Relinquishing Our Rights

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

One of the easiest ways for us to impede the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is to assert our rights.

One of the easiest ways to impede God's work in our lives is to assert our rights. What are you willing to give up to follow Jesus?

You know what that sounds like, right? It might sound like “I have the right to be treated respectfully” after a disagreement with a friend or family member. Or it might sound like refusing to alter our plans, “I don’t have time to do that right now, God. Maybe next week.”

To follow Jesus, we have to relinquish some rights that we’ve given ourselves:

The right to be comfortable.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

God didn’t call us to be comfortable. He regularly calls us out of our comfort zone. Following Him means dying to ourselves and our comfort every day.

The right to follow our hearts.

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9

A prevailing theme in our culture is that we should follow our hearts. We cannot follow our hearts; the Bible says they are deceitful and wicked. We must choose to follow God and His word, even if our heart tends to disagree.

The Holy Spirit will guide us, and we must follow His direction instead of our own. The Spirit will never lead us in a direction that is contrary to God’s word.

The right to stick to our plan.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

I believe God wants us to plan (Proverbs 21:5, Luke 14:28), but not to prioritize our plans over His. We have to be willing to adjust our plan and schedule when directed.

The right to mind our own business.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

There are many verses I could quote here about loving our neighbors as ourselves and as Christ loves us.

We are not our own; we have been bought with a price. We represent our almighty King and we no longer have the right to ignore needs around us. We have to relinquish our right to mind our own business- people in need are our business.

As a disciple of Jesus, he calls us to a life committed to him. We must prioritize his purposes, his timeline, and his direction over our own. It takes relinquishing our rights to him day by day and moment by moment.

Which of these rights is the hardest for you to give over to God?

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26 thoughts on “Relinquishing Our Rights

  1. I love this! You are right on target that we are called to relinquish our rights and follow the Lord. Great reminder!

  2. Loved it! There is great power in relinquishment, surrender. When we follow our hearts, sometimes it is a mess, in our flesh. What you shared is so, so true. Wonderful!

    1. Thank you, Rita! I remember the first time a preacher made the point about now following your heart. It was like a lightbulb- like “Ohhhh, that’s my problem…”

  3. You hit the nail on the head! What is so amazing is the more “rights” we relinquish to God, the freer we are. We can only find true freedom in Jesus, so the more we give Him, the more we receive.

    For me, the right to be comfortable was a hard one to let go of. I’ve written about this in more detail, but when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, my initial reaction was to tell God it was totally unfair he gave me this cross. It’s still a struggle at times, but I realize the more I trust God with the burden, the more he helps me carry it.

    Thank you for sharing this important topic!

  4. Hmmm….the hardest one for me is probably giving up the right to follow my heart. But, you’re absolutely right that the Bible calls us to guard our hearts and to lead our hearts, not to follow our hearts – it’s the world that tells us that. That is why, for me, it is VITAL that I stay deep in the Word every single day! How else would I ever know where God wants me to lead my heart? This was great Beka, as always! Thanks!

    1. That’s a toughie for me, too. It’s so ingrained in our culture to follow our hearts and that our happiness is the ultimate goal. We are in the world, but not of it, my friend! Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. For the longest time I followed my heart and just met with failure. Now I always ask for God’s guidance in all my decision making. It is definitely freeing! God Bless!

  6. Another wonderful post!

    I remember a Bible study years ago where a friend said that while she KNEW she should let God do the driving, she often tried to take the keys and drive herself. And, when she asserted control, more things went wrong.

    1. Thank you, Laura!! I agree with your friend! That’s been my experience too. I often invite Jesus to drive, but then relegate him to the passenger seat…

  7. Great post! We have been bought with a price and the life we live is no longer ours. We live for the one who died for us. I am encouraged to relinquish my rights and follow through with God. Thanks for sharing.

  8. “God didn’t call us to be comfortable. He regularly calls us out of our comfort zone. Following Him means dying to ourselves and our comfort every day.” This has honestly been on my mind for over a week. The simple fact that God hasn’t called us to be comfortable. It seems like every call on my life to take a step in one direction or another has always resulted in stepping away from my comfort zone. Comfort zones don’t allow us to grow, instead, it seems that comfort zones are conducive to a stagnant life. Thank you so much for sharing this whole post!

    1. I hear ya! I keep getting the same message from God through different people and in different ways- I can grow closer to Him or I can stay comfortable. I undoubtedly want to grow closer to Him and be a true follower, but the sinful part of me wishes it was a little more comfortable!

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad it was helpful. Everything I write comes from lessons God has been teaching me- so I needed this too!

  9. I love these Beka, how wise and true and counter-intuitive. That’s the way of Jesus and how much easier it is if we just always submit our will to God’s will and let God direct our paths..the process of discerning if our way is God’s way takes prayerfulness and being immersed in the Word that will always light our way! Great food for thought here! Our ways can be crafty and we need to always check in to be sure we’re not leading the ways!

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