, and they need help to go any further.
That’s a sweet and wonderful moment of release. That’s an unburdening of self and ego, a letting go of the juvenile mindset that you can conquer anything you set your mind to.
God loves it when we reach that point. He’s waiting for each and every one of us to get there because then he can reach down and give us the hand up we so sorely need. There’s no greater moment in our lives than when God reaches down to where we are and brings us up to where we can only get with his help. Because on our own, we can’t get very far. We can’t get very far at all. We think we can, because the world tells us we can, but the world lies. We listen to the world’s sweet little lies and then run out and try to do what it tells us we can do. And then we fall flat on our faces.
The moment when we let the nonsense lies of the world go and let God lift us up is the greatest moment in any human life. There is no greater. But he can’t do it unless we first let go of the world.
People think they can hold onto the world with one hand and onto to God with the other, but it doesn’t work that way. That’s a form of fence-sitting. You either look to the world for guidance or you look to God. You can’t look to both, because the minute you try to look to both is the minute you lose your grip on God.
I spent the past three months traveling across Canada and parts of the US. I met a lot of people and spoke to a lot of people, but I met no believers, not a one. Of the hundreds of people I spoke to, not one loved God and followed Jesus. Many described themselves as “spiritual”, but they shrank from me when I mentioned Jesus.
There is a dearth in the land, all right – a dearth of hearing God’s Word because people don’t want to hear it. They run every which way to look for guidance, but the Ten Commandments they shun as “old-fashioned” and “irrelevant”. We are in sad and sorry times.
God is waiting for them to tire themselves out with trying to find water in a desert. He is doing everything he can to draw people to the deep well of his spirit, but they reject him, time and time again, even as they grow thirstier and thirstier.
It is a sad and sorry thing to watch people bang their heads over and over and over and over again against the same immovable wall. All the world can do is hand them a pillow to cushion the blows, but eventually the pillow flattens out. It’s as if they’ve grown addicted to pain, as if they cannot see themselves as separate from their pain. I remember feeling like that, thinking that pain was just part and parcel of being an adult and that alcohol was there to dull the pain. Instead of doing anything to make the pain stop, I just drank more and more frequently.
It never occurred to me to throw in the towel. I firmly believed that any mess that I got myself into, I could get myself out of. I never thought anything was beyond my control. I made myself into a god.
I can see this now in other people. God is the answer to all of their problems, but they resolutely refuse to look his way let alone reach out for his hand. They don’t want to throw in the towel. They don’t want to admit their weakness. They don’t want to admit defeat or that the world doesn’t in some way hold all the answers they are looking for in the form of medical assistance or education or material needs or even love. They are world-worshipers, as I once was. God has no place in the heart of a world-worshiper, just as the world has no place in the heart of a God-worshiper.
There comes a time in very few people’s lives when they decide to throw in the towel. When it’s been enough. When there’s no more fight left in them. It doesn’t mean that they’ve given up. It means they no longer believe in the world.
This is the very moment they start living.
I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.