Debunking Let Go and Let God

Let go and let God is a phrase thrown around within Christian conversations when something challenging or out of our control is in our midst. I cringe a bit every time I hear someone offer this phrase as an answer to a problem. 

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

What is so wrong with telling someone to trust God with their situations? Absolutely nothing. However, that is not the full intention of this brief and broad sentiment. Let go and let God is a short statement that doesn’t offer an explanation, therefore, it has a number of definitions attached to it. The most widely used is one that inadvertently removes all responsibilities from the person and suggests that if we work harder, and have more faith that the outcome is somehow going to change. By saying, “Let go and let God” we are asserting that God is only present if we get out of the way.

Yes, we all need to have faith and trust in the plans that God has for us (Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 29:11). We need to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Job 1:21). We also must not neglect the responsibilities that God has placed in our care (1 Corinthians 3:8). The instruction to let go can also inappropriately place the blame for struggles on the person enduring them. Additionally, this phrase suggests that God is not always present and we are preventing Him from moving forward with His plans. 

I am wholly grateful to God that I can’t be in His way. I don’t want such a tremendous responsibility or to be that powerful. If I believed that I am able to obstruct God’s plans then a number of burdens, which are not mine to carry, would weigh heavily on my shoulders. If this were possible then God would not be as powerful as He tells us He is within scripture. Thankfully, God is all powerful and all knowing.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5

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Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2

We absolutely need to hand over all of our anxieties and fears to God. We must understand that God’s plans for our lives have already been determined (Proverbs 16:9, Ephesians 1:4-6, Psalm 139:13-16) and there is nothing, not one single thing we can do to change this. No matter how hard a couple prays or how many procedures they go through for a baby, if it is not part of God’s plan for them it will not happen (Genesis 20:18, Genesis 29:31, Genesis 30:22). There is no blame on the couple for this. Just as if they should conceive, it was not their doing that created the baby, they simply fulfilled their responsibility within the process of God’s predetermined plan (Psalm 139:16, Isaiah 44:2). We can’t take credit for God’s goodness and blessings. 

We can work hard and do most everything above and beyond expectations. We can strive for faith that moves mountains, and still, we are not powerful enough to change the will of God. It is vital that we be careful not to become complacent and neglect the work He has for us, our responsibilities. Our trust in God needs to outweigh our doubts and fears while pressing on through the path He has chosen for us. When we come to a roadblock, through our faith and trust in God’s plans for us we must clear the road, not sit back and wait for God to push the rubble aside. 

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

There is an abundance of what God does that we simply don’t understand, and this is where we choose to rest in His sovereign will. This is where we say, “Okay God, what work do you have for me today?” And then go and do it trusting in His plan whether we understand it or not. When we are walking through fire this is when we cry out to God for His strength and to support our footing while we battle the flames. 

Let go of misconceptions of who God is. Let go of believing that working harder will produce the results you desire because this isn’t about any one of us. Let go of blaming yourself for something outside of your control, but do own your mistakes and responsibilities. Let go of the misnomer that if you step back God will step in, you can never be in Gods way. 

I almost concluded this article by listing out ways you can “let God,” such as; let God show you who He is by studying His word. The problem with this idea is we don’t let God do anything because we do not control God. We are not powerful enough to tell God what He can and can not do. We do not hold the power to let God do anything. We need to stop believing that we are in complete control. We need to fulfill what is within our realm of responsibility and not try to take on what is not ours to bear.

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Psalm 135:6

Debunking Let Go and Let God 

8 thoughts on “Debunking Let Go and Let God

  1. Thank you for tackling this! The phrase “let go and let God” has always rubbed me the wrong way, but I could never really pinpoint why. I like how you said that the “let go” part “removes all responsibilities” from the listener. It gives the impression that I can just sit back and relax and watch God work from my easy chair. Even if that’s not the intent, that’s the implication.

    However, your last paragraph gave me pause, too. “We need to stop believing that we are in complete control. We need to fulfill what is within our realm of responsibility…” Well, really, if God is in complete control, then we have no responsibility. This is why determinism is illogical. There are so many imperatives in the Bible: “do this” and “don’t do that.” There is no logic in insisting we do some things or avoid other things if we don’t have the ability or the responsibility to take those actions.

    “Let God show you who He is by studying His word. The problem with this idea is we don’t let God do anything because we do not control God.” No, we don’t control Him; absolutely not. But we do control our own will. God doesn’t us force us to obey, to choose to love Him. We CAN let the Holy Spirit teach us, convict us, and we can repent, listen to, and obey Him. In that respect, we can let God. We can let Him sanctify us and conform us more and more into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). But the phrase “let go and let God” implies letting God do everything. We do have a responsibility to do what little we can do.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you for reading and responding. I believe we are both coming for very different theological viewpoints. You mentioned, “Well, really, if God is in complete control, then we have no responsibility.” I can not agree with this as God holding complete control is different than the responsibilities He gives us. I believe, according to scripture, that He does control and know all while giving us responsibilities to fulfill. Scripture tells us that we do not control our will, but that God does. He knows the decisions we will make before we make them. Nothing is ever outside of God’s will. Again, I believe we are approaching this from two different theological and doctrinal viewpoints. If you’d like to chat more about this feel free to send me a message. I’d be glad to discuss this with you.

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  2. I really like your take on this.
    Especially tackling the idea that we let God do anything.
    I will definitely share this with my own readers because I think it has so much value for those who are struggling with shame and doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you read Andy Naselli’s “No Quick Fix”? It’s a condensed for of his dissertation which was on this topic. No Quick Fix is a very good book, and he looks at how the Let Go and Let God theology doesn’t square with the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

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