This week in our study of “The Gospel According to Satan” by Jared C. Wilson” we examine the lie “let go and let God.” In our previous discussion, we established that we cannot do anything to become closer to God than we already are by the purchasing blood of Jesus Christ. No matter how hard we believe or pray, we cannot reach a higher level of Christianity, because Christianity is not a pyramid scheme. Therefore, if we can’t “let go” more than trusting in Jesus Christ, how do we let God do what we need him to do for us? It’s simple – we don’t let God do anything.
“Any God who needs us to activate him is not much of a god at all.”Page 126, The Gospel According to Satan, Jared C. Wilson
We often hear that we must allow/activate the Holy Spirit in our lives, and although we should submit to the work of sanctification in our souls, we are not the masters of God. We are also told to “let God” do all manner of things before he can guide us/bless us/reward us etc. But God doesn’t need us to do anything for him to do what he wants to do.
I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?Jeremiah 32:27
From the moment Satan offered Eve the forbidden fruit he has tried to convince mankind not only that we are godlike, but, more dangerously, that God is man-like in status. In this way, he introduces a deficient God with a weak and unbiblical doctrine.
Jared Wilson reminds us that God is sovereign overall. If he doesn’t do something he has willed not to do it. The blessings we receive from God are foreordained by him and not because of anything we did to deserve it. Even salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8), predestined and beyond our understanding. The power to pursue holiness through sanctification through the Holy Spirit is also entirely due to God’s grace and not by our own merit.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.Philippians 2:12-13
We have turned the concept of “let go” into a cause-and-effect Christianity, similarly to karma. Through this subtle and dangerous lie, Satan wants to dethrone the King and enthrone the subjects.
Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.Isaiah 46:10
The true gospel teaches us that God is sovereign over us and our circumstances and empowers us for his good works (Ephesians 2:10).
The gospel is not opposed to effort but to earning
“Let go” implies that we have no obligation to ongoing, active obedience to the law of God, and since it is impossible to obey the laws and instructions of Jesus Christ we shouldn’t bother to try. In this way “let go” cheapens grace by removing the power from God’s grace to help us to obey and to secure our souls.
“Grace is not opposed to effort, but is opposed to earning.”Dallas Willard
The grace of God can be trusted to allow complete sanctification in us and to assist us to obey the word of God when it seems humanly impossible. “Let go” encourages passivity in pursuit of holiness instead of constant change into the image of Jesus Christ.
Here is Dr R.C. Sproul discussing the concept of “Let go and let God” which elaborates on his quote found on page 130 of this chapter:
“Let go and let God” is the gospel according to Satan because it demonstrates his hate for the gospel by truncating the gospel and violating God’s clear commands to obey his instruction.
“Let go and let God” makes a claim at selflessness – at getting ourselves out of the way – but it actually gets us focused on ourselves and our performance rather than on the powerful cross and the sufficiency of Christ’s finished work.”Page 131, The Gospel According to Satan, Jared C. Wilson
Don’t try to “let go and let God”. Rather become part of the “cooperative enterprise” as R.C. Sproul describes it. Both God and I are working in my soul. He works through means of grace such as prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, witnessing and service, but I have to participate in his means of grace. “Sanctification is a life-long enterprise of diligence and commitment… So it is the lazy man’s Christianity who says I’m going to sit back and let God do it for me.” (R.C. Sproul)
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of the books studied by Nettie’s Book Club. I am not profiting from the sale of these books. I will carefully select books that have had a significant impact on my faith. My goal is simply to share the wisdom in these books with others so we can assess and apply the wisdom of these authors to grow in understanding of our faith together.