Let Me Show You My Monkey Dance

To trap a monkey, you put some peanuts inside the trap. The monkey grabs the nuts, but his hand gets caught in the snare. The snare is in fact nothing but a hole which is wide enough to let his hand out, provided he would let the nuts go. By letting the nuts go, the hand would not be double fold, and his hand can come out. But the monkey will not let go and is trapped.

Shall I do my monkey impressions for you?  Or, perhaps you've seen it already.

There are many things we hold on to that keep us from moving forward. No matter how hard we try, we hang on to things (aka peanuts) that are not profitable for us. Some of the things that keep us entrapped are unrealistic expectations, unhealthy relationships, and anything we hold onto because we have placed unnatural value on them. We even hold on to things like anger, unforgiveness or regret. These three will keep us from moving forward, they steal peace and can ruin relationships.

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open." Corrie Ten Boom

The gospels tell of a meeting between Jesus and a young man who asked Jesus what he had to do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him he had to keep the commandments, to which the young man answered he had kept all of them.

"Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.' When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."   Matthew 19:21-22

Please don’t misunderstand the point of this encounter – for this man it was his possessions that kept him from following God, but it could’ve very well been worldly knowledge, power, a job, a relationship. God plus anything else is unnecessary. The Lord wants us to trust in Him alone.

Is there something in your life that you are stubbornly holding onto with hands gripped tight? Are you holding onto something that Jesus is telling you to release because it’s not God's will for you? Confusion, uncertainty, fear, doubt, debt (financially or morally) become foreign concepts when you live within the safety of God’s will for your life. 

No one is as miserable as the poor person who maintains the appearance of wealth.
Charles H Spurgeon

Like the young man in the scriptures, I thought where I lived was important. My job description defined me. Nice clothes and beautiful things were also important. There was no substance in me or in the things I made that wasn't important. I was always looking, searching and, therefore, empty. But, unlike the rich young ruler who let his possessions rule him, I decided to follow my Savior. 

In following Jesus, I learned that who I am, where I live and what I wear all comes from above. He strips away the unnecessary. God has had to pry my fingers open on many occasions! And yes, it hurts, and yes, sometimes it took more than once as I grabbed things back, but ultimately He taught me to `let go and let God’

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Let go of what you are holding onto that does not profit or prosper you. Be freed and renewed by the love of God through Christ Jesus. Find your value in Jesus because, Child of God, He gave His life for yours and that makes you intrinsically valuable. He alone gives you wealth beyond measure, assurance of a future and eternal life. One day all of our earthly possessions will burn because in the Kingdom of Heaven earthly things have no worth.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.    Galatians 5:1

by Eve Montano